Apollo, Artemis's (from book #6) brother, is working in the gardens at Harte's Folly. He is trying to bring it back from the horrible fire there months before. Lily, AKA the actress Robin Goodfellow, is living in part of the theater that did not burn with her son and nanny. Her son, Indio, has seen Apollo but Lily doesn't believe him until she meets him. He cannot speak because of the beating he got in Bedlam. He and Lily get closer. She is attracted to him, partly because he is so kind and protective of Indio and his dog, Daffodil.
Trevillion found Apollo after following Artemis to the Folly. He and Apollo fought at their first meeting but soon Trevillion realizes that Apollo did not kill the men he was accused of and arrested for killing. They try to figure how who was responsible. Lily is dying to know what is going on between the men.
Will Trevillion be able to clear Apollo's name? Will he and Lily find love?
I love this series. I like how the stories connect the characters.
From the author:
A MAN CONDEMNED . . .
Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown’s soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he’s quickly driven to distraction . . .
A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .
London’s premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she’s forced to move into a scorched theater with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren’t the only inhabitants—a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there’s more to this man than meets the eye.
OUT OF ASHES, DESIRE FLARES
Though a scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he’s forced to make a choice: his love for Lily…or the explosive truth that will set him free.
As the mother of a seven-year-old boy, Lily Stump was used to of odd topics of conversation. There was the debate on whether fish wore clothes. The deep and insightful discussion over where sugared plums came from and the subsequent lecture on why little boys were not allowed to break their fast with them every day. And, of course, the infamous controversy of Why Dogs Bark But Cats Do Not.
So truly it wasn’t Lily’s fault that she did not pay heed to her son’s announcement at luncheon that there was amonster in the garden.
“Indio,” Lily said with only a tiny bit of exasperation, “must you wipe your jammy fingers on Daffodil? I can’t think she likes it.”
Sadly, this was a blatant lie. Daffodil, a very young and very silly red Italian greyhound with a white blaze on her chest, was already happily twisting her slim body in a circle in order to lick the sticky patch on her back.
“Mama,” Indio said with great patience as he put down his bread and jam, “didn’t you hear me? There’s a monster in the garden.” He was kneeling on his chair and now he leaned forward over the table to emphasize his words, a lock of his dark curly hair falling into his right, blue, eye. Indio’s other eye was green, which some found disconcerting, although Lily had long ago grown used to the disparity.
“Did he have horns?” the third member of their little family asked very seriously.
“Maude!” Lily hissed.
Maude Ellis plonked a plate of cheese down on their only-slightly-singed table and set her hands on her skinny hips. Maude had seen five decades and despite her tiny stature—she only just came to Lily’s shoulder—she never shied away from speaking her mind. “Well, and mightn’t it be the Devil he saw?”
Lily narrowed her eyes in warning—Indio was prone to rather alarming nightmares and this conversation didn’t seem the best idea. “Indio did not see the Devil—or a monster, for that matter.”
“I did,” Indio said. “But he hasn’t horns. He has shoulders as big as this.” And he demonstrated by throwing his arms as far apart as he could, nearly knocking his bowl of carrot soup to the floor in the process.
Lily caught the bowl deftly—much to the disappointment of Daffodil. “Do eat your soup, please, Indio, before it ends on the floor.”
Read more here.
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Grand Central Publishing
(first published January 1st 2014)