Sunday, 3 March 2013

Book Review: The Dark Lady by Maire Claremont

The Dark Lady
Author: Maire Claremont
Format(s): Paperback (336 pages), ebook
Publisher: Signet Eclipse (US), Eternal Romance (UK)
Publish Date: February 2013

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.

My review:

I'd been eagerly anticipating The Dark Lady, Maire Claremont's debut novel, for some time. And I was not disappointed.
This isn't like the majority of other romance novels, and I loved the fresh take on the genre. The book starts with our heroine, Eva, locked in a horrific mental asylum on the Yorkshire Moors- abused, addicted to laudanum and drowning in her grief, Eva has a lot to overcome. Enter our hero, Ian, already tortured with guilt, as he sets out to save Eva.

From the beginning I was drawn into the story, reading well into the night when I really couldn't afford the lack of sleep! The scenes at the asylum were horrible but so well written that you absolutely had to read to find out what happened. It's at the beginning that we're introduced to Eva and her friend Mary. When Mary sacrifices her freedom to allow Eva and Ian's escape, your heart just calls out to her- I can't wait to read her story in book 2!
Throughout the story Eva and Ian are battling not just outside forces set on destroying them, but internal ones too. Eva has to face her addiction and come to terms with the grief and guilt she suffers over her son's death. Ian too suffers from almost overwhelming feelings of guilt. Eva is a strong woman, and her determination is so admirable. Ian is very honourable, but he has demons of his own to battle. Together they help heal each other, and prove Eva's sanity to London.
The whole of this book is so richly described and written that you're completely immersed and urging the characters to find their happy ending. It was seriously hard to contain the tears when I was reading on the train!

The end of this book is so uplifting and heartwarming. After everything Ian and Eva go through, they definitely deserve their happy ever after. And now I'm impatiently awaiting book 2 for Mary to get her happy ending too!



  1. I never even heard of this book before (The Dark Lady by Marie Claremont) now I want to read it. I feel for the hero's wartime guilt and the 19th century' PTSD. Also the horrible way they treated the mentally iii back then. I am very much interested.

    1. It was totally heart-wrenching reading the way the people at the asylum were treated!

  2. Oh WOW! Is about all I can say about this! This will be put on my "have to read" list.

    1. It's amazing! Especially considering I'm pretty sure this is the author's debut novel!


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