maandag 18 november 2013

Christina Skye – The perfect gift

The tenth book in the Draycott Abbey series, published October 1, 1999.
Genre: paranormal romantic suspense
Cover: boring

The perfect gift photo n107858_zpsda1897af.jpg

A woman of rare passion.
When Maggie Kincade arrives at Draycott Abbey, she is stunned to feel that the weathered stone walls offer a safe haven from the dangers of her past. The tranquil English manor soothes her troubled soul – until her peace is shattered by the tall, sexy Scotsman who claims he’s been sent to protect her. From the start, Maggie bristles under Jared MacNeill’s piercing scrutiny – yet his every touch jolts her, heart and soul.
A Highland hero with a granite code of honor.
Jared arrives at the hauntingly beautiful abbey under protest, vowing this assignment will be his very last. But he is enchanted by the breathtaking American assigned to his care, for beneath her bravado he senses a woman desperately in need of help. Despite all his honourable vows, Maggie’s bravery intrigues him and her slightest touch enflames his deepest passions. When an old danger stalks Maggie to the high hills of Scotland, Jared swears to move heaven and earth to keep her safe.
Sometimes Destiny holds a Perfect Gift.

This was one of the first paranormal romantic suspense series I started reading. And as I usually want to read in order, this series was on hold for years as I am missing one book. But now I just grabbed one from the shelf, and started reading, and loved it.

Maggie Kincade is a jewellery designer, who learned the trade at her father’s knee. But 7 months ago, her father went missing with a load of important jewels, even some of England’s monarch. Maggie refuses to believe that her father is a thief, but when his passport was found in a plane crash in Northern Sumatra. The press has been hounding her every step, and her father left her nothing but bills. She doesn’t want to sell his last private collection of jewels, but she has no other choice. Her cousins help her as much as she allows them, but Maggie is proud. She wants to make it on her own.

Lord Nicholas Draycott wants to host an important jewellery exhibition on his ancient estate home, and start a school on his lands. And he wants Maggie as his primary designer, and to teach at his school. But for that, he needs her reputation above reprieve, or the crown will never allow their jewellery to be exhibited at his estate. Her father might have fallen in with the wrong crowd, but Maggie is innocent and of dire need of protection. This is why he has hired his friend and a former government agent Jared MacNeill to protect her. He will have to research her background, and keep her safe from those who believe she knows more about her fathers plans, and where he might be hiding. Jared really does not want the job, his year in a metal box in Thailand has changed him more than he can live with. He died there, and came back to live, changed, with powers that have been sleeping before. The sight runs in his family, but usually only the oldest son inherits it. Jared feels and reads emotions, and when he touches someone, he can read their deepest thoughts and secrets. It is overwhelming in a crowd, and he can’t control it yet. And Jared saw his own death, time and again, and he knows it is not far away.

But Nicholas saved Jared’s life, and Jared owes him. And of course, Lord Draycott just doesn’t take no for an answer. He doesn’t care that Jared quit his job, he needs his skills and Jared sure has not lost those. He just needs something to live for again.

Jared sure does not expect the instant attraction and sense of recognition when he meets Maggie. Of course he knows everything there is to know about her already, but meeting her in person is a shock to his system. And to see how she masterly sells her fathers unique and expensive jewelry to some of the city’s top jewellers is just great. And when he saves her from a nasty journalist, Maggie is very grateful. But not grateful enough to trust him, or want to go to dinner with him. Seeing him in her favourite Chinese restaurant while she is having dinner with her cousin can’t be a coincidence. Is he a reporter as well? It doesn’t matter that he beats up two others for her, she won’t trust him.

When Lord Draycott offers her the job at his estate, Maggie meets Jared again in London, and when he saves her from some tugs, he must be following her. When he finally explains that Lord Draycott has hired him to keep her safe, she has no choice but to travel with Jared to Draycott Abbey. But danger doesn’t let them leave in peace, it follows them, and tries to play games with her head. Draycott Abbey is very old and impressive, and has its own ghosts to protect it. But something else happens to Abbey there, like ancient memories are surfacing, and she was there before in a different time …

I really love this series, how the ancient past is interwoven into the present, and lives collide again. Adrian, the ghost, and his grey cat Gideon are great secondary characters as well, they protect their guests as much as they can. The butler, Marston, is also a fun character with his immaculate suits and eclectic collection of neon coloured running shoes.

The mystery was very exciting and surprising and I loved how it all came together, at the house of some of the previous characters.

I enjoyed Maggie, she is so good at what she does, and has so little self esteem. She doesn’t believe Jared for a second when he calls her beautiful. Her cousins are beautiful, not she. Her father sure did a job on her, leaving her alone half of the time to go on some quest or other (more other as we learn later on in the book).
When she decides she wants Jared, and explore the desire between them, she doesn’t meekly take no for an answer, she doesn’t give up on him, and on the chance there is something real between them. Not that she has had much experience with men or relationships.

Jared is one wounded hero, but when he reluctantly accepts Nicholas’ assignment, he goes for it 100%. He will protect Maggie whether she wants him to or not. But Jared knows he will die soon, he won’t have Maggie grieving over him, he is not worth it.

A great series, one I really do recommend to everyone who loves a little paranormal and a nice sprinkling of humor in her romantic suspense. Christina Skye writes this series in a lovely setting and with great and well fleshed out characters. Blending history into today. I will read more of her books soon.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

13 opmerkingen:

  1. Hmm new to me author. I've seen her name a couple times I think. I haven't read too many paranormal romantic suspense books. Sounds interesting!

    1. I have been reading her books for many years now, love them. I think you will like them Anna.

  2. I never read anything by her...or heard of

    1. She is an author with a large backlist Blodeuedd, although I think she has switched to woman's fiction.

  3. hmmm new to me author too! I am going to look up the rest of the series :)

    1. Please do Felicia, those books need some love I think :)

  4. Sounds fantastic. I'm going to have to check out this author!

    1. I think it is fun and strange that none of you know this author yet.

  5. Got this one, haven't read it. One day! Really!

  6. I'm so prouf of you! reading in disorder? LOL, I know you hate that. But at least you discovered a great book! I don't think I knew this author but I like the mix.

    1. Lol my computer was off, and I just picked one from the stack of her books and started reading.

  7. This review is getting so extremely much pageviews, I guess lots of people are googling for The Perfect Gift and are disappointed to find a book review ...