Excerpt: ‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

til-death-do-us-part

Excerpt from ‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

I reviewed this book yesterday. I really like it–gave it a B+. This excerpt comes from the beginning of the book and luckily there aren’t too many from this point-of-view! This POV really creeped me out…l0l. I like that the book is suspense and also historical romance!

She belonged to him.

He was locked inside a cage the size and shape of a coffin. A dark thrill heated his blood like a powerful, intoxicating drug.

When the time came he would purify the woman and cleanse himself with her blood. But tonight was not the time. The ritual had to be followed correctly. The woman must be made to comprehend and acknowledge the great wrong that she had done. There was no finer instructor than fear.

He huddled inside the concealed lift, listening to the sounds of someone moving about in the bedroom on the other side of the wall. There was a narrow crack in the paneling. Excitement sparked through him when he caught a glimpse of the woman. She was at her dressing table, adjusting the pins in her dark brown hair. It was as if she knew he was watching and was deliberately taunting him.

She was passable in appearance, but he had seen her on the street and had not been particularly impressed with her looks. She was overly tall for a woman and her forceful character was etched on her face. She was dangerous. It was all there in her unnerving eyes.

The woman rose from the dressing table chair and moved out of sight. A moment later he heard the muffled sound of the bedroom door opening and closing.

Silence.

He slid the cage door aside and opened the wooden panel. The wall sconce had been turned down low but he could make out the bed, the dressing table, and the wardrobe.

He moved out of the lift. The heady exhilaration he always experienced at such moments roared through him. With every step of the ritual he came closer to achieving his own purification.

For a precious few seconds he debated where to leave his gift. The bed or the dressing table?

The bed, he decided. So much more intimate.

He made his way out through the tradesmen’s entrance and slipped, unseen, into the gardens. The gate was still unlocked, just as he had left it.

A few minutes later he was lost in the fog. The weight of the knife in its sheath beneath his greatcoat was reassuring.

The ritual was almost complete.

The woman with the unnerving eyes would soon understand that she belonged to him. It was her destiny to be the one to cleanse him. He was certain of it. The connection between them was a bond that could be shattered only by death.

 

Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Jayne Ann Krentz, 2016.

 

‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

til-death-do-us-part‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick
Series: Unknown
Genre: Historical Romance, Mystery
Setting: Victorian London
Published by Berkley
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: April 19)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
352 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.

Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve.

But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker…

Initial impressions

  • Amanda Quick is a favorite author of mine. I love her characters and the humor and fun she puts into her books. This book has all those things plus suspense!

The story

  • Calista Langley is a businesswoman who introduces respectable people to other respectable people and provides them a place to meet and get to know each other.
  • She has attracted a stalker who is sending her increasingly menacing “gifts.”
  • Trent Hastings, a successful author, visits her pretending to want her services to meet people, but is really concerned that she’s taking advantage of his sister.
  • When he learns about Calista’s stalker he and his sister offer their help.

Pluses

  • It has been awhile since I read an Amanda Quick book. This book is just as much fun to read as I remember all the others being. The characters have Ms. Quick’s trademark humor.
  • Calista is a strong, likeable character who has managed to carve out a life and business for herself.
  • Calista’s stalker and the things he does are very spooky.
  • I like that Calista has the sense to be scared about the “gifts” she’s receiving and to tell someone else who may be able to help. The items she’s receiving are called “memento mori” by Victorians. (Many Victorians were obsessed with death.)
  • Trent is a great character. He’s an author who writes a detective series which is serialized in a newspaper and he’s quite famous. He meets many fans during the book–some who like the direction his book is taking and some who don’t! He also channels his main character when he’s helping Calista! Sometimes with funny results.
  • There are a number of red herrings in the story that kept me guessing to the end.

Minuses

  • Trent is described as standoffish and he’s suspicious of Calista, but that changes very quickly. Having Trent change more slowly might have been more realistic, however I have to admit I like the two characters a lot and his change of heart didn’t bother me too much!

And concluding thoughts . . .

