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May 3, 2023

The Bride Wore White by Amanda Quick ~ a Review & Excerpt

by MK French

Prudence Ryland worked as a psychic dream consultant for the money, leaving once she realized a client intended to kill her. Though she reinvented herself again elsewhere, she still wound up being kidnapped and drugged, waking up in a bloodstained wedding dress in the honeymoon suite next to a dead man. She was being framed and she knew who was responsible, but crime boss Luther Pell and his associate Jack Wingate don't believe her. But Jack offered to help, using her as bait for the killer. Prudence felt safe with Jack, growing closer and more fascinated with him as time went on.

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book cover of historical thriller The Bride Wore White by Amanda Quick
May 2023; Berkley; 978-0593337868
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); historical thriller

Amanda Quick is one of Jayne Ann Krentz's pseudonyms, and these romance novels are always lots of fun to read. The Bride Wore White is book seven of the Burning Cove series, but don't worry about it if you haven't read the earlier ones in the series. These all take place in the 1930's golden age of Hollywood glamour and glitz, with suspense along with romance. This isn't going to be heavy on the forensic aspect of murder mysteries and heavily features discussions on psychic ability due to Prudence's job and skills, as well as who she believes was involved. In her former line of work, one of San Francisco's elite wanted her to marry her volatile son to produce psychic offspring that should be more emotionally stable. Needless to say, Prudence didn't go for that plan at all, but that son is the dead body she woke up next to. Escaping the hotel rather than getting caught by police obviously spoiled the killer's plans, so now Prudence is bait as Jack draws out the real killer.

The book is fun and fast-paced, with the romance building alongside the increasing tension of who framed Prudence and why. Jack is developing the criminal profiling techniques we're familiar with today, calling it a crime tree; he's far more intuitive than he wants to give himself credit for. It's fun watching him and Prudence trade theories back and forth, realizing how similar they really are. His scars don't matter to Prudence at all, even though others are offput by them. It's simply something else that shows his dedication, as he got them during a prior case, and I really enjoyed watching him open up as the novel progressed. They're a fun couple to read, and the mystery was neatly wrapped up by the end. Prudence and Jack have a good future ahead of them.

Buy The Bride Wore White at Amazon

Read an excerpt from The Bride Wore White

Tapson stiffened violently as if he had touched a live electrical wire.

In a sense, that was exactly what had happened.

Tapson stared at her in disbelief and mounting horror. He began to tremble. The tremors became spasms. The knife fell to the carpet, landing with a soft plop.

“No,” he said. “You can’t do this to me.”

His eyes rolled back in his head. His right hand went limp. He no longer had a death grip on the rim of the bowl—he was incapable of gripping anything. He collapsed on the floor and lay still.

She took a shaky breath and yanked her hand off the crystal. The pain of the psychic burn wasn’t from a physical injury—her fingertips had not actually been singed—but her nerves were severely rattled. She could not afford to succumb to an anxiety attack, not now. She needed to stay focused on survival, because it was obvious her entire world had just been turned upside down.

“Damn you, Tapson,” she whispered to the unconscious man. “I hope you are trapped in a nightmare. I hope you are locked in it for the rest of your life.”

She had to think. She had to concentrate on the next move.

She took a step and then stopped and put a hand on the table to keep from losing her balance. When she had her nerves under control, she made her way around the table. Crouching beside Tapson, she groped for and found a faint, erratic pulse. He was alive, but she was sure he would never be the same.

There was no way to calculate how much damage she had done to his nerves and his senses. The technique of channeling energy through crystal with enough force to destabilize the source of a person’s dreams was highly unpredictable. It was hardly the sort of skill one could easily practice and refine, at least not in an ethical way.

The talent for doing what she had just done was rare, even in a family with a long history of psychics who could read dreams. But the few accounts left by her ancestors who had possessed the ability had been clear on one point—disrupting an individual’s dream energy was guaranteed to cause considerable damage.
First things first. Her own survival was at stake. She had to get rid of Tapson. She could not let him continue to lie there on the floor of her reading room. What if he woke up and was still capable of killing her? What if he never woke up at all?

She briefly considered trying to hide the unconscious man. Even if she could manage the process—doubtful, because Tapson was large and powerfully built—there was no practical way to haul him any significant distance in the busy city.

There was really only one solution to her problem. She would call an ambulance and explain that Tapson had suffered a stroke during a reading. If or when he woke up, there was a good chance he would not remember exactly what had happened. Even if he did remember what she had done to him, he would have a hard time convincing the police she had tried to murder him with psychic energy.

For her part, she had no way to prove that he had tried to murder her, let alone that he had killed others.
Regardless of what happened to Tapson, her reputation would be destroyed if the press got hold of the story. The rumors alone would ruin her. Clients would certainly not be eager to book appointments with a psychic known to have had a client collapse during a reading. That sort of thing did not make for successful marketing.

She did not believe in omens and portents, but this situation was about as close as one could get to a sign from the universe informing her that it was time to move on.

Excerpted from The Bride Wore White by Amanda Quick Copyright © 2023 by Amanda Quick. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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