Máire Claremont's debut as it sounded lush and unique and I am pleased to say she delivered! This haunting tale of love lost and then slowly found again was a pleasure to get lost in. Lady Eva Carin suffered the greatest loss a mother can bear and while she was in the depths of her despair, her brother-in-law deems her insane and locks her in an asylum where her soul is drowned in laudanum and everything is dark, depressing and horrifying. Lord Ian Blake knows it is his duty to find Eva and bring her back to herself, after all, he is the one that watched her husband die, his best friend. Ian and Eva have been drawn to each other since children and when he arrives for her in the madhouse, Eva can hardly believe it. A daring escape is just the start of the new troubles that will follow Eva and Ian. Eva needs to recover, not just from her addiction to laudanum, but also to prove she is clear of mind to finally be free and she opens her heart to Ian. However, Ian has seen to many horrors to believe he can be good for her and struggles to deny his feelings and hope for a bright, new future together. Somehow this couple must push through the past and grasp what is waiting for them without losing each other in the process. . .
Such a hauntingly, wonderful, tear inducing story! I was unsure how Eva was going to recover from her trauma enough to find love but her past with Ian is a strong foundation that could not be shaken and survived even through the darkest of hours. This story will grab you right from the beginning and it just keeps going with wonderful twists and drama. I would have liked to have seen a bit more in Eva's recovery...I felt it happened just a little bit too easily for what she must have endured. But, then again, her love and trust in Ian was strong enough to keep her going. There are a few loose threads that I would have liked to have been resolved but I am guessing that they continue into the next story so I am very anxious for that story...now. I usually say a book could be shorter, but this one could have been a bit longer and I would not have complained! The writing was lovely and lush and I liked watching Ian overcome his grief of his past through the flashbacks. Eva and Ian endured so much separately that you just knew that together they would be whole. Eva is a stong woman with a determination that really shined. I thought I had guessed the ending (well I was hoping anyways) and I loved the little twist as it had my heart racing to keep reading! If you are looking for something different away from the glitz of the ton, The Dark Lady is the romance for you as it delivers angst, depression, betrayal, and action as it leads up to a true love so strong, nothing will hold it back. Well done Ms Claremont. Well done. 4 1/2 stars
(This was not a review copy. Amazon shipped it two weeks early, yay!)
Seems like they will be best in order...
The Lady in Red Oct 1st (sob!)