Series: Maiden Lane #5
Published by Hachette Digital, Inc. Genres: Historical
Reviewed by Shayna
In the slums of London, the masked harlequin known as the Ghost of St. Giles patrols the streets, protecting those the law has forgotten. Only a select few know who dons the harlequin’s motley. No one would suspect staid, bookish Godric St. John of being the mysterious masked avenger…least of all his wife.
Lady Margaret St. John has returned to London after two years in the country for two reasons. First, she plans to kill the Ghost of St. Giles, the man who murdered her true love. Second, Megs wants a child. To achieve the second, she must seduce the husband she hasn’t seen since their wedding day.
Chance made Megs and Godric husband and wife. Passion and Megs’s desire for a child make them lovers. But can two people who both have lost those dearest to them find love again? Godric may never have the chance to find out if Megs uncovers his darkest secret.
Elizabeth Hoyt takes readers on an enthralling journey of action, danger, and romance in Lord of Darkness. I began this fifth installment of the Maiden Lane series with high expectations and Ms. Hoyt met or surpassed every one of them. I flat-out loved Megs and Godric’s story and only sheer exhaustion made me put the book down during my first reading.
“Still waters run deep” seems to be a phrase that’s tailor-made for Godric. By all outward appearances Godric is the last man you’d expect to be the Ghost of St. Giles. He became a veritable hermit after his wife became sick and he was forced to slowly watch her die. In many ways Godric died with his beloved Clara, and his nights spent as the Ghost seems to be his primary connection with the world of the living. Then Megs comes into his house, turning Godric’s life upside down, and with her bright, exuberant nature, she slowly brings him back to life. Megs is simply divine as a heroine. She’s bursting with energy and has a wealth of love in her that needs to be shared. I absolutely adored her and she is someone I’d love to have as a friend, were she real.
Like Godric, Megs has lost loved ones. First her lover, Roger, was murdered and then she suffered a miscarriage. Megs’s unplanned pregnancy at the time of Roger’s murder is what necessitated her marriage to Godric. Even though they’ve been married for two years, Megs and Godric know next to nothing about one another. It was a joy to watch them fall in love inLord of Darkness. Ms. Hoyt doesn’t make it easy on them — both worry they’re betraying the memory of their loved ones by desiring their spouse — but the obstacles and uncertainty Godric and Megs must overcome are realistic. What I loved most about Megs and Godric is that, quite simply, they make each other happy. Every aspect of their relationship was a delight to watch develop.
Lord of Darkness is the fifth book in the Maiden Lane series and though Ms. Hoyt includes enough information for readers new to the series to follow along, I recommend at least reading the previous Maiden Lane book before starting Lord of Darkness. The groundwork for Godric and Megs’s story is laid in Thief of Shadows. In addition, the mystery of Roger’s death, the return of the “lassie snatchers” in St. Giles, and the origins of the Ghost of St. Giles are storylines that began in Thief of Shadows. It seems there are trilogies with overarching plot threads contained within the overall Maiden Lane series. The first three books, Wicked Intentions, Notorious Pleasures, and Scandalous Desires, had a running storyline and the same goes for Thief of Shadows, Lord of Darkness, and the sixth Maiden Lane book, Duke of Midnight. I love these mini-series within the series; you get the best of both worlds with them (tightly-written plots and the bonus of getting to periodically catch up with past favorite characters).
Lord of Darkness is classic Elizabeth Hoyt, meaning it’s unique, engaging, and leaves readers on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next book. I am almost cursing myself for devouring Lord of Darkness, as I now have a long wait until Duke of Midnight comes out. Fans of the arrogant Duke of Wakefield beware: in Lord of Darkness Ms. Hoyt delivers some tantalizing scenes hinting at what’s in store for my favorite gin-hating duke and the utterly fabulous woman who is to be his heroine.
Lord of Darkness is an incredible addition to the fantastic Maiden Lane series. I Joyfully Recommend Godric and Megs’s tale, for it’s an amazing, well-crafted story with an intriguing plot and a lovely, touching romance that I want to enjoy again and again and again. All in all, I’d say that Lord of Darkness is simply enchanting!