Tag: Amanda Quick

Guest Review: Tightrope by Amanda Quick

Posted July 24, 2019 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Tightrope by Amanda QuickReviewer: Jen
Tightrope by Amanda Quick
Series: Burning Cove #3
Also in this series: The Other Lady Vanishes (Burning Cove #2)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 309
Add It: Goodreads
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

An unconventional woman and a man shrouded in mystery walk a tightrope of desire as they race against a killer to find a machine that could change the world.

Former trapeze artist Amalie Vaughn moved to Burning Cove to reinvent herself, but things are not going well. After spending her entire inheritance on a mansion with the intention of turning it into a bed-and-breakfast, she learns too late that the villa is said to be cursed. When the first guest, Dr. Norman Pickwell, is murdered by his robot invention during a sold-out demonstration, rumors circulate that the curse is real.

In the chaotic aftermath of the spectacle, Amalie watches as a stranger from the audience disappears behind the curtain. When Matthias Jones reappears, he is slipping a gun into a concealed holster. It looks like the gossip that is swirling around him is true—Matthias evidently does have connections to the criminal underworld.

Matthias is on the trail of a groundbreaking prototype cipher machine. He suspects that Pickwell stole the device and planned to sell it. But now Pickwell is dead and the machine has vanished. When Matthias’s investigation leads him to Amalie’s front door, the attraction between them is intense, but she knows it is also dangerous. Amalie and Matthias must decide if they can trust each other and the passion that binds them, because time is running out.

This book brings us back to Burning Cove, California, a vacation getaway for the rich and famous in 1930s Hollywood. Amalie Vaughn is a former trapeze artist who left her career under tragic and inauspicious circumstances. She has moved to Burning Cove to start a new life and open a bed and breakfast. When her first guest is unfortunately murdered, she gets tangled up in something nefarious. Matthias Jones is investigating in Burning Cove as well. At first he sticks close to Amalie because he is searching for information, but quickly he starts sticking close to her for more personal reasons. 

I recognize that this series is nothing ground breaking, but for me it is lots of fun. I really enjoy the world Quick has painted, and I enjoy revisiting Burning Cove in each book. This one in particular felt like a good old fashioned mystery. The murdered guest is a self proclaimed inventor of robots, and that added a fun flavor to the intrigue. Similarly, Amalie’s background as a trapeze artist is glamorous and unique, and I loved that she’s able to use some of her past skills to save herself in the end. 

Matthias and Amalie make a nice couple, although Mathias isn’t particularly interesting to me as a character. No one knows quite what he does, though the rumor is that he’s mixed up with criminals. It was all a little silly. I did like that he appreciates Amalie and her abilities, and like the other heroes in the series he respects and values the heroine’s independence. There’s also a whiff of the supernatural in his backstory, though it’s never really identified as such as nothing much comes of it. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a slight callback to Quick’s Arcane Society series or not, but I didn’t really think it added anything to the story.

This series has become a kind of comforting world for me to visit. It never knocks my socks off, but it’s romantic, unique, and interesting, and I like the characters Quick has created.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Burning Cove

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Other Lady Vanishes by Amanda Quick

Posted May 29, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 4 Comments

Guest Review: The Other Lady Vanishes by Amanda QuickReviewer: Jen
The Other Lady Vanishes (Burning Cove #2) by Amanda Quick, Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: Burning Cove #2
Also in this series: Tightrope
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Knew Too Much sweeps readers back to 1930s California--where the most dazzling of illusions can't hide the darkest secrets...

After escaping from a private sanitarium, Adelaide Blake arrives in Burning Cove, California, desperate to start over.

Working at an herbal tea shop puts her on the radar of those who frequent the seaside resort town: Hollywood movers and shakers always in need of hangover cures and tonics. One such customer is Jake Truett, a recently widowed businessman in town for a therapeutic rest. But unbeknownst to Adelaide, his exhaustion is just a cover.

