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 love to read but with my busy schedule I barely get a chance to. However, audiobooks allow me to "read" while I manage my crazy life.
**If you haven't read the previous books, then this has spoilers for those books**
Another excellent addition to the Maiden Lane series. This still remains one of my favorite series of all time. I can't wait for "Duke of Midnight."
We first met Godric St. John's in "Wicked Intentions," the first novel in this brilliant series, as the scholarly friend of Lord Caire. At the time, Godric was suffering through his beloved wife Clara's illness, standing by helpless to do anything about it. Her inevitable death pushes him into further isolation from those around him and he is eventually content to live out the rest of his days serving as the Ghost of St. Giles.
We are introduced to Margaret Reading in "Notorious Pleasure" as the spunky younger sister of Griffin Reading. In the last book, "Thief of Shadows," her clandestine affair ended with an unplanned pregnancy and the death of her lover, putting Lady Margaret in a difficult predicament.
To spare her the social repercussions of being an unwed mother, the ever resourceful Griffin blackmails Godric into wedding her. Because he has no choice on the matter and because he felt that the marriage would remain a contractual one, Godric acquiesces.
Fast forward two years and Margaret, who was sent to live in their country estate and who has since miscarried her first child, travels to London to see her husband so that she could convince him to consummate their marriage in hopes that she will become pregnant again.
I loved the way this story unfolded. Margaret and Godric are so emotionally scarred by the loss of their beloveds that they feel a huge sense of betrayal at the prospect of sleeping with each other. Although their characteristics contrast each other, their emotional despairs bring them in alignment and allows each individual's strength to aid in the other person eventually reconciling their loss. Margaret's fierce determination once her mind has been set and Godric's gentleness and compassion leads to the eventual happy ending that both characters deserve. This story is beautiful, heartfelt, and passionate.
I loved seeing the other characters, although I have yet to see Charming Mickey since the third book and I'm beginning to lose hope, but Hoyt makes up for it with recurring cast members that have yet to shine in their tale. I can't wait for the next story. Artemis has always intrigued me with the subtle way she defies her nauseatingly superficial yet entertainingly funny cousin, Penelope. Also, it's about time the brooding Maximus find a match and although it would be hilarious to pair him with Penelope and see that relationship unravel before it had a chance to begin, I like the idea of the quiet yet strong Artemis and Maximus more.
Narrator: Emma Taylor
I have to say that I may be biased because the whole reason I found the Maiden Lane series was by looking through the other books narrated by the talented Ashford McNab. Needless to say I was sadly disappointed to find another narrator reading the Maiden Lane series and it did dampen my experience a bit.
Although Taylor does a fine job with accents, her pace was off and inconsistent. I generally listen to audiobooks at 1.5x speed and she was either too slow at normal speed or almost too fast and choppy at 1.5x speed. Also she kept pronouncing Godric's last name incorrectly; splitting the name into two words "Saint John" as opposed to "SIN-jun." Overall, I don't think other people would notice or mind.
Firstly, let's have some culpability here - so whoever's to blame at Hachette Audio/Audible for choosing Emma Taylor to narrate this book should be transferred to a Janitorial job because they obviously don't know their job.
I have loved all the previous books in the series and had this one on a pre-order, I couldn't wait - but unfortunately, and purely because of the narration, I found this one to be hard going - I even listened to a few chapters, stopped, listen to another book, then came back to this and I've never done this with any of Ms Hoyt's books before.
So, for this reason, it's very hard to judge whether it's been a really good book because the voices of the characters (as we, the listeners know) can make or break a listen and, as I seemed to dislike most of the characters purely by the way they were portrayed by ET, it's so difficult to get passed this. However I must and did, there's tragedy, loss, danger but then comes awakenings, laughter, desire, joy and, of course, passion. As with all the Maiden Lane series there's a good plot with thrills along the way.
Worth a credit? Yes because I'm invested in the series but please please please go back to Ashford MacNab and, as for ET - well she can go home.
I'm addicted to audiobooks. I've listened to probably 300 (maybe more) audiobooks most of which are historical romances. Listening is much easier than reading and you can do other things while listening. When reading you can't do anything but read.
