Series: Mad Passions

Guest Review: The Dark Affair by Maire Claremont

Posted November 6, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Dark Affair by Maire ClaremontReviewer: Tracy
The Dark Affair by Maire Claremont
Series: Mad Passions #3
Also in this series: The Dark Lady (Mad Passions, #1)
Published by Signet
Publication Date: February 2nd 2013
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

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….

 

Tracy’s review of The Dark Affair (Mad Passions #3) by Maire Claremont

Margaret is a woman who has spent most of her adult life helping people rehab from drug addiction. She’s now been hired by an earl to help his son get off of the opiates he’s addicted to. When the earl makes a deal with Margaret to marry his son so that he can take him out of the asylum but still have him under her care, she agrees but only because she wants to help her brother who is a wanted man.

Margaret helps people detox and then deal with the underlying reasons that they were taking the drugs in the first place. With James it’s because he is grieving over the deaths of his wife and two year old daughter. It’s been years but he still blames himself as well as his father. Margaret must make him see that he can deal with the pain without the drugs. Margaret herself has never dealt with the pain of her childhood living in a famine stricken Ireland and she soon realizes that she can’t really heal James until she heals herself as well.

This was a very dark and different kind of romance. It was highly emotional and dealt with subjects such as the Potato Famine in Ireland as well as the poverty ridden streets of the East End of London. Nothing was taboo and it was stark and kind of in the readers face. The drug addiction issue was also highly volatile and made for a strange romance. I wasn’t all that happy that it seemed that James amazingly detoxed faster than anyone Margaret had worked with. I realize the book was only so long but it didn’t seem to mesh with the reality that the story was attempting to relay.

The romance in the book was touching but seemed sudden and I couldn’t quite feel the emotion between the two MC’s. I felt the lust – there was no lack of that – but I’m not sure I fully believed the pair was falling in love. I almost felt that James had fallen in love with his savior and that felt a little wrong to me.

Despite that I liked the writing in the book and enjoyed reading the entirety of the story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

This title is available from Signet. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,

Guest Review: The Dark Lady by Maire Claremont

Posted February 15, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Dark Lady by Maire ClaremontReviewer: Tracy
The Dark Lady (Mad Passions, #1) by Maire Claremont
Series: Mad Passions #1
Also in this series: The Dark Affair
Published by Signet Eclipse
Publication Date: January 16th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 313
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

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...

Lord Ian Blake has returned from India a broken man. Years ago, he pledged to Lady Eva Carin—his childhood companion and first love—that he would bring her husband back alive. His failure haunts him. But even his jaded soul can’t anticipate the shocking sight of beautiful, independent Eva confined in a madhouse.

Locked in an asylum, forgotten by society, Eva is adrift in both body and mind. For Ian to break her free, they must cross a powerful enemy—and prove her sanity to England’s unforgiving aristocracy. But the biggest danger of all may come when the secrets of Eva’s tragic past are finally unlocked.

Locked in an asylum, forgotten by society, Eva is adrift in both body and mind. For Ian to break her free, they must cross a powerful enemy—and prove her sanity to England’s unforgiving aristocracy. But the biggest danger of all may come when the secrets of Eva’s tragic past are finally unlocked.

Viscount Ian Blake returns to England after three years in India. He is anxious to return to the home he grew up in as he’s not sure what his welcome will be by his childhood friend Eva. When he gets to the house, however, what he finds is quite shocking. He finds Eva gone, her son dead and her dead husbands brother as the Lord of the Manor. Ian finally gets out of Thomas (the current Lord) that Eva was put into an asylum because she went mad after the deaths of her husband and son in such short succession. Ian is determined to get Eva out of the mad house and goes there acting as if he is Thomas.

Ian manages to get Eva out (and almost get her friend Mary as well but that didn’t work out) and he heads off to try and keep Eva away from the asylum thugs that are looking for her to take her back and to keep her away from the Laudanum that she’s become addicted to.

Eva wants nothing but to forget. She hates herself for killing her son and feels she deserves to be in the mad house. Ian tries to make her see that it’s not her fault but he has guilt aplenty about Eva’s dead husband, Hamilton, who was also Ian’s best friend. Ian sets out with a friend of his to prove that Eva isn’t crazy and that will get her out from under Thomas’s thumb. He tries to hide his love for Eva along the way but can’t quite manage it when she’s in such close proximity at all times.

This book started off really good. I was completely into Ian finding Eva and what he needed to do to get Eva out of the asylum. Even not long after that when they stopped for the night and they had it out about Eva’s Laudanum usage and she almost got herself killed trying to get a fix. Shortly after that the book went downhill for me.

Yes, the book was dark and gothic but the guilt that both Eva and Ian carried with them brought the story down to an almost depressing level. I was unimpressed with the constant inner fighting they both did with themselves and the slow pace that the book took on because of it. During the middle of the book I almost put it down completely but kept reading. I’m not sure I’m happy I did. Yes, everyone was happy in the end and it all worked out for everyone (almost too smoothly) but the getting to that point, for me, wasn’t worth the time spent.

I’m giving this story a slightly higher grade than I normally would just for the first part of the book, Mary’s part (which was small but awesome) and Ian’s friend’s involvement as those parts saved the book for me.  I think this is one that you have to read in order to decide on for yourself.  I looked at Goodreads and apparently, I’m in the minority on my rating so if you read it let me know what you think.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

This book is available from Signet. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

two-half-stars


Tagged: , , , , , , ,