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Publisher's Summary

Novelist and professional companion Evangeline Ames has rented a cottage in the outskirts of Little Dixby, far from the London streets where she was recently attacked. Fascinated by the paranormal energy of nearby Crystal Gardens, she finds some pleasurable diversion in sneaking past the wall to explore the grounds. And when her life is threatened again, she instinctively goes to the gardens for safety.

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 is plenty of whispering about him already, with rumors of treasure buried under his garden, and occult botanical experiments performed by his uncle - who died of mysterious causes.

Immediately sensing each other’s psychic talents, as well as their mutual desire, Lucas and Evangeline find themselves with an even more pressing concern. Whoever tried to have her killed will try again. But who would want her dead?

With Evangeline’s skill for detection, and Lucas’s sense of the criminal mind, they soon discover that they share a common enemy. And as the dangerous energy emanating from Crystal Gardens grows stronger, they realize that to survive they must unearth what has been buried for too long.

©2012 Jayne Ann Krentz (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    298
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    220
  • 3 Stars
    98
  • 2 Stars
    27
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    19

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    298
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    182
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    68
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    22
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    25

Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
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    190
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    87
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    21
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    13
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fun paranormal romp suffers from odd narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, but with reservations. For fans of Amanda Quick, it's a must-listen and you'll want to add it to your audio library of Amanda Quick romances.

What did you like best about this story?

The protagonists (Evangeline and Lucas) were likable with just enough mystery in their pasts to keep you turning the pages. I also liked the development of all the secondary characters, and especially Molly and Stone.

What three words best describe Justine Eyre’s voice?

Overwrought. Erratic. Unmemorable.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Love blooms at midnight in the Crystal Gardens.

Any additional comments?

Budding sensation novelist Evangeline Ames meets the man of her dreams while running from a would-be murderer at midnight--in her nightgown! Now how can a story that begins that way be anything less than fun? Unfortunately, Justine Eyre's narration is a bit erratic and overwrought at times. Her male characters are fine, but her female characters often sound like they are either 103 years old or on the verge of hysteria. One wonders if she ever bothers to listen to her own recordings! She is, however, easier to listen to than Anne Flosnik but I long for Barbara Rosenblat or Katherine Kellgren's smooth tones and diverse characterizations.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Another winner!

If you could sum up Crystal Gardens in three words, what would they be?

Great story with excellent voice acting! Another winner! Moved at a quick place and I enjoyed every minute of it. All the characters were intresting

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved them all. It was nice to have strong secondary charters.

Have you listened to any of Justine Eyre’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Ms Eyre's narrating was excellent, i look forward to more of her work.

Any additional comments?

Looks like she got another winning series on her hand!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Heather
  • Forest Hill, MD, United States
  • 05-02-12

Wonderful Fun Paranormal romance book,

You can say that I Like Amanda Quick's books, it has been some time sense i have purchased one, Crystal Gardens was very fun, I found myself not wanting to put this book down, in some parts of this book i had to go back and see if I had missed something due to the book-not feeling complete, Like I had skipped a part. this did not take away from my feelings of this being a wonderful I pod read though, very entertaining,
So If you like Amanda Quick's books on the paranormal I think you will like this love story - mystery,
Happy Reading,

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimberly
  • Indianapolis, IN, United States
  • 04-15-13

Paranormal romantic mystery

This is a pretty typical Amanda Quick novel, which I appreciate very much. I like the strength of her female characters and the clash/chemistry with her male protagonists. But AQ was the author who tempted me back into this genre a couple of years ago, after I refused to read historical romance for 35 years because of the rape plot device so many used back when I first started reading adult novels (which was in my early teens so, really, I'm not that old.) In Crystal Gardens: A Ladies of Lantern Street Novel, Evangeline is a woman with a paranormal power had which lead to an attack after a case,so the agency which employs her sends her to rusticate and recuperate. Of course, there are a couple of different mysteries to solve and personal issues with Lucas, the owner of the Crystal Gardens, a vortex of paranormal power. I have avoided most books described as "paranormal" recently because they usually involve characters I just can't accept, such as vampires, werewolves, demons, and the like, being featured as romantic heroes. I guess I am too old for some things. I read a lot of fantasy in my teens from authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffry, and Mercedes Lackey, so magic and psychic powers are more in my comfort zone as paranormal, and this novel is more in that realm. As for the narrator, it takes me a while to be comfortable with Justine Eyre, but I wouldn't avoid listening to a book because she narrated. She isn't my one of my favorites, but they can't do everything I want to hear. The editing and production values are good as well.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Valerie
  • clearfield, UT, United States
  • 06-26-12

Good book, WRONG Voice!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this book to someone who enjoys paranormal/historical romances (but not necessarily this production of it)The voice (Accent) the narrator used was extremely annoying (not the normal narrator) The performance and reading of the story was flawless but the male voices (especially that of Lucas was WRONG and put me in mind of a wimpy whiny supercilious man who probably had a receding hairline, paunch belly and weak chin.think Eustace on the Chronicles of Narnia -The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

How could the performance have been better?

