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The Veil of Night (Signet Eclipse) Mass Market Paperback – April 5, 2005

3.5 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Night Series

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I truly enjoyed taking my love for the old Gothic tradition and using it to create something fresh and new that still had that dangerous, brooding atmosphere that made me adore the genre in the first place.

The sweet ingénue alone with the rich, older, experienced man with secret to hide has been done before--and brilliantly. So rather than try to repeat that, I took the conventions of the genre and stood them on their heads without disrespecting them in any way.

The childlike naivety of the old Gothic heroine has been replaced by the complexities of an older woman whose past has left her believing that she is hard and bitter and too afraid to live. The dark, dangerous hero is still dark and dangerous, but his own unhealed wounds and rooted fears brought about by an affliction not of his making become the 'monster in the attic' that they must face. And through their relationship runs a deep, intense sensuality that neither can even attempt to ignore.

I had a blast writing this book, and I hope you take as much enjoyment in reading it!

From the Back Cover

In darkness, he awaits her...

Byron Stratford, Duke of Raeburn, walks in shadow. Spoken of only in whispers, he lives alone in his crumbling manor, a cold, enigmatic recluse. Rarely appearing by the light of day, he moves as a wraith in the night, answering to no man. He cares little for those who dwell outside-and does not abide the intrusion of others, lest they discover his secret shame...This is the sinister man Lady Victoria Wakefield must confront if she is to save herself from her family's ruin. Little does she suspect that she will emerge from her journey into that night as his shining sun-or that the passion that radiates between them will be their only defense against the true darkness threatening to destroy them both...

"The next great romance author has arrived, and her name is Lydia Joyce. THE VEIL OF NIGHT is a stunning debut from a young writer who possesses remarkable maturity and style. Every page is charged with sensual energy and confident grace. It is a gorgeous, complex, absolutely riveting novel. If there is only one new author you will try this year, it must be Lydia Joyce."
--Lisa Kleypas

"Intelligent. Passionate. Filled with dark secrets and illuminating love. This is what romance is about!"
--Robin Schone

"A powerful love story, compelling and beautifully written."
--Alison Kent, author of THE BANE AFFAIR

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Product Details

  • Series: Signet Eclipse
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (April 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451214838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451214836
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,163,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a letdown this book was. I've been anticipating it for a long time with much excitement because the author has said that her writing is influenced by Laura Kinsale and Judith Ivory, two of my favorite romance authors of all time. No one would love to come across another Kinsale or Ivory more, but I'm sad to say that I can't see any hint of similarity between their writing and Lydia Joyce's.

Joyce's prose style IS above average and pleasant enough to read, though here and there she overuses a word, like "challenge" or "whorl." But the main problem for me was in the characterization. I expected some complexity and layers to the main characters, but they were both lacking in depth. Victoria was your usual spinster heroine, prim on the outside but not on the inside, and Byron the typical "tortured" rakish aristocrat. I put "tortured" in quotes because while he had a good reason to be so, I never really felt his torment emotionally. At no point was I surprised by anything the characters said or did.

On the whole, Victoria and Byron were both pretty predictable, and as a result, their relationship was kind of lackluster. Perhaps part of the problem was that they psychoanalyzed each other so much in their conversations that I wasn't left any room to do any digging into their psyches myself. I also didn't get emotionally invested in either of them. They did not capture my imagination.

The love scenes were a bit more creative than usual, but they lacked the heat I am used to from Ivory and Kinsale. For the most part, the sex was just there. Joyce did a good job with the gothic atmosphere, but I felt that all the darkness in this book was on the outside, not matched any internal darkness in the characters.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
An enviable beginning. I see some less than favorable reviews here, and while loving or loathing a writer's style is no more an exact science than any other relationship, I disagree adamantly with the notion that touching a nose instead of a breast isn't erotic. In the right hands, tying shoelaces can be erotic. The fact that the love scenes veer away from a well-worn path is one of my favorite things about this book. Not to worry; her breasts aren't neglected. He just takes his time getting there, by the scenic route.

The set-up seems typical at first: a woman is blackmailed into having a sexual affair by a man seeking revenge against her brother. Of course they'll fall in love, after fighting to quell their growing vulnerability to each other. The suspense is in how they find their way from sex to love. Secrets are revealed, emotional barriers are breached, and layers of character are peeled away in a long, slow, emotional strip-tease.

Victoria is a beautifully complicated version of a staple romance character: a wanton in old maid's clothing, hiding her true nature to protect her heart. She plays along with the role of indignant blackmail victim, but it's not as if she'd be left destitute if she refused Byron's shocking proposal. She enters into the bargain willingly, sacrificing pride for for the chance to explore her sexuality after years of self-imposed repression.

Byron is more true to type: the wounded male whose casual cruelty is thin armor against the pain of rejection. His secret doesn't take an Einstein to figure out, either. But if he's not the most original hero on the bookshelf, he makes up for it in bed. He's also a worthwhile verbal sparring partner for Victoria, who is a mistress of the sly rejoinder.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Veil of Night almost has a gothic feel. There is a brooding hero and a woman with no chaperone alone in his house save some faithful servants. On some levels it passes muster especially when it comes to the descriptive writing of the castle. Ms Joyce does an excellent job of creating a dark, estate with drawn curtains and candle lit halls. Where it falls a little are the characters. The heroine was not as vibrant as the hero.

Lady Victoria Wakefield arrives at the Duke of Raeburn's home with a purpose; she intends to make the Duke forgive her brother's debt. She really has no plan other than her very strong will. Lady Wakefield dresses as an old spinster and she believes she is one but she wants to be a respectable woman also and her brother's losses could ruin her family's name.

Byron Stratford, Duke of Raeburn is a mysterious eccentric man. He is known by the ton to only socialize at night and he is reclusive. Byron is intrigued by the feisty and tart tongued Victoria and he suggests a proposal. Victoria shares his bed for a week and he will delay collecting on the debt until Victoria's brother comes into his inheritance. Victoria says yes to the proposal for her own reasons, she is drawn to the Duke and she wants to explore her desires.

The leads have a very passionate relationship and it begins almost immediately, no waiting to know each other, the Duke knows he only has a week. Yet these two really do share some of their innermost secrets, or rather Victoria shares hers and she resents that Byron is a mystery. She wonders why he shuns the daylight and why she cannot control her feelings for this enigmatic man.

Byron is kind yet also forceful. He is a contradiction and he is a very lonely man.
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