A man condemned…
Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown's soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he's quickly driven to distraction…
A desperate woman…
London's premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she's forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren't the only inhabitants - a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there's more to this man than meets the eye.
Out of ash, desire flares
Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he's forced to make a choice: his love for Lily… or the explosive truth that will set him free.
©2014 Elizabeth Hoyt (P)2014 Hachette Audio
"Hoyt's writing is imbued with great depth of emotion ...Heartbreaking ... an edgy tension-filled plot." (Publishers Weekly)
"Beautifully written... a truly fine piece of storytelling and a novel that deserves to be read and enjoyed." (TheBookBinge.com)
I love historical romances with an occasional foray into mystery/thrillers.
I found this to be an enjoyable read and a nice addition to the Maiden Lane series. I was eager to see how Apollo got his happy ending after meeting him in Duke of Midnight and I thought Hoyt did a good job. Lily was up to the task of healing Apollo and helping him clear his name. I really enjoyed Indio and the antics of his dog Daff. If you are looking for an entertaining listen to helps time fly I highly recommend this book. I only gave the performance 4 stars because I did not like Phoebe's lisp. In no previous book was a mention of her having a lisp mentioned and I truly hope that the narrator does not give Phoebe a lisp in her book (the next book in the series).
I don't think so. I have listened to the other stories more then once, but this book seems more like a standalone. It had very little of the other characters that I love to see appear again and again in the series. It brought in Phoebe and Artemis and Maximum, but only briefly. We also never visited the foundling home. I enjoyed the story, but it was not one of my favorites.
When Phoebe was in the story, she had a lisp. I had to go back and listen to her when she spoke in Duke of Midnight and she did NOT have a lisp. I really did not like the lisp at all. I will not want to hear her read like that in the next book, especially since she is the heroine! Besides Phoebe's lisp, I like Ashford McNab's performance.
I did listen to it all in one setting. I had planned my day (which actually included re-arranging my whole week) around the release of this book.
I hope the next book has more scenes with the families all together. Silence, Hero, Megs, Temperance, etc. I also hope there are more scenes with the orphanage.
I have listened to this entire series, and was waiting for this book for almost a year. I am not done listening yet, but I can tell you now that I really like the story, just as I've liked all the others.
I have listened to other books that this narrator has performed, and I think I remember liking them as well (though I don't remember, because it's been over a year ago that I read those books).
These great comments aside, I really don't like that the narrator, who narrated 4 other books in this series, gave Phoebe Batten, the Duke of Wakefield's sister, a lisp. I do not remember that in the other books, and I will have to go back and listen to her other readings, but I know in the last audiobook (the Duke of Wakefield's story) read by different narrator, that narrator did not give Phoebe a lisp, and it is the MOST annoying thing to hear it now! I really hope if Ms. Hoyt writes Phoebe's or Captain Travillian's story next, she doesn't have the lisp! Doesn't she have enough of an infirmity with being blind? I don't think she needs the drama of a lisp to add romance to her story!
I enjoyed the story but really disliked the narrator.
The narrator was horrible and the fact that pheobe had a lisp was very frustrating as a listener
While Hoyt's writing is usually engaging enough to keep me going even when I'm not enjoying the characters and/or story, I just can't anymore.There isn't a book in this series (of seven so far) that I can definitively say I loved. I liked Megs and Godric's story (Lord of Darkness) best of all seven, but still had some issues with that book.I'd been hoping that Hoyt was going to match up Apollo and Phoebe in this story---imagine the opportunity for conflict with a blind heroine and a hero who couldn't speak!---but, alas, she introduced a character from completely outside of the "Maiden Lane" world (even though we haven't been in Maiden Lane for ages); a character who was insipid at best, annoying at worst. And, in this book, she also reintroduced the device of the Plot Moppet in the overly precocious and overly annoying Indio and his Italian greyhound, Daff. (And for a precocious seven-year-old, at times he talks suspiciously like a three- or four-year-old)---a plot device that I have never liked in any book I've ever read.As with many of the other books in this series, I never felt/believed any existence of chemistry (other than sexual) between the main characters. Apollo never lived up to the potential of being a "wounded warrior" character with PTSD the way he was built up in the previous book, which was really disappointing. I almost quit reading early in the series, but then I got Megs and Godric's story and regained the hope that the rest of the books would improve from there. Unfortunately, this didn't happen. So it's time to cut my losses and give up on the series.
I was really excited to see Ashford McNab back as the narrator of this book. She's one of my favorite audiobook performers, and I'd enjoyed her narration of the first four books. However, she (or the author or the director) made a couple of very disappointing decisions in two of the characters.The worst was with Lady Phoebe. It's bad enough that the character has gone complete blind over the course of the series. Did she now have to develop a severe speech impediment to rival Sylvester the Cat? I almost quit listening halfway through Phoebe's second scene, it was so bad. Phoebe has never had a speech impediment (this was more than just a simple lisp) in the other audiobooks, and it's not referred to in the book. So this was a poor, poor decision.The other, not quite as annoying (because she has little page time) is the way Artemis sounds like a bad send-up of a bass-voiced drag queen. the vocalizations of her dialogue were pitched lower even than Trevillion's or Apollo's, making it especially confusing when she was in a scene with a male character.While this doesn't put me off as a fan of McNab's talents, it didn't help any in a book I was already having trouble enjoying.
