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 will be honest when I reveal that I have had this in my library since it first came out last year. *gasp* I know….I know. When I bought it last year, I had many other books on my plate at the time, and I just totally kept forgetting to actually get my booty in gear and read this. Also ever since seeing Daniel from the first books in the series, I had high high expectations from this one, and was hoping I wouldn’t get disappointed. Now when I first started reading this book, my mood was not getting better, it took a while for the story to get fully set up, so it is sad to say that was it fully what I wanted and expected from wicked scandalous Daniel Mackenzie? Not fully, no. *but wait* Don’t go yet…I am just getting started on the review. So keep your pants, or skirt on, because it only gets better.
I will say that as I kept reading, the more involved I slowly started to get into the story, and the better is seemed to get. I think due to the circumstances surrounding the heroine of the story, it takes a while for the story to really get in gear and fly away…but fly it does—both literally and figuratively :). I will try to contain my excitement on some entertaining scenes and keep this spoil free (if that is possible…just a warning to you all who have yet to read this delight!!).
I first want to discuss the characters of the story The hero: Daniel Mackenzie, son of Cameron Mackenzie. Now despite Daniel seeming on the surface to be a rake and scoundrel–which he is definitely all of that, he definitely is pretty complex. He has different qualities from his father and uncles. The one quality that overrides the other is my favorite–Ian Mackenzie. Ian is very different from the rest of the family, very unique and focused on certain things, and the way he is with Beth and his kids is just tender and charming. But he is a scientist and can spend hours and hours on a subject without realizing the passing of time. Daniel is very much like Ian in that way, he loves machines and is a scientist in his own right. And it is very evident in this story and we begin to see a whole different side to Daniel that I adored seeing. Now for the heroine: Violet Bastien, she is very original and unique to the series. She definitely has many qualities that you just never see coming in a a character from Ashley, flawed but also fun and strong and fiercely independent. Violet suffered a trauma early in her life, and has had to live with her mother on the run, posing as spiritual mediums. In Violets mind, its a matter of survival, even knowing they are lying to people for money. Violet is so courageous, I really liked her character, and a fighter and spirited–you have no problem relating with her at times. I love that she isn’t this gorgeous all perfect heroine that could do no wrong. One of the things I adored about her character, was how human she seemed to be.
The story itself, is pretty ongoing, and keep you guessing. In the beginning of the story, Daniel saves Violet from a man that is set out to destroy her. But after sharing a passionate embrace, she clobbers him on the head, he wakes up to find her gone. When he fins her again, in Marseilles, he sets out to charm and seduce her. Daniel can’t get this mysterious woman out of his mind. He is fascinated and we see how dedicated he is to her from the beginning. He doesn’t seem to care that much about her “career” or that she keeps trying to run from him. But Daniel is very persistent, and slowly shows her passion and we begin to see a more deeper side to their relationship as the story continues. Daniel and Violet, do know how to have fun together, and the family readily accept Violet and seeing all these characters again just made me want to read the series again.
Overall I found this installment to be exciting, full of adventures, set in beautiful France, with plenty of heated scenes to fog up the windows this winter, a story that is packed full of romance, endearing characters, and quite a whopper of a story!! A GEM!!
“I don’t know anything about life. I only know how to run.”
Daniel reached his tanned and callused hands out to her. “Then grab hold of me and hang on. We’re both scared about where this will end up, and when the hurting will come. If the hurting comes, it will be bad, I already know that. But hang on to me, and we’ll find out together, all right?”
“She isn’t just any woman. She’s different.”
“So every man has said since time immemorial.”
“Yes, that’s true. I’ve met plenty of women, Mr. Sutton. From a young age, I have had mistresses whose beauty and skills would astound you. Skills they taught to a young man, because I was ever so rich. I also got to know them—courtesans are living, breathing women, you might be surprised to learn. With dreams and ambitions, some longing for a better life, one in which they won’t have to rely on wealthy men’s sons for survival. I became quite good friends with some of the ladies and am still. And then I met Violet.”
Mr. Sutton was listening but striving to look uninterested. “Another courtesan?”
“She’s neither one thing nor the other. Which is why I say she’s different. She’s not from the upper-class families whose mothers throw their daughters at me with alarming ruthlessness. She’s not a courtesan, selling her body and skills in exchange for diamonds and riches. She’s not a street girl from the gutter, selling her body to survive. She’s not a middle-class daughter, striving to live spotlessly and not shame her parents. Violet faces the world on her own terms, making a living the best she can with the skills she has. And everywhere, everyone has tried to stop her. They’ve used her body to pay their debts. They’ve used her cleverness to bring them clients. They’ve used her skills at understanding people to make them money. Everyone in her entire life has used her in every capacity she has, and yet, she still stands tall and faces the world. They’ve beaten her down at every turn, and still she rises. This is a woman of indomitable spirit. And I want to set her free.”