In Burning Cove, no one is who they seem. Behind facades of glamour and power hide drug dealers, gangsters, and grifters. Into this make-believe world comes psychic to the stars Madame Zolanda. Adelaide and Jake know better than to fall for her kind of con. But when the medium becomes a victim of her own dire prediction and is killed, they'll be drawn into a murky world of duplicity and misdirection.

Neither Adelaide or Jake can predict that in the shadowy underground they'll find connections to the woman Adelaide used to be--and uncover the specter of a killer who's been real all along...

The Other Lady Vanishes continues the Burning Cove series, which is set in a California resort town for the 1930s Hollywood crowd. This time our heroine is Adelaide Blake. Adelaide is a tearoom waitress (and sort of amateur herbalist) who escaped from a sanitarium after being wrongly locked away. She’s struggling to build some sort of life for herself in Burning Cove, even while she’s worried someone will come after her and try to drag her back. Jake Truett is a visitor to town, ostensibly to “rest his nerves” on the orders of his doctor. He becomes a regular tearoom visitor, and when the opportunity presents itself, he jumps at the chance to go on a date with Adelaide. Their date doesn’t quite go as planned, however, and they get sucked into a grisly murder. Clues keep adding up suggesting that Adelaide’s past is not as far behind her as she had hoped, and Jake’s true reasons for coming to town may be related as well. They have to work to investigate the increasing crimes and stay alive while doing so.

I really enjoyed the twisty, turny mystery of this book. There are a lot of players double crossing each other and trying to advance their own hidden agendas, and it’s fun to see Adelaide, Jake , and their friends untangle the threads. (We hear more about Luther Pell, the mysterious nightclub owner we met in Book 1. I am so intrigued!) This book has a bit of a gothic feel to it, despite being set in the 1930s, mostly because of the sanitarium. Rushbrook is a creepy building where horrible things take place, and it is absolutely terrifying to think of Adelaide being forcibly locked up there with no seeming way out. There’s also a drug involved that can trap people in their nightmares, and that adds a very macabre touch, too. It was a bit of a stretch like many mysteries since there were so many coincidences and tidy solutions, but I was hooked.

I liked Adelaide, even if it did take her a little while to come into her own. At the start, she is understandably doubting herself. She knows she wasn’t ill…and yet she spent months being told she was and being dosed with a hallucinogenic drug. Of course, that would plant a seed of doubt in someone’s mind. More than that, though, she is afraid that other people will think she’s mentally ill. I thought her caution and reticence to get involved with Jake at first made sense, and I really appreciated that she doesn’t drag out her standoffishness forever. Jake is an ok character, but we never really learn that much about him. He has a backstory with a dead wife and some far-fetched involvement with international intrigue, but we only get a vague sense of him as a person. I liked him with Adelaide, but theirs is not a particularly well-developed, character-driven romance. Their dialogue can also be a bit stilted at times.

I did want to mention a big old trigger warning for discussions of mental illness and, to a lesser extent, rape in this book. Mental illness in particular is a thread that comes up in several different ways throughout the book, and it’s not always handled with a modern sensibility by these 1930s characters. To my mind, nothing was egregiously offensive, but characters in the book do things like call the residents of the sanitarium “poor wretches” and “crazy,” and generally residents are used as part of the creepy scenery rather than human characters in their own right. Better was the discussion of Jake’s wife and her own mental health issues, which I thought was treated with more respect. In other words, it’s not all bad, but YMMV.

I liked the mystery of this book better than the mystery of Book 1, but I didn’t quite love the characters as much. Still, this is a good read if you enjoy a good old-fashioned mystery with a little romance mixed in.

Grade: 4 out of 5

Burning Cove

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Posted May 8, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 7 Comments

Guest Review: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda QuickReviewer: Jen
The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Format: eARC
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars

Amanda Quick, the bestselling author of ’Til Death Do Us Part, transports readers to 1930s California, where glamour and seduction spawn a multitude of sins…

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago.

