Friday, October 17, 2014

Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

Welcome to my post for the Darling Beast book tour! I have a review coming up, as well as an excerpt and a giveaway for copies of Darling Beast. But, first, allow me to introduce the book:

Darling Beast (Maiden Lane, #7)
Release date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Forever)
Genre: Historical (Georgian) Romance
Series: Maiden Lane #7


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.



My Rating: 5 Roses

An absolute delight of a read that was both darkly mysterious and sweetly romantic, Darling Beast was a fantastic historical romance. From start to finish, it was an amazing read and I enjoyed it all the way through. Loved it!

Lily was a different heroine. She was a famous actress, unashamed of her history of lovers, and determined not to be treated less because of her station. I found her to be a very likable character. She was vivacious, independent, kind, and knew to look past surface appearances. I thought she was great.

Apollo was an interesting character. After being falsely accused of murder, he spent years in Bedlam before managing to escape to find the real murderer and clear his name. Rather than his experiences making him bitter, they made him determined to be a better person. Knowing everything he went through, he was a sympathetic character right off the bat but, as the book went on, I started to like him even more. He was very sweet and clever, wanting to be more than just a lazy aristocrat. Contrary to his intimidating size, he was gentle and kind and and overall good man. He was just wonderful and I adored him.

The romance was lovely. Lily and Apollo might have looked like an unlikely couple at first glance, but they were perfect together. They were both more than they appeared and they both understood that about each other. And the chemistry between them was sensuous and definitely turned the heat up. I thought they were a perfect couple.

The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. The question of who was behind the murders drove the plot as Apollo tried to find the real murderer to clear his name and kept thing interesting. And, there were a few secrets that took me by surprise. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was wonderful.

Darling Beast was a fantastic historical romance. Another great addition to the brilliant Maiden Lane series, this book was excellent. Romance lovers, this is a book you won't want to miss. 

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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Excerpt:

He dropped his satchel and took up the shovel, sticking it into the base of one of the dead bushes, striking at the root mass. The blade only went halfway into the soil, so he jumped with both feet on the shoulders of the blade, driving it the rest of the way down. He could feel as the blade sliced through the roots and he grunted with satisfaction. He’d spent part of the previous night sharpening the shovel to do just that. Gingerly he began prying with the handle—too hard a movement and he’d snap it, or worse, the iron blade itself. He’d already lost two shovels this spring.

“You don’t mind if I continue?” he heard Miss Stump ask. “It’s just that I need to finish writing this soon—very soon.”

He glanced up curiously at that, wondering at the worried line between her brows as she stared down at her manuscript. Makepeace had said she couldn’t get acting work at the moment. Perhaps this was her only means of making money.

He shook his head in reply.

“I’m only in the third act,” she said absently. “My heroine has gambled away all her brother’s money because, well, she’s dressed as her brother.”

She glanced up in time to catch his raised eyebrows.

“It’s a comedy called A Wastrel Reform’d.” She shrugged. “A complicated comedy because right now no one knows who anyone is. There’s twins—a brother and sister—named Wastrel, and the brother has convinced his sister—her Christian name is Cecily—to pretend to be he so that he might seduce Lady Pamela’s maid, and he’s engaged to her—Lady Pamela, not her maid.”

She took a breath and Apollo slowly smiled, because against all odds, he’d understood everything she’d just said.

Miss Stump grinned back. “It’s silly, I know, but that’s what comedy is, really—a lot of silly things happening, one after another.” She glanced down at her play, running her finger down the page. “So Cecily, dressed as Adam—that’s the brother—has lost terribly at a hand of cards to Lord Pimberly. Oh! That’s Fanny—the maid’s—father, and Lady Pamela’s scorned suitor. Although of course no one knows that Pimberly is Fanny’s father, otherwise she wouldn’t be a lady’s maid, now would she?”

Apollo leaned on his shovel and cocked an eyebrow.

“Kidnapped at birth, naturally,” she replied. “But fortunately she has quite a distinctive birthmark. Right here.” She tapped the upper slope of her right breast.

Apollo defied any man not to follow the direction of her finger. She had quite a lovely breast, gently swelling above the severe square neckline of her dress and modestly covered by a filmy fichu.

“Yes, well.” Her husky voice made him raise his gaze. Her cheeks had pinkened, but that might’ve been the wind. “In any case, I’m writing a scene between Cecily and Lord Pimberly in which Pimberly demands his money and Cecily doesn’t have it. And naturally he’s begun to realize he’s attracted to her at the same time.”

She cleared her throat.

He nodded, messing a bit with his shovel to look as if he were still working. Actually, he was beginning to fear that the blade was stuck in the roots.

Miss Stump glanced at her manuscript and slipped back into what he now knew was Cecily—the sister dressed as her brother. “Do you judge a gentleman by his bits, my lord?”

She turned and placed her fists on her hips again, in the wide-legged stance. “Pardon me, but I said chits.”

Turn. Her hands dropped. “And yet, ’tis still your manly bits we discuss.” She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. “No?”

He screwed his mouth to the side and reluctantly shook his head.

“Blast!” she exclaimed under her breath, bending to the paper. She scratched out something and then froze, obviously thinking.

He wasn’t even pretending to work anymore.

She gasped and then hunched over her manuscript, scribbling furiously before straightening, a gleam of triumph in her eye.

She tossed her head as Cecily. “Indeed, and would you know a chit should you see one?”

Now she was a baffled Pimberly. “Naturally.”

“Oh, my lord?” She turned her head and looked over her shoulder through lowered lashes at the imaginary Pimberly, all daring flirtation. “And how is that, may I ask?”

How?”

How does a gentleman of your unsurpassed perception differentiate a chit from a bit?”

And she batted her eyelashes.

The juxtaposition between the ribaldry of her words and the innocence of her expression was so silly, so utterly enchanting, that Apollo couldn’t help it: he threw back his head and laughed.

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Giveaway:
Up for grabs are 10 copies of Darling Beast.
Good luck!


About the Author:
Elizabeth Hoyt
Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with three untrained dogs, two angelic but bickering children, and one long-suffering husband.


1 comment:

  1. I love what you say about their unlikely romance and how different they are from the usual. I definitely want to read this one, Farrah.

    ReplyDelete