I did not read the series, that's why I listen to audio books I spend a lot of time commuting.
The suspense and romance!
After listening to the complete series and knowing the voices from book to book was important to me and then you went and switched narrators. This was very disappointing! The series is a great listen! I would recommend the series.
Imagine if you will a masked vigilante who roams the night to safe-guard the innocent from evil is blackmailed into marriage to a unwed woman from a good family, and even though this action on the part of the vigilante secures the reputation of the young woman, she suspects the masked man is the murderer of the father of her unborn child and has sworn to take vengeance in her own hands after she loses the love of her life and her unborn child. Unfortunately, she is unaware of one small fact…the same vigilante she has sworn to kill, is her husband whom she wants desperately to agree to consummate their hasty marriage after many years of living apart in hopes of having the baby she has craved for years. This is the premise of Lord of Darkness, with the magic of Elizabeth Hoyt sprinkled in for romantic measure. Godric St. James first appeared in the Maiden Lane series, Wicked Intentions, as a wizened, gray haired romantic, hopelessly in love with his deceased wife Clara. Although a mist of mystery surrounded the reliable character, I never thought he would warrent his own book. However, through this listen we see a change in Godric from a man determined to walk in the deathly shadow of his wife, to a man yearning to step back into the world of the living. Lady Margaret, “Megs” is just the woman to do it. Sister of the notorious Griffin Reading, Megs is a strong willed-young woman unafraid to pick-up a pistol or two to avenge her lost lover, even if that means going after the infamous Ghost of St. Giles. This was a wonderful listen with two complex characters thinking neither of them deserve or is good enough to simply ask for or take what they want from life in order to be happy. Godric shows a side of himself that listeners would not have expected from previous novels and even made me wonder, “Was he this type of husband with his beloved Clara?” My guess would be no. Only Megs could bring out that side of desire in a man who seems so much in control in every situation. The narration… well I can’t say it was the best, and it did take me a while to get use to since the last narrator did made the novel come to like so well, but the storyline was wonderful and I got past the narration once I got into the story. . Not to mention Hoyt gives the listener a tantalizing peek at the next installment of the series and for one I am saving a credit for the next one.
Narrator NOT awful as everyone says, but I didn't like how her tone deepened turning down at the end of each sentence making her sound like a bored aristocrat. Winter (#4) was the best ghost of St. Giles so reading 2 other ghost stories afterwards makes them very dull in comparison and may turn you off to the entire series in general. Therefore I recommend skipping around start with book #1,#2,#3,#4 skip over to book #10, #10.5, then go back for #6, #7, #9 then read #11 and #5, and end with #8 phoebes story. My personal favorite is #11 Alf's story but you can get that FREE on youtube. #4 is 2nd best, #10 3rd best & Apollos story #7 is the funniest i think. 5 & 6 are terribly boring. #9 has the hottest NON-sex scenes. Happy reading!
~ Paragraphs and Petticoats ~
Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt (Audio Edition)
Narrated by Emma Taylor
Maiden Lane #5
♥ ♥ ♥ ½ This story while good enough to listen to, seems to almost be a repeat of the last book. Another Ghost of St.Giles who is still on the hunt for the Lassie Snatchers, etc. Which I think made me become a bit bored. Godric and Margaret had good chemistry, but when the last quarter of the book seemed to be just them having sex over and over, I found they lost some of it. However, I also think the narrator had a part in this too. Her voice was ok to listen too but I didn't seem to get the emotions out of her as I did with McNab who had narrated the previous books.
Now while I felt Emma Taylor wasn’t as good as Ashford McNab.. I don't think she's as bad as other reviewers make her sound…I for one, have listened to worse. She does pause in odd spots during the sentence and pronounces words differently (ie Sin-Jun she says Saint John) but I got used to her and was able to finish the book.
I am hesitant to read the next book as it, yet again, has another Ghost of St.Giles. If I am being honest here, the first man was the best ghost so far. And now that SO many people know about Godric being the ghost, I find it hard to believe that he is still a mystery. I will have to read up some reviews and see what people have to say about the next book.
Meggs. She's strong willed but not a bitty-witch. Godric has the potential to be one of my least favorite hero types - the oh woe is me for whatever reason I can never love or be loved again, but Meggs doesn't let him slide so far in that direction as to be unlikeable.
