Format: epub (provided by NetGalley)
Release Date: February 26, 2013
WHEN STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
He lives in the shadows. The mysterious masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles, his only goal is to protect the innocent of London. Until the night he confronts a fearless lady pointing a pistol at his head—and realizes she is his wife . . .
Lady Margaret Reading has vowed to kill the Ghost of St. Giles—the man who murdered her one true love. Returning to London, and the man she hasn’t seen since their wedding day, Margaret does not recognize the man behind the mask. Fierce, commanding, and dangerous, the notorious Ghost of St. Giles is everything she feared he would be—and so much more . . .
DESIRE IS THE ULTIMATE DANGER
When passion flares these two intimate strangers can't keep from revealing more of themselves than they had ever planned. But when Margaret learns the truth—that the Ghost is her husband, Godric St. John—the game is up and the players must surrender... to the temptation that could destroy them both.
Die hard fans of Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series will recognize Godric and Margaret "Megs" from their brief appearance in Thief of Shadows. Godric was devastated after the death of his wife Clara and Megs found herself on the brink of ruin when her lover and secret fiance was murdered, reportedly by the Ghost of St. Giles. It was revealed at the end of Thief of Shadows that Godric also masqueraded as a Ghost of St. Giles and blackmailed into marrying Megs by her brother Griffin.
When Lord of Darkness begins, Godric and Megs have been married for two years but have been living apart, when Megs decides that she wants two things, revenge for the death of her lover and a child. She journeys to London to seduce the husband she barely knows and find her lover's killer who she believes is the Ghost of St. Giles.
What struck me as incredibly sweet and heartbreaking at the same time is how much Godric and Megs have in common. They've both tragically lost people they loved dearly and have closed themselves off to love, so it comes as a surprise when they find themselves attracted to one another.
Godric is a wonderful character. Solid, strong and unlike many men of that time and even now. Here he was, forced to marry a woman he didn't know, didn't love, who was mourning the death of her lover and pregnant with her lover's child. Yet, he didn't blame Megs for his situation, or treat her with anything other than respect and consideration. He never became angry at her when she mentioned her lover or the child she lost, he was sympathetic and kind. He didn't hold her past over her as a means to control her either. Because he loved his first wife so much and it broke him when she died, he understood Megs' heartbreak. He had me in love with him within the first few chapters!
Then there's Megs. She may be quite a bit younger than Godric but she isn't a silly, immature ninny that cares more about herself than others. She starts out wanting and needing a child but she immediately starts to see that her husband just might need something too. She's a very giving, warm and accepting character who isn't perfect but both she and Godric try to make the best of their marriage and end up discovering that life is still worth living. She's lively and expressive but also courageous, daring and unusually calm in dangerous situations. She makes a great partner for Godric AND the Ghost.
There's still action and adventure in Lord of Darkness but it seems to take a back seat to the relationship between Godric and Megs, which makes the story work better than if it had been the reverse. Godric and Megs need to move past their losses and build a new relationship with each other. Even as the plot for Lord of Darkness unfolds and Godric gets to know his wife better, author Elizabeth Hoyt begins to drop hints as to the personality and later, the identity of the third Ghost. She excels at grasping and holding a readers' attention.
Hoyt's books have never disappointed me, she beautifully creates characters that are unique in their appearance, neither overly beautiful nor extraordinarily plain. Her stories are so tightly connected that they seem like one long, exciting book, rather than separate stories in a series. Lord of Darkness is a worthy successor of the wildly successful Thief of Shadows. Lord of Darkness makes an exciting addition to the Maiden Lane series with it's stoic but lonely hero Godric and his affectionate but heartbroken wife, Megs.
Lord of Darkness stands a really good chance of reaching the same level of success as Thief of Shadows. I am both terribly excited but saddened that after Lord of Darkness, comes the story of the last Ghost of St. Giles. But then again, Elizabeth Hoyt is a master of surprises so who knows what will happen after the last Ghost finds his match?
Add Lord of Darkness to your "Must Have" lists readers, it doesn't disappoint. If you've never read Elizabeth Hoyt, then what are you waiting for? Grab the first book in the Maiden Lane series and get started!