Saturday, March 16, 2013

REVIEW: "Lord of Darkness" by Elizabeth Hoyt

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

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository

For Ages 18+
Historical Romance
Grand Center Publishing -- February 26, 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 360 pages
Purchased from Amazon

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 the temptation that could destroy them both.

The night Godric St. John saw his wife for the first time since their marriage two years previously, she was aiming a pistol at his head.

I absolutely adore Elizabeth Hoyt's writing and have been a fan of hers ever since I read her debut, The Raven Prince.  Her current series, Maiden Lane, is shaping up to be some of her best work yet and Lord of Darkness really helps with that distinction.  It has everything that I have come to expect from a Hoyt romance: unconventional and flawed characters, tons of chemistry, multiple plotlines that come together as a cohesive whole, spicy sex scenes, and the unique setting.

For this book, Elizabeth Hoyt provided readers with two characters who have had a hard time in the series: Margaret "Megs" Reading and Godric St. John.  Fans of the series will recognize Megs and Godric from earlier books which is helpful for reading this one, but I don't think it is necessary.  These two have both dealt with serious personal losses and were forced to marry one another years ago.  Now, they are getting the opportunity to really connect with each other and try to make a happy life for themselves despite their earlier tragedies.

Megs has had a difficult time that really shows her strength of character.  Her fiance was murdered earlier in the series and, because she was pregnant, she was convinced to marry Godric in order to prevent scandal.  Unfortunately, all the drama caused Megs to miscarry her baby shortly after the wedding, and she has been grieving for it, and her fiance, ever since.  I think Megs is a classic Hoyt heroine.  She is kind, determined, and very intelligent.  Her main reasons for coming to London are to get pregnant and to get revenge for her fiance's murder.  She approaches both tasks with stubborn resourcefulness though not always with the most logic.  I really admired how she reacted to the changes in her plans and thought her handling of Godric and his grief was respectful and loving.

The hero, Godric St. John, had the misfortune of watching his beloved first wife die a slow, painful death from disease for nine years.  Like many, he reacted to this tragedy by shutting himself off from society and his family.  He really is a depressed, lonely man who feels like he will never find happiness again.  But, Megs's surprise arrival in London turns his world upside down in the best way.  He slowly becomes attached to her and shows off his protective side.  There are also moments late in the book where Godric shows how sexy and confident he can be as a hero.

I always believe that characters should go on some type of journey (physical or emotional) over the course of a book and both of the protagonists do that in Lord of Darkness.  Megs and Godric have to come to terms with their grief and eventually strive to find someone else that they can love even after thinking, for years, that they never would.  This book also focused on the journey they make as a couple by taking a marriage of convenience and making a true marriage of love.

Like most of the Maiden Lane books, this book deals with the Ghost of St. Giles, a mysterious 18th century "superhero" who takes care of the downtrodden in London's most impoverished neighborhoods.  I have really enjoyed these plots and how they have been used to connect the different romances.  Fans of the series will be excited to know more about the Ghost(s) and their history.  Also, there is the appearance of a third Ghost who, I think, will make for an interesting hero down the road.

One of my favorite aspects of this series, and all of Ms. Hoyt's books, is the Georgian England setting.  I absolutely adore the descriptions that appear from the clothes to the hair to the locations.  It is such a refreshing change from the Regency era (though I do love those!) that I always feel like I'm stepping into a new and exciting world.  The setting also allows Ms. Hoyt to showcase a mix of different classes which is a main focus of the Maiden Lane books.  There are a variety of social issues discussed in the series such as child labor, prostitution, poverty, and education of the lower classes.  And I think this along with everything else I mentioned in the review just helps push the book into a different realm of creativity and storytelling.

***4.5 Stars***

I love you, Godric St. John, and now I'm breaking my word. I will not leave you. You may either come with me to Laurelwood or I'll stay here with you in your musty old house in London and drive you mad with all my talking and relatives and... and exotic sexual positions until you break down and love me back, for I'm warning you that I'm not giving up until you love me and we're a happy family with dozens of children. --Megs

Wicked Intentions
Notorious Pleasures
Scandalous Desires
Thief of Shadows
Lord of Darkness
Duke of Midnight (Coming November 2013)  



  1. This one is one my to-read list, but I have to read two other books in the series before this one. I can't wait. Love it! Great review!

  2. Oh I can't wait to read this, since I have just adored all of Hoyt's other works. Its always on my wishlist. I also just loved the quote that you made me smile!

  3. Oooo, I'm very interested in this book now. I used to read historical romance all the time, but haven't read many recently. I am actually kind of picky about my historical romances. Annnnyway, this kind reminds me of The Last Duke by Andrea Kane. I don't think the story is at all the same. But in The Last Duke there is a masked hero who gives to the workhouses. It's not perfect, and the dialog is a bit much. But I really do like the book.

    Anyway, clearly I need to look into Hoyt's books.


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