by Cara Elliott
Lords of Midnight Book #2
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 24th 2012)
In the Wolf's Lair . . .Goodreads
Determined to stop her wayward brother from squandering their dwindling fortune, Lady Eliza Brentford decides to follow him to his favorite den of depravity. There, among the candlelight and raucous revelry, she encounters her brother's role model in debauchery, the notorious Marquess of Haddan, Gryffin Dwight. Staring into his smoldering green eyes, Eliza can't help but find the rakehell nobleman seductively charming-and sinfully attractive.
In a Lover's Paradise . . .
When Gryffin appears on Eliza's estate as a guest of her brother, a stolen kiss among the garden's blooms leads to a night of unbridled passion. Suddenly the lovely widow feels herself opening up, like the petals of a rose. Could this master of seduction possibly feel true emotion for Eliza? Or is he leading her down the garden path to an Eden of delights no woman can resist-and a fall no woman can escape?
Purchase at Amazon, Kindle, Barnes & Noble
I've loved Gryff from the first book in this series. He's very human and definitely not a perfect male. He makes silly mistakes and stumbles through life just like the rest of us. What makes him stand out is his wonderful honesty. Normally, I would say "the road to hell is paved in good intentions" and, oftentimes, that's the case for the Marquess of Haddan. In this book, he gets a second chance to correct himself before he misses the chance of a lifetime.
Eliza is believably strong: determined with a strong dash of vulnerability which really lends a taste of realism to her character. I found myself really getting to like her. She made sensible decisions that didn't seem forced. Oftentimes, I'll find the heroine making decisions that seem to have been made in order to keep the plot running. That was definitely not the case, here. Lady Brentford makes decisions and the plot rolls with that. It's wonderful.
The plot isn't complex, by any means, and I figured out the ending as soon as I saw what the problem was. Within the first few chapters, I had a general idea of how the book would go.
That didn't make it any less enjoyable, however, and Ms Elliott plays to the knowledge that her reader will, in fact, know what's going on. I was worried that the book would be drawn out and long because I'd already guessed what would happen (and had continuously been proven right). Wrong! The book is written to involve the reader who does already know what will happen and it was actually very well done!
While this isn't one of my favorite books, it's certainly on my list of books I'd highly recommend. None of it was really "original" and yet it was perfect for the characters. Anything more and I'd have probably felt the characters were being forced by the author. No, this book was written to the characters very, very well and I really enjoyed it.
Definitely one to check out!
P.S. My only real complaint is not specific to this book but this book does contain the issue.
SPOILER: Do not read on if you don't want a little spoiler for the book!
Marriage licenses from the Bishop, in order to circumvent the banns. It seems every single Regency novel I read involves this. I have no issue with an Epilogue that shows them getting married three weeks later (the requirement for a wedding bann announcement). Not everyone received wedding banns, even blue-bloods. It's becoming a bit of an epidemic amongst Regency Romance that couples should wed via special license. If you can validate the reason, then go for it! I totally understand that! However, it seems to me that almost every single couple in a Regency novel feels the need to pay the fee and talk to the bishop to get a special license. It's beginning to lose its charm, to say the least.
While I can understand the desire to ignore the banns, the action for it is more-than-often unjustified. Yes, they had pre-marital sex. So show that they're worried she has conceived! Otherwise, it negates the "specialness" of the license, itself. The marriage banns are there for a reason. :)
Rating: 4 Wine Glasses