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Crystal Gardens

(Ladies of Lantern Street #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  7,133 ratings  ·  599 reviews
Lucas Sebastian has never been one to ignore a lady in danger, even if she is trespassing on his property. Quickly disposing of her would-be assassin, he insists they keep the matter private. There are rumours enough already, about treasure buried under his garden, and occult botanical experiments performed by his late uncle.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 3rd 2012 by Piatkus Books (first published April 1st 2012)
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Penelope Yes. The Sebastian family is the same as the one that owns the Preserve on Rainshadow Island in the 5 book Rainshadow Island series. The 3 grey crysta…moreYes. The Sebastian family is the same as the one that owns the Preserve on Rainshadow Island in the 5 book Rainshadow Island series. The 3 grey crystals show up in the RS series, as well. :D My review explains to some degree.
Penelope I Just read Crystal Gardens. There are no cars, just walking, horses, carriages, and the train to London for transportation. I’m not a “period” expert…moreI Just read Crystal Gardens. There are no cars, just walking, horses, carriages, and the train to London for transportation. I’m not a “period” expert, but this is clearly a historical period - England - perhaps late 1800’s. The women are not wearing corsets, by choice, and not “being stoned” for it. Lol. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,133 ratings  ·  599 reviews

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Hillari Delgado
May 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
I won't be the first long-time Amanda Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz) fan to voice her disappointment that one of my favorite authors is just 'going through the motions' in her latest release. 'Crystal Gardens' is a mash-up of themes, events and even character names from her backlist. She's done all this before, and better.

Of deeper concern is that Quick/Krentz appears to be dredging up some unappealing and long-discredited notions of 'romance' in her effort to prop up this weak offering. Quick/Krentz
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wonder if I would have enjoyed this book more if I had read it rather than listened to it on audiobook. The reader was really not my cup of tea at all. I can't begin to describe how she sounded but for me anyway it was not good. Still I persevered and the story was reasonable. I could not develop any attachment to the characters because of the way their voices were read. A bit of a disappointment really:( ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Crystal Gardens is for readers who enjoy their historical romance with strong paranormal elements. In this case, a huge part of the story is the concept of 'psychical energies.' Both Evangeline and Lucas have paranormal abilities, and they are drawn to Crystal Gardens, Lucas' deceased uncle's estate by no accident. In the case of Lucas, he comes to investigate his uncle's murder. Evangeline comes to soak up the atmosphere and work on her series of serial novels, and also to investigate the place ...more
Feb 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: adc-reviews
3 stars is really a stretch but others might like everything "psychical" more than I.

For a complete review, visit Affaire de Coeur magazine, hard copy or online, April/May 2012 issue.
I was very reluctant to start Crystal Gardens because I've never really liked paranormal stories. The few ones that I have read usually had convoluted plot lines that bordered on ridiculousness. The last one, Elizabeth Boyle's Tempted by the Night was so bad that I cringe every time I remember it. Indeed, it takes a great amount of skill on the part of the writer to weave a tale like this without it being trippy.

And Ms. Amanda Quick did just that.

Despite a lot of skepticism and low expectation
Dec 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: galleys-arcs, 2020
2.5 Stars

Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick

If I had seen the words ‘extraordinary’ or psychical’ one more time I may have plucked out my own eyeballs. Nevertheless, I suppose that complaint is unimportant, as the rest of the story did not live up to Ms Quick’s usual efforts.
With several different story lines the author could investigate and take further, this book still fell flat for me. The romance (as thin as that is) progressed too quickly, the sex seemed contrived, and more elaborate than usua
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Re-read 18/2/13

My opinion of this new series JAK book hasn't changed, it is still well written, good characters, Victorian England at its paranormal romance best.

That said, JAK has repeated some plot points from previous books, the people eating plant maze, the Sensation Writer heroine, the murky crystals and the most obvious one, the psychical nature of our H/h. It so obviously draws on the Arcane books without ever mentioning them.

The paranormal, creepy gardens surrounding the almost abandon
Jess the Romanceaholic
Not my favorite from Amanda Quick, but still entertaining. As with all of Ms. Quick/Krentz/Castle's books, it was very... light. I've read all but a few books from this author (which is saying something -- I know there's over 80 of them, probably more), and one thing I've always been able to count on would be that they're easy reading. There's excitement, danger, and a touch of steam, and makes a great pool-side read.

3.5/5 Stars
Mollie *scoutrmom*
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mollie *scoutrmom* by: Cherise Everhard
Shelves: romance, read-in-2012
First, the disclaimers. I received this advanced copy from a fellow reader, not from any organization trying to promote buzz or generate great reviews or anything of that nature. I acknowledge that I was reading an uncorrected proof and the errors I saw will probably not be seen by the general reader. I don't let the fact that I did not buy the product influence the review.

I adored this story! It contains a mystery full of red herrings. We are viewing varying motives of greed, revenge, jealousy,
Evangeline is a paid companion and a budding authoress. She is renting a cottage from the elusive Lucas Sebastian on an estate that is buzzing with paranormal vibes and rumors of things that go bump in the night. Most townsfolk are scared of the estate and the owner, but Evangeline finds herself attracted to both. When Lucas rescues her, Evangeline finds herself teaming up with her mysterious landlord.

