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Monday, January 21, 2013

Early Review: Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt



Title: Lord of Darkness
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, book 5
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
“When Strangers In The Night 
He lives in the shadows. As the mysterious masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles, Godric St. John's only goal is to protect the innocent of London. Until the night he confronts a fearless young lady pointing a pistol at his head—and realizes she is his wife. 
Become Lovers... 
Lady Margaret Reading has vowed to kill the Ghost of St. Giles—the man who murdered her one true love. Returning to London, and to the man she hasn't seen since their wedding day, Margaret does not recognize the man behind the mask. Fierce, commanding, and dangerous, the notorious Ghost of St. Giles is everything she feared he would be—and so much more. 
Desire Is The Ultimate Danger 
When passion flares, these two intimate strangers can't keep from revealing more of themselves than they had ever planned. But when Margaret learns the truth—that the Ghost is her husband—the game is up and the players must surrender...to the temptation that could destroy them both.”
Lord of Darkness is the fifth book in the Maiden Lane Series by Elizabeth Hoyt.

Two years ago Lady Margaret’s life changed drastically, the man she loved (Roger) was murdered and when her brother found out she was with child she was forced to marry Godric St. John, a man she didn’t know. On the day of the wedding she suffered a miscarriage, that same day she retired to the country to recover.
After losing the love of his life to a serious illness the last thing Godric St. John wanted was to marry another woman, but when Lady Margaret’s brother blackmailed him into marry Lady Margaret, he can’t do anything else but to marry her. Gladly she left for the country on the day of the wedding and he hasn’t seen her in two years. Since his first wife fell ill he has lived at nights as the Ghost of St. Giles, helping people in danger at the risk of his own life.
Two years has passed since the Ghost of St. Giles killed the love of her life, but now Lady Margaret is ready to continue living, she wants to avenge Roger’s death and wants to have a baby, but for that last part she needs the help of the husband she doesn’t know.
Godric doesn’t know what to think about Lady Margaret’s return to his house. He suspects she has ulterior motives for her return, but his biggest fear is that she’s a force to reckon, one that could revive everything he thought dead in himself.  

Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favorite historical romance series, one I’m always looking forward to new releases, and Lord of Darkness wasn’t the exception, but sadly I have to say that this installment was my least favorite until now. I’m not saying it was bad, because it wasn’t, I really don’t think Mrs. Hoyt could write a bad book, it was just that this book was not as good as previous books, and for this I blame the heroine in the story, Lady Margaret.
My problem with Lady Margaret was that I didn’t know what to think or what to make of her, I liked her some pages while in others she did things that made me dislike her greatly, this went on and on, she felt mature one page and in the next one she was behaving like a ninny. One thing I liked about her was that she recognized when she was wrong and fixed things, another thing I also liked was that she was there for Godric when he needed her.

Godric is the epitome of a tortured hero. When his first wife fell ill and he couldn’t do anything for her he decided to help those he could, he became the Ghost of St. Giles and helped many while risking his life; being the Ghost of St. Giles was the only thing in his life that made him feel alive, until Lady Margaret’s return to his life. I really liked that he respected her and treated her cordially even though sometimes he felt she was usurping his beloved place in his heart. Godric is a man of honor and when he gives his word he delivers even to the cost of his soul.

The romance between Lady Margaret and Godric was believable, they fell in love while sharing daily life occurrences, it was never rush but perfectly paced. They are exactly what the other needed in his/her life to be able to believe in love and get back the will to live.

The storyline continues from previous book of the series, Thief of Shadows; the “lassie snatchers” are back in St. Giles and solving who is behind them would also solve Roger’s murder. I didn’t find this plotline as interesting as it was in Thief of Shadows, but still it kept me reading waiting to see the end of the villain.

Mrs. Hoyt also sowed the seeds for next book, Duke of Midnight. This will be the Duke of Wakefield and Artemis’ book. If I’m honest sometimes I felt more invested in the few glimpses of them than about Godric and Lady Margaret’s story, with that I could say I’m eagerly waiting for the Duke of Midnight release on November of this year.

