May 12, 2012

"Veiled Virtues" by Jan Fischer-Wade

Veiled Virtues
Title: Veiled Virtues
Author: Jan Fischer-Wade
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Review Copy

Synopsis:
When Paige Stewart left America to house-sit in England, her only thoughts were to get away from her controlling mother and to have fun. Little did she know that her working holiday would turn into a battle between good and evil, or that she would be the epicenter of that battle. She certainly didn’t expect to be swept off her feet by a modern-day English knight. But when blood appeared on her keyboard and she discovered her childhood scars bleeding, her holiday took a turn for the eerie and dangerous, and when she ventured into the metaphysical shop run by Nathaniel Brightmore, she found much more than tarot cards and crystals.
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My Thoughts
Getting a chance to stay in a beautiful house in England was a dream come true for Paige Stewart. Until she found that things would not be as peaceful as she had hoped.
This story was filled with adventure and romance that will have you captivated from the very first page. England was a great setting for Paige to meet these modern day knights. The setting was beautiful and really helped to set the mood for the story.
The characters were interesting and somewhat mysterious making me want to get to know them even more. I was completely engrossed with these characters and had a great time figuring out about these knights and how they came to be right along with Paige.
Paige was a sweet girl who was easy to love. She wasn’t always sure of what she was doing especially after all of the strange events that kept happening, but she stuck by those she loved and did what she believed was best which I really admired about her.
Move over Werewolves, look out Vampires the knights are back and they are here to stay!


Excerpt
“Can I assist you with anything in particular?”
It was the sexiest British accent I’d ever heard.
“Um, no,” I answered, feeling a rush of blood shoot to my cheeks. I pretended to be seriously browsing through some things called smudge sticks.
“What brings you in here today?” He started around the counter toward me, smiling.
“Just, uh, checking out some shops in town,” I stammered, and gawked at his lips and teeth fit for an actor in a toothpaste commercial. The outline of his chest muscles under his lightweight fitted navy t-shirt made my already warm cheeks grow tingly hot.
Wow, no wonder all the girls have crushes on him.
“Are you on holiday from America?” he asked, apparently noticing from my American accent or lack of an English one that I was not British.
He walked closer to me. “Um, no. I’m, uh, house-sitting this summer for the Cooks, Nigel and Stephanie. Do you know them?”
“Dr. Cook?”
“Yes, and, um, her husband Nigel is an administrator at the school place, uh, cottage — I mean college,” I responded, tripping over my words and undoubtedly sounding like a bumbling idiot. He grinned.
“Right, sure, I know the doctor. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her husband, though.”
“I’m house-sitting for them while they’re out of the country this summer,” I explained.
“So, American?” he asked rhetorically. “Where do you call home?”
“Virginia. Charlottesville actually. Have you ever been to the U.S.?”
“Actually, yes — New York City a couple of years ago, and Washington D.C., where every good foreign traveler is obligated to visit.”
He continued talking about things he’d done in D.C., but my mind fixated on his perfect face and his lips as they moved and spoke words I didn’t really hear. Could this demigod be any more desirable?
“Well, so…” he trailed off, and a slightly awkward pause hung in the air.
“Um, Magog’s. Where’d you come up with the name?” I shriveled inside at my lame attempt at flirting. I bet everyone asked him that.
“Magog is one of the two legendary protectors of London,” he explained. “Gog is the other one. They were mythical giants.” Just then, the phone at the back counter rang. “Pardon me.” He walked off to answer the call.
On the wall above a display of daggers, a substantial silver sword hung mounted on a blue, velvet-lined backing. A sudden urge to connect with the smooth metal surface of the blade overtook me. I stepped closer to reach up to it, but quickly pulled my hand back and looked around to see if any other customers had come in, and to make sure Gorgeous wasn’t on his way back. My insatiable need to touch it made me feel foolish, but I couldn’t leave this place without first having done so. I yearned to make contact with it. Once again, I lifted my hand toward the blade. As my fingers neared it, a low buzz became audible, like ringing in my ears, but I could feel this vibration radiating from my fingers, down my arm, and into my chest. Just barely, but it was there.
When my fingers finally connected with the handle of the sword, the buzzing stopped, and my vision went black. Fighting panic, I blinked a couple of times, and soon a picture of a circle of men in black robes appeared in my head. The desire to join them mounted because my presence could help.
No.
I sensed they were dangerous. I shouldn’t go with them. My grip was firm on the sword, but I wanted to let go. I didn’t want to be a part of this.
A low voice whispered coldly, “You will stay.”
“No, I want to go,” I faintly insisted, desperately wanting to rejoin the real world.
“Stay,” it said again.
“No!” I shrieked, and wrenched my hand away from the sword, causing my body to involuntarily fly back several feet, where I landed with a smack on the floor. My mind went black when my head hit the concrete, but this time, no vision appeared.
“Hey, are you all right?” a man’s voice woke me.
I opened my eyes to find myself lying flat on my back in Magog’s. The clerk knelt over me, and gently shook my arm. His warm touch gave me butterflies in my stomach.
I looked at my fingers, then back up to the object of my sudden infatuation on the wall. What happened? The sword caused a clip to begin playing in my head through some unnatural force, and it seemed so real…absolute confusion then consumed me.
“Are you hurt?” he asked. I sat up and rubbed my throbbing head.
“Oh, my head,” I said with a groan. “I’ll be fine.” My pride, however, lay shattered on the floor. What a wonderfully horrible first impression.
He asked me what happened, and I came up with the lame excuse that I almost dropped my cell phone and then tripped over something.
“Let me help you up,” he said, quickly glancing around to see what caused my fall.
I grabbed the edge of a shelf to steady myself and blinked my eyes hard a couple of times, hoping I wouldn’t pass out in his presence. The sound of the door opening sent a shard of pain through my temple. A dazzling blonde walked, or rather glided, over to us and put her arm around his waist. She looked thin, poised, and flawless.
“This is Avery.” He gave her hair a tender tug. “And this…,” he gestured toward me, “is the new American in town?”
“I’m Paige Stewart.” I held out my hand to shake hers, expecting her to have a weak grip. Instead, she shook my hand very firmly. “And I didn’t catch your name,” I directed toward Gorgeous.
“My apologies.” He laughed. “I’m Nathaniel. Nathaniel Brightmore.”


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