Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Book Review: The Dark Affair by Máire Claremont

The Dark Affair (Mad Passions #3)
Author: Máire Claremont
Publisher: Signet Eclipse/ Headline Eternal
Release Date: 4 March 2014

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…...

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….

I am a big fan of Máire Claremont's books and she has a gift for writing powerfully emotional romances that don't shy away from the darker side of Victorian life. The Dark Affair ticks all of these boxes and is definitely one I've been looking forward to reading a lot.

Maggie may have grown up as Irish nobility but it didn't shield her from the troubles that devastated her homeland and her family. Now she devotes herself as a nurse, determined to save those men that have lost themselves, which is exactly how she comes to meet Powers. Maggie closes herself off emotionally and prides herself on being a stoically professional nurse, but Powers obliterates that distance and for the first time she finds the ice around her heart thawing.

Powers is definitely a character that stood out in Lady In Red and I've been so very eager to read his story. He's a very compelling hero with a complex character. He may have a devil-may-care attitude most of the time, but it's just there to hide his pain. He suffers with an addiction to opium that stems from the loss of his wife and daughter, but when it goes too far, he wakes to find himself in an asylum under the care of a female nurse- Maggie.

I loved Maggie and Powers together, she was exactly the type of woman he needed to drag him out of his own personal hell. She has a spine made of steel and the knowledge and experience to help him recover. They have a passionate chemistry that Maggie tries so hard to ignore at first, but eventually develops into a fierce love that is tested.

I loved this romance. It's compelling and dark, dealing with addiction and grief with a sensitive hand. This is yet another reason why Máire Claremont is on my go-to author list. She never fails to deliver a rich, faceted story that has me in tears. I loved it!

*I received a review copy for my honest opinion. Thank you!

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