Lesli Cohen, administrative assistant in the same Clark University academic department, provided additional technical guidance, as well as her usual generous and enthusiastic moral support. Prologue January Twilight had fallen over Venice, to plunge the marble corridors of the palazzo into gloom. The sound of unfamiliar masculine voices made seventeen-year-old Leila pause at the top of the stairs. She peered down over the elaborately carved balustrade. As her father emerged from his study, one of the men moved toward him.

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Reviewed for www. I discovered, after reading Lord of Scoundrels, that it was part of a series, and there were two books which came before it. Having loved it so much, I was quite anxious to check out those other books, but I have to say that by comparison both have greatly disappointed me. While I Reviewed for www.

In fact there were times that I found it difficult to believe that the same author had written both books. I found Captives of the Night to be very heavy on the mystery element of the story to the point of overshadowing the romance, and in the end, neither aspect ever really grabbed my attention. To me, the book was very dry and lackluster, with no action to speak of at all. From my perspective, it mainly consisted of rather dull conversations, social interactions, and some character introspection.

As I already mentioned, neither the mystery nor the romance really struck a chord with me. In most of the mystery stories I have read, the author usually creates a line-up of potential suspects right from the start, dropping clues and hints of possible motives along the way, and making the reader think that each one may be the culprit. As for who might be, the implication is made that nearly everyone in London hated him and may have had a motive. This gave the feel of a very tedious 19th century procedural examination of a murder case that held little interest for me.

It was probably very close to the reality of criminal investigation, even in the present day, but in my opinion, did not make for very compelling storytelling. I really prefer when the author of a mystery leaves a trail of breadcrumbs for me to follow, so that I can attempt to figure out the bad guy for myself.

In Captives of the Night, each little piece of the puzzle is laid out far too neatly, giving me virtually nothing about which to speculate. Admittedly, the real murderer was the person I least expected, so in that way I suppose it was somewhat well done. However, the reveal ended up being pretty anti-climactic.

In addition, the romance aspect of the story fell completely flat for me. Except for one or two extremely brief moments, I felt no real emotion or true spark of passion between Ismal and Leila, not even any palpable sexual tension. I was simply never able to fully grasp what each of them was attracted to in the other, except that they seemed like two peas in a pod with rather similar personalities, perhaps too similar.

They ended up arguing and vying for superiority almost constantly, which made their supposedly loving relationship very unbelievable to me. I knew that Ms.

Because of my knowledge of his misdeeds in the previous book, I personally was never able to fully buy into the notion of Ismal as the hero. She frequently acted like a spoiled, temperamental, and generally unpleasant woman who was given to throwing tantrums. I can certainly enjoy a good spitfire heroine, but when they behave like Leila sometimes did, they just become gratingly annoying to me.

Neither Ismal nor Leila ever showed any emotional vulnerability, which in my opinion, only served to make them seem like two very cold and unfeeling individuals. Even the secondary characters were pretty one-dimensional. All he really wanted was to seek the hand of his one true love, but unfortunately, that unsavory association had caused nearly everyone to mistrust him. Ultimately though, Avory played such a small role in the story, he was never able to add much depth to it.

Everyone in the book, including Ismal and Leila, appeared to be moral relativists. No one was truly good or bad, not even the wretched deceased husband. All immoral behavior was brushed off in a far too casual and accepting way, with nearly everyone making excuses for everyone else. I believe that there are often shades of gray in life, but that there are also things which are simply black and white, right and wrong.

Having the entire story be nothing but shades of gray absolutely drove me to distraction. Captives of the Night is the second book in what I have sometimes seen called the Scoundrels series. As I mentioned earlier, Ismal was the villain of that book and played a major role in the story. There is also a secondary character, Lady Brentmor, who has a fairly important part in both books. The third book in the series is Lord of Scoundrels, but the ties between it and Captives of the Night are extremely minimal, which would explain why I was able to read Lord of Scoundrels without really feeling like anything was missing.

These two stories essentially take place simultaneously. Although I have some serious reservations at this point, I will in all likelihood read the final book, The Last Hellion, at some point just for the sake of completeness.

AE 385-55 PDF

Captives of the Night

He admires your work. Only ten minutes. Then you can run away and hide in your studio. With a short laugh, Francis withdrew it. Turning away from his dissolute face, she moved to the hall mirror—and frowned at her reflection.


Excerpt from Captives of the Night




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