A man condemned…
Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown's soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he's quickly driven to distraction…
A desperate woman…
London's premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she's forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren't the only inhabitants - a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there's more to this man than meets the eye.
Out of ash, desire flares
Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he's forced to make a choice: his love for Lily… or the explosive truth that will set him free.
"Hoyt's writing is imbued with great depth of emotion ...Heartbreaking ... an edgy tension-filled plot." (Publishers Weekly)
"Beautifully written... a truly fine piece of storytelling and a novel that deserves to be read and enjoyed." (TheBookBinge.com)
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I'm Done with This Series
While Hoyt's writing is usually engaging enough to keep me going even when I'm not enjoying the characters and/or story, I just can't anymore.There isn't a book in this series (of seven so far) that I can definitively say I loved. I liked Megs and Godric's story (Lord of Darkness) best of all seven, but still had some issues with that book.I'd been hoping that Hoyt was going to match up Apollo and Phoebe in this story---imagine the opportunity for conflict with a blind heroine and a hero who couldn't speak!---but, alas, she introduced a character from completely outside of the "Maiden Lane" world (even though we haven't been in Maiden Lane for ages); a character who was insipid at best, annoying at worst. And, in this book, she also reintroduced the device of the Plot Moppet in the overly precocious and overly annoying Indio and his Italian greyhound, Daff. (And for a precocious seven-year-old, at times he talks suspiciously like a three- or four-year-old)---a plot device that I have never liked in any book I've ever read.As with many of the other books in this series, I never felt/believed any existence of chemistry (other than sexual) between the main characters. Apollo never lived up to the potential of being a "wounded warrior" character with PTSD the way he was built up in the previous book, which was really disappointing. I almost quit reading early in the series, but then I got Megs and Godric's story and regained the hope that the rest of the books would improve from there. Unfortunately, this didn't happen. So it's time to cut my losses and give up on the series.
I was really excited to see Ashford McNab back as the narrator of this book. She's one of my favorite audiobook performers, and I'd enjoyed her narration of the first four books. However, she (or the author or the director) made a couple of very disappointing decisions in two of the characters.The worst was with Lady Phoebe. It's bad enough that the character has gone complete blind over the course of the series. Did she now have to develop a severe speech impediment to rival Sylvester the Cat? I almost quit listening halfway through Phoebe's second scene, it was so bad. Phoebe has never had a speech impediment (this was more than just a simple lisp) in the other audiobooks, and it's not referred to in the book. So this was a poor, poor decision.The other, not quite as annoying (because she has little page time) is the way Artemis sounds like a bad send-up of a bass-voiced drag queen. the vocalizations of her dialogue were pitched lower even than Trevillion's or Apollo's, making it especially confusing when she was in a scene with a male character.While this doesn't put me off as a fan of McNab's talents, it didn't help any in a book I was already having trouble enjoying.
- Moriah "I love historical romances with an occasional foray into mystery/thrillers."