Darling Beast (Maiden Lane Series #7)

Darling Beast (Maiden Lane Series #7)

4.2 41
by Elizabeth Hoyt
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
06/15/2015
Hoyt's seventh Maiden Lane Victorian romance (after Duke of Midnight) gives a unique twist to the tale of Beauty and the Beast. In mid-18th-century London, Lily Stump is a beautiful young actress trying to make ends meet for herself and her young son, Indio. While living in a burnt-out theater, Lily is drawn to a mute gardener, whom her son has nicknamed Caliban. Though initially Lily had thought that Caliban lacked intelligence, she quickly learned otherwise as he begins communicating with her through writing. Drawn to his protective kindness toward Indio, Lily is fascinated that a man as strong as he could harbor such a gentle nature. As she learns the secret behind his true identity and his greatest fear, Lily must decide whether her love for him is strong enough to weather the obstacles that threaten to destroy the possibility of their future together. Hoyt's Maiden Lane novels are always a treat, and this installment is no exception to the rule, with a fascinating hero and his resourceful damsel in distress. Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Hoyt's exquisitely nuanced characters, vividly detailed setting, and seemingly effortless and elegant writing provide the splendid material from which she fashions yet another ravishingly romantic love story."—Booklist (starred review)"

4 1/2 Stars! Top Pick! Darling Beast is wondrous, magical and joyous — a read to remember."—RT Book Reviews"

Richly drawn characters fill the pages of this emotionally charged mix of mystery and romance."—Publishers Weekly on Duke of Midnight"

4 1/2 Stars! Top Pick! There is enchantment in the Maiden Lane series, not just the fairy tales Hoyt infuses into the memorable romances, but the wonder of love combined with passion, unique plotlines and unforgettable characters. In Duke of Midnight, Hoyt takes a stiff, cold duke - think Batman - and turns him into a vulnerable hero, then pairs him with a bold, unconventional tigress of a heroine so they can fight together. If the end is any indication, Hoyt's ready to gift us with more."—RT Book Reviews"

Lord of Darkness...illuminates Hoyt's boundless imagination... readers will adore this story."—RT Book Reviews"

Hoyt's writing is imbued with great depth of emotion ...Heartbreaking ... an edgy tension-filled plot."—Publishers Weekly"

I adore the Maiden Lane series, and this fifth book is a very welcome addition to the series . . . [It's] sexy and sweet all at the same time . . . This can be read as a standalone, but I adore each book in this series and encourage you to start from the beginning."—USA Today's Happy Ever After Blog"

Lord of Darkness is classic Elizabeth Hoyt, meaning it's unique, engaging, and leaves readers on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next book . . . an incredible addition to the fantastic Maiden Lane series. I Joyfully Recommend Godric and Megs's tale, for it's an amazing, well-crafted story with an intriguing plot and a lovely, touching romance that I want to enjoy again and again and again . . . simply enchanting!"—JoyfullyReviewed.com"

Beautifully written . . . a truly fine piece of storytelling and a novel that deserves to be read and enjoyed."—TheBookBinge.com

JoyfullyReviewed.com
"Lord of Darkness is classic Elizabeth Hoyt, meaning it's unique, engaging, and leaves readers on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next book . . . an incredible addition to the fantastic Maiden Lane series. I Joyfully Recommend Godric and Megs's tale, for it's an amazing, well-crafted story with an intriguing plot and a lovely, touching romance that I want to enjoy again and again and again . . . simply enchanting!"
RT Book Reviews
"Lord of Darkness...illuminates Hoyt's boundless imagination... readers will adore this story."
USA Today's Happy Ever After Blog
"I adore the Maiden Lane series, and this fifth book is a very welcome addition to the series . . . [It's] sexy and sweet all at the same time . . . This can be read as a standalone, but I adore each book in this series and encourage you to start from the beginning."
TheBookBinge.com
"Beautifully written . . . a truly fine piece of storytelling and a novel that deserves to be read and enjoyed."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455586301
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
10/14/2014
Series:
Maiden Lane Series , #7
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
128,025
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

The winters in Minnesota have been known to be long and cold and Elizabeth is always thrilled to receive reader mail. You can write to her at: P.O. Box 19495, Minneapolis, MN 55419 or email her at: Elizabeth@ElizabethHoyt.com.

You can learn more at:
ElizabethHoyt.com
Twitter @elizabethhoyt
Facebook.com/ElizabethHoytBooks

