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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Drea's Review: Darling Beast

Title: Darling Beast
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, #7
Format: e-book
Release Date: October 14 2014
Length: Novel (400 pages)
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Netgalley
Buy: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Rating: 4.5-stars 

Drea's Review:

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Being a single mother is hard enough without having your livelihood burn to the ground around you, but that’s exactly what happened to Lily Stump. The garden theater she burnt bridges to join is in shambles and she can’t afford to live anywhere but inside the singed structure. Her son Indio loves the freedom of exploring the ravaged garden, and he loves stalking the hulking mute gardener he’s named Caliban even more. Lily can’t take her eyes off the brute even though his face isn’t one she’d call comely. Despite his breadth, he’s actually quite gentle and does what he can to protect her family. Or is it all an act to get under her skin?

Apollo Greaves is hiding from the law and Bedlam, literally. Escaped from the asylum after a brutal beating that left him mute, he’s determined to clear his name and recoup his investment in the now destroyed Harte’s Follies. If that means designing and rebuilding the garden with his own meaty hands, then he’ll get down and dirty in his shirtsleeves…or even less. The introduction of renowned comic actress Robin Goodfellow and her scamp of a son is a distraction he can’t afford, yet very much wants. But his past is on his heels and it could prove as dangerous to his new friends as it is to him. Now Apollo must resolve the mystery surrounding what happened that horrible night long ago for more than just his own freedom.

I was drawn to this novel because it sounded like a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and who doesn’t like those? The idea of the hero being mute had me scratching my head. I had to read simply to discover how the author managed to get Lily and us to fall for a mute behemoth. Well, it’s easy when you’re Elizabeth Hoyt.

These characters appealed to me from the start. Lily’s struggles to watch over Indio and let him be a curious little boy ring true to life. And the way her interest in Apollo is sparked, banked, and stoked through mutual respect was entirely believable. The one part of our heroine that bugged me a tiny bit was that she is a bit of a pushover when it comes to her “playwright” brother. But that is explained in a satisfying way as well.

Apollo is an admirable hero who knows better than to get involved with anyone, least of all a woman with a small son, but he can’t help himself. They’re too dear and he’s been alone for a long time. But perhaps it’s more than that. The way she looks at him, as if he’s actually handsome, gets to him every time.

In steps snake-like Duke of Montgomery — a man who has invested his own significant sum into the garden’s rebuilding, Captain Trevillion — the man responsible for arresting Apollo, and the captain’s ward Lady Phoebe. Being recognized by both men, Apollo’s safe haven is no longer safe. He leaves to keep Lily safe but alas, it’s too late for that. She’s drawn into the intrigue at a house party. I love me a historical romance house party with all the late night sneaking from one bedroom to the next. *fans herself*

This novel is told in alternating points of view, primarily Lily and Apollo’s though we do get scenes from a few other characters. I’m not a fan of jumping into the heads of secondary characters because it feels as if we’re pausing the primary action, but I understand why Ms. Hoyt does it. The love scenes are on the more explicit (and sizzling) side for historical romances, as is the case in the other novels I’ve read by this author. Be aware of that when selecting this book. And last but not least, all of the plots and subplots are neatly tied up at the satisfying end.

New to Elizabeth Hoyt and Maiden Lane? Though characters from past and future books appear in this story, a reader will have no trouble jumping into this one.

So if you like your historical romances sizzling with a side of danger, snatch this one up!

Challenge Update: This is book nine toward the 2014 Historical Romance reading challenge I signed up for ages ago. I have three more to go!


  1. Yay! Another historical romance I need to try. I heard a lot about the author but I still need to try her! I need to buy one of her books.

    1. lol, Beauty and the Beast + historical + Elizabeth Hoyt, yeah it's a good combination :)

  2. I am slowly easing back to historical, I'm reading a historical novella tonight, hopefully I can read more on a regular basis. Y'all's reviews is so encouraging.

    1. Hooray for historical! :D I hope you like whatever you're reading.

  3. Great review! This is one my favorite Historical R series :) I loved this one to, you can't go wrong with any of the books in this series.

    1. I think I've only read one other of the Maiden Lane books but I liked it. I have the others on my TBR :)

  4. I love Hoyt's books, they make me so happy. I really need to read the rest of this series!!

  5. Oh yeah I enjoyed this one too! I am really really hoping Montgomery will get a book.