Friday, April 12, 2013

Lord of Darkness

Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt

Lady Margaret Reading and Godric St. John were forced to marry two years ago when she became pregnant and her fiance, Lord Roger Fraser-Burnsby, is murdered in St. Giles. In her grief Megs goes to the St. John country estate to live with Godric's step-mother and half- sisters and she miscarries her unborn child. Two years later she decides she would like a child of her own so she surprises Godric in London, determined to become pregnant while not betraying the love for her former fiance. Godric is also recovering from the loss of a spouse; his deceased wife Clara was the love of her life before she died slowly and painfully of a wasting disease and he too has vowed never to betray her memory. He has thrown himself into his work as the Ghost of St. Giles and has no time for friends or family now that he is trying to track down more lassie snatchers that have begun operating again. But Megs knows how to make herself difficult to ignore, bringing laughter and happiness into his dark and dreary existence. Unfortunately Megs is out to get revenge on the Ghost because she believes he killed her fiance.

When Megs finally gathers the courage to ask Godric to help her get pregnant he turns her down, telling her that he is celibate in remembrance of Clara. However, when Megs make an excursion into St. Giles to hunt for the ghost she is startled to find herself in the Ghost's embrace, so much so that she stabs him and belatedly discovers that her husband is the Ghost. This discovery/ revelation brings the two of them closer together and Godric agrees to help Megs discover who killed Roger and he will impregnate her, if she agrees to return to the safety of the country once she is pregnant. Megs agrees but their coupling is awkward at first because of her fear of the growing feelings she has for Godric. As Godric becomes closer to finding the lassie snatchers and Roger's murderer he is terrified of losing Megs. Both of them have learned that falling in love with each other does not mean they love their previous partners any less and they work together to unravel the mysteries of St. Giles so they can plan for their happily ever after.

Meg was lively and energenic in a very real way that made it impossible not to like her; she had a genuine love for those around her and was passionate about gardening and other people being happy. Godric was the perfect mix of brooding, vulnerability, and masculine strength and I absolutely loved him. They both had a very well done melancholy regarding their past lovers and it was remarkably well done; both of them were suffering and worried about betraying the memory of those they loved. They worked together to overcome these feelings and came to understand that those they loved would have wanted them to be happy- and it was done in a way that didn't seem corny. I think the tragedy from Megs past also helped her work past the defenses that Godric had built up around himself and made her more sympathetic to what he was going through with his family and as the Ghost. It was better that she was not just a happy go lucky girl who saved the tortured hero.

Their relationship was beautifully written as the two of them spent a lot of time together, getting to know each other and enjoying being in each other's company. I felt like there was a nice mix of emotional connection and happiness between them in their relationship. There was a lot of sex between them and Hoyt is back in fine form because it is smoking hot; she goes above and beyond most historical romance novels sex and takes it to another level while still keeping it away from porn. My problem with the book lies in the entire Ghost plot because I realize I am getting tired of St. Giles and, although I loved them all in their own novels, I am tired of the same people. To make matters even worse, the matter of the lassie snatchers was the exact same problem that Ghost in the last story was trying to solve! She's recycling plots! I'm glad that the Ghost plot took a backseat to the relationship, but wish that it had taken up even less of the story. Hoyt sets up the next book in the series beautifully, but I'm wary of another book about the Ghost of st. Giles.

Rating: Wonderful relationship with completely meant for each other characters, but a recycled side plot that I'm quickly getting tired of made me unhappy.

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