I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Madness of Lord Westfall by Mia Marlowe
Series: The Order of the MUSE,
Published by Entangled Publishing on September 21st 2015
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, Paranormal, Mystery
Source: Entangled Publishing
Reading Challenges: 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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..
The Madness of Lord Westfall is the second book in Mia Marlowe’s The Order of the M.U.S.E. series. I never read the first novel, The Curse of Lord Stanstead, but I didn’t need to. Mia Marlowe does a fantastic job of retelling the events of the first book in such a way as to keep readers from feeling lost. This allows The Madness of Lord Westfall to be read as a standalone novel.
In the novel Pierce Langdon, the Viscount Westfall, is working for the Order of the M.U.S.E. to stop a treasonous act against the British Crown. Langdon’s talent is the ability to hear the thoughts of other people, and he uses it to glean clues from other members of society. The Order of the M.U.S.E. stands for Metaphysical Union of Sensory Extraordinaires. Langdon is just one of many people with extraordinary talent within the Order who use their skills to protect the monarchy whenever it’s threatened by outside sources, and sometimes from those within. The various characters within the group seem like an interesting bunch, and I’m looking forward to learning more about each of them in further novels.
Langdon’s love interest in this novel is Lady Nora Claremont, who is a courtesan. Langdon has spent a large part of his life in seclusion thanks to his family believing him mad, and even did a stint in Bedlam. Now that he’s out, Society is abuzz with gossip over the mad Viscount. Inexperienced, Langdon tries to stay clear from the fallen woman, but something about her draws him in. I thoroughly enjoyed the romance between the Viscount and Lady Nora. It was great to see opposites attract, and how such a union would take place during this time period. However, most of their tryst operated within the confines of the Order of the M.U.S.E., so I never got the opportunity to see how the rest of the nobles would have viewed this pairing. Maybe in the third novel.
The supposed main plot of the novel was that the Viscount was investigating a treasonous plot against the King, and while that story was resolved, I still felt like it wasn’t as well-developed as it could have been. Maybe this league of villains will continue to plague The Order in future novels like S.P.E.C.T.R.E in the James Bond series, or maybe the big reveal got lost somewhere along the way. I’m honestly not sure. Which is surprising as I kept rereading parts at the end over again, because so much was happening in the story. Luckily, the third novel, The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn, will be released this November. Maybe I’ll find out their identities then.
Do I Recommend?
I would recommend this novel to people who love reading historical fiction, and don’t mind a bit of the paranormal thrown in. The romance was as captivating as any other romance novel I’ve read, yet the characters were still confined to the era in which they live. Lady Nora is a strong, independent female character, and I really appreciated that fact. Many times, women during the 1800’s are written as being meek and subservient, or damsels in distress. Nora’s fiercely independent nature aided to the story as a whole, and also points out that the meek nature of women during this time was often only seen in public. Behind the doors, the women of this time seemed to wield more power with their husbands than they let on. I can’t wait to see how the Viscount and Nora’s relationship flourishes throughout the rest of the series.