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.
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.
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.
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.
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