The Madness of Lord Westfall by Mia Marlowe
Description: Pierce Langdon, Viscount Westfall is mad. Everyone knows it. He fell from a tree when he was a boy and woke to hear strange voices. When the voices grow stronger as he grows older, his family commits him to Bedlam. But what he hears are the thoughts of those around him—a gift to be used in service to the Order of the M.U.S.E. Until he falls again…this time for a totally unsuitable woman.
Lady Nora Claremont hides her heartbreak behind the facade of a carefree courtesan. Viscount Westfall is the most confusing man she’s ever met. He seems to know exactly what she wants…and what she’s thinking.
Which is a dangerous thing, because what Nora wants is Pierce.
And what she’s thinking could expose her as a traitor to the crown…
Review: This book was a historical romance with a dash of paranormal mixed in. It’s an interesting genre but I’m still not sure if I’m a fan. Honestly, when I saw madness in the title, I was thinking more like Jennifer Ashley’s The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. However, this is an interesting concept for a historical- paranormal. The book focuses around a society of people with special abilities who work together to protect the sanity of the future king from paranormal objects. However, historically, it implies that the king, or in this cause, the Prince of Wales, has a lot more authority over the nation’s policies than he actually did. I think it would have been more accurate for them to be protecting the Prime Minister.
This book featured the beloved romance trope: courtesan heroine. For the most part, I’m a fan of the trope because it is often used to empower women. But in this case, it defeats the purpose to have her be a courtesan to a secretly gay lord. And I’m not sure why it was necessary for her to give away her daughter when the daughter wasn’t illegitimate. Part of me understands the stigma of a courtesan mother but I’m not sure I like Nora having to give up her child.
For the most part, I liked the relationship between Pierce and Nora. They clicked well together. And I liked that he was a virgin hero, ala Jamie Fraser! (Sorry, I recently had an Outlander girl’s night and the ever gorgeous Jamie Fraser has been on my mind!) I did feel that Pierce fell in love with Nora extremely fast, almost faster than the relationship was progressing. Nora is more cautious about falling in love with him, though she pretty easily accepts his paranormal ability (he can read minds). However, then the book turns on a 180 when the hero does something completely stupid and which could have been easily resolved if he just told his friends where he was going. I’m trying to avoid spoilers but it’s just so annoying when the characters are patently dumb. Anyway, despite not liking the last quarter of the book, it was still an interesting read. I’m debating if I’ll go back and read the first book. I think my hesitance stems from the actual genre of historical-paranormal and not the author’s writing or creation.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Received a free copy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.