Book Five in the Maiden Lane series: LORD OF DARKNESS by Elizabeth Hoyt
WHEN STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
He lives in the shadows. As the mysterious masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles, Godric St. John’s only goal is to protect the innocent of London. Until the night he confronts a fearless young lady pointing a pistol at his head-and realizes she is his wife . . .
BECOME LOVERS . . .
Lady Margaret Reading has vowed to kill the Ghost of St. Giles-the man who murdered her one true love. Returning to London, and to 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-the game is up and the players must surrender . . . to the temptation that could destroy them both
Excerpt of LORD OF DARKNESS
“I would be grateful if you stayed away from the Viscount d’Arque,” Godric said as he led his wife onto the dance floor. He mentally winced at his own stiff tone, but in this matter he could not seem to see reason.
She was his wife and he’d damn well not take her straying lying down.
She cocked her head, looking more curious than outraged. “Is that an order?”
He immediately felt a fool. “No, of course not.”
The music began, the movement of the dance drawing them apart before he could explain further. Godric inhaled deeply as he paced, trying to subdue the incredible wrath that had overtaken him at the sight of Margaret with d’Arque.
When the dance brought them together again, he murmured low so the other dancers could not overhear, “I know it’s hard for you, wanting a child, but this isn’t the way.”
“What way do you mean?” she asked carefully. Too carefully.
Nonetheless, he could do naught but answer truthfully. “With d’Arque as your lover.”
For a second her eyes flashed with wild hurt before she could shield the emotion, and he realized he’d just dug himself into a hole.
“You think I’m a whore,” she said.
A very deep hole.
But she whirled away, caught in the steps of the dance. This time he watched her anxiously, this wife he knew so little about. Had Clara ever thought she’d been so grievously insulted, she would’ve wept. Or perhaps stomped off. He truly didn’t know because he never would’ve gotten into a discussion like this in the first place with Clara. The very idea was ludicrous.
Margaret in contrast held her head high, her cheeks flagged with a becoming rose color. She looked like a goddess enraged. A goddess who might, if they were alone, assault his person—the thought of which unaccountably aroused him.
When the dance brought them together again, they both opened their mouths at once.
“I never meant—” he began.
“You convict me without trial,” she hissed over him, “and on pathetically thin evidence.”
“You were flirting, madam.”
“And if I was?” she asked, her eyes widening dramatically. “If every woman who flirted in a ballroom were deemed a slut, then all but nuns and babes would be thus branded. Do you truly think I meant to start an affair with the viscount?”
He hesitated a fraction of a breath too long.
Her beautiful brows snapped together. “You are the most maddening man.”
They were drawing stares, but he couldn’t let this bit of outrageousness pass.
“I? I am maddening? I assure you, my lady, that you are the maddening one. I’ve never caused a scene in a public venue before in my—”
“And now you’re on your second,” she flung back.
A childish retort, but also deeply annoying, as she managed to get it off just before they were forced to separate. Which, naturally, gave her the last word.
Elizabeth Hoyt‘s Maiden Lane series takes place in 1730s London, a world teaming with the sounds of church bells and hoof beats, violins and castrati opera singers, the shouts of street hawkers and the murmur of political intrigue. Coffee shops were bustling centers of gossip and news, at night you could find entertainment at the theater, opera or pleasure gardens, and everywhere the streets were crammed with people, carriages, horses, sedan chairs, and the odd flock of sheep going to slaughter. The poor lived cheek by jowl in dirty, crammed tenement buildings in the East End and St. Giles, scratching out a living by begging, prostitution, or thievery. At the same time the very rich strolled their gilded homes in silks, velvets, and fabulously embroidered brocades, intent upon flirtation and intrigue.
From guttersnipes to dukes, gin-shop sellers to the daughters of earls, Dragoon captains to Thames river pirates, the Maiden Lane series embraces everything about this fabulous time in London’s history.
Welcome to Maiden Lane!
Thief of Shadows
Lord Of Darkness
What do you think about the time period and place Hoyt has created for her Maiden Lane series? One commenter will win a copy of LORD OF DARKNESS
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