Review: Second Hand Stops by Katie St. Claire


Second Hand Stops
Book I: Benefactor (The Van Burens 1)
by Katie St. Claire

synopJulia Malone lands on the doorstep of an old English manor at the age of three. She’s abandoned and alone, later joined by five paranormal children with the same telepathic abilities.

When the teens reach eighteen, the mistress of their manor presents them with an unbelievable opportunity with curious strings attached. They must drink an elixir that promises to prolong their lives. At the conclusion of this mad science experiment, they become wealthy beyond their wildest imaginations, thanks to a mysterious benefactor from New York City.

The children meet Claude Van Buren, the man behind the elixir. They assist in a global launch of Immortality, a facial product marketed to the world as the new fountain of youth. Julia and the others become the youngest executives at Van Buren Industries, a diverse giant positioned in the global market.

Interwoven between the pages of this intriguing plot is a romantic love story that spans a lifetime. Her paranormal journey of ethical dilemmas, a heartbreaking love triangle, hidden family secrets, and a fight to stay alive, finally erupts in the conclusion of The Van Burens.

Start the story in Second Hand Stops, continue the action in Rewind, and prepare for the shocking conclusion in Fast Forward. Discover The Van Burens and ask yourself one thing. Are they out there?

Coming of age fantasy with plenty of humor to keep you on your toes. Enter the mystery that is The Van Burens.


★★★★☆ : Great! I liked this book!

This story had me at hello. When Julia was dropped in a Mistress Lillian Perriman’s manor, her young age didn’t show her fear, her sorrow, her troubles. She was quite handful and feisty at age three, for Pete’s sake! From that moment on, I knew I am going to like her.

The day she was abandoned, she met five other children her age. Nic, Sebastian, Dutch, and there was also Lincoln and Lyra, the only other girl in the group. Six orphans, one mistress, one future. That was also the day she changed her name to Julia Malone, because she thought that name sounded epic. Another reason why I loved her.

These six kids had something in common – they all had the ability to communicate using their minds. That itself intrigued me.

When they reached the ripe age of 18, they were required to drink The Elixir – to which Nic had jokingly referred to as the fountain of youth, the one that would delay their aging, the one that would have made them immortals. But they all knew it was more than that.

While the elixir did something good to Nic, Julia and Dutch, it was something wicked to Sebastian, Linc and Lyra. And the mystery continued to entrance me.

Soon they met their benefactor and all the wealth in the world was upon them. They got separated and lived exciting lives. Until a secret threatened to change their world.

Katie St. Claire’s writing is magnificent. Second Hand Stops literally stopped my world for a night. Immersed in a new paranormal world of mind readers, I found myself awake in the middle of the night until the wee hours of dawn, just so I could read everything about Julia and her abilities and her troop. And when I reached the epilogue, I knew I want to see what happens next. I have to read the next. I have to know it. I have to.



Katie is an avid reader and researcher, particularly drawn to the inner lives of her characters. She loves developing complex personalities, and plots that twist and turn. Readers often say, “I didn’t see that coming.”

That’s her goal.


Katie is an offbeat author who wants readers to imagine the unimaginable, almost believing “this or that” could happen in real life. This contemporary Urban Fantasy series, which includes Second Hand Stops, Rewind, and Fast Forward, has a mixture of the paranormal, romance, adventure, mystery and a dose of science fiction. It appeals to young and old alike and is a slight departure from the ordinary.

The Van Buren series is urban fantasy with a twist, and appeals to young and old alike. Readers describe her books as fun, entertaining page-turners, and hard to put down.


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