When a masked man…
Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents. Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament. But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer. One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe-and won't back down…
Meets his match…
Artemis Greaves toils as a lady's companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress. When the ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads, she recognizes a kindred spirit-and is intrigued. She's even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious ghost is by day…
Desire ignites a dangerous passion.
Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother - or she will expose him as the ghost. But blackmailing a powerful duke isn't without risks. Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire - or the temptation of his embrace?
©2013 Elizabeth Hoyt (P)2013 Hachette Audio
"Elizabeth Hoyt has outdone herself." (Jennifer Ashley, New York Times bestselling author)
I'm not sure if it was just her voice but she made the characters sound like they were angry all the time even when I'm pretty sure it wasnt written that way.
What an amazing book. The book was suspenseful and full of twists as well as passion. I have enjoyed all of the books in the series, although they are not marked as such when doing a search. This book, however, is my favorite in the ghost of St. Giles series. I can not recommend this book enough. I wish I could have rated it a ten. The narration is also very good. Don’t hesitate in purchasing. A++++++++
Although I've loved just about everything else E. Hoyt has written, this novel seemed very different from the others. It didn't feel like it should be part of the Maiden Lane series. The way Maximus spoke to Artemis was so melodramatic it distracted me and took me out of the story. It might not be the narrator's fault since the writing called for it. My all-time Hoyt favorite is Scandalous Desires, with Mickey O'Connor and Silence Hollingbrook. BTW, I e-mailed Hatchette Audio to ask why Ashford MacNab isn't narrating these books anymore, and they said they couldn't comment on contractual issues. I ran across the fact that Ashford M. has a pseudonym, Polly Lee--just found 25 books on Audible!
I LOVED the story. What a great story. I know that I'll listen to this story and read it (I've bought both the audio version and ebook version) several, several times.
I did not like her voices for several characters. For instance, I didn't really like the voice she gave the Duke of Scarborough and I really didn't like the voices she gave to the valet and other minor characters. She does a good job for the major characters and her intonation and pacing are very good. Although Ms. Harris does a pretty good job, she is not Ashford McNab. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE bring back Ashford McNab. She is the voice of this series and I think the audio series was nearly ruined with the last book. Ms. Harris is much better than the narrator of Lord of Darkness, but she is still no Ashford McNab.
OH YES! I didn't get to listen to it in one sitting, but there's no doubt I could have if I would have had the time. I finished it in less than 3 days. A great, great story!!!!
Elizabeth Hoyt can weave a story and she ALWAYS leaves you wanting more and more and more! There are so many characters that we are just left wandering about that I'm not sure how I'll manage to wait until the next book comes out. I can't figure out how she will close the book on all of these characters and how many more books she will write in this series. What I do know is that I want them all NOW! We are left wondering about Penelope, Apollo, Ms. Royale, Asa (I think the next book is his story), and as always Phoebe. Sweet, sweet Phoebe - I cannot wait for her book and I'm always afraid Ms. Hoyt will stop the series before Phoebe finds her true love. If you are looking for a GREAT series, start with the first book in the series and work your way through them all. They are well worth the time!
This was another great story in an awesome series. I thought the narration was good but I wasn't a huge fan of her voice. I certainly made it through the book with no profound complaints so she gets an A where I'm concerned. Can't wait for the next book!!
Another installment in the brilliant Maiden Lane series, this book depicts Maximus Batton, the Duke of Wakefield and Artemis Greaves, a lady's companion. We first meet Maximus in "Notorious Pleasures" as the brooding and unyielding brother of Lady Hero Batten and we first meet calm and collected Artemis Greaves in "Scandalous Desires" as the lady's companion to Lady Penelope Chadwicke. Maximus is powerful and stubborn which is a very dangerous combination. His fierce determination to avenge his parent's death along with his guilt-stricken conscience force his every move, but his encounters with Artemis chips away at what he always felt was the "right" path for a Duke. Past events have redirected Artemis' path in life and now she must ensure her survival and that of her brother by any means possible. As her brother's situation becomes desperate, she stops at nothing to save him, going as far as blackmailing a Duke.
