The Comte d'Esmond is one of those dark, dangerous, and romantic types (think Heathcliffe or Rochester from the Bronte novels), looking for redemption for past sins. The heroine is Leila Beaumont, another very fascinating character who is strong, tough, and intelligent--but also very passionate and kind--and Chase does an excellent job of showing us the different facets of her personality.
The plot is also excellent: Leila and Esmond are trying to discover who killed her husband, and since he was a reeeally nasty character, the list of suspects includes just about everyone they know. It's a mystery that is more well-written than those in most mystery novels I've read, and I kept guessing until the end who the killer was, just as Leila and Esmond were.
CAPTIVES OF THE NIGHT is not like LORD OF SCOUNDRELS, with a lot of "cute" scenes--it's not a book that tells its story scene by scene; rather, it unravels, revealing the secrets of the characters line by line, pulling you into their world. By the end of this novel, I felt like I knew Leila and Esmond personally, and I was EXTREMELY happy that I had bought this book. I would even consider buying it in hardcover, it was that good. CAPTIVES OF THE NIGHT is, well... captivating.
The scalding HOT sexual tension virtually burned a hole thru' the pages. The murder web is relentlessly spun with unexpected twists & turns that at times it felt like reading an Agatha Christie - the longer, romantic version. Unless you're an antecedent of the likes of Poirot & Holmes, you'll be left awestruck by the stunning ending.
Classic Loretta Chase. I greatly enjoyed the emotional attraction, sexual tension and humor between the hero and heroine. In addition, this book had a strong storyline revolving around the mysterious murder of our heroine's husband that kept me guessing right to the last chapter. Terrific!
It was interesting to have a shero that has real temper tantrums. His background makes him a character to watch. The mystery fooled me. The fact that she's an artist and therefore her temper tantrums were ok didn't make sense to me. But:
NOT as good as Lord of Scoundrels, I was disapointed.
Not as good as Lord of Scoundrels. This story had a number of problems. First the heroine is married for the first 60 or so pages of the book. Then her husband dies and she's getting involved with another man within three weeks of his death. While it's well established that she and her husband were estranged for five years prior to his death (but they still lived together), and also that he was a despicable, horrid, adulterous jerk, somehow it doesn't seem very romantic for her to become involved with someone else so quickly on the heels of his death. The story plods somewhat and the hero has a lot to overcome because of his own kind of creepy past and a lot of lies and secrets. There are some cute scenes with funny banter, but not enough to overcome the other pretty big issues with the rest of the book. Loretta Chase is a great writer but this isn't a favorite.
This is a darker romance than Lord of Scoundrals. That said, it is a compelling romance and the hero, Esmond , is dark and sexy and and yet sweet and boyish at times. The heroine is likable and sympathetic, with no tstl characteristics. This is much better than its prequal, "The Lion's Daughter", in which Esmond is the villian. Loretta chase is one of my favorite writers.
So Good, and it is a keeper.