Monday, February 25, 2013

Early Review of Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5) by Elizabeth Hoyt

  • Title: Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 384 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 26, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1455508306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455508303
  • Author's Website:
  • Notes:  Quotes will need to be checked against the final copy as I read the ARC.           

Two years ago circumstances forced Lady Margaret 'Megs' to marry. Her fiance and lover had died leaving her with child. She believed her husband, Godric, had volunteered to keep her from being ruined. During her wedding breakfast, mere hours after saying 'I do' she miscarried and soon after retired to her new husband's country estate to recuperate. Her husband never came to visit nor ask her to visit him. Two years had gone by and the marriage had still never been consummated. At first Megs grieved for the child and fiance who were both lost to her. Now she longs for another child and has decided to go after what she wants and seduce her husband. Godric St. John's world is about to be upturned.

Three years ago Godric St. John lost his wife, Clara, after she suffered for 9 years from a fatal disease. He loved her dearly and vowed he'd stay true to her memory and never bedded another woman thereafter. Two years ago he was blackmailed into marrying Megs when her brother threatened to expose to all that Godric was the elusive Ghost of St. Giles. He was fairly set in his ways and was content to lead a separate life from his current wife. He had no intention of ever starting anything with her. He was the Ghost of St. Giles, "protector of the weak, a predator to be feared." He saved people. What he didn't realize, was that someone needed to save him.

This is the fifth book of the Maiden Lane series. If you haven't read the previous books, you will probably feel like you missed something and you'd be right. Some of what happened in this book is based off of what has happened in some of the previous books. I recommend reading the series in its entirety.

This was such a fun and delightful read. From the very first chapter we get a hint of a spark between Megs and Godric. I found it rather charming. Upon their first meeting in two years,"suddenly something inside of him (Godric)--something he'd thought dead for years--woke." Likewise, "she'd never expected, when she (Megs) finally met him, to feel So Alive." Granted at this point Megs didn't realize the Ghost of St. Giles was her husband, but I loved it.

Megs was not a natural born seductress and that endeared her to me. I loved her determination, spunk, and uncertainty as to how to get what she wanted. I loved how each understood what the other was going through as they tried to put the loves of their past to rest. Love doesn't die when a person does. It tends to linger and keeps you within it's grasp sometimes long after their gone.

I absolutely loved Godric although at times he could have used a figurative smack to the head. I loved how he'd been true to his first wife and was very passionate in nature. I loved how at times Megs maddened him, and at other times, drove him crazy. He was sweet, kind, and at times rather jealous. It was fun seeing him come to the conclusion he wouldn't be betraying his first wife's memory by actually living and loving Megs.

Ms. Hoyt masterfully integrated The Legend of the Hellequin into the book, which I'm pretty sure she made up as I could find no reference to it when I tried to google it. The Hellequin, however, is a character occasionally used  in French passion plays that is easily identified and is described as being a black-faced emissary of the devil and is said to have roamed the countryside with a group of demons chasing the damned souls of evil people to Hell. Ms. Hoyt craftily used this creature to emphasize the inner struggle going on inside of Godric. Megs manages to drag him out of a state of limbo between the dead and the living where he doesn't seem to quite fit in to either. I additionally liked her use of the apple tree to symbolize Godric. Everyone thought him as good as dead just like the tree.

Why is the name of the book Lord of Darkness? Well, I believe it has to do with both the Hellequin representation of Godric and the fact that Godric was the Ghost of St. Giles. As the Ghost, he tended to stay in the dark.

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I absolutely adored Megs and Godric. The two just made sense. It was fun seeing Godric get unreasonably and insanely jealous and watching Megs put him in his place. I loved how each actually listened to what the other was saying and for once a couple actually communicated. Yay! I loved how each came to the realization of their feelings for the other gradually through the book and how Godric made such a grand gesture to his Lady love. It was very touching even if it was a crazy thing to do at the time. The book left me with a good feeling and a wish to read the next. There is a hint of what is to come, and I can't wait, but I fear I have to.

Now, I have to say the cover left me chuckling. In the book Megs initially thinks her husband looks rather old, but after looking at the guy in the cover, I'm wondering if she might need glasses? Perhaps it was the wig he supposedly wore? I don't know, but I found it rather funny.

On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scores a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol A wonderful blend of drama, healing, romance and, well, love. I HIGHLY recommend this one. I truly adore the series.

Oh, one last thing, I needed to share this lovely stepback. Isn't it gorgeous? *sigh*

Order of the series:

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