I enjoyed this second book in the Dreamlight Trilogy series set in the world of the Arcane, very much. I always love Amanda Quick’s historical novels.
The Arcane Society was born in turmoil when the friendship of its two founders evolved into a fierce rivalry. Sylvester Jones and Nicholas Winters each sought to enhance their individual psychic talents. Winters' efforts led to the creation of a device of unknown powers called the Burning Lamp. Each generation the Winters man who inherits it is destined to develop multiple talents - and the curse of madness. Plagued by hallucinations and nightmares, notorious crime lord Griffin Winters is convinced he has been struck with the Winters Curse. And the instincts that have helped him survive the streets and rise to power are now drawing him toward Adelaide Pyne, the bothersome social reformer. But even as he arranges a meeting with the mysterious woman, he has no idea how closely their fates are bound, for Adelaide holds the Burning Lamp in her possession. A dreamlight reader, Adelaide should be able to manipulate the Lamp's light to save both Griffin's sanity and his life. But their dangerous psychical experiment makes them the target of forces both inside and outside of the Arcane Society. And though desire strengthens their power their different lives will keep them apart - if death doesn't take them together.
Adelaide is a very unusual woman. Born to parents who are members of the Arcane Society, when they are murdered her guardian steals her fortune and sells her to a brothel at age 15. There she is purchased by a mr. Smith, who wants her not for her virginity, but for her talent at reading dreamlight. He wants her to work an ancient artefact for him, enhancing his own psychic powers. But Adelaide escapes his clutches, almost killing him, and taking the lamp with her. She then flees to America, as the aide of a fortune teller, and later she even travels with a wild west show. She becomes a very wealthy women, and then the time is right to return home, to England, where she sets up as a Social Reformer. Raiding brothels and freeing the under age girls, giving them a second chance at life. Offering them an education and employment where they wish.
But the raiding of the brothels has brought her to the attention of the local crimelords, and one who is searching for a dreamlight reader. And the lamp that was stolen from his family 20 years ago, when his parents were murdered, and he fled to live on the streets. He quickly gathered his own gang of youngsters around him and nowadays he is one of the most powerful people in London. He believes he has caught the Winters curse, and Adelaide is the one to free him of it. The moment Adelaide meets him, she knows it has been destined that they meet. In all those years, she never got rid of the lamp, even when fleeing a town in the midst of night. She feels that the lamp is his, as Griffins energy has the same flow as that of the lamp. Griffin astonished that not only has he found his dreamlight reader, but that she is in possession of the lamp, and she is willing to give it to him. To work it for him even, after studying his great-grandfathers journal about the thing. Ofcourse, the mutual and instant attraction between them has nothing to do with it!
But some one else is after Adelaide and the lamp, and will Griffin be able to keep them both safe?
A great story about the workings of the underworld of London, while we mostly read about the upper class. Even though Griffin should be upperclass, because of his birth. Both their parents are murdered, both have learned to live with little. Very good and unusual main characters. As usual in an Amanda Quick novel, the secondary characters are nice to read about too, and there are some previous characters who have a large role in this book as well.
I have one point of criticism: the dialogue in this one, is at some things almost wordly the same as in the previous books. And reading them almost back to back makes that very obvious and disturbing.
And in the end, all the pieces fall together, there really is no coïncidence. The last book in this trilogy will be writting in the far future, under the pen name Jayne Castle. But as I am way behind on my reading on her novels, I don't know if I will skip the previous one to read this new one, or just put it on my TBR mountain of books.