Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #7
Also in this series: Wicked Intentions, Wicked Intentions, Lord of Darkness, Dearest Rogue, Sweetest Scoundrel, Duke of Sin, Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane #10.5), Duke of Pleasure
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
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A MAN CONDEMNED . . .
Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown's soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he's quickly driven to distraction . . .
A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .
London's premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she's forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren't the only inhabitants—a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there's more to this man than meets the eye.
OUT OF ASH, DESIRE FLARES
Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he's forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free.
Apollo is a man accused of murdering three men in cold blood. He didn’t do it but everyone believes he did. He was saved from trial by being put into Bedlam and stayed there for four years attempting to keep his sanity intact. He was saved when his sister had the man she loved take him out of Bedlam. Unfortunately he was beaten before he was rescued and even though it’s been 9 months since his escape he still can’t talk.
He’s now working to put his friend’s Folly in London back together after a fire devastated it. While working there he meets Lily. She is living at the Folly as she can’t find work as an actress (thanks to her ex-boss) so she’s forced to live in the theatre with her maid and son, Indio. At first Lily believes that because the large man in the garden can’t talk that he’s a half wit. She soon realizes her mistake and they get to be friends.
Unfortunately Apollo, who Lily and her son call Caliban as he can’t tell them his real name, is still a hunted man. He wants to clear his name but he has no idea where to start. He ends up getting help from a couple of men who he believed thought him guilty. Apollo starts falling for Lily but once his identity is discovered he has to run for his life and he’s not sure how he can have the life he wants with Lily, her son and none of the King’s men after him.
Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favorite authors. I really love her books and I’m always entranced from the moment I open one until the moment I’m done with the last word. This story was no different as I’ve been looking forward to Apollo’s book for a while now.
Apollo, as I discovered in previous books, was a great man and in turn a great hero. He wasn’t the most beautiful physically but he had beauty of the heart and that made him gorgeous in my eyes. He was kind and giving and automatically took care of Indio when he was around as he cared for the boy (and his dog). He was a very large man but was gentle when he needed to be and was highly intelligent. He was the kind of hero I love reading about!
Lily was perfect for Apollo. She had fallen on hard times but was making the most of her situation. She never blamed anyone for it and still managed to smile and be gracious. She was a good mother and I think she brought out the best in Apollo.
I really liked the mystery in this book as well as the romance. It was great seeing people coming together to find the real killer and to clear Apollo’s name.
Overall this was a lovely book that I very much enjoyed reading. I love the Maiden Lane series and can’t wait until the next book comes out!
Rating: 4.25 out of 5