“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.


  • 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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