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
Fabulous book. So glad to see the return of Ashford McNab...she is the voice of Maiden Lane to me..(even though I was not a fan of her Phoebe lisp)
Elizabeth Hoyt is a masterful writer who knows how to draw in a reader / listener. I didn't want to put it down.
It is strange to say in a Romance book, but the little boy Indigo and his dog Daffodil stole the show in the first half of the book!
I laughed, teared up, had many strong emotions because of this book. If you haven't discovered MAIDEN LANE...you are missing out on one of the best series of all time!
Get it Get it Get it!!!!!
I was very upset when Ashford stopped narrating this series. I was so excited to see that she was narrating this one. However, I was a little disappointed with the narration. It wasn't her best performance. As others mentioned I hated the lisp that Phoebe's character had. I'd say that she did better with the male voices. I almost felt like she wasn't into it. Perhaps a revisit to the old books in the series to get back into character is in order? I'll give her a 3.5--will rank as a 4 just because she's usually so stellar.
I've been on a romance hiatus for about 3-4 months now. I was weary of the same format and needed a break. I bought Darling Beast when it first came out but held on to it expecting the ‘same thing.’ Boy was I wrong and in retrospect Mrs. Hoyt has never let me down so why I lumped her into the general category is beyond me. If I had to sum it up in one word: AWESOME! I don’t know if I can wait until 2015 for the next book. It feels like torture already.
We pick up where we left off for the most part. I started falling in love with Apollo from his previous appearances. I was not sure how I would feel about Lily Stump initially. However within a few minutes of the audiobook I knew that she was special. I loved little Indigo and Maude—although she was a bossy bit of goods. Daffodil was a delight as well, I wonder if she is Miss Puppy Pie in fiction form. Artemis & The Duke of Wakefield also make small appearances but we do get a chance to catch up with them.
The guy who really stole the show for me was The Duke of Montgomery. Very unlikeable initially but he grew on me; I looked forward to his scenes by the end of the book. Although I still am not sure if he’s good or bad, I want to see more of him. There was a moment where he ‘thought’ about a woman more than he usually did… Maybe he’ll get his own book or at least have a reoccurring role. Asa Makepeace aka Mr. Hart and Edwin were great as well. I would not mind reading a book about Asa. We also get a healthy glimpse of Phoebe and Captain Trevillion. Overall a very likeable cast who kept me engaged and made me smile.
The plot was engaging, there were some things thrown at me that I did not expect. The dialogue between the characters was well done. We didn't see many of those misunderstandings as in most historical romance. Lily and Apollo had great chemistry. I love that she never doubted that he was a good guy. She stuck to her convictions and stood by her man. There’s so much to the story surrounding Apollo and ‘that night.’ I was pleasantly surprised when things finally came to a head (although I saw some of it coming, it was nice to see it play out). Of course we get our HEA and I’m smiling. I smile even more because I had an audio preview of Dearest Rogue.
Is it 2015 yet? I'm so looking forward to the next masterpiece.
One of the best in the series IMO. Please keep steaming ahead Miss Hoyt, you do this genre JUSTICE! I ♥ Maiden Lane!
Overall: Story: 5, Narration: 3.5
I enjoyed this next book in the series although it was not about the Ghost of St. Giles, it was nice to continue where the last book left off.
The narrator should have listened to the previous books because her interpretation of the regular characters' voices was wretched. Giving Artemis such a smokey, slow voice was horrid and giving Phoebe a lisp! I almost had to skip through those parts. It was such a travesty and so out of character for Phoebe. Phoebe is a strong, smart, wonderful young women who is blind. She has nothing else wrong with her. The narrator's choice to give her a lisp makes her seem foolish and child-like, simple almost. Please do not let this voice carry over into any more Maiden Lane Books!
Just a good story that I wasn't sure where it was going...I expected x scene and they went to z, and then Captain T was in it and I learned more about Duke Montgomery. DON"T listen to critics...I enjoyed this book so much that I've just used my last 2 credits for books 8 & 9. I can't wait!!!!!! :)
I originally didn't like the character of the Beast...I didn't id with him in the previous story, but I liked him in this story. The narrator expressed his thoughts so well...I liked Daff and Inino! And again...Capt. T and Montgomery.
Yes and excellently!
No extreme reaction...I had a lot of smiles. :)
Just an enjoyable book...helped me to relax after a stressful week at work...an enjoyable Mother's Day weekend read. Phoebe's lisp didn't overly distract since she wasn't in the book too long. I first listened to Phoebe's story due to lisp comments about this book, but the Beast was much better than I imagined. Don't be foiled by listening to stories out of order due to undue negative comments.
The narration was such a pleasure to my ears . The storyline kept my full attention and kept me on the edge of my seat. I fell in love with these characters. I have love the entire series so far! Strongly suggest this entire series !
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