Three men who made a sacred pact years before: to defend and protect the innocent of St. Giles - no matter the cost to themselves...
Since the death of his first wife, Godric St. John has devoted his nights to protecting the innocent of London disguised as the notorious Ghost of St. Giles. When Lord Griffin Reading discovers Godric's secret double life he presents him with an offer he can't refuse, and Godric finds himself married to a young - and pregnant - stranger.
Two years ago Lady Margaret "Megs" Reading lost both her lover and her unborn child - but not before being forced into a marriage of convenience with Godric St. John, an older, dour gentleman she barely knew. No longer content to spend her days at her husband's country estate, Megs leaves for London to get the two things she wants most: to find and bring to justice the man who murdered Roger, her lover, and to have a child of her own. But in order to conceive a baby, she's going to have to seduce the husband she hasn't seen since their marriage breakfast. (Maiden Lane, Book 5)
©2013 Elizabeth Hoyt (P)2013 Hachette Audio
I like all the Elizabeth Hoyt's book, and I especially liked #4 in the Maiden Lane Series and was looking forward to this, #5. The narrator has changed, though, and she makes all the men sound like pompous arses and all, frankly, identical, so sometimes it's hard to keep track of who is talking (ie St. John and Lord Caire (who has gone from sounding intriguing in Wicked Intensions to pompous)). I've become spoiled by other books (#4 and #5 Fever Series) where a male narrator reads the male parts, and a female reads the female parts. So this is an ok listen, but I imagine I'll read it, just so I don't hear Ms. Taylor's pompous men voices. Oh well, it's a change from certain books where all them men sounds similarly luscious and virile and impossibly handsome (also not realistic).
So buy the book for the continued story and funny comments "it fell between them like a dead Halibut" [Sorry, but I did laugh at that one] and accept the narration.
Also, this narrator says "St. John" when the previous narrator said "Sin-Jin" which is the, I think, more correct old fashioned pronunciation. So this is really more of a criticism of the Director -- be consistent? And "Hell-a-quin" vs. "Har-le-quin". Again, the lack of consistence across the books is annoying.
The story itself was great. Have enjoyed the Maiden Lane tremendously so far, with fine performances by the previous narrator Ashford McNab. Well-written characters, emotionally engaging. Unfortunately Emma Taylor frequently annoyed with her appalling attempts at an English accent (hearing her ludicrous pronunciation of "lassie snatchers" nearly drove me to stop listening on a number of occasions).
Unlikely, but especially not if she's attempting English accents.
Debatable - probably would have been better if I just read the book instead.
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.
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
Okay, first off .... yes the new narrator is not nearly as good as Ashford but she's not the worst i have ever heard. Unfortunately she makes pretty much every one of the men sound really POMPUS and a lot of the women, especially the ones that we've seen in the past 4 books. That was a little disturbing. The biggest problem I had was the fact that she did make Godric St. John sound really old. She did change a few names but I was able to get past that.
Now on to the actual book! When I first realized it was about Godric St John I was a little surprised. I didn't expect him to be a main focus of an entire book so the first couple of hours I spent trying to wrap my mind around this and it wasn't the easiest thing in the world. But then, in Hoyt's amazing way, she convinced me and I started to really get into the book. I started to really like Megs a lot more than I originally thought I would.
I have to say Her Grace is one of my favorite characters in this book. I love how Hoyt inserts dogs in each book. Her Grace is hilarious. I think her interaction with Godric and Megs was so adorable.
While I usually don't mind the fairy tales right and most of the time enjoy the fairy tales....this books Fairy Tale I just couldn't get into it and I probably fast forwarded through most of this particular fairy tale. I don't know why but it just didn't do it for me.
Such a great HEA.....I had tears in my eyes. So wonderful. HIGHLY CREDIT WORTHY!
This book seemed to go on and on. Very boring plot. Was hoping for more intrique
Yes i would. In thw prince series.
No she never broufht the characters to life.
Nothing. Just made them more real.
Overall this series is great. Good stories, well written with just enough steam to keep them interesting for the modern women. Very disappointed that a different narrator was used for this book. Please, please have Ashford McNab return for book 6.
