Author: Amanda Quick
Date of Publication: November 29, 2005
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: A tantalizing tale of a legendary knight and a headstrong lady whose daring quest for a mysterious crystal will draw them into a whirlwind of treachery-and desire.
When the fearsome knight called Hugh the Relentless swept into Lingwood Manor like a storm, everyone cowered-except Lady Alice. Sharp-tongued and unrepentant, the flame haired beauty believed Sir Hugh was not someone to dread but the answer to her dreams. She knew he had come for the dazzling green crystal, knew he would be displeased to find that it was no longer in her possession. Yet Alice had a proposition for the dark and forbidding knight: In return for a dowry that would free Alice and her brother from their uncle's grasp, she would lend her powers of detection to his warrior's skills and together they would recover his treasured stone. But even as Hugh accepted her terms, he added a condition of his own: Lady Alice must agree to a temporary betrothal-one that would soon draw her deep into Hugh's great stone fortress, and into a battle that could threaten their lives...and their only chance at love.
Historical romance is always a hard genre for me; the books I like, I really love, and the books I don't like, I really hate. That's why I wasn't sure what to expect when I started Mystique, it could either turn out being really good, or really bad. As soon as I started the novel it quickly became obvious that Mystique was going to be one of those historical romance novels I was going to like, and I ended up really liking it. Fun and light there was nothing serious about this book but it was fun to read and kept me entertained until the very end.
The number one thing that made me love this novel was Alice. She's not afraid to stand up for herself and tell all the other characters what's what; I absolutely loved her confidence and couldn't help but admire her. She was a fun character to read about and I just loved how she wasn't afraid of anyone or anything. The fact that she wasn't afraid to stand up to Hugh made them a prefect match and made me respect her all the more.
I also really loved the development and progression of the romance. So often in books like this characters fall instantly in love and make it impossible to take any sort of relationship between them seriously. However, Alice and Hugh took their relationship at a reasonable pace and the false engagement between them definitely made the interactions between them interesting! The romance between them was sweet and heartfelt and I felt as though their relationship was based more off of mutual respect than lust, which I feel is hard to find in historical romance novels.
While Mystique does have a few broad plot points that cover the span of the entire novel (the romance and the mystery involving the green crystal) one of the things I really enjoyed about this novel was that Quick didn't spend too much time on just one aspect of the novel. I felt as though this book was almost made up of little short stories, once one little plot was cleared up another one started, but at the same time they all were interconnected and built off of each other.
I highly recommend this novel to fans of historical fiction and romance who are looking for a light and fun read. Even though it's a little predictable and cliched its still a super fun read and I definitely enjoyed every minute of this novel!