THE DARK AFFAIR  is the fourth installment of author Maire Claremont’s uniquely dark and wonderful Mad Passions series and one I have been greatly looking forward to for some time. Why? Because it features the reluctant and unlikely hero, Viscount Powers who played a major role in THE LADY IN RED, which, until now, was my favorite, book in the series so far.

The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor?…

Lady Margaret Cassidy left a life of nobility behind in Ireland, forsaking her grieving homeland to aid war-ravaged men in England. Still, she never expected a cruel turn of fate to lock her into an unwanted betrothal with one of her English patients—much less one as broken and dangerous as Viscount Powers.

Wrecked by his tragic past, Powers’ opiate-addled sanity hangs precariously in the balance, leaving him poised to destroy anyone who dares to utter the names of the wife and child he still so deeply mourns. So when he is forced to marry Margaret in exchange for freedom, he is shocked by the desire to earn her trust, her body, and—most alarming of all—her heart?.

While fighting his own demons of opium addiction to help Mary in that book, the character practically screamed with the need to have his own story told and I’m so glad that he has now been given his shot at a happy ending.

Ms. Claremont is not afraid to take her characters into the darkest of places and as the story begins James is locked inside of a mental hospital after having relapsed into addiction and come dangerously close to dying. In a last ditch effort to save his son from permanent committal, James’ father calls in Lady Margaret Cassidy—a woman with experience dealing with opium addiction.

This is one of those books that you simply CANNOT put down…

From the very first these two clash, but Maggie is determined to help James whether he likes it or not. The plot thickens when James’ father proposes an offer she cannot refuse—marry his son in exchange for the help she needs to save her brother.

After Maggie reluctantly accepts the story really takes off as these two verbally spar their way through a highly charged attraction, James’ recovery and their ultimate battle to learn how to love and trust again.

This is one of those books that you simply CANNOT put down, no matter what else you might need to be doing. So be warned. Do not begin unless you have several hours to kill!

I continue to be impressed by the level of  Ms. Claremont’s writing and her courage to take her characters to darker places without the sugar coating you might find in other books.

HIGHLY recommend this title and STRONGLY encourage readers to look for the previous titles in the Mad Passions series.

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About the Reviewer

Teresa Spreckelmeyer
Teresa St. Mary - Teresa, is a wearer of many hats (figuratively) including, mother, wife, graphic designer, event planner, web developer and a self-admitted, avid reader of historical romance novels. Although Teresa is a “small town girl” (again, figuratively) from Missouri, through her various workings with clients and events, in and out of the west coast entertainment industry, she laughingly refers to Los Angeles as her second home. Teresa has produced marketing design work for actors, directors, writers and film studios, among others and played a strong behind-the-scenes role in the creation of entertainment oriented, fundraising events in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas over the past nine years.