Veiled Virtues by Jan Fischer Wade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I groaned when I read the first page. Oh, no! Another angsty teenager whose mother hates her, blah blah blah.
Ms. Wade laid my fears to rest soon enough and kept me glued to the story before the end of chapter 1.
Paige is a high school graduate who's lucky enough to get a gig as a house sitter in England. What 18-year-old wouldn't be delighted at the prospect? On her own, a great place to live, a quaint village in the hinterlands. And even better, she meets Nathaniel, a too-hot-to-be-true real live knight. But it's a little unsettling that he owns a curiosity shop called Magog. Paige wonders if the guy is into something sinister, even though she was attracted to him.
We learn that Paige has disturbing visions on occasion which seem prescient. This ability is not something she wants to have, particularly when it causes the old scars on her forehead and hands to bleed. Messy, and people do start to wonder.
As it turns out, though, Nathaniel and his family are all members of a long-standing group called the Rosetta Guard. Many of them have greater or lesser psychic talents, so Paige's visions and stigmata (hysterically induced bleeding matching Jesus's wounds) are not outside the realm of their understanding. But, Paige shows signs of having a lot more psychic power than even she believed.
Now we're into a nice paranormal romance, and there's some evil lurking in the background. The Brotherhood of Cerberus are the dark rivals of the Guard. They have sussed out Paige's talents, and they want her in their group. A variety of attacks bring to light the purpose of the Guardians when they protect Paige from the evil Cerbs.
Lots of romance, evil bad guys, a bit of a question where loyalties lie all adds up to a rousing tale. It ends without a cliffhanger, but clearly open to a sequel. I believe the second book is already in the production line.
One nitpick. I thought the second part of the book which is in Nathaniel's point of view was not as strong as parts 1 and 3 where Paige is the focus. I think the author is more comfortable in the female voice. I can't quite say why, except the tone didn't ring as true as in Paige's voice.
Overall, a nice read. If you're a fan of YA contemporary paranormal, then you won't be disappointed with Veiled Virtues.
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