Artemis and Maximus' personalities clash, making their "courtship" fun to watch. Maximus is so used to being in control and to have his motives and actions questioned or even being told "no" is not something he is used to. Artemis, on the other, is in a position of servitude, but that role has not taken away her wit or her fortitude and she meets him head-to-head. As always with Hoyt's stories, the romance is sweet and spicy (the Duke talks dirty in bed) with strong lead characters. I gave this book a 3.5 stars because it felt like this was a transition novel. One where the over-arching plot that was carried through several books is now resolved and a new one is being established with new characters to continue the series. I am definitely not opposed to this as I adore the Maiden Lane series, however, I just didn't feel like this book was a strong one especially with the books and characters that preceded this one.
Narrator: Claudia Harris
I am a bit bias because I love it when the same narrator (provided it is a good narrator to start with) reads for the entire series. This is now the third narrator for this series and I remember reading somewhere that this narrator is fairly new. She did an okay job with the overall narration, but I did have a few things that I didn't enjoy while listening to this novel. The distinction between the characters' voices and thoughts were not always evident. When listening to audio books, it is very important for the reader to differentiate between dialogues, narrations, and character thoughts by means of the narrator's variation in pitch, tone, inflection, etc. There were times when I needed the context of the scene to help figure out who was speaking. Sometimes when I would imagine someone speaking it would turn out to be incorrect at the end of the scene, throwing me off. This was my only complaint, otherwise, her pace and volume was exact, her accents were good, and she was easy to understand. I just hope we don't get a new narrator for the next installment.
I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
There are ordinary novels, extraordinary ones, superb ones, and then there are “Elizabeth Hoyt novels,” which stand in a category of their very own. Hoyt creates a world where pain is explored in equal measure as the power of love to cure and mend all brokenness, as in the Duke of Midnight.
The release of this book was much anticipated...I've been waiting for it for months! After devouring this book in 1 day, I have to say that it was worth the wait as it left me breathless.
I started this book with uncharitable thoughts toward Maximus Batten, the Duke of Wakefield, and there was a part of me that wanted to see him suffer in his love story (at least a little). In the previous book, the Duke spoke dismissively of Artemis Greaves (heroine) and I just couldn't wait till he ate his words.
Well, watching Maximus pine for the love of Artemis was a bittersweet process. I suppose it was bittersweet because Maximus really does experience a desperate and tortured love for Artemis, because when he falls for her, he can’t let her go. He’s tortured because in his silly, aristocratic mind, he just can’t marry someone whose brother is a “madman,” not to mention she’s a lowly lady’s companion. In his mind, he has to marry a woman worthy of his station to honor his father’s memory. Now, why he thought Lady Penelope (a superficial bumble head) was suitable, as his duchess, is beyond me!
Initially, the Duke makes a cerebral decision to pursue a courtship with the very superficial, "pretty-face-with-an-empty-head-of-a-cousin" Lady Penelope. Despite the obscene sum of her dowry, Lady Penelope can't hold a candle to the brilliance of Artemis who is more than beautiful. She is lively, brave, witty, intelligent and just awesome! I enjoyed the sweet moments where Maximus uses terms of endearment, such as “goddess of the moon & hunt” and then later when they become lovers, he refers to her as “Diana.”
Regarding their love scenes, they build up from sensual moments of sexual tension to unbridled, passionate all-consuming love. I don’t think there is anyone who can write such emotionally, powerful love scenes as Hoyt does. And the love between Maximus and Artemis is smoking hot!!!
Some of the treasures in this book include (1) the friendship between Artemis and Phoebe, (2) Brave and gorgeous Apollo (who needs his own book!!!) (3) Seeing some of the characters from the previous books such as Hero, Griffin, Isabella and Winter, (4) Having all 3 Ghosts of St. Giles together in the resolution working as a team.
In reference to the short story Hoyt embeds, piece-by-piece, at the beginning of each chapter, I think that the only purpose of those silly little stories is to showcase Hoyt’s intellectual and creative prowess. In that, not only does she have enough mental energy to create a riveting, well-written novel, but a side short story as well. Otherwise, the short stories are annoying and absolutely useless.
