Maximus Batten, Duke of Wakefield, needs to be the perfect duke. He is haunted by the murder of his parents and feels he owes it to the dukedom to do everything just so while searching for their murderer as the Ghost of St. Giles. Artemis Greaves, while born the granddaughter of an Earl, is not a suitable bride. Her father was mad and her brother is currently in Bedlam for murder. Yet Maximus is drawn to Artemis like no other and soon passion cannot be ignored. Please join just as we read Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt. This will be our sixth Maiden Lane adventure!
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If you'd like to listen to a certain segment of our show, here's our outline this week:
0:00 - 07:52: Intro and History Fact
07:52 - 18:04: Synopsis
18:04 - 20:25: Parlour
20:25 - 42:309: General Discussion
We include our synopses as a semi-transcription of the episode in our blog posts. You can learn more about how we compose these by reading this article. As a reminder though, our synopses are FULL of spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk :)
Duke of Midnight Synopsis:
Artemis Greaves cannot believe she let her cousin Penelope talk her into going into St. Giles at night. The woman would do literally anything to be considered daring and gain the attention of the Duke of Westfield. The youngest, richest Duke on the Market.
These are the thoughts she has as she is preparing to fend off three men bent on accosting them both. They never even managed to get a taste of gin which was the whole objective of the evening.
However, things get more interesting when a certain Ghost of St. Giles makes an appearance. He approaches her and helps her stand. Then as he turns away (to fend off Penelope who jumped on his back), the ring from his small finger comes away in her hand. He runs off into the night.
As they find a hack to leave St. Giles, Artemis looks up and sees the man known as the Ghost watching over them to ensure their safety.
Back at home, Maximus Batten is kicking himself for