The second book in the Arcane Society: Looking Glass Trilogy series, published April 2011.
In the New York Times-bestselling author's latest Arcane Society novel, a paranormal killer pushes an unlikely duo's powers and passions to the limit.
Virginia Dean wakes at midnight beside a dead body, with a bloody knife in her hand and no memory of the evening's events. Dark energy, emanating from the mirrors lining the room, overpowers her senses. With no apparent way in or out, she is rescued by a man she has met only once before, but won't soon forget.
Owen Sweetwater inherited his family's talent for hunting the psychical monsters who prey on London's women and children, and his investigation into the deaths of two glass-readers has led him here. The high-society types of the exclusive Arcane Society would consider Virginia an illusionist, a charlatan, even a criminal, but Owen knows better. Virginia's powers are real-and they just might be the key to solving this challenging case.
When somebody dies, some powerful psychic energy is released and when there is a mirror nearby, that energy is stored inside. Virginia Dean is a high level glass-reader talent, and she can see in the mirror what happened. She witnesses those final moments, and knows if it was murder, or just a natural death. And sometimes, when a person was murdered, she can put the police on the right trail of the murderer. She does not however, see the image of the murderer, only that of the victim. It is not an easy talent, always seeing death people, and Virginia has carried the burden of it since the age of 13.
Her mother was glass reader herself, and mistress of a powerful man for many years, who had a strong talent himself. He had another legal family, another daughter he was proud of as well. A few weeks before her thirteenth birthday, both her parents were killed in a carriage accident. Luckily, her father has provided for Virginia, and she was sent to boarding school, to learn a trade, and when she was seventeen, she received enough money to start her own business. Only not something traditional, she got to work as a glass light reader. Unlike many psychics offering their services to the public, her talent is genuine.
Now Virginia is twenty six, and she and her best friend Charlotte, who owns a paranormal book shop (Charlotte has a talent to find rare and genuine paranormal books), have decided there will be no marriage in their futures, so they should set out to find a lover. Someone who can deal with their unusual psychic talents. But that is easier said than done.
Then Virginia meets Owen Sweetwater, a self appointed investigator, out to clear the streets of London of frauds. But something sizzles between them, and she is not afraid of him, though she senses he is a very strong talent himself.
Two minor glass reading talents have been murdered recently, and Owen Sweetwater has been hired by J & J Agency (the police of the Arcane Society) to hunt down the killer. The normal police will have no way to deal with a paranormal killer, someone who gets of on killing, and can defend himself without normal weapons. Owen thinks Virginia will be his next victim. The Sweetwater family has always had very powerful hunter talents, though Owen’s powers are a little different from the norm. But still, if he doesn’t find The One, the one woman who will be his Soulmate in time, his talent will take over, and turn him into a nightwalker. He is dangerously close to walking the edge. Until he meets Virginia. Now he only has to convince her of the fact they were made for each other.
Virginia accepts Owen’s proposal to guard her, after he rescues her from a horrible situation. He believes she is not a murderer, although everything points at her. But Virginia wants to join him in his investigation. As two glass reading talents have been murdered for their talents, she will be handy. Together they will find more clues to the why and who of the killings. They soon become lovers, but Virginia still has a difficulty to accept Owen’s casual way of thinking. She only wants to marry for love, and he never mentioned that.
Another great book in the Arcane series. I always love going back in time, to the beginnings of the Arcane Society, and the J&J agency. Meeting some of the previous heroes. The Sweetwater family has always been the “cleaners”, and it was nice to meet some of them up close and personal. It really is an intriguing family.
I liked Virginia. She has not had an easy life, growing up without a family, learning to deal with her talent all on her own. But she managed, and she is one formidable lady. She won’t let anyone trample over her. And so Owen finds out. Together they are that much stronger, and the very real psychic connection between them, grows as they fall in love.
There is a small secondary love story with Charlotte and Owen’s cousin, who also share a kind of similar talent.
For those of you not familiar with this series: Amanda Quick is a pen name for Jayne Ann Krentz, and she writes historical romance novels. Jayne Ann Krentz writes the same series, but then contemporary paranormal romance, and under the third name, Jayne Castle, she writes the futuristic paranormal romance novels in the same series. And I really love the series, and how it switches forth and back in time, following the same families, but mostly with different paranormal talents in the leading characters.