“Arcana” Jessica Leake

Rated 4 stars **** ARC. ebook. 2014. Talos Press (Skyhorse Publishing). To be published November 4, 2014.

ArcanaIt is 1905, and 18-year-old Katherine Sinclair is unlike other young ladies. She has inherited the gift of arcana from her mother, which is power derived from the sun allowing her to manipulate elements to heal people and animals. Katherine has enjoyed freedom in the country with her widowed father, as well as with her brother and sister, but her father insists she and her sister join their grandmother in London to make her debut into London society.

For Katherine, her debut into society will mean having to attend boring balls to meet eligible bachelors just to be tied down to a husband who will run her life. Before she died her mother left behind a diary in which she warned Katherine of men who would want to steal her arcana, so now Katherine is even more fearful of what she’ll find in London. Loathe to be looked at like horseflesh, and worried about her mother’s premonitions, Katherine has no choice in the matter and is shipped off to London.

Once in her grandmother’s clutches, all transpires as Katherine feared. When she meets the handsome Earl of Thornewood and the Lord of Blackburn, she is wary of her feelings fearing her mother’s words. Despite their differences Katherine finds herself attracted to both of them, not knowing one of them is out to ruin her.

I loved the storyline of “Arcana,” and its historical setting. However the author needed to do better at transitioning between scenes, as characters seemed to jump from one place to another without explanations. In one such example, Katherine was in the library but the very next sentence had her standing by the tub in her room. There were many examples like this throughout the book, causing me to reread these sections several times to get the context. If it wasn’t for this, I would have given “Arcana” a five star rating. Hopefully it will all be corrected in the final version of the book.

Recommended for Adult readers.

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