Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt
Book Five of the Maiden Lane series
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
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.
What I Liked:
Let me start by saying that I had NO IDEA that this book was the fifth of a series. Therefore, when I found out that there were four novels before it, I was scared that I had requested a book, and I wouldn't be able to understand what was going on. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that when I began reading the book, I understand everything like this was a standalone novel! I searched the other books and realized that while this book is the fifth in the series, each of the books are companion novels, not novels that build on each other. So, you can read this book without reading the others!
I love the two protagonists of this book. This book is written in third person limited, in which readers get to read from Margaret's side, and from Godric's side. I really like Godric, especially because of what he tries to do during the night - save children from "lassie snatchers", and other heroic deeds. Godric handles Margaret's intrusion very well, as well as all of her shenanigans (and trust me, she has very many of those). I think Godric is very noble, as he complies to Margaret's requests, even though they are not really the normal husband and wife. He isn't your typical historical romance male - he is tortured, bitter, and closed-off, and yet, he is stoic, understanding, and very courageous.
I liked Margaret less than I liked Godric, but by no means did I not like her. She is such a vibrant person, quite the contrast to Godric's aloofness. She never gives up, and even resorts to strange measures to try to convince Godric to do as she asks. I think that her past and her problems are just as hurtful as Godric's, and I really like how she handles her past, and moves on for Godric.
This relationship, between Margaret and Godric, is not your typical historical romance relationship of lust, and then love. Godric does not show affection of lust towards Margaret for a good deal of the book. Margaret shows almost no sexual attraction to Godric for part of the book as well. The relationship between the two is so complex, because both of them have been through some much in terms of past love. I like how Hoyt allows these two characters to explore their feelings, but in a subtle, personal way. We don't really see the "romance" part of the book until deep into the book. But that did not make this book any less of a romance novel. I think I enjoyed this one so much because everything didn't go straight to lust and attraction and sex. The depth of emotions and feelings on Godric's part and on Margaret's part made their relationship very slowly built, but very strongly built.
Have I said enough? I love historical fiction, and historical romance is pretty much the only adult genre that I like in the adult age level (right now?). This book did not let me down.
What I Did Not Like:
Umm, there really was not much that I did not like. I really did not like how Margaret would use Godric, but I completely understand why she did (it still bothered me though). I did not like the completely random times towards the end when the author would place a part of the book in Lady Artemis's point-of-view. I don't even know who Lady Artemis is! There were two times (there could have been a few more)when the story would take a random turn to her thoughts, and I would just ignore those parts. I believe they are hinting towards the next book, but I don't think that those passages and point-of-view switches are at all necessary.
Would I Recommend It:
YES! Calling all historical romance lovers! This book is definitely for you! And I didn't mention this, but believe me, the hot scenes are, well, just that: HOT.
4 stars. If you like historical romance, don't miss this one!