'Til Death Do Us Part
by Amanda Quick
Published on April 19th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads
The author of the New York Times bestseller Garden of Lies returns to Victorian London in an all-new novel of deadly obsession. Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials. Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve. But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker...
Once upon a time – before I began reading YA in earnest – I read a LOT of historical romance. One of my beloved authors of that genre is Amanda Quick (she also writes contemporary romances under Jane Ann Krentz). I was so excited when I saw ‘Til Death Do Us Part in Netgalley and I thank Berkley for the approval 🙂 I read this one as soon as I got it and loved it!
Many of Amanda Quick’s historical romances take place in the regency era, but ‘Til Death Do Us Part is Victorian and a little darker than some of her books. It is essentially a Gothic novel with some morbid elements such as memeto mori. These are items like pictures, bells, and rings with the purpose of commemorate someone’s death. Different is good in this case!
Calista and her brother brother inherited a mammoth of a house from their grandmother, but not the means to maintain it and thus she comes up with the idea of an “introduction” agency. In other words, she interviews single people that are looking for companionship and then makes monthly events in her house in which like-minded individuals are introduced to each other. One of her clients is Trent’s sister and that’s the reason he wants to meet Calista. However, Calista is dealing with a very disturbing series of events that seems to indicate that she’s being stalked by a madman that is leaving creepy items with her initials that are meant for death people.
Trent Hastings is a famous author of crime novels (sort of like Sherlock Holmes) and he happens to be visiting Calista just when she receives one of the offending objects. Trent is intrigued by her and the strength that he finds in her and he offers his help on finding the culprit. What follows is a great game of cat and mouse. I have to confess that I did not suspect who the culprit was or the reason until almost the end. The whole plot was so well thought out and frankly amazing.
Our main characters, Calista and Trent were so good, both separately and together. They are strong characters, survivors of trauma, loyal, oldest siblings taking care of their family and breadwinners. Together, they become even stronger, even if they are not perfect. Their attraction to each other is undeniable, and given that Calista has given up on love, they take it a step further. There is certainly romance, but not the flowery kind.
Can you tell that I love ‘Til Death Do Us Part? I hope you can and that if you are a historical romance fan, you give this book a chance. Amanda Quick is still – after all this years – a magnificent writer.
Update guys! I was send an excerpt from ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART from the publisher so you get a taste of this awesome book. Enjoy!
She belonged to him.
He was locked inside a cage the size and shape of a coffin. A dark thrill heated his blood like a powerful, intoxicating drug.
When the time came he would purify the woman and cleanse himself with her blood. But tonight was not the time. The ritual had to be followed correctly. The woman must be made to comprehend and acknowledge the great wrong that she had done. There was no finer instructor than fear.
He huddled inside the concealed lift, listening to the sounds of someone moving about in the bedroom on the other side of the wall. There was a narrow crack in the paneling. Excitement sparked through him when he caught a glimpse of the woman. She was at her dressing table, adjusting the pins in her dark brown hair. It was as if she knew he was watching and was deliberately taunting him.
She was passable in appearance, but he had seen her on the street and had not been particularly impressed with her looks. She was overly tall for a woman and her forceful character was etched on her face. She was dangerous. It was all there in her unnerving eyes.
The woman rose from the dressing table chair and moved out of sight. A moment later he heard the muffled sound of the bedroom door opening and closing.
He slid the cage door aside and opened the wooden panel. The wall sconce had been turned down low but he could make out the bed, the dressing table, and the wardrobe.
He moved out of the lift. The heady exhilaration he always experienced at such moments roared through him. With every step of the ritual he came closer to achieving his own purification.
For a precious few seconds he debated where to leave his gift. The bed or the dressing table?
The bed, he decided. So much more intimate.
He made his way out through the tradesmen’s entrance and slipped, unseen, into the gardens. The gate was still unlocked, just as he had left it.
A few minutes later he was lost in the fog. The weight of the knife in its sheath beneath his greatcoat was reassuring.
The ritual was almost complete.
The woman with the unnerving eyes would soon understand that she belonged to him. It was her destiny to be the one to cleanse him. He was certain of it. The connection between them was a bond that could be shattered only by death.
Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Jayne Ann Krentz, 2016.