Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “There would be no dawn in the world where he was not. Or if it came to that, she’d make sure she wasn’t there to see it.“
Meg Anthony, an agent with the Order of M.U.S.E., has been placed under the Duke of Camden’s protection. He has offered this to not only teach her how to comport herself like a lady and to use her talents better but to hide her from her relatives who seek to use her gift for nefarious means. When they discover her relatives know where she is and are planning to abduct her, The Duke sends her to Wales for protection.
Lord Samuel Badewyn, half man and half angel, lives a lonely life in Wales with only his uncle and the stars for company. Charged with protecting Meg, Badewyn struggles to keep his interest purely business like for Meg affects him in ways that could destroy them both. When the threats to Meg become even more dangerous, Samuel will have to step out of the darkness in order to see the light.
The Lost Soul of Lord Badewyn is the third installment of Harlow’s enchanting and intriguing paranormal historical romance series-The Order of M.U.S.E. As with each installment in this series, each book can be read as a standalone though there are continuing subplots that cross from book to book. Even more strongly character driven than the first two books, the romance maintains a tight grip on the novel with the conflict being more personal in nature and not requiring the official investigations of the Order. Marlow writes her story with a smooth hand; engaging us at a steady pace as she develops a romance that draws in your attention right from the start. This book seems to be softer- not as action packed as the last two installments- choosing to embrace the emotional aspects to focus on.
I have been interested in getting Meg Anthony’s story since first meeting her. A strong, loyal, street smart young woman, her life hasn’t been a bed of roses. Used by her relatives for criminal activities, Meg eventually runs away and finds protection with the Duke of Camden. Called a finder, she is able to locate anyone or anything. Issues concerning her gift revolves around the fact she has to spiritually leave her body in order for it to work. Basically, she dies & her soul leaves her body, only to return when she wills it to. This has caused the Duke to place an edict on her that she will not use her gift unless she is given permission. The only one of the order who is not of the upper class, Meg feels insecure about her place in the order and struggles to accept that she is just as important as any of them. She feels unworthy of their kindness and affection.
Samuel, Lord of Badewyn, seeks to remain closeted from society due to his celestial nature and his family. He knows what will happen if he ever falls in love and marries. Something that has happened to every one of his brothers before him. He believes himself without a soul or heart ; unworthy of anyone’s affection. He’s fiercely loyal, intelligent, and stubborn. Once he sets himself on a course, it is almost impossible to deviate him from it. Yet, once he meets Meg, he begins to see that maybe he has a chance at a normal life.
I found our hero and heroine to be sweet, honest characters whose peculiarities actually make them perfect matches. Both unsure of their place in society and life, choosing to hide away rather than bring their problems to anyone’s door. Their strengths are magnified by their perseverance and intelligence, and willingness to fight for what’s right. The journey they travel together is littered with pitfalls and secrets but Marlowe tempers the seriousness with witty antagonistic banter, light flirting, and some humorous internal dialogue. Both of them know that due to their circumstances, falling in love is not a luxury that either can afford. Regardless, the chemistry between them is hot and delicious, leading to some delightful love scenes that allow them to bare their hearts to one another.
Familiar secondary characters dot the landscape, adding to the tension and suspense while resolving their own issues. We meet a few very interesting new faces who I shall enjoy seeing more of in the future. The strong camaraderie continues to be felt and Marlowe further explores the intricate ties that bind them together. I look forward to reading their stories in the future. As with most of Marlow’s books, a single grand gesture of love pushes the story towards the end, granting you the answers you seek and the happy ending you desire.