Publication Date: 03/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Signet Eclipse
Genre: Historical Romance
(Received for an honest review from Signet Eclipse)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Maire Claremont on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
1. The Dark Lady
2. The Lady in Red
3. The Dark Affair
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, The Dark Affair, courtesy of the author's website.
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…
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.
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!
The Dark Affair is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
2011 Golden Heart winner and author of the Mad Passion novels, including The Dark Lady and Lady in Red, 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.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Dark Affair by Maire Claremont.
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