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)
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.
This was definitely the weakest of the narrators in the series . . . too bad because the storyline is very good. I completely agree with the reviews that state the narrator sounds angry all the time. She practically barks every line the Duke utters. Certainly some situations called for it but mostly the narrator's attempts to make him stern just came across as inappropriately angry. The love story itself was heartfelt and I'm sure in the hands of Ashford McNab I would have enjoyed it more. Still, if you've listened to the series, you definitely don't want to miss this story.
I love Epic Fantasy....have become a Historical Romance fan because I am a sucker for a good Happily Ever After. Good characters are a must
Yes I probably will...but probably the second half is what I will end up really listening to again. The first part of the book was a little slower than most of the past Maiden Lane books.
I thought it was hilarious when Scarborough, Penelope, and Maximus were discussing the color China different drinks should be served in. Very well written funny & sarcastic scene.
Yes....but hopefully she won't do the next Maiden Lane book. She has a pleasant voice. But I did not like the way she did the voices of past characters. She made them sound very pompous. I also did not like the way she portrayed Maximus. I never could fully "like" Maximus and I am not sure it wasn't because of the way she played his voice. She always made him sound very angry and so self centered I just couldn't get over it. I think if she had just used a little different tone every once in a while when he was speaking to Artemis I might have liked him better.
Obviously the ending was great. And the scenes in the woods between Artemis and Maximus were good. I loved that she again made dogs part of the story.
It's not the best book in the Maiden Lane series, but it is credit worthy and to anyone who has been reading the Maiden Lane series it is a must read!
Excellent in every way. Characters have passion and personality
Narrator is very good at giving each character a distinctive voice making it easy to follow along with who is talking.
Absolutely awesome!! Loved Maximus and Artemis. Loved Phoebe, Apollo and Miss Picklewood, simply because of her funny name.
The Maiden Lane series is one of the best I've ever read and I can't wait for the next.
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