The Herd Archives

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

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

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.

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.

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.


Type: Historical Romance
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Oooo so, so, so many things I liked about this one. It was my first time reading Hoyt and, yeah, she's got a new fan. She had me right from the start with a bit of action and what turned out to be a marriage of connivence which, hello, one of my favorite set ups! The hitch in this one? Well, they're "married" but they haven't laid eyes on each other in the 2 years since their wedding day until one night on a dark road the chit holds him up at gun point. Talk about a dramatic reunion! lol

I loved both Godric and Margaret. He's an older hero coming in at 37 which I thought was a nice change of pace. He's grouchy and curt compared to her lively and exuberant nature which was...entertaining as she invades his quiet life in London, starts renovating his home and sets out to have his baby. They're such a pair together and really fit even with all of their differences.

There were a couple different things going on here that all sort of mesh together. Godric's hidden role as the Ghost of St Giles, who is a vigilante and goes about eliminating London's criminals and saving innocents, Margaret's determination to kill the Ghost of St Giles thinking him responsible for her fiance's death years earlier, a new dilemma of "lassie snatchers" stealing little girls and Godric investigating and then of course the coming together of Godric and Margaret. It's a packed storyline but it all moves so well together and keeps things exciting.

Things are a little different between Godric and Margaret. Before their quickie marriage of convenience they both lost the loves of their lives and they both still deeply mourn their losses. They both struggle a good deal being around each other, dealing with the attraction and feeling of guilt that they're betraying their former loves. There were some very awkward and heart breaking moments between them and man I ached for them both. Their journey wasn't an easy one at all but it was wonderfully done and Hoyt really made me feel their inner battles.

Heat-wise. Things were very uncomfortable at first due to their relationship and all the baggage. It wasn't hot or sexy but rather heart breaking and I think very fitting for them and who they were. Now, when Godric finally took control of things and forced them to deal and acknowledge what was between them, holy, it was GOOD!

I really enjoyed almost everything about the book but there was one thing that kept it from hitting 5 starts for me and that was the set up for the next book.I loved the actual tidbits we got and am really excited about getting to read the story. I even popped online while reading to make sure the couple was who I hoped they'd be. My problem with it was that it wasn't a smooth inclusion in the overall storyline. The transition from the main story to the secondary was very abrupt with no lead in. It just felt awkward and pulled me out of the storyline. I'm not sure if that's Hoyt's typical style or if it had something to do with me not starting the series at the beginning or what. But it was something that stuck out for me. Regardless though I am really freaking excited to read the next book in the series because the characters sound excellent. A Duke and a Companion that is far below his status.

Overall though this was an awesome story and one that has me eager to check out the rest of the series. I loved the characters and that their story really wasn't average or typical in any way. If you enjoy a good historical romance that'll get your emotions involved and have you cheering for the hero and heroine when they finally get it together this is one you should definitely pick up.

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What say you? 

Have you read Hoyt? The Maiden Lane series? What did you think?
Do you like marriages of convenience?
How do you feel about vigilante heroes/heroines that walk the line of doing good and committing crimes themselves to do it? 

20 comments:

  1. I love Elizabeth Hoyt. She always has such unique characters, either physically or personality wise. Her couples are usually two people who couldn't be less suited to each other and somehow she makes them work it out.

    I think you'd have gotten a better enjoyment out of Lord of Darkness if you had started the series from the beginning, or at least read Thief of Shadows first (which is one of my all time favorites). I can't wait to see what you think of the other books in the series or even her other books in general.

    Adria

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    1. Oh I'm definitely going to go back and read them all. I got this one from the publisher for review and didn't have enough time to fit the other four in first. But really she did a great job and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

      I love the very mix matched pairings in romance in general so very excited to hear that's the norm for her. Thanks for the heads up on that. Makes me want to grab them up even sooner!

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  2. I am not a fan of her books, though I have only ever read her very first one. I could not get over her coarse use of language, that was so age unappropriate. The dialogues really rubbed me wrong.

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    1. Hmmm I don't remember being all that shocked by the language. No worse than any other historical I've read I don't think. I'll have to pay attention to the next one I read and see. Sorry your first go of her books didn't go so well!

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    2. Aurian are you thinking Cheryl Holt maybe? I saw hers today and they looked not so, um, historically historical. Much wilder kind of historical. This one really I'd put right there with the rest of the mainstream historicals I've read.

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    3. Nope, I have never read Cheryl Holt. I have read the Raven Prince, and very much disliked it, enough never to want to read another book by her. Even though my best friends loves them to pieces.

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    4. Oh I almost got that one today. I'll have to try it and see if it's much different than this series.

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  3. I'm reading the audiobook version of Scandalous Desires for The Audies which is book #3 in this series and makes mention of "St. Giles Ghost". The hero is a scoundrelly pirate and the heroine a sweet widow who despises him - at first. So far so good. Hoyt really knows how to bring her characters to live so I'll have to continue on with this series and maybe even start it from the beginning :)

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    1. Yes she does! I'm loving the combination of heroes and heroines she chooses. There were some twists with the Ghost of St Giles that I really liked. Glad the audio of it's working. I'm looking forward to hunting down all of the books and seeing how all the characters earlier on met :)

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  4. Beautiful book cover. I have not read her books. Have always wanted too just never got around to it. So many books. LOL. Does like a really good one.
    Sue B

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    1. It is lovely isn't it? I really like the color combination. I'd actually never even thought of reading her until I got it for review and I'm so glad I did too because she's just excellent. If you give her a read let me know. Would love to hear what you think of it :)

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  5. I haven't read her books in forever. This seems like a good one to start back with.

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    1. I'd say definitely :) I have a few authors like that where I really enjoyed them but somehow a couple years go by and I haven't read them again. Always nice to visit an old favorite :)

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  6. Again, you're making it VERY hard for me to stick to my guns about getting what I've got read, before picking up anything else, LOL! On the list she went. Great review, Anna!

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    1. LOL I'm sorry Leah! But hey once you get all caught up you're going to have a nice long list of ones you want to check out!

      I'm so impressed with you sticking to your guns about it. I am an absolute failure with that. Went to book club tonight and brought home an ARC I was given and bought another one. Oops! I suck at leaving books where they are.

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  7. Same for me Mary Kirkland. I have read her, but it has been a while since the last time. I recall that I liked her. I always like her covers. Maybe I will have to see what I have on the tbr shelves of hers.
    Leah Weller, that happens to me all the time here!! haha
    lisakhutson(at)cox(dot)net

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    1. I really like her covers too Lisa. The colors are amazing and I love the connection between the characters. We have a bunch of hers at the store but not one in this series. Only her others. So I haven't brought any more home yet. Soon though! lol

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  8. haven't read any of her books before.. but i usually like the theme of 'marriage of convenience' and 'hero/heroine doing crime for good' in historicals. and i agree, the covers are good, loved it!

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    1. Oh Sienny then you'll love this one. I really liked how he walked that thin line morally. It was excellent.

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  9. I really want to read some of her books. I've heard nothing but good things. Maybe the next time I'm in a historical romance mood I'll start her series. But seriously, her next book is about a Duke? I love books about Dukes lmao

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I always enjoy hearing what YOU think so come on and leave a comment. Everyone's welcome :) And feel free to leave comments on old posts. I'll check in on you there too :)

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~Anna