I have listen to this performance three times. the first time I was so annoyed and distracted by the accent of the narrator that I missed most of the story but I had sorta acclimatised to her by the end so I decided to listen again to see if I could actually follow the story. It was much more enjoyable on the second listening and I was able to follow the story. It was actually a very good dramatic reading all things considered and served to remind me that there is a broad range when it comes to accents, and the things that I found so irritating in the intonations and nuances were probably in fact genuine to the story. I think it was just that I was used to hearing Ann Flosnik as an Amanda Quick Narrator- maybe I have fallen into a rut (but it was still annoying)

Any additional comments?

IF like me you collect Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle stories, my advice would be to suck it up and listen a few time to move past the shock in narrator accent and style (sometimes we need to shake up our little world)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The voice is so annoying

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, because the book was pretty good, and I love Amanda Quick novels, although I have to say the paranormal ones aren't my favorites.

Would you be willing to try another one of Justine Eyre’s performances?

No. I like Amanda Quick books because the heroes are so interesting and so are the heroines. But, Justine just made them all sound whiny and bored. And I am not interested in hearing the voice of the hero sound so much like a weak, whiny, conceited person. I was disappointed.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Mystery Gardens~ 4 STAR fun

PLOT: the crystal gardens hold death and mystery

Companion Evangeline has a secret she is also a writer. After a killer shows up at her home she goes to the Crystal Gardens and the home of land lord HUNK Lucas Sebastion who saves her life. This couple have a psychic connection and the Gardens holds a clue to the power they both have. Lucas's "crazy uncle" experimented on plants and they hold the key to the secrets of the crystal gardens. This has a FEISTY HEROINE, sexy hero and lots of mental powers they both share. The Gardens hold mysterious killer plants which add to the SECRETS. this romance moves along very well. Good READER and VG story wth the mental energy of Evangeline and Lucas we have ONE the BEST Amanda Quick couples yet. I give this 4 STARS over all.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Over the top

A stereotypical, to the point of sounding satirical, romance story. I was brought to the point of laughing numerous times at the absurdity of the plot and dialog. The breathy, dramatic narration enhanced the feeling of it almost being a satire. I could envision it being played on SNL.

I love a charming romance in the style of Georgette Heyer and Carola Dunn. This is NOT one of those.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • United States
  • 06-07-12

Excellent story with horrible performance.

What did you like best about Crystal Gardens? What did you like least?

The story line was great and the characters had depth. The problem was I couldn't understand the narrator.

What did you like best about this story?

The story was intriguing.

Would you be willing to try another one of Justine Eyre’s performances?

No

Do you think Crystal Gardens needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Only with a different narrator

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Carole
  • Point Lonsdale, Australia
  • 05-14-12

Irritating imitation of English accent

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The story line was OK but JAK has written this story many times. Maybe I felt this story dragged because of the terrible English accent. Because of this I couldn't warm to any of the characters. Can't Audible actually find an English person to read the story?

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Ok, everything seemed to be resolved.

Would you be willing to try another one of Justine Eyre’s performances?

Never- if she was trying to copy an English accent.

What would have made this romance irresistible?

A proper English accent.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Menon
  • 06-23-15

Enchanting Paranormal Mystery!!

I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy this book, some how I felt skeptical. Really do know why!! And I must say it was unfounded. I very much enjoyed the book but didn't care much for the narrator. I would have enjoyed it more had the book had a different narrator. Somehow I found that Justine Eyre had difficulty with the male voices. They came out scratchy, like a bone stuck in ones throat!

Now for the story line. This books is very similar to other Amanda Quick titles about the Paranormal like the Arcane Society series. We read about people with psychical powers and how some accept them readily like Evangeline Ames and how some are still coming to terms with it, cause ones family members don't care much for their powers or are scared of their powers cause they are not familiar with them like Lucas Sebastian.

The story line is about Evangeline who comes to Little Dixby to relax and get inspiration for her series book which gets published in the local papers one chapter at a time. Then we have Lucas who recently inherited Crystal Gardens from his Late Uncle. Lucas suspects that his late uncle was murdered and someone's trying to murder Evangeline. They put their powers together and thwart the murder, find the murderer, render justice and discover Treasure!!!
A Lovely Story in all....

  • Overall
  • Jeanette
  • 12-27-12

Amanda Quick at her best

I enjoyed this book. It is back to traditional Amanda Quick. I have read a lot of this author's books and much prefer the historical settings.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful