Penelope has two great passions in her life (aside, of course, from her fly-fishing addicted husband and two rocking kids)...romantic fiction and plants. Yes, along time ago (in a galaxy far, far away) Penelope earned a degree in plant science from an ivy league university, and her obsession with plants continues to this day. So, just imagine my delight to discover a book that combines these two obsessions! The Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick is so right up my alley, it's ridiculous. A heroine who knows the Latin names for all things botanical (and wears glasses). A hero who is a psychically enhanced, socially-inept, intensely single-minded investigator obsessed with finding mathematical patterns in everything (did I mention that my hubbie was a valedictorian?) Quick's latest addition to the Arcane Society series is my perfect cup of (hopefully non-poisoned) tea. I have been intrigued by Caleb Jones since the commencement of this series, and Quick did not disappoint with his story. Lucinda Bromley, botanical genius and a fellow member of the Arcane Society (her "gift" is determining if someone has been poisoned by a botanical substance...love it!) is the perfect complement to Jones. She frees him from his self-imposed jail of numbers, patterns and a fear of imminent insanity with her no-nonsense approach to life (and love). I especially like how Quick incorporates the psychic aspect into the love scenes of these novels...the sex is not only emotionally and physically satisfying, but also psychically satsifying...top that! I must say that their first love scene in the drying shed is one of the most romantic scenarios I could imagine...Caleb makes a fragrant "bed" of dried flowers and herbs on the ground, covers them with his coat, and makes love to Lucinda. Sigh. As usual, the humorous dialogue is excellent, secondary characters intriguing, and the villains shady and mysterious. Quick may have these historicals down to a certain formula, but it's a great formula. Don't mess with perfection, in my not so humble opinion.
With the highest recommendation,