Book Review of Crystal Gardens (Ladies of Lantern Street, Bk 1)

Crystal Gardens (Ladies of Lantern Street, Bk 1)
reviewed on + 150 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4

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 pseudonyms, that is to say I havent' read all of her books, but I have genuinely enjoyed the ones that I have read. I usually like all things romance and all things paranormal. This one also promised to have plenty of mystery. So when I was offered this book I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately this book didn't live up to any of my expectations.

This book really fell flat to me on many levels. The characters were very one dimensional. I never got the feeling that they were ever fully developed or created. I never felt attached or any sort of connection to any of the characters. Usually in a book, especially in a series, I feel some sort of camaraderie to at least one character. The characters in this story were all interchangeable. No one stood out, no one made an impression on me. The main characters, especially, lacked personality and their romance lacked heat.

The storyline seemed to have all the necessary components of a bestselling paranormal romance/mystery, yet it never kept me on the edge of my seat. It really read like a rough draft. It had all the right ideas included, but it was missing the details. I didn't feel like we had a proper flow to the story, no real build up or climax. The tempo was just a lazy stroll through an underdeveloped story.

Honestly if this was my first book by this author, I wouldn't feel compelled to pick up another. I think hardcore fans will be a little more tolerant of this book, but I can't. Even if I have lukewarm feelings for a series my curious nature will have me wanting to read the next books. I can walk away from this series without a backward glance and without feeling like I am missing out on anything.

Cherise Everhard, April 2012