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Captives of the Night

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Captives of the Night (1994) Loretta Chase

Set in Paris and London in 1828

Leila Beaumont is married to an completely debauched scoundrel. After she realized just how bad he was, she refused him her bed and concentrated on her painting.

Comte d’Esmond (born Ismal) is a covert agent for the British crown–sent to look at Francis Beaumont for rumors of his involvement in blackmail and other sordid events that present a danger to England.

When Francis is found dead, and it looks like murder, Ismal is asked to look into the death.

“…you left immediately after.”

“I felt this would be wisest, in the circumstances,” Ismal said. “All the men at the inquest, except for her respectable solicitor, were either elderly or plain. I was the only one of her admirers there. I wanted the jury to attend to the proceedings—not to speculate whether I was her lover.

There was a good deal of banter between Leila and Ismal, and it was amusing.

“(Y)ou apologize so sweetly that I cannot resist. I forgive you, Madame.”

“You relieve my mind. And I, of course, forgive you.”

“I have not apologized.”

She waved her hand dismissively. “I forgive you for that, too.”

That scene is during a time when Leila has decided to take revenge upon Ismal–by being what he claimed he wanted: a polite and bidable partner in looking into the murder. He was sadly mistaken about what he wanted.

One of my favorite characters appears more than midway through the story–Lady Brentmor.

“This is just the sort of thing where a man’s bound to do harm for all he means to do good. You leave her beaux to me, my lad, and you tend to her business affairs.”

“I beg you will not give Andrew the notion that I’m collecting beaux, Lady Brentmor.”

“I don’t need to give him notions. He gets ’em all by himself.”

But the best part of the book was the mystery–who killed Francis and why. Along with that, the more we learn about Leila’s father and husband, the more sympathy we develop for the men who killed them. (Francis really is awful, but not in a rubbing-ones-hands-together manner, but rather in the manner of a selfish, self-absorbed hedonist who care only about looking after himself.)

It was a fun and enjoyable story.

Publisher: NYLA
Rating: 7.5/10

Categories: British, Historical, Mystery, Romance, Sexual Content     Comments (0)    



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