Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Voices of the Night by Lydia Joyce


PAGES: 299

Historical - Victorian Era

Straight Romance

SERIES: I believe the books are connected in some way but they can be read as standalone. Here's what Ms. Joyce commented on DearAuthor:

As a quick note, you will NEVER have to read my books in any particular order, but the chronological order is actually this:

SHADOWS (just turned in)
JEWELS (? writing right now)
Book #7 (in planning)
Book #8 (in planning)

REASON FOR READING: Loved VEIL & MUSIC. Didn't care too much for the hero in WHISPERS and I didn't finish it.

SUMMARY: [from the publisher]

Desperate to escape the underworld's treacherous grasp, Maggie of King Street finds a patron in Charles Crossham, Lord Edgington, who must transform a street girl into a lady to win a high stakes wager. Charles has never met anyone like the fierce and ardent Maggie, and Maggie's defenses are useless against the seduction of the jaded lord. Their association quickly ignites into a consuming obsession. But both passion and the bet are threatened by a ruthless villain from Maggie's dark past, who has plans for her that imperil everything she's ever cared for-and her very life.
Everyone knows the charming story of Pygmalion where Henry Higgins transforms the poor flower girl into a lady. VOTN has the same theme but with a dark, gloomy atmosphere. The reader get a sense of gothic undertones when LJ paints a vivid picture of Dickensian London. Instead of the usual privileged and wealthy lords and ladies and their beautiful mansions and gardens that are typically portrayed in historical romances set in London, we see the seedier side of the city with the crime, filth and abject poverty.

Maggie of King Street, lives in a broken down flat and struggles to protect her adopted family of eight, who she calls her "chavies" or children. Maggie is a complicated and compelling character and extremely well written. Charles Crossham, on the other hand, was much more difficult to like. When he approaches Maggie with his proposal to turn her into a lady, provide her a place to live and an income with which she can support her family, she accepts knowing she has no choice.

Charles takes advantage of her desperation and their first sexual encounter really disgusted me. (I sound like a prude here but really I like sex early in books, or anytime actually ;). This incident just felt off.) Maggie did what she thought was expected of her and Charles was acting like the typical Victorian 'gentleman' of the times. But I expected more honor from my heroes and taking advantage of this heroine like this felt wrong. He was such a shallow person to me at this point in the book. But he had his upbringing to contend with and spoiled wealthy hedonistic young men don't make the best heroes. LJ was able to turn around his character into something commendable and I liked him at the end.

The mystery/suspense part of the story dealt with an incident in Maggie's past and was riveting. I thought the ending was a bit rushed and I wasn't quite convinced of their HEA. When the heroine is so far beneath the hero in social standing, it's hard to believe that these kinds of marriages will work out. But I was willing to believe it for Maggie's sake.



Rosario said...

Sounds good, I'll be reading it. I've liked all her books so far, though like you, Veil and Music more than Whispers (in my case, though, I did like the hero. It was the way it turned into a crazy adventure book in the second part that bored me a bit).

ReneeW said...

Rosario: I hope you like this one. I gave up on Whispers before the crazy adventure part but I will admit I skimmed that part a bit. Didn't interest me so I tossed it aside.

Tara Marie said...

Good review, I liked this one much more than Whispers, but not as much as Veil or Music. It's funny I don't worry too much about how much honor a hero shows in the beginning of a story, for me I want it in the end and Charles improves. Riveting is a great description for the mystery part of the story--loved the twists and turns. And I agree it's a tough HEA, but want to see it work.

PS My thoughts run very similar to Rosaris for my case, though, I did like the hero. It was the way it turned into a crazy adventure book in the second part that bored me a bit. I liked the hero much more than the heroine in that book.

PSS Love the new review format.

ReneeW said...

Tara: I usually have no problem with dishonorable heroes in the beginning of a book, but this guy just hit me wrong. I'm glad he turned around so well and made this an enjoyable read. I like when an author can do that.

Kristie (J) said...

I was a bit surprised at him in the beginning too, but as Tara said, it was the beginning, and he did get much better throughout the book. Isn't it funny though how something we don't know will hit us wrong until we read it? And Maggie was a great heroine wasn't she?

ReneeW said...

Kristie: It's strange how some things just hit me wrong. I think I'm in the minority on that. Loved Maggie. A very unusual and deep character.

CindyS said...

Great. Here I was happily ignorant of this author because someone said 'lush prose' at some point and she droppd off my radar. Now an off sexual encounter and I'm intrigued. Bad Cindy!


ReneeW said...

Cindy: I tried to avoid the term 'lush prose' because I know how you feel about that ;) You may like this one, in fact I'd be happy to mail you mine and you won't have to waste money on it to see if you like this author. If you don't like it, have the flying monkeys deliver it to my door.

CindyS said...

Did you just mock the monkeys!? I think I have her very first book in house - it was before the reviews showed up ;) Great book - lush prose - blergh.


ReneeW said...

Cindy: At the risk of my health, I'm recommending you try that book you have hidden away. At least the first couple chapters. :)

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