  •  I hope the author decides to turn this into a series. I really like the characters and the time period.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • The author of a string of New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ uses three different pen names for each of her three “worlds”.   As JAYNE ANN KRENTZ (her married name) she writes contemporary romantic-suspense.  She uses AMANDA QUICK for her novels of historical romantic-suspense.  JAYNE CASTLE (her birth name) is reserved these days for her stories of futuristic/paranormal romantic-suspense.
  • She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California.  Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.
  • She is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.

Reading Challenges

I own the most books from these authors…

toptentuesday2Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme which I take part in occasionally. It’s a great meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog. Every week a new topic is presented. It’s not only fun to think about my list, but to read what other people come up with!

This week we write about the ten authors I own the most books from. I have broken the authors down by e-books, audio books and paper books.

When I look at my list several things occur to me:

  • Of course, one of the reasons I have so many books by certain authors is that they’ve written a lot of books.
  • I used to read a lot of romances so the authors from whom I have the largest number of books are romances. I’ve kept the paper books by my favorite authors.
  • I used to get a lot of my books from the library, but now I read my books as digital editions now and the library has fewer digital editions.
  • The library tended to have more mystery and more science fiction/fantasy than romance.
  • Over the years I gave away or sold my books to used bookstores–in the past I read lots of sci-fi, fantasy and mysteries so I don’t have as many books from long-time favorite authors such as Dick Francis and Tony Hillerman and Anne McCaffrey.

Top Ten Authors

1. Jayne Ann Krentz — ever since I discovered her she’s been a favorite (obviously!) and a comfort read author–especially her older books which I spent a lot of time in used bookstores to find!

  • e-books – 4
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 53

–aka Amanda Quick — I love these historical romances…especially the older ones.

  • e-books – 0
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books – 17

–aka Jayne Castle — Jayne Ann Krentz uses this pseudonym for her futuristic romances. I haven’t liked these books as well.

  • e-books – 0
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 7

–Total — 82

2. Nora Roberts — I haven’t read any Nora Roberts books for a while, but I do like a number of her books.

  • e-books – 3
  • audiobooks – 2
  • paper books – 38

–aka J. D. Robb — I especially enjoy the In Death series though I haven’t read any for a couple years.

  • e-books – 9
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books -28

Total — 81

3. Mary Balogh — I still buy and read Mary Balogh’s books. I love the way she writes. I’ve searched for her out-of-print Signet regencies through the years and found them in used bookstores and even on Ebay!

  • e-books – 12
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books – 58

Total — 71

4. Jo Beverley – Another favorite historical romance author. Her older books are easier to find and I think I have almost all of them.

  • e-books – 7
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 34

Total — 41

5. Linda Howard — Another author whom I love to read and re-read especially her older books.

  • e-books – 3
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 40

Total — 43

6. Lois McMaster Bujold — I love the Miles Vorkosigan series though I haven’t read one for a while. I need to read some. I have some of her other books and need to read them, too.

  • e-books – 5
  • audiobooks – 2
  • paper books -27

Total — 34

7. Patricia Briggs — I’ve bought and read all of Ms. Briggs’ older books from before she started her Mercy Thompson series.

  • e-books – 4
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 16

Total — 20

8. Robert Heinlein — I used to own a lot more of Heinlein’s books, but I gave a few of them to my kids.

  • e-books – 1
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 17

Total — 18

9. Ilona Andrews — I love Ilona Andrews writing.

  • e-books – 12
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 5

Total — 17

10.  Dana Stabenow — I used to read all of Ms. Stabenow’s books until one book stopped me reading any for quite a while. I’ve bought a number of her digital releases and hope to start reading her newer books again.

  • e-books – 10
  • audiobooks – 1
  • paper books – 5

Total — 16

Honorable Mention

Archangel
Sharon Shinn–Archangel

Sharon Shinn – I love her writing, but her digital editions have tended to stay expensive plus some of her older books weren’t digitized. When I looked at her books this week I saw more books of her books digitzed and some of the books I’ve searched for are now available as e-books at lower prices. Yay!

  • e-books – 1
  • audiobooks – 0
  • paper books – 12

Total — 13

What about you? Which authors do you own the most number of books?