“The Third Circle” by Amanda Quick

Leona Hewitt has secretly made her way into Lord Delbridge’s private museum to retrieve a relic stolen from her family. But someone else is in the dimly lit gallery on the same errand: a tall, black cloaked man whose very voice is enough to cause her to fall into a trance.

Thaddeus Ware, a mesmerist with psychic gifts, is accustomed to fearful reactions from others—women, in particular. After all, a man who can control the minds of others could rob a lady of her virtue—completely unbeknownst to her. But Leona shows no trace of hysteria in his presence. A gifted crystal worker, she exerts a rather hypnotic power over the hypnotist himself. And she is determined to keep the coveted crystal they manage to recover by giving him the slip at a run-down London inn.

Thaddeus, on assignment for the Arcane Society, knows the menace Leona is courting by absconding with the crystal. A source of remarkable energy, it holds the potential for great destruction. Lord Delbridge has already killed to acquire the crystal, his key to membership in the elite, shadowy group known as the Third Circle. And, with the help of a ruthless hunter of preternatural skill — dubbed the Midnight Monster by the press — Delbridge intends to find Leona. With the stolen crystal in their possession, the danger is only beginning.

Two very driven individuals, both with agendas that set them against each other, both with passions that draw them together.

Thaddeus can command virtually anyone by his power of psychic mesmerism, which isolates him from virtually any human contact, only to discover Leona, whose own psychic gifts allowed her to break his command. She interfered with his mission to recover the lost aurora stone, eventually losing to her wiles, but she also saved his life and his sanity through her gift of crystal manipulation.

Leona has gone to great lengths to recover her family’s lost heirloom, a fabled crystal owned by her famous ancestress, the fabled Sybil the Virgin Sorceress, only to encounter Thaddeus on the same quest. His insistence taking possession of the aurora stone was only the latest potential setback she encountered, but without his aid, she would have died a torturous death many times over.

Against them both are Lord Delbridge, a member of the secretive Arcane Society of psychic researchers and practitioners, of whom Thadeus is also a member, a psychic hunter of sorts, employed in investigations involving other members of the Society. Delbridge also employs a sinister scientist and alchemist and a psychic and psychotic murderer. Behind them is the occult group of the Third Circle, who plan to use both the aurora stone and Leona in aiding them unlock the secrets of her ancestress Sybil, and are more than willing to kidnap and murder to gain their objectives.

As this is a romance novel, and a formulaic one, at that, Thaddeus and Leona pair up to counter all threats and discover true love in the process.


 Notes

  • Synchronicity Time: Just a few days after I finished the previous Amanda Quick novels, I was at the local library, in their connected coffee shop. The library disposes of unwanted or overstock books through sales through the coffee shop, and I walked past the display and just happened to notice this novel by Amanda Quick. Knowing full well my propensity for synchronicity, I examined the contents and discovered another mesmerist as a primary character. Of course, I had to purchase it to add to the Collection.
  • Amanda Quick is the pseudonym of Jayne Ann Krentz, a popular New York Times bestselling author of period, paranormal and period paranormal romances. More information on the book can be found at her website, here.

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