Darling Beast

Written by Elizabeth Hoyt
Review by Nancy J. Attwell

Set in London in 1741, this story pushes the limits of believability yet never ceases to entertain. Lily Stump, a beautiful actress with a young son named Indie, is so impoverished that she is forced to live in the charred ruins of an old theatre. Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne, whose vocal cords were damaged during a vicious beating, is a convicted murderer who escaped from Bedlam and now works in the gardens of that same theatre. Indie discovers Apollo and believes he is a monster akin to the Minotaur. Although Lily quickly discovers that Apollo is a man, she believes that he is an idiot as well as a mute. This amusing confusion does not diminish the attraction between the two. With the assistance (and interference) of an assortment of interesting characters, they work together to prove Apollo’s innocence. It is a highlight of the novel that both Lily and Apollo retain their dignity despite the abuses that have caused them so much harm. Darling Beast is the seventh installment in Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series. Artemis Greaves, the heroine of the previous book, is Apollo’s twin sister. Hoyt’s many fans will relish this addition to the series.