Darling Beast (Maiden Lane #7)
Grand Central Publishing / October 14, 2014 / $7.99 print, digital
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.
Folk tale elements are Elizabeth Hoyt's trademark, and the one chosen for Apollo's story in Darling Beast is appropriately Greek: the Minotaur. But Hoyt has rewritten this tale in more ways than one, making a hero out of the monster.
Here, the Minotaur's maze is a vision (as well as a metaphor): it's part of a pleasure garden that Apollo is designing. A fugitive from Bedlam, and temporarily mute since his throat was crushed by a guard, he found refuge with a friend and a job recreating a garden that was destroyed by a theater fire. Unbeknownst to him, the remains of the theater are being inhabited by out of work actress Lily Stump. (Better known to readers of the “Maiden Lane” series as Robin Goodfellow.)