No - I'll never buy another book narrated by Emma Taylor. She's terrible.
I didn't enjoy the story very much at all because the narration was so bad. I've still got 4 hrs to go and I'm looking into the buying the book on my Nook to finish it. I'm just not sure I can suffer through 4 more hours.
Ashford McNab, Rosalyn Landor, Helen Stern, Rebecca DeLeeuw, Anne Flosnik
Not really. I seriously doubt that I ever listen to this book again. That's unfortunate because I've listened to the other books in this series several times each. I've thought about returning this book, but I guess I'll keep it.
I'm not sure that I like the fact that more and more people are aware of who the Ghost of St. Giles really are. There are just too many people who know now. That makes it unrealistic for me. How can that many people keep this kind of secret?
"I wear a fez now, fez's are cool"
I was so looking forward to this installment, and when I saw that the narrator was no longer Ashford McNab I was worried. But I had some faith having listened to other series that had changed narrators and really enjoyed them, thought the different narrations added to the books depth. That was not the case here. The narrator sounds like a snotty older woman pretending to be a teenager with a giant brick stuck in an inconvenient place.
Her voices are terrible, if I had not listened to the other books in this series I would have ended up hating several of the characters,Temperance from the first book sounded like she was constantly smelling cat litter. Hero sounded like she was a timid bird and Lazarus, Lord Caire sounded ridiculous. I don't think there was a single male voice that sounded convincing or enjoyable.
At times I felt like she was in a rush to get through the book and at other times she would slow down to a crawl. Conversations were bunched, paragraphs became run on sentences. She had issues with pronunciation, and you could tell she didn't have a clue about the story.
I am tempted to return the audio book. I will most definitely not pick up the next audio book in this series if she is narrating it, not unless she gets some reading skills.
If there really was a need for a narrator change could it at least have been a good one? There are so many to choose from.
I think this will be the second time I have not wanted to finish a good story because of the narration.
The story is good, the characters are some of my favorites and Elizabeth Hoyt is entertaining and has fast become one of my go to romance authors. I will be buying the book in a different format and hoping that the publisher gets a different narrator for the next book in this series.
I am not happy that I am giving this book so few stars and that it has nothing to do with the story and everything to do with the narration. The whole point of an audio book is to be swept away in a story telling, not be driven to tears of boredom, frustration and annoyance.
Some tips for the narrator, try to sound less bored by the material, try not to sound like you are better than the material you are given, speak like you care about the people you are reading too. Speak with passion, and even pacing, pause between sentences and if you cannot do voices don't do voices, just speak with slight inflections to help the listener get the idea that a different person is talking.
Anyway, I think I have expressed my dislike for the narration enough. Buy the book in kindle or hardbound form, forgo this format at least unless they get a new narrator for it.
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.
What happened to Ashford McNabb? This narrator is horrible, i struggled to listen to the book. I actually stopped listening and completed two other books before coming back to this one. Good story, and this is a great series. The narrator completely ruined the audio version of this book.
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.
lol.. I usually don't review books unless I think they are really terrible and I need to vent. But in this case, I decided to write my review because I totally disagree with one point the other reviewers had.
I LIKED THE NARRATION!
I know?! I actually enjoyed it. I hold Ashford McNab's monotone in disdain! I loathe it. The only reason I listened to the last two books was because the story-lines were appealing enough to hold my attention. Her narration however, was terrible...I have no idea who you guys were listening to. And I think it's because I wasn't overly attached to her, that I took great pleasure in seeing someone else's name in the "narrated by" column.
I LOVED Emma Taylor's performance. I found it refreshing!..Inspired!..BRILLIANT!!....lol Ok, I'm laying it on thick, I know. But I honestly believe she did a fine job.
Oh, and the book was great too..
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.
No. I would not listen to this book again unless they come to their senses and have Asford McNabb read it. Just plain awful. It just ruined the series for me.
I could not believe there was more than one Ghost of St Giles!
Not the right narrator for this book. All the male voices were annoying, arrogant, not sexy at all. The female voices were ok.
Please have Ashford Mcnabb come back to this beloved series.
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