Review: Arcana by Jessica Leake


Arcana by Jessica Leake // VBC ReviewArcana
Jessica Leake
Published November 11, 2014 (Skyhorse)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: Provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Amanda

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

It’s 1905 and Katherine Sinclair’s been forced by her father into the London Season. Upset he’s broken his promise to allow her to wait until she’s 19 to make her debut, she heads for London with her younger sister in tow, convinced she’ll never meet a man who will accept her for what she really is: half-human, half-Sylvani.

The congested city presents obstacles and dangers to Katherine. She has to be the very picture of propriety and decorum, or she stands to ruin her family name. When she’s not holding her tongue, she’s trying hard not to fall for Lord Thornewood, an earl sent to help ease her way in Society. But before she can figure out if she can trust him with her heart, she’ll have to trust him with her life. Because someone else wants Katherine’s power, and they won’t stop until they get it.

I’m not normally one for historical romance, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Arcana. Katherine’s a witty, spirited heroine (the best kind!) and I loved how she bucked convention time and again. She’s willing to risk being alone with Thornewood (big no no in that day and age) and desperately wishes she could find someone who will love her as her father loved her mother. She finds herself stuck a few times, her life or her reputation in danger, but she doesn’t wait around for help. She’ll figure out how to save herself, thank you very much.

Lord Colin Thornewood was broody at times, swoon worthy the rest, and whenever he wasn’t on the page I wanted to pout. He’s absolutely Katherine’s perfect match with his disdain for the proper way of doing things, yet running interference to keep her name from being dragged through the mud. Every time he appeared on the page, I pictured Richard Armitage in North and South. Sigh.

I found myself far more interested in the developing relationship between Katherine and Thornewood than the paranormal side of things. While the explanation of what arcana is and how it’s used is detailed and woven into the overall story in a relatively unobtrusive manner, the threat to Katherine’s power seems to take a back seat to finding ways to get away from the horribly strict schedule she’s forced into and her rivalry with another debutante for Thornewood’s affections.

But that’s okay. That meant more time with Lord Thornewood, and that is not a bad thing at all. Arcana was a fun trip into a period I haven’t spent much time with, and I’d definitely go back again.

Sexual content: kissing

2 Responses to “Review: Arcana by Jessica Leake”

  1. Amy says:

    I have this book on my kindle and your review makes me want to stop everything and read it now! (Easier said than done)

    I notice that you don’t list this as a series. Do you think there will be more books or was this a definite stand-alone?

  2. Amanda says:

    Good! 🙂

    It doesn’t appear to be a series – the ending tied everything up for Katherine. Although she does have siblings…so who knows?

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