Maiden Lane—Book 5
By Elizabeth Hoyt
Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: February 26, 2013
Warning—this review contains spoilers for those who haven’t read the
Lord of Darkness begins two years after Thief of Shadows ends. Two years after Godric St. John was blackmailed into marrying Lady Margaret Reading. In fact, the books starts off with Godric seeing Megs for the first time since they married...and she’s holding a gun to his head. Though, she has no idea she has her husband in her sights. Megs only sees the Ghost of
Giles, whom she believes killed Roger, the only man she ever loved.
Megs comes to
for one reason: to seduce her husband and conceive a child. She hasn’t seen Godric
since their wedding day, but holds no ill will toward him because she knows he
did her a great favor by marrying her. But now she desperately wants a baby.
She doesn’t expect to see the Ghost so quickly upon her arrival, but decides it
is the perfect time to exact her revenge. When the Ghost ends up saving her
life, Megs begins to see him in a somewhat different light...which of course
causes her to feel slightly uncomfortable and confused. London
Godric returns to Saint House just before his wife’s arrival. He doesn’t expect her to stay too long since his house is in no way fit for company. Because of his nighttime activities as the Ghost of St. Giles, protector of the weak, he prefers his privacy above all else. So imagine his shock when his wife tells him why she’s there! But Megs isn’t the only person who has felt loss. Godric lost the love of his life to a slow, debilitating disease only years before. At first he rejects Megs’s plea as he feels it would be a betrayal to his beloved Clara. Later, he tries to appease her in the hopes that she’ll leave, but by then he is already falling for her charms. When Megs discovers her husband’s secret, they make a pact to find out the truth behind Roger’s murder. But they must be careful as there are others who want the Ghost dead...
What can I say about Elizabeth Hoyt’s books that I haven’t already said in my other reviews? With each new book she releases, she always delivers the goods. I don’t think she could write a bad book if she tried. Lord of Darkness features two previous secondary characters who are brought together by a marriage of convenience. But even then, they aren’t “together”. Megs enjoys her life at Laurelwood Manor but soon longs for a baby and decides to throw caution to the wind and seduce her husband. I love Megs’s reaction when she first encounters Godric sleeping in an old, ancient armchair wearing ragged slippers and half-moon spectacles, and she deems him to be just as ancient. Ha! Of course, he’s not that old—that’s just what he wants her to believe. That’s what he wants everyone to believe, that he’s boring and stodgy. When she finds out he’s the Ghost, she knows that she and everyone else had him pegged wrong.
She threw her head back, her dark eyes shining, her hair already beginning to struggle out of its confines as she started pacing in front of his fireplace. “Until yesterday evening I thought I knew you. I thought you were a staid, elderly scholar who lived by himself in a much too dusty mansion and once in a while for a bit of excitement went out to coffeehouses. And then”—she spun at the far end of the room, waving her hands as if battling birds attacking her head—“and then I find out that you’re a notorious madman who runs about in a ridiculous mask and gets into fights with footpads in St. Giles, and, Godric, I really, truly don’t think I know you at all now.”
She stopped dead and glared at him, her breast heaving. Dear God, she was magnificent when she was in a rage.
He cleared his throat. “Elderly?”
“Elderly?” She mimicked him in a horribly high voice, which he privately thought was a bit unfair—he didn’t sound like that at all. “That’s all you can say?...”
Godric has been alone for so long that when Megs hugs him for the first time it is a shock to his body and mind. Both have felt the keen effects of losing someone they loved with all their hearts and certainly never expected to find that kind of love again. Their relationship slowly evolves from passing acquaintances to a deep understanding of one another and they sincerely appreciate what the other means to them.
“He may help people in St. Giles, but I think he does it at the expense of himself.”... “It can’t be good for a man such as Godric—a sensitive, moral man—to deal with violence so often. It’s as if he’s chipping away at his own soul.”
He could spend hours thus, simply watching the constant flicker of changing emotions across her face. She was so vibrant, his Megs, so alive with hope and love and happiness. If she left him—when she left him—he didn’t know how he would return to his old life.
It would be like living without sunlight.
Lord of Darkness is another outstanding, emotionally-charged historical romance from Hoyt. It is the fifth in her popular
Lane series, and while you certainly don’t need to
have read the other books in the series to enjoy this one, I would recommend
that you do in order to gain a greater understanding of the characters and
their actions. Plus, they’re all terrific books! Those of you who have read the
series will relish seeing some familiar faces and getting updates on previous
couples. Once again, Hoyt has produced another gem for my keeper shelves and,
once again, she has penned another book that I highly recommend. She continues
to keep me enthralled with the folks of Maiden Lane and if the snippet from her
next one is any indication, I will be enthralled again come November.