Lastly, I was astounded with the villain. Each time I suspected I knew who the person was who murdered Maximus’ parents, I was mistaken as the villain was not at all close to my original guess.
In sum, what begins as an attempted blackmail of the duke, on behalf of Artemis, ends with a conclusion worthy of tears for it’s absolute triumph in love.
Narrator: Claudia Harris was fabulous. I really enjoyed this audiobook and the narrator made the experience complete.
The worst part now is the wait for the next book.......ARG!!!!!
The duke more than anything. I loved his strong character and protectiveness.
I really cannot think of one off hand.
No - the book Darling Beast which is the next in the series will take care of that.
I love, love, love the Maiden Lane series. Unfortunately the last couple have had very poor narrators and I don't think I can go through that anymore. I do hope Darling Beast comes out with a good narrator - I just can't make myself listen to another great story butchered by a poor narrator - so sad. I wish the powers that be would respect the impact narrators make on a book - they can make it or break it!
Read from October 19 to 25, 2013
3.75 stars (book)
4 stars (narrator)
Claudia Harris is a better narrator than the one who read the previous book, but she's no Ashford McNab.
I liked this book . . . and I didn't like this book. I loved both of the main characters, Maximus and Artemis, from their appearances in other books in the series; and, while, in the beginning of the book (and in the previous book) I could sense chemistry and romantic tension between them, it very quickly dissipated and became a story about two people who shouldn't have been together.
Or maybe they should---but not because there was a deep sense of true love between them. That's just how ambivalent I feel about the relationship between them.
I've read plenty of historical romance novels that are retellings of fairy tales, but I've never read one that's a retelling of a superhero story---and this lacked only someone comparing Maximus to a bat out loud. It wasn't even thinly veiled--he even had a "bat cave" workout room in the cellar of his town house.
When he was 14, his parents were murdered in front of him in the "bad part of town" after the opera and he's now spent the rest of his (very privileged, wealth-filled) life seeking revenge on the person who murdered his parents---to the point at which he finds someone who takes him in and trains him to become the Ghost of St. Giles---a man who "haunts" the bad part of town (St. Giles) and protects the innocent while trying to clean up the crime, which he sees as fueled mainly by gin. Why gin? Because he hid behind a barrel of it when watching his parents being murdered and associates the smell of gin with that memory, so, obviously gin must have been the reason why they were murdered, right?
No. They were murdered because his mother had figured out the identity of Old Scratch, a "highwayman" (is he really a highwayman if he hunts in an urban area?) who robbed and murdered in St. Giles because he needed the money and because he enjoyed it. Didn't have anything to do with gin.
Artemis is the longsuffering companion of Lady Penelope, whom we've seen and been annoyed by throughout the Maiden Lane series, allowing us to have plenty of sympathy for Artemis before we even knew anything about her. She's had plenty of bad stuff happen to her in her life, which would have broken many weaker-willed women, but it's made her stronger and, surprisingly independent. She's a strong woman, but with vulnerabilities, and I did like that about her.
So there are these two characters that I really like. And I love stories when the woman who's been kept or pushed down through no fault of her own gets a Cinderella-style happy ending. So why didn't this one work for me?
Well . . . I felt like she could have done better than Maximus---at least in the way that Maximus treats her when she finally gives herself to him. He tells her that even if he sleeps with her, he will not offer her marriage---he still plans to marry Artemis's twit of a cousin, Lady Penelope. He even uses that against her when she makes him mad at one point, talking about how his mother's emeralds will look beautiful on Penelope when she becomes the duchess. Throughout the story, he continues to deny her hope that they might end up together. It's not until the end of the book, when Artemis almost dies--because of him and his vendetta--that he decides to marry her because he can't live without her.
And the way his vendetta is resolved . . . that was just weak.
So, again, I'm a bit ambivalent about this book. I didn't dislike it as much as one of the other books in this series, but it's also not the best book in the series.
I can't wait for Apollo's book, which should be next, since he had viewpoint scenes in this book. My dream 'ship for him is with Phoebe, Maximus and Hero's little sister.
I really loved this addition to the Maiden Lane series, and enjoyed Claudia Harris's narration as well. I am eagerly anticipating the next installment featuring Apollo. October can't come fast enough.
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