Monday, November 24, 2008


I love, absolutely love Amanda Quick’s earlier novels, and when I found this one at a local UBS, I couldn’t resist picking it up. It was one of her books I hadn’t had read before.

Here’s the blurb for Mystique:

Lady Alice approached the fearsome Warrior who had swept into Lingwood Manor like a storm. Dark and forbidding, with hair as black as midnight and eyes of molten amber, Hugh the Relentless seemed aptly named. Yet to Alice, adept at driving off suitors and handling her insufferable relatives, Sir Hugh was not someone to dread, but the answer to her dreams.

He had come for the mysterious green crystal, and would be greatly displeased to learn that it was no longer in her possession. But Alice was certain Sir Hugh could be coaxed into a deal that would benefit them both. In return for a dowry large enough to free Alice and her brother from the grasp of their conniving uncle, she would lend her powers of detection to Sir Hugh's knightly skills and together they would recover his treasured stone.

With a tongue as sharp as a dagger, the flame-haired Alice filled Hugh with fury...and a growing fascination. He accepted her terms, with one alteration: Alice must agree to a temporary betrothal and spend the winter in Hugh's great stone fortress, Scarcliffe Keep.

The bargain is struck and the adventure begins. But Sir Hugh's lifelong enemy is plotting against them, stirring up a whirlwind of treachery that threatens their fragile alliance.

And I’m so glad that I picked it up. It was what the doctor ordered. After the abysmal books that I’ve been reading, it was great to have found one that was truly a wonderful experience.

It wasn’t an award winning book, or even a 5 * book, but it was a wonderful story with great characters, a beautiful medieval setting and a love story with all the great moments, and it had Quick’s trademark wittiness and humour. It was one of those books that you can lose yourself for hours and not even knowing you’re doing it.

It's so different from what the author is writing at present, her historical and contemporaries, are both getting darker, which I realize is probably what the majority of the public wants. But it’s great to revisit the old ”Quick” formula. Reading Mystique was a breath of fresh air.

Mystique by Amanda Quick (4/5) Historical Romance; Medieval; Published: Bantam Books (1995); 100 + Reading Challenge (82); Keeper shelf;

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