The plot to this story sounded wonderful to me. I am not a huge fan of Ms. Quick and all her p
Apr 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am beginning to find these Amanda Quick novels set in Victorian England a bit formulaic, but I still enjoy them. There are always two people, man and woman, each with their own "psychical" talents, who happen to be thrown together by danger. They are immediately drawn to each other with a monumental passion and have to solve a dangerous mystery together. Someone, usually the heroine, will say "Mmm" or "Hmm" more than once in each book, and there will be 2 or 3 scenes of a sexual nature. In thi ...more
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars

I am a long-time Amanda Quick fan, and I particularly enjoy listening to her stories via audiobook. This was not my favorite offering from her, but I thought the core story was quite good. The overall book suffered a bit from Quick's obvious efforts to set up for a full series. The story started with some good action, and then I thought she was going to talk me to death as we entered a long section of backstory, exposition, dialogue and miscellaneous secondary characters who were clearl
Dec 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Okay, well I haven't read it yet, as it's not yet available. But I KNOW I'll love it. Who doesn't love some Arcane thrills? ...more
Crystal Gardens
2 Stars

In one word "disappointing".

While Amanda Quick's writing is often formulaic, it usually contains at least one or two original ideas. Unfortunately, Crystal Gardens is nothing more than a regurgitation of elements from previous books including themes, plot lines, and even character names.

Lucius and Evangeline are carbon copies of other Quick heroes and heroines; his characterization is that of the Arcane style hunter, and she is both a female private investigator similar t
Apr 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Evangeline has taken a sabbatical from her day job and retired to the country to write her first novel. Of course, that's not the only reason - there was that little matter of a violent altercation involving her last case. And then there is the inspiration to be found for a supernatural novel in the local Roman ruins and the country house known as Crystal Gardens which locals prefer to avoid. Sadly, after completing four chapters of the novel she is extremely uninspired, suffering both boredom a ...more
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Crystal Gardens is the first book in Amanda Quick's The Ladies of Lantern Street series and is a sub-series of her Arcane Society series, which I have been religiously following since 2006. Quick's commitment to the Victorian/Steampunk/Paranormal Romance world that she has created shows in each installment, as she continues to build this evocative, fascinating England full of "talented" individuals: she truly understands the abilities of her characters and has explored the limits of the genre th ...more
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Not Recommended
Crystal Gardens review

1 1/2 stars

I think I finished reading this book out of a sense of nostalgia. I had so enjoyed some of Amanda Quick’s earlier novels, that I felt a bit sad to realize that this would be the last book I would ever read by this author… because she is now churning out complete CRAP!

This isn’t a well thought out story at all. Everything is now “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “paranormal”, etc. The hero or heroine just has to “heighten his senses” or “unleash her energy” and POOF
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
When Evangeline Ames is attacked in her bed in the middle of the night, she climbs out the window and runs to safety - in the dubious form of the walled estate next door, its strangely luminous gardens, and its mysterious new owner, Lucas Sebastian.

Given the current downturn in quality of Quick/Krentz/Castle books, I was disappointed but not surprised to find that Crystal Gardens continued the trend. Newcomers or insanely die-hard fans will probably appreciate this effort, but I (generally a di
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story, the first of the trilogy of Ladies of Lantern Street, yet whilst reading it I noticed several plot points that have been used by JAK in previous offerings. The people eating plant maze, the killer after the h so she moves into the H house, along with the chaperone aunt, the paranormal lantern, the crystals including the murky ones, etc.

Still JAK gave us an entertaining story as she always does and I'm looking forward to the next offering under whichever name she cho
Not the best Amanda Quick novel I have ever read, yet still a strong entry. Apparently, she is starting a new trilogy but remaining with her theme of paranormal talents existing within an existing world.

The main characters were strong and fun, with a good romance. Supporting cast members were also nice. But it did not seem that there was a much fleshing out as in her previous books. I could see some of the plot endings before they got there. It's just too bad that the romance didn't move me as m
Lady Lioness
I don't mind paranormal mixed with historical, but I kinda wish Krentz/Quick would go back to writing straight-up historicals. Don't get me wrong, I do like Krentz/Castle's paranormal books, but her Krentz/Quick mash-ups aren't as strong, with the paranormal elements often superfluous to the plot. ...more
I wish there were more of this series. There's some hot romance, some interesting paranormal bits, and a bit of a mystery. Not great literature, but worth the re-read. ...more
Gwen (The Gwendolyn Reading Method)
This one was kinda slow in the beginning but it got pretty interesting about halfway through. The Night Garden created a great atmosphere for the book that was very memorable.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: pnr
Evangeline is being stalked, so it is no surprise when someone breaks into her cottage in a attempt to kill her. She manages to get out a window too small for the intruder to come through giving her a headstart to find help.

Help comes in the form of Lucas and his mysterious gardens. Because Evangeline is one of his tenants, he decides to find out who and why someone is after her. Will he be able to protect her?

I really liked the plot of the book and the characters. I actually listened to the b
Maria Mejia
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Keep in mind, I'm saying this as a fan, but wow, she really phoned it in on this one. Her books have started to be formulaic to the point of plagiarizing herself. I have read this book at least three times with different characters. ...more
Kathy Martin
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Evangeline Ames has come to the quiet, rural town of Little Digby to get over an attempted murder and to write the next chapters of her sensational novel. She has been there a couple of weeks suffering from both boredom and writer's block, when she is awakened one evening by someone breaking in. She flees to the nearest home, that of her landlord Lucas Sebastian. She attempts to hide from her assailant in the very scary gardens that surround the house. She had been warned by the locals that stra ...more
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Jayne Ann Krentz ...: Crystal Gardens (2012) Book 1 1 10 Sep 23, 2012 03:54PM  

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Pseudonym of Jayne Ann Krentz

The author of over 40 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense, often with a psychic and paranormal twist, in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 30 million copies of her books in print.

She earned a B.A. in History from the Uni

Other books in the series

Ladies of Lantern Street (2 books)
  • The Mystery Woman (Ladies of Lantern Street, #2)

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