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Darling Beast 4.2 out of 5 based on 2 ratings. 41 reviews.
WorldsCollide More than 1 year ago
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
booknerdDS More than 1 year ago
This my second novel by Elizabeth Hoyt and it was just as enjoyable as the last one I read. Hoyt has a talent for weaving stories filled with romance, tension and intrigue. When I read Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane #6) I found Apollo’s story very intriguing. Apollo, Viscount Kilbourne, is Artemis’ twin brother. He was accused of murdering three men and because he was an aristocrat he was sentenced to Bedlam. While he was in Bedlam for four years he was robbed of his dignity, his humanity and his life. He also lost his voice. One day while defending a fellow asylum inmate soldiers stepped on his throat causing him damage and he lost the ability to speak. Artemis was able to escape but his life has been lived in hiding. He was able to escape from Bedlam and is working on pleasure gardens with some associates. While he is there he meets a boy-Indio. Indio and his mother are living in the theater near the gardens. Lily Stump is an actress. She is recently out of work and is staying at the theater as a favor. When she meets Apollo she has no idea that he was accused of murder and is hiding form the police. Apollo lives with very meager means. He doesn’t have much and he has lost most of his modesty. Because he can’t speak people believe that he is mentally challenged. When Phoebe meets him he behaves as if he can’t speak or understand trying to hide his identity as best as possible. Many elements of this story felt like Beauty and the Beast. Apollo was definitely viewed as a beast and Phoebe was very beautiful. When she begins to get to know Apollo she realizes that the tall “beast” is a kind-hearted and loving man. She realizes he is the master-mind behind the garden that is being re-created and they can’t help but fall in love. As Lilly and Apollo fall in love she realizes the truth about him. But Apollo isn’t the only one hiding secrets and he learns a couple of things about Lily too. I really loved this story! Phoebe was such a fantastic character. She was a very strong heroine and she knew how to manage her life. Apollo was also great. I ached for him in the previous book and I’m so happy that he finally got his happily-ever-after. There were many secondary characters that stood out. Captain James Trevillion and Lady Phoebe as the main hero and heroine, I can’t wait to read their story! 
D-B1 6 months ago
I loved and enjoyed reading the intriguing and outstanding romantic historical novel written by the best selling author Elizabeth Hoyt. I received an autographed copy of the book from a Goodreads Giveaway. Due to the theater being burned, Lily Stump, an out of work actress, her young son, Indio, her friend, Maude, and dog, Daff, live in the habitable part of the theater. Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne wrongly accused of murder, is an escaped convict from Bedlam hiding in the gardens attached to the theater. Indio meets Apollo and tells his mom all about the monster living in the garden who can't speak. When Lily goes to find Inio, she finds Apollo coming out of the water and is mesmerized by him. Indio sees Apollo as his special friend and names him Caliban. The more time Lily and Apollo spend together the harder it becomes to only remain friends. Read the wonderfully written, highly recommended, must read love story of Lily and Apollo.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series -great addition.
MADreaderMD More than 1 year ago
I'm glad to see Apollo got his story and a chance to get justice. He and Lily made a great couple, and it was fun to watch her attraction for him grow and develop. As always, I was intrigued by the mystery and enjoyed the cooperation among the unexpected allies who helped Apollo. This book gave a lot more information about some previously seen secondary characters and introduced several more new ones. I'm eager to see what's waiting down the lane.
zeeba More than 1 year ago
Great! Darling Beast is another great book in this fabulous series with danger, action and romance. I love the way in each book in this series we read about the hero or heroine of the next book. I really enjoy Darling Beast and can't wait to read the next one. Thank you Elizabeth Hoyt!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Elizabeth Hoyt's books. They are the best stories ever. Apollo and Lily's story is right up there with all the other additions to these stories. The updates about the other characters in other stories makes the stories even better. The addition of the pets is so much fun! Can't wait for the next chapter in the Maiden Lane Series.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt Book Seven of the Maiden Lane series Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Publication Date: October 14, 2014 Rating: 4 stars Source: ARC sent by the publisher ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): 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. What I Liked: Ohhh, guys, it's been over a year since I've read an Elizabeth Hoyt book! Her Maiden Lane series is my favorite historical romance series EVER, so you can imagine how antsy I was to get my hands on this one. THANK YOU, GRAND CENTRAL!! Apollo Greaves has just escaped Bedlam, with the help of his sister and his new brother-in-law, the Duke of Wakefield. Apollo is currently redesigning the garden in the ruined Harte's Folly when Lily Stump moves into the theater with her seven-year-old son and nursemaid, Maude. Lily is a well-known actress of London, but she hasn't had much success recently. When the two meet, it's two worlds colliding, worlds of secrets, worlds of danger, worlds of sparks... We all know my favorite book of the series was Duke of Midnight, and that still sticks, but this one is probably tied with the remaining five books for my number two favorite. I could not wait to dive into Apollo's story, and to a relatively new character's story! Lily was an interesting character, and I was intrigued by the story of her having a seven-year-old son. Apollo is on the run from Bedlam, and Lily needs a place to stay. Set in the lush background of a horribly burned theater and garden, most of the interactions between Lily and Apollo occur there, in the garden. Lots of time for the author to show off Apollo's physical prowess. Lots of time for Indio (Lily's son) to become beholden to Apollo, a potential father-figure that he never had.  