Lord of Darkness could be read as a stand-alone but there is a lot of background story, for that reason I recommend you to read this series in order. Do not let this review discourage you, this is one of the best historical series in the market, and as I said before this book in not bad, it’s good, just not excellent as previous books.

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Wicked Intentions
Notorious Pleasures
Scandalous Desires
Lord of Darkness (Feb. 26th 2013)
Duke of Midnight (November 2013)

Other reviews Goodreads

3 comments:

  1. Hoyt is another author that I should try one day

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  2. This cover is beautiful! And this is book 5?! I swear it was just weeks ago when historical romance reader friends of mine were totally excited about the first book, telling me how wonderful it was lol.

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  3. Die hard fans of Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series will recognize Godric and Margaret "Megs" from their brief appearance in Thief of Shadows. Godric was devastated after the death of his wife Clara and Megs found herself on the brink of ruin when her lover and secret fiance was murdered, reportedly by the Ghost of St. Giles. It was revealed at the end of Thief of Shadows that Godric also masqueraded as a Ghost of St. Giles and blackmailed into marrying Megs by her brother Griffin.

    When Lord of Darkness begins, Godric and Megs have been married for two years but have been living apart, when Megs decides that she wants two things, revenge for the death of her lover and a child. She journeys to London to seduce the husband she barely knows and find her lover's killer who she believes is the Ghost of St. Giles.

    What struck me as incredibly sweet and heartbreaking at the same time is how much Godric and Megs have in common. They've both tragically lost people they loved dearly and have closed themselves off to love, so it comes as a surprise when they find themselves attracted to one another.

    Godric is a wonderful character. Solid, strong and unlike many men of that time and even now. Here he was, forced to marry a woman he didn't know, didn't love, who was mourning the death of her lover and pregnant with her lover's child. Yet, he didn't blame Megs for his situation, or treat her with anything other than respect and consideration. He never became angry at her when she mentioned her lover or the child she lost, he was sympathetic and kind. He didn't hold her past over her as a means to control her either. Because he loved his first wife so much and it broke him when she died, he understood Megs' heartbreak. He had me in love with him within the first few chapters!

    Then there's Megs. She may be quite a bit younger than Godric but she isn't a silly, immature ninny that cares more about herself than others. She starts out wanting and needing a child but she immediately starts to see that her husband just might need something too. She's a very giving, warm and accepting character who isn't perfect but both she and Godric try to make the best of their marriage and end up discovering that life is still worth living. She's lively and expressive but also courageous, daring and unusually calm in dangerous situations. She makes a great partner for Godric AND the Ghost.

    There's still action and adventure in Lord of Darkness but it seems to take a back seat to the relationship between Godric and Megs, which makes the story work better than if it had been the reverse. Godric and Megs need to move past their losses and build a new relationship with each other. Even as the plot for Lord of Darkness unfolds and Godric gets to know his wife better, author Elizabeth Hoyt begins to drop hints as to the personality and later, the identity of the third Ghost. She excels at grasping and holding a readers' attention.

    Hoyt's books have never disappointed me, she beautifully creates characters that are unique in their appearance, neither overly beautiful nor extraordinarily plain. Her stories are so tightly connected that they seem like one long, exciting book, rather than separate stories in a series. Lord of Darkness is a worthy successor of the wildly successful Thief of Shadows. Lord of Darkness makes an exciting addition to the Maiden Lane series with it's stoic but lonely hero Godric and his affectionate but heartbroken wife, Megs.

    Lord of Darkness stands a really good chance of reaching the same level of success as Thief of Shadows. I am both terribly excited but saddened that after Lord of Darkness, comes the story of the last Ghost of St. Giles. But then again, Elizabeth Hoyt is a master of surprises so who knows what will happen after the last Ghost finds his match?

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