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

Set in 1930’s Los Angeles, this book is about Irene Glasson, a reporter who stumbles on a dead body at the Burning Cove Hotel while chasing a big story. The hotel is owned by former magician Oliver Ward, and it’s a celebrity hot spot where all the biggest actors come to enjoy some privacy (carefully curated and strategically interrupted “privacy,” of course – how do you think celebrities kept people talking before Instagram and Twitter?). Oliver is understandably not thrilled about the murder, both because of the negative publicity it might bring to his hotel and because he’s a genuinely decent guy who doesn’t like that someone got killed. Since both Irene and Oliver have a vested interest in figuring out what is going on, they start to work together a bit. Naturally, this draws them closer and brings danger to their door, and it brings to light some of Irene’s own dark secrets.

I know this book wasn’t perfect, but boy did I enjoy the hell out of it! I really, really loved the setting. For me, 1930’s LA was an ideal setting for a romance, because it feels distant but still familiar at the same time. We have enough photographs and films that we can visualize the fashion, the cars, the type of actors described. I 100% pictured Irene as a young Katherine Hepburn, fast talking, acerbic wit, brilliant mind, and classy elegance. And setting it in LA, where the film industry was growing by leaps and bounds, where the young and the lost arrived hoping to make it big, was so smart. I don’t know much about the cultural or social history of that time period, but it felt realistic that LA would be the kind of place where morals were a little looser, where supervision was a little less strict, and where a woman like Irene could make it on her own. I was enthralled.

I thought Irene was a great character, but I was in love with Oliver. He was such a lovely, kind man. He took care of all his employees and was serious about his role as their caretaker, and the devotion they all had for him made it clear they cared for him right back. Plus, he was a magician! The job gave him a deep understanding of human nature, and it was one reason he was such a natural at catering to the rich and famous. He was a great match for Irene, too, because he didn’t stomp all over her independence.

Unfortunately, I thought we could have used a little more time for Irene and Oliver to get to know each other. I felt like Irene trusted him a little too easily, especially given that she was hiding some pretty heavy secrets. I enjoyed meeting Oliver’s inventor uncle, but he got so little page time that he wasn’t even close to a fleshed out character, which was a missed opportunity.

Despite the imperfections, I had a great time reading this book. I hope Quick, or any other other author, sets more books in this time period because I didn’t get nearly enough of it!

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Posted May 7, 2017 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 8 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda QuickThe Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 9th 2017
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…
The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.
Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…
With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

Order the Book:

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Excerpt

Excerpt of THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH by Amanda Quick

Irene stopped at the edge of the long lap pool and looked down at the body sprawled gracefully on the bottom. It was fifteen minutes past midnight. The lights had been dimmed in the grand spa chamber, but in the low glow of a nearby wall sconce, it was possible to make out the dead woman’s hair floating around her pretty face in a nightmarish imitation of a wedding veil.

Irene turned away from the pool, intending to run to the entrance of the spa to summon help. Somewhere in the shadows, shoe leather scraped on tiles. She knew then that she was not alone with the dead woman. There was a faint click and the wall sconces went dark.

The vast spa chamber was abruptly plunged into dense shadows. The only light now was the ghostly glow from the moon. It illuminated the section of the spa where Irene stood. She might as well have been pinned in a spotlight.
Her pulse pounded and she was suddenly fighting to breathe. The nearest exit was the row of French doors behind her. But they were on the opposite side of the long lap pool. The side door that she had used to enter the spa was even farther away.

She concluded that her best option was to sound as if she was in command of herself and the situation.
“There’s been an accident,” she said, raising her voice in what she hoped was a firm, authoritative manner. “A woman fell into the water. We’ve got to get her out. There might still be time to revive her.”
That was highly unlikely. Gloria Maitland looked very, very dead.

There was no response. No one moved in the shadows.

Somewhere in the darkness water dripped, the faint sound echoing eerily. The humid atmosphere was rapidly becoming oppressive.

There were two possible reasons why the other person on the scene might not come forward, Irene thought. The first was fear of scandal. The Burning Cove Hotel was one of the most exclusive on the West Coast. Located almost a hundred miles north of Los Angeles, it offered a guarantee of privacy and discretion to those who could afford it. If the rumors were true, it had sheltered a list of guests that ranged from powerful figures of the criminal underworld to Hollywood stars and European royalty. Times might be hard elsewhere in the country, but you’d never know it from the luxury and opulence of the Burning Cove Hotel.