I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
This is a beautiful story about the second chance at love. Elizabeth Hoyt weaves a delicately, tangled web of emotions that both the hero and heroine experience when initiating a relationship for a second time after a powerful first love. Godric St. John and Lady Margaret's "Megs" internal, and very personal struggles are revealed and conquered with courage and tender moments that bind them together.
I admire Hoyt's ability to create rich characters that complement each other psychologically, emotionally and physically. It's a complete joy to see the unfolding of the characters' love for one another develop and deepen.
I LOVE Godric & I was so happy that his book was just wonderful. His love story was completely deserving. Godric is a strong, virile man who is a skilled fighter and natural protector of the weak & defenseless. He made such a fitting Ghost of St. Giles. He's also an intellectual man who has a strong capacity to love and connect emotionally. The loss of his first wife was tragic as Clara slowly died from consumption. Godric watched her suffer for about 9 years before she passed.
Megs is super-special and perfect for Godric. Although she lost her lover quickly when he was found murdered one night (2 years back as she was still young), her ability to survive her lover's death is ingrained in her person. Megs is a vivacious, full-of-life and determined woman. Her potent dose of beauty and love for others provides the perfect antidote to Godric's stubborn and set ways. The way both she and Godric are able to come together to heal & find closure from their first love is magical....just magical.
There were so many opportunities for this book to be a complete flop because whenever you're dealing with a deceived 1st love, it's hard to balance the memories with the new blossoming love within the characters. And, when you have two people who have lost their cherished first loves....what a challenge to make the story sound fresh without having to counter the memory of two deceived loved ones. However, Elizabeth was superb in how she allowed the reader to feel the emotional loss of both Godric and Megs without sounding tedious and stuffy. The depth of the emotional loss made the romance even more triumphant and unifying when Godric and Meg realize their insatiable need for one another.
The narration is a problem. Poor Emma Taylor, bless her heart, I'm sure she tried her best, but her voice for Godric was just disgraceful. She made him sound like a decrepit old man. It is a constant challenge to reconcile his physical descriptors in the book, & the cover with the voicing Emma provides for him.
I don't understand why the publishers did not see , or more aptly, hear the problem with Emma's narration. Why would they not use Ashford MacNab????? I hope she narrates Duke of Midnight....Please!!!!
However, the story and book is so amazing...the reader just has to get over the narrator's male voicing issues. Emma Taylor does do a good job with the female voices....so at least that piece of the narration was in tact.
I was so relieved when Megs found out early on that Godric was the Ghost of St. Giles. When she attacks the Ghost of St. Giles and fights him fiercely, it was such a great moment when he called her Megs & she just fell apart after realizing she was assaulting her husband.
Another tender moment was when Godric started calling Megs, "Meggy-Mine." That was so special since he had such a hard time referring to her as "Megs" instead of Margaret as he first insisted.
Elizabeth Hoyt should save her energy & stop writing the silly little fairy tales she embeds at the start of each chapter in the novel. On audio, it's such a waste of time. The first thing I do is figure out how much time each fair tale is so that I can forward it immediately without missing the meat of the novel. It feels like one of those advertisements before a presentation that you just can't wait to fast forward on utube.
I hope "Duke of Midnight" is released soon....I can hardly wait!
Another fun romance from Elizabeth Hoyt. The reader makes every man in the book sound like an idiot so you have to get used to that at the beginning and then just enjoy the story. LOVE this series! Get the other reader back for the next book.
The story is good. The narrator isn't. Ashford McNab who narrated the earlier books in this series would have helped a lot. Although it sounds as though she actually is attempting to imitate McNab's style and voice. A failure. Drat.
Can't tell you - haven't finished it.
She attempts to drawl out her words and ruined scenes that might have been nice. I'll have to read the book to find out. Her technique spoiled a lot of it.
I'll let you know when I finish the book - haven't bought the wood ware version yet and can't convice myself to listen to the rest.
Don't spend a credit on it. Read the book to avoid a poor narrator.
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