Friday, March 21, 2014

Review and Giveaway: The Dark Affair

The Dark Affair (Mad Passions - Book 3) by Maire Claremont

Publication Date: 03/04/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Signet Eclipse
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 0451418018
ISBN-13: 978-0451418012

(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.

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!

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 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.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Dark Affair by Maire Claremont.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, April 4th.

1. Please leave a comment about what you think of the cover photography for this series. I think it is absolutely lovely.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

The cover photography is dramatic and striking. Wonderful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Charlotte said...

A very pretty cover.

I haven't been receiving my emails from you each morning all week. I signed up again and still didn't receive a email today.

Texas Book Lover said...

Emerald green is one of my favorite colors so I love this cover!

Bonnie said...

I think all the covers in the series are beautiful.

jmcgaugh said...

I love the gorgeous green dress on the cover.

Di said...

These covers are very dramatic and eye-catching.

Nancy said...

I love the cover, there is just a hint of wildness about it.

bn100 said...

They're okay

lag123 said...

I love this cover! Very mysterious...

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Anita Yancey said...

I think all of the covers are beautiful. They have such pretty color.


Chelsea B. said...

Completely stunning!

Brooke Showalter said...

What gorgeous covers! I'm a bit of a cover junkie, and will admit to buying books because they're pretty and I want to gaze at them lovingly on my shelves. ;) But this sounds like a great series of books as well and I would enjoy reading!

CrystalGB said...

Gorgeous cover art. I love it.