Oh good heavens! I so wanted to like the narrator. Unlike for so many others, while Ashford McNab has grown on me, she's not my all time favorite, so I had high hopes for a different narrator. UGGHHH!!! Listening to her read is just short of painful! Her pauses are unnatural and stilted. For example: "She felt. As if. She couldn't. Catch. Her breath." Then she reads along all right for a while, and then starts that up again. It's like riding with someone who suddenly starts stomping on the brakes. No one talks the way this woman reads (thankfully!). Also, I agree with the other reviewer who said she makes Carre for an earlier book sound ancient and stodgy, but then most of her main male characters sound that way...he just sounds more so. I've got 7 more hours left, but I just can't bear it. I'll have re-read the paperback to refresh my memory before moving on to the rest of the series.
It made me laugh. I especially enjoyed the great aunt.
I love this series but when I heard the voice of the narrator, I screamed.
I'm not saying that she's not a good narrator, just not for this series. Even if she had started the series, I don't think I'd be listening to it.
So, I couldn't make it through the book. I literally skipped from chapter 5 to 19 to the second acknowledgements. I just couldn't do, so no real review from me.
I love this series but this narrator made it difficult to enjoy the book. She had a funny way of pronouncing things, it really bothered me.
Read from March 17 to May 20, 2013
I originally started reading this as an ebook back in March or April. Life intervened . . . and as I'd listened to the first four as audio books (read by the incomparable Ashford McNab), it was hard for me to get into this one in print. So I set it aside for a little while, then came back to it, downloading the audiobook despite the less-than-favorable reviews of the narrator (Emma Taylor) on Audible.
Review of Audiobook:
The only saving grace of this audiobook is the strength of Elizabeth Hoyt's storytelling. Emma Taylor as a narrator is made tolerable only by increasing the playback speed to 1.5x---and even then her choppy, monotone diction and weird pauses between words/phrases (with no pauses sometimes between paragraphs/scenes, making them run together confusingly) came through quite strongly.
Review of Story:
As expected, from the epilogue at the end of Thief of Shadows, I enjoyed this book more than I'd enjoyed that one. I liked Megs from the previous books. Godrick took a little getting used to as a character, but I came to love him right along with Megs, which is exactly what I want in a romance novel. I really appreciated the fact that this was a "falling in love" story---as in, the two characters have known each other for a while before the story begins. It's so rare to see that in romance novels these days. It's also rare to see a romance novel in which both the hero and heroine are sexually experienced without either of them being flagrant or promiscuous about it. Though Megs's experience was outside of marriage, it was with a man she loved and intended to marry. Godrick, whose past before he married his first wife we do not know, remained faithful to her memory all these years. So when the two of them come together to fulfill Megs's wish to have a child, the awkward moments are built out of their personalities/pasts rather than the standard tropes of the heroine "losing her innocence" or the hero "teaching her pleasure." Hoyt is able to use it as a time to more deeply explore and develop these two characters in keeping with their backstory and the ultimate goal of the novel: their happily-ever-after ending.
The one thing that has started to annoy me in this series is the inclusion of the POV of one (or both) of the characters of the next book in the series . . . especially when that character has no connection to the main events of the current story. Artemis Greaves had nothing to do with Megs and Godrick's relationship, so her POV scenes were jarring and brought a halt to the momentum of the Megs-Godrick/Ghost plot. Also, it was quite obvious from Artemis's first POV scene exactly whom her hero would be in the next story. Hoyt already uses the epilogue in each book to set up the next one. I saw no reason for Artemis to have several viewpoint scenes throughout the body of the novel as well.
Alright, so it wasn't Ashford MacNab but Emma Taylor was a decent replacement. I suppose the different opinions are what makes the world go round but truly, Emma Taylor wasn't that bad. At least she doesn't overact like Anne Flosnik. And we can't expect that every character from past books are going to sound exactly the same in future books. And by the way, Hellequins are the predecessors of Harlequins and they are two different things so it wasn't a mispronunciation.
The story was a good story although I found the beginning a bit incongruent with the subsequent story. For a man who professed to so love his dead wife that he would forsake all others and remain celibate, he certainly changed his mind in a hurry. I thought that part of the story could have played out more naturally. Otherwise, it was a pleasure to see Godric come to life, to see Megs appreciate him and to enjoy the journey of healing they both traveled together.