I really liked Lily - she isn't a noblewoman, so she has no title or rank. She's a successful but struggling actress that is desperately trying to hide her son from society's keen eye. Lily has a spine of steel, but she is also very soft and gentle. Caring for Apollo comes naturally to her - after she gets past her initial suspicion and wariness. Apollo... ah, poor guy. He cannot speak for a good portion of the book, because of injuries sustained at Bedlam. You really have to feel for the guy - it was heartbreaking to read about his interactions with everyone else, via pen/paper or gestures. However, I think the inability to speak made him a very astute and observant person - if he wasn't already. I really like Apollo! The romance is very sweet. Lily and Apollo fall in love so seamlessly, despite Lily not knowing much about Apollo - she doesn't find out that he is a viscount, or that he is on the run for (alleged) murder, until close to the end of the book. Imagine her surprise. Nevertheless, I found the romance sweet, not very steamy, but that was okay. I like how story progressed in this book. We get to see many characters from previous book, like Maximus, Artemis, Hero, Phoebe, James... but we also meet new characters, like the Duke of Montgomery, who is quite the character. I had hoped that book nine would be about him, but I see that book nine features Asa. That's cool. In any case, I also like how things wrap up - finding the real murderer of Apollo's friends is important, so that Apollo can have his name cleared, and so that he can take his place as Viscount Kilbourne. The ending is definitely a wonderful ending, in my opinion! What I Did Not Like: I can't think of anything specifically... I think I had hoped for more between Lily and Apollo? There are plenty of sentimental scenes, which deal with feelings and emotions and totally sweet gestures, But in terms of the physical, it's kind of all plopped in at the end, several scenes squeezed in just as the book finishes. Which is okay... but dispersing the steaminess would have been more effective? In my opinion. But this is much of a complaint, more like an observation. Would I Recommend It: YEESSS. So much. Read the entire Maiden Lane series, read book six, read this book, read them all. It's a companion series, so you don't quite have to read the previous six to read book seven, and so on. Elizabeth Hoyt is hands-down my favorite adult historical romance author - I just love her work! Rating: 4 stars. A lovely addition to this fabulous series! Book eight now... I cannot wait to read James and Phoebe's story! And ooo, book nine, Asa. Maybe Hoyt can get a contract for a book ten, featuring Montgomery!
Anonymous 12 months ago
Great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
This story was sweet. Apollo was blunt and straightforward about what he wanted almost from the beginning of his relationship with Lily. I enjoyed watching how Indio and Lily help heal him and help him live again. The conflict at times was a bit weak, the villain wasn't a strong enough character, Apollo easily beats him, once he knows who his villain is. There were some fun interactions between Lily and Apollo, especially at the house party when she comes to realize his true identity and doesn't think a relationship with each other will work. I think how Apollo handles that scene in her bedroom at the house party was perfectly crafted. This wasn't my favorite in the series, but it was a sweet story and I liked seeing how Apollo finds both love and justice after being wrongly accused of murder and madness.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fun book. I really enjoyed it. I know I will be looking out to read more of her books now.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mix of romance and murder. Lots of twist to charactors. Loved story highly recemend.
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AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
Lily Stump is a well-known but down-on-her luck actress and playwright living in an old burned down theater in St. Giles in London with her lifelong servant and young son. Apollo is Viscount Kilbourne, a man on the run after escaping from Bedlam. He was confined for four long and horrible years for a murder he didn’t commit. He has found work designing a pleasure garden out of the ruins of the old theater with the help of the mysterious and enterprising Asa Makepeace, a man who has appeared in several of the Maiden Lane books. I hope to see his happy ending (or at least discover his secrets) in a future Elizabeth Hoyt work. Apollo lives in a hovel, living simply with his meager belongings. He’s a down-to-earth and hard-working man, albeit a very large one, as the author often reminds readers. Indeed, Lily’s son’s first impression of Apollo is as “a monster” when he spots them in their gardens. After suffering a horrific beating while in Bedlam, Apollo has lost his voice, so Lily assumes he’s either simple or hard of hearing. She soon discovers he is neither. I don’t quite understand why Apollo doesn’t live with his sister, Artemis, a duchess who lives in a palatial home and the power of a dukedom to protect him. I’ve always found this odd among the British. For example, Jane Austen, her sister, Cassandra, and their mother traveled like vagabonds (for a few years after the death of Austen’s father) and lodged with various relatives around the country rather than live in the enormous home of her very wealthy brother, Edward. I just don’t get it;  family is so important. Sometimes, it’s the only thing that really matters, especially when you’re in trouble or troubled. All of the Maiden Lane books are highly combustible sex-wise, and this one does not disappoint. The romantic relationship between Lily and Apollo grows slowly; he shows great kindness to her son (who idolizes him) and her maid, and he is always unfailingly polite despite his oversized and imposing stature. Apollo is intrigued by Lily, her brilliance at acting, and her clever plays. I like the light humor provided by Indio, Lily’s son. In fact, I think Hoyt excels at presenting young children in a charming and non-manipulating way; they’re realistic but they do not steal the show. Some characters from previous books make an appearance here and, while it’s not necessary to read the books in order, I think it makes them richer in character and plot development and in understanding who is related to whom. And I just prefer to read series in order. As in the previous books, there are some hints of a future love story between the blind but also sweet and very formidable Lady Phoebe and Captain James Trevillion, the stalwart and determined man designated by her brother to protect her. Their story is next with Dearest Rogue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sits on the bed