Being Madame Ariadne, Psychic Dream Consultant, wasn’t Prudence Ryland’s ideal gig, but it paid well which was reason enough to do the work—until she realizes that her latest client intends to kill her. But Prudence, a master at reinvention, finds a new job and home as far away as possible and is finally able to relax—which turns out to be a big mistake. Letting her guard down means being kidnapped and drugged and waking up in a bloodstained wedding dress in the honeymoon suite next to a dead man. With the press outside the hotel, waiting with their cameras and police sirens in the distance, it’s obvious she’s being framed for the man’s murder. Prudence knows who is responsible, but will anyone believe her?
It doesn’t seem likely that rumored crime boss Luther Pell or his associate, Jack Wingate, believe her seemingly outrageous claims of being a target of a ruthless vendetta. In fact, Prudence is convinced that the mysterious Mr. Wingate believes her to be a fraud at best, and at worst: a murderer. And Jack Wingate does seem to be someone intimately familiar with violence, if going by his scarred face and grim expression. So no one is more shocked than Prudence when Jack says he’ll help her. Of course, his ideas for helping her involve using her as the bait for a killer, but Prudence feels oddly safe with Jack protecting her. But who will protect Prudence from her growing fascination with this enigma of a man?
Tapson stiffened violently as if he had touched a live electrical wire.
In a sense, that was exactly what had happened.
Tapson stared at her in disbelief and mounting horror. He began to tremble. The tremors became spasms. The knife fell to the carpet, landing with a soft plop.
“No,” he said. “You can’t do this to me.”
His eyes rolled back in his head. His right hand went limp. He no longer had a death grip on the rim of the bowl—he was incapable of gripping anything. He collapsed on the floor and lay still.
She took a shaky breath and yanked her hand off the crystal. The pain of the psychic burn wasn’t from a physical injury—her fingertips had not actually been singed—but her nerves were severely rattled. She could not afford to succumb to an anxiety attack, not now. She needed to stay focused on survival, because it was obvious her entire world had just been turned upside down.
“Damn you, Tapson,” she whispered to the unconscious man. “I hope you are trapped in a nightmare. I hope you are locked in it for the rest of your life.”
She had to think. She had to concentrate on the next move.
She took a step and then stopped and put a hand on the table to keep from losing her balance. When she had her nerves under control, she made her way around the table. Crouching beside Tapson, she groped for and found a faint, erratic pulse. He was alive, but she was sure he would never be the same.
There was no way to calculate how much damage she had done to his nerves and his senses. The technique of channeling energy through crystal with enough force to destabilize the source of a person’s dreams was highly unpredictable. It was hardly the sort of skill one could easily practice and refine, at least not in an ethical way.
The talent for doing what she had just done was rare, even in a family with a long history of psychics who could read dreams. But the few accounts left by her ancestors who had possessed the ability had been clear on one point—disrupting an individual’s dream energy was guaranteed to cause considerable damage.
First things first. Her own survival was at stake. She had to get rid of Tapson. She could not let him continue to lie there on the floor of her reading room. What if he woke up and was still capable of killing her? What if he never woke up at all?
She briefly considered trying to hide the unconscious man. Even if she could manage the process—doubtful, because Tapson was large and powerfully built—there was no practical way to haul him any significant distance in the busy city.
There was really only one solution to her problem. She would call an ambulance and explain that Tapson had suffered a stroke during a reading. If or when he woke up, there was a good chance he would not remember exactly what had happened. Even if he did remember what she had done to him, he would have a hard time convincing the police she had tried to murder him with psychic energy.
For her part, she had no way to prove that he had tried to murder her, let alone that he had killed others.
Regardless of what happened to Tapson, her reputation would be destroyed if the press got hold of the story. The rumors alone would ruin her. Clients would certainly not be eager to book appointments with a psychic known to have had a client collapse during a reading. That sort of thing did not make for successful marketing.
She did not believe in omens and portents, but this situation was about as close as one could get to a sign from the universe informing her that it was time to move on.
Excerpted from The Bride Wore White by Amanda Quick Copyright © 2023 by Amanda Quick. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Love her stories. I haven't read any of this series as yet though. I'm fascinated too but have never had a chance or seeked one out lol.ReplyDelete
It's become one of my favorite series by her.Delete
I haven't read this series but I have read Amanda Quick novels. So enjoyable and well written. My favorite historical era is the 1940's. I haven't visited a psychic but am interested for sure.ReplyDelete
This author has written so many treasures. I look forward to enjoying this new release. I never considered seeing a psychic since I sometimes did feel premonitions and feelings. The 1920's is a time which interests me very much.ReplyDelete
Jayne is also one of my go-to authors. I've been reading her since the 80s, and have followed her thru all her pseudonyms.ReplyDelete
I have not read any of the Burning Cove series before, but I'm adding them to my TBR right now!ReplyDelete
I read the first book in the series and need to catch up. Amanda Krentz/JAK is one of my bucket list authors to read all her books. I've never spoken with a psychic, but have found the tv shows about them very interesting.ReplyDelete
I have read every book in the Burning Cove series, except this one. I have loved her books, no matter the name of the author, since her earliest works. I think this may be the best series she has written. The atmosphere, the sense of being there, shows her talent. I would have loved to live in the early 30's. The clothes were lovely and graceful. The Art Deco style of furniture and homes knocks my socks off. And the films were innovative. The directors and producers were willing to take chances and they did not do cookie cutter series. Everything about that time was attractive....actually there was a lot that was horrendous, but I will ignore the cruelty and the rise of fascists and focus on a bias cut satin dress and a blonde side table with enough veneer to sink a ship.ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for this review. I always enjoy what y'all think about books and authors I like.
I agree with you...JAK , in ALL her series, grabs you and doesn't let go until the very end! Hers are the only "period" books I read now. I saw a palm readeer years agao....really don't remember much bbut she did say I'd "lead and interesting life" ...she was right.ReplyDelete
I haven't read any of the Burning Cove series. I like variety of time periods. I haven't seen a psychic before simply because there are so many frauds out there and I hate wasting money I don't have.ReplyDelete
I've not read any of her books in this series. She is such a good author. I read books written under all three of her major pen names and didn't realize for several years they were the same person. I just knew "these authors" were really good.ReplyDelete
My favorite time period has been the medieval period. Lately, the mid-180o's into the Victorian period have been favorites.
I have not seen a psychic. I am curious, but am afraid what they might say. I have had my aura read a couple of times and it was pretty accurate. I have enough issues with my own premonitions and how accurate they are.
I have read one of Burning Cove books. I love all of the historical time periods. They each have their own unique appeal. I would love to win a copy of this book. ThanksReplyDelete
I'm excited to read The Bride Wore White. I've been completely caught up in several of Amanda Quick's books, including at least the first two Burning Cove stories. And yes, I very much do believe, at least in theory, in psychics and have met with a few. I even have an appointment with someone strongly recommended by a friend for the spring of 2025 - and I made the appointment more than a year ago!!ReplyDelete