The stars and aspiring stars came to the hotel to escape the prying eyes of the always hungry reporters of the Los Angeles newspapers and the Hollywood gossip columnists. So, yes, it was possible that the watcher in the shadows feared being discovered in the vicinity of a woman who had just drowned. That kind of scandal could certainly taint a budding film career.

But there was another reason the other person might not want to assist in what would no doubt be a futile rescue effort. Perhaps he or she had been directly responsible for the death of the woman in the pool.
The thought that she might be trying to coax a killer out of hiding sent another jolt through Irene. She decided to make a run back to the side door.

But she had waited too long. Running footsteps sounded in the darkness, ringing and echoing off the tiled walls and floor. The other person was not fleeing the scene, Irene realized. Instead, he or she—it was impossible to tell which—was coming toward her.


Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

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Jayne Ann Krentz is the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers. She has written contemporary romantic suspense novels under that name, as well as historical and futuristic romance novels under the pseudonyms Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, respectively. Learn more at jayneannkrentz.com and connect with her on facebook.com/JayneAnnKrentz.


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12 Days of Bookmas with Jayne Ann Krentz: Day 3

Posted December 3, 2016 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 17 Comments

bookmas-banner-garden-of-lies

We’re very excited to participate in The 12 Days of Bookmas with Jayne Ann Krentz to celebrate the release of her latest romantic suspense, When All the Girls Have Gone.

Jayne Ann Krentz, the New York Times bestselling author of Secret Sisters, delivers a thrilling novel of the deceptions we hide behind, the passions we surrender to, and the lengths we’ll go to for the truth…
 
When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her stepsister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one of her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.  
 
Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.   
 
After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…
 
When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way…

 

TWELVE DAYS OF BOOKMAS
By
Jayne Ann Krentz
In which I answer the twelve questions that I am most frequently asked and recommend a book for that hard-to-buy-for person on your holiday list.

THIRD DAY OF BOOKMAS

Question # 3: Why do you write in three different eras?

Ah, yes, I get this question a lot. Why do I write historical settings (under my Amanda Quick pen name), futuristics (under my Jayne Castle name) and contemporaries (under my Jayne Ann Krentz name)? The answer is that each time period allows me to do different kinds of plots. Some stories work best in a futuristic landscape – plots that use a lot of paranormal elements, for example. Others come to life in an historical setting with its more rigid social rules. The historical landscape is perfect for plots in which the characters solve mysteries without relying on modern forensics. And there a lot of plots that work well in a contemporary setting.

I love working in each of my three worlds – I find it refreshing as an author to move in and out of three different fictional landscapes. And, no, not all of my readers will follow me into all three worlds. Turns out a lot of readers have very strong preferences when it comes to fictional settings and this is true in every genre. Many readers simply won’t read anything set against a science fiction or fantasy landscape for example. Others won’t read historical settings. Even within genres people are often reluctant to move between worlds. Readers who love the British mystery, for example, won’t necessarily step into the noir world of the American private investigator. And so it goes.

Day 3 Book Recommendation for Holiday Gifting:

Speaking of the British mystery, this is an excellent, modern, example. It’s the fourth book in Cameron’s Cotswold murder mysteries series featuring pub owner Alex Duggins and her veterinarian friend, Tony Harrison. A great gift for that person on your list who prefers clever mysteries with plots that don’t rely on a lot of blood and gore.

MELODY OF MURDER by Stella Cameron.

We’re giving away a copy of Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick (Print Copy. US Only)! Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter.

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jayne-ann-krentz

Jayne Ann Krentz is the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers. She has written contemporary romantic suspense novels under that name, as well as futuristic and historical romance novels under the pseudonyms Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick, respectively. Learn more at jayneannkrentz.com and connect with her on facebook.com/JayneAnnKrentz.


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