The Dark Lady: A Novel of Mad Passions

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Overview

The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor.…
 
Lord Ian Blake has returned from India a broken man. Years ago, he pledged to Lady Eva Carin—his childhood companion and first love—that he would bring her husband back alive. His ...

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Overview

The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor.…
 
Lord Ian Blake has returned from India a broken man. Years ago, he pledged to Lady Eva Carin—his childhood companion and first love—that he would bring her husband back alive. His failure haunts him. But even his jaded soul can’t anticipate the shocking sight of beautiful, independent Eva confined in a madhouse.…
 
Locked in an asylum, forgotten by society, Eva is adrift in both body and mind. For Ian to break her free, they must cross a powerful enemy—and prove her sanity to England’s unforgiving aristocracy. But the biggest danger of all may come when the secrets of Eva’s tragic past are finally unlocked....

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This dramatic 1865 romance from promising debut author Claremont involves a classic love triangle: two orphans who’ve loved each other from childhood but promised their benefactor, Lord Carin, they would first and foremost be loyal to his son, Hamilton. For beautiful Eva, this means marrying Hamilton even though she doesn’t love him; for Ian, it means enlisting in the army to protect him, until Hamilton turns out to be irredeemably brutal. When Hamilton dies in India and Ian returns to England, he learns that Eva’s child has died in an accident, and she’s been committed to a madhouse after succumbing to grief. While determined to rescue her, he is unable to quell doubts about her sanity and concerns over the secrets in their past. For those who like tortured heroes and fragile heroines, Claremont delivers a tale of love, determination, scandal and plenty of angst that goes on long after the reader has guessed who the real villain is. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
Despite his best intentions, Lord Ian Blake has failed to keep either of his childhood best friends safe; now Hamilton is dead and beyond salvation, but Ian will do everything in his power to save Eva—Hamilton's widow and Ian's first love—from the asylum she's locked up in and from the dangerous people determined to keep her there. All his life, Ian has felt duty-bound to the man who raised him when his parents died; Lord Carin. In light of these perceived obligations, he has forsaken the woman he loves, stepping aside to let Eva marry her intended groom, Hamilton, Lord Carin's heir; he has traveled with Hamilton to India as a fellow army officer at Lord Carin's request; and now that both men are dead, he has sworn to protect Eva and her son, Adam. Returning to England, Ian finds that Eva is locked in an asylum and that Adam is dead. Extricating Eva from the brutal institution under false pretenses, Ian must find a way to keep her safe for good, while fighting his own feelings toward her. He failed to protect Hamilton from meeting a horrific end in India, and his guilt for that failure kept him from coming home sooner to help Eva, thus adding another layer of reproach to his conscience. He will save her from the clutches of the villains set on keeping her captive, but he can't allow himself to reach for what he really wants—Eva as his own. This is the debut novel from author Claremont, who weaves an absorbing, complex story through Victorian society, touching on some of the more disturbing aspects of the time. Overall, the character arcs and storytelling are compelling and well-executed, though there are some elements that don't hang quite true on the frame and undercut the complete success of the book. However, Claremont chooses to tackle a complicated plot and explore some dark facets of history with her debut—the first of a planned trilogy—and does so fairly well. Not perfect, but in general, an intense, compelling read with a rewarding "good conquers evil" ending.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451417992
  • Publisher: Signet
  • Publication date: 1/16/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 308,474
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

2011 Golden Heart winner Máire Claremont first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own…until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his first wife up in his attic. Discovering the errors of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

    Beautifully written. Loved it.

    Beautifully written. Loved it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 21, 2014

    Ms. Claremont grabs your attention in the very beginning of the

    Ms. Claremont grabs your attention in the very beginning of the story with an escape. Her descriptions on what the characters endure have you at the edge of your seat. I devoured this book and could not wait for her next ones. If you love historical romances with a bit of darkness then I recommend you reading not only this book but this series. Ms. Claremont is making name for herself and her writing!

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  • Posted February 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Lord Ian Blake had gone to India to save his best friend, Hamilt

    Lord Ian Blake had gone to India to save his best friend, Hamilton, from himself. With Hamilton finally killed because of his cruelty, Ian returns home 2 years later to face his widow, Lady Eva Carin. He is shocked to learn of her infant son Adam's death and her subsequent commitment to an asylum by Hamilton's older brother, Thomas. Having loved Eva from afar for as long as he can remember, he determines to at least see her, and what he finds upon his arrival at the facility shocks him to the core. She has been living a nightmare, and before the night is over he rescues her from her captivity. However, it will take much more to save her from her own guilt and from the laudanum she had been sedated with. Eva isn't the only one who needs saving, as Ian is wracked by his own guilt over Hamilton's death. Is Eva truly mad? Can they save each other before Thomas's henchmen can find them and return her to the asylum?

    I enjoyed this book and plan to read the rest in the series. I literally didn't want to put it down from the very beginning and cheered for Eva and Ian the entire time. The end was a nice surprise.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    The depth of emotion in this book is amazing.  I felt every sing

    The depth of emotion in this book is amazing.  I felt every single line.  This was fantastic and I can't wait for the next one!

    ~ Hill

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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