The Dark Affair: A Novel of Mad Passions

The Dark Affair: A Novel of Mad Passions

by Maire Claremont

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The Dark Affair: A Novel of Mad Passions by Maire Claremont

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…

Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers.

Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451418012
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/04/2014
Series: A Novel of Mad Passions Series , #3
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

2011 Golden Heart winner and author of the Mad Passion novels, including The Dark Lady and Lady in RedMáire 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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Raves for the Mad Passions series

“With the first in the Mad Passions trilogy, Claremont establishes herself as a force in the genre—to be kept on readers’ shelves alongside Anne Stuart, Anna Campbell, and Jennifer Ashley.”—Romantic Times

“Claremont delivers a tale of love, determination, scandal, and plenty of angst.”—Publishers Weekly

“An intense, compelling read with a rewarding ‘good conquers evil’ ending.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Romance, adventure, passion, torment, and triumph …A book to savor page by page and then add to your keeper shelf.”—New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes

“Real, intelligent, and gritty but above all deeply romantic. In my opinion, Máire Claremont is the stunning reincarnation of the Brontë sisters.”—Delilah Marvelle, award-winning author of Forever a Lady

Customer Reviews

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The Dark Affair: A Novel of Mad Passions 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great characters, different plot about the Irish famine...
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
The third book in the Victorian era Mad Passions series by Máire Claremont. We first meet James, Viscount Powers—an enigmatic and strong character—in the second book in this series, Lady in Red. He so impressed me in that story that I was excited to read his story. The story opens in a Victorian sanitarium where he has been committed by his father, an earl, to overcome both his opium addiction as well as severe depression after the death of his beloved wife and daughter. The earl begs the help of a young nurse, Margaret Cassidy, the daughter of an Irish earl, to care for her son but also to marry him and give him an heir. Though of the noble class, Margaret helps the Irish poor and remembers the kind generosity of James (and his father) in the past, so she is happy to try to help him, if he will let her. She also sees the marriage as a way to assist her troubled younger brother, Matthew, who works for Irish social and political justice. I really looked forward to this book but ultimately found it a bit disappointing. The writing is (as has been the case throughout this entire series) very strong and engaging. It fulfills my expectations of dark Victorian tragedy and gothic romance. The language and dialogue are authentic with attention to period details of fashions—and their layers and impediments—as well as literature—an allusion to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. James Stanhope, Viscount Powers, is a physically large man but he’s also emotionally weak, due mostly to his arduous recovery from opium addiction, but also because of the horrific circumstances of the deaths of his first wife and child. However, I felt that the revelations and secrets between hero and heroine came a bit too late in the story. Lady Margaret Cassidy, the daughter of an Irish earl, seems rather cold. She struggles with being both his wife and his nurse and this is where I had a problem with their relationship. I never stopped seeing her as his nurse and her reasons for agreeing to marry him (at the request of his father) seemed like a great plot point but never came to full fruition. I also didn’t really feel the sexual tension between Margaret and Powers.  The secondary story about her brother, Matthew, has some promise but didn’t completely play out for me. Perhaps more real time between that story and the main romance might have helped build more momentum? In short, I just wanted more from this story. My favorite in the series is The Lady in Red which is when Powers first captured my attention and interest. Mary from that book makes an impressive appearance here as she also once struggled with opium addiction. While not her best plot-wise, Máire Claremont still writes a wonderful story and I look forward to reading more from her in future.
arbjamesAJ More than 1 year ago
Another great installment in the Mad Passions series. I love how each one has a little different feel, so it doesn't get old, but Claremont's writing style still just draws you in. This time the main character is a man, which is different, but he's no stranger. We met Viscount James Powers in the last book. This story covers his own struggle with opium addiction and generally coming to terms with the deaths of his wife and child. Of course, he's helped along the way by his stunning Irish nurse/wife Margaret. How she becomes his wife and how she pulls him out of the pit of despair is quite an emotional tale. I love how Claremont takes you on an emotional roller-coaster, and somehow, she makes you care about the characters from page one.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
Maire Claremont continues her Mad Passions series with her latest book, The Dark Affair. This is a series that delves in the madness of addiction and readers will be amazed at the stark reality with which Claremont portrays her characters and their demons. The Victorian Era is known for it's abject rigidity in morals and social conduct and Claremont's characters challenge the norms of times. She has a gift for writing outside the box and providing an originality that is not often seen in historical romance. A great addition to the series! What I liked: This is my first book from Maire Claremont. Her Mad Passions series has been very popular and I was happy to get to review this title. Addiction is never an easy subject to write about and I thought Claremont did a great job with it. She had to write about the depravity that a person would stoop to and how the addiction was twisting the mind and she made me believe that she knew what she was talking about. Research is a wonderful thing, but I think an author has to somehow connect to their subject and feel something strong about it. Claremont obviously did.  Powers was what I would call a tortured or wounded hero. Death is not something you just get over. Grieving is often a long process and each person copes with it in a different way. I liked the fact that Claremont shows how Powers chooses his own fate. He becomes addicted because he wants to. He wants to be numb to the pain of losing his wife and child. He doesn't want to feel anything. And when he starts to feel something for Margaret, he fights it with everything he's got. I think addiction is in a sense a type of madness and I loved how Claremont brought that out. Maggie is quite a woman, but she's not what you would expect either. She's cold, an ice queen. She is very professional. She's seen a lot of death and she doesn't let anything affect her focus on her patients. She is there to provide care, not emotion and not solace. I loved the way that Powers start to chip away at that ice and thaw out her heart. She starts to feel things she never expected and doesn't really know how to deal with. I thought her own experience was like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon. She was a great character. Though this book uses the oft used marriage of convenience theme, it has a different feel to it. Nothing about this book felt contrived or written just for effect. It was unique and original and I thought Claremont's take on writing her characters was mesmerizing. She obviously wanted to do something different and creative with this series and I think she pulls it off wonderfully. I look forward to reading the other books in this series. What I didn't like: There were some inconsistencies in the way he looked and smelled, considering he was a raging opium addict. I doubt he was very good on the eyes for awhile, or that he was too awfully clean after being in an asylum cell, but I can overlook that when I think of all the other wonderful parts of this book. Bottom Line: If you like a tortured hero this one should be right up your alley. I liked the way the author portrayed Powers' addiction and his addictive personality. Maggie was a strong and competent woman and turned out to have a warm heart after all. A very good book!
zeeba More than 1 year ago
The Dark Affair is an ineradicable emotional story. Viscount Powers is struggling with drug and guilt of losing his wife and child. Margaret is a strong heroine whom tries so hard to shield her past and help Powers to recover. Mrs. Claremont writes strong, dark , torture and emotional stories that the reader can feel all the hurt and sorrow the Hero and heroine suffered. Thank Mrs. Claremont
SW57 More than 1 year ago
Viscount Powers, who played a pivotal role in Lady In Red, had slipped under the spell of drink & drugs prior to the start of this novel, and had been institutionalized by his father. His father had also brought in Margaret Cassidy, a nurse from Ireland, to help save Powers & to marry him to keep him safe. However, there was a definite attraction of souls between Powers & Margaret right from the beginning, and both of them felt something that they had never felt before. It was difficult for both of them to bare their souls, to let love heal them.  Reading this book was an emotional journey, but well worth it!