Genre: historical romance
SECOND SIGHT AND SEDUCTION…
Daniel Mackenzie lives up to the reputation of the scandalous Mackenzie family—he has wealth, looks, and talent, and women love him. When he meets Violet Bastien—one of the most famous spiritual mediums in England—he immediately knows two things: that Miss Bastien is a fraud, and that he's wildly attracted to her.
Violet knows she can't really contact the other side, but she's excellent at reading people. She discerns quickly that Daniel is intelligent and dangerous to her reputation, but she also finds him generous, handsome, and outrageously wicked. But spectres from Violet's past threaten to destroy her, and she flees England, adopting yet another identity.
Daniel is determined to find the elusive Violet and pursue the passion he feels for her. And though Violet knows that her scandalous past will keep her from proper marriage, her attraction to Daniel is irresistible. It's not until Daniel is the only one she can turn to that he proves he believes in something more than cold facts. He believes in love.
I think you all know by now that Jennifer Ashley is high on my list with favourite authors. She just can’t write a bad book. And so I was very happy to finally be reading Daniel’s story. Especially after his antics in his father’s book, I was curious about him. And Jennifer completely does him justice.
Daniel loves machinery, and motorcars, and he is completely fascinated by Violet and her self made windmachine when he meets her.
Daniel has just won big at a poker game, and the sore looser thinks to pay him of with taking him to see a woman in a house he owns. Daniel does not expect to find a psychic there, and he immediately believes her to be a fake and a fraud, but he enjoys the show and takes the opportunity to find out how everything works. He is also not opposed to bedding the pretty woman, but Violet panics and hits him with a vase. After believe she killed him, she dumps his body near a physician and immediately flees the country with her mother and her maid. Her mother is a frail kind of woman who needs constant care, and feels entitled to everything Violet does for her. She also could be a real psychic.
But Daniel is not dead, and he does not appreciate being dumped and robbed. With the help of his uncle Ian, Daniel soon is hot on their trail, and he suddenly shows up in the middle of their act in a theater in Marseilles. Daniel is not about to expose them though, he is still after the windmachine. He needs it for his idea of a very fast automobile. But first he convinces Violet to spend the day with him. Her maid can look after her mother, but he will take her on an adventure first.
Violet has lived her whole life out of a suitcase, taking care of her mother, using her talents in reading people to know just what they want to hear when they visit a fortune teller. She can also flee at the drop of a hat, and they have often done that. They have travelled all over Europe, in different disguises. When she was sixteen, she was brutally used by the man she looked up to, to pay of his gambling debts. Ever since, she has distrusted men, and the memories often overtake her when she feels or hears something that reminds her of events. So she does not blithely becomes Daniel’s lover, he will have to go really slow and careful to win her over. And her fear is not the only obstacle he will have to conker…
I enjoyed this book immensely. Violet is a very original character, a strong woman who takes care of everything, instead of her mother taking care of her as should be. She has never had a chance at a normal life, and now Daniel offers her a few hours of being just herself. And she loves it. Daniel has had money and family and love all his life, while Violet had nothing of that. He is used to doing whatever he wants, when he wants it, and being able to afford it as well. And now he is interested in Violet, and her love for engineering. She is so totally different from the simpering ton misses his family is throwing his way. His stepmother and aunts want to see him happily married, but he will choose his own bride, thank you very much. Daniel is kind of a steamroller, but he can also be very gently when needed, and he will protect Violet from those trying to harm her. And so will his powerful family.
It was fun seeing them all together, the men all coming to Daniel and Violet’s rescue. Even seeing how the powerful Duke tries to buy Violet off, and Ian comes to her rescue. But Violet does not cower before the Duke, she confronts him head held high. She has spirit, and she really falls hard for Daniel.
I do hope there will be updates on their lives in the coming books about the McBrides, as I am very curious about the motorcars and other gadgets this duo will be inventing and building. This series is set in a time full of change, and I love to read about it.
Yes, there are some hot love scenes, but also some sweet scenes within the family, and Daniel’s younger sister. It was fun to see how Daniel handles his “strange” uncle Ian and get him to help in the search. Ian is still an enigma but a very endearing character. His book was the first. I do recommend this series wholeheartedly if you want to read historical romance without visiting the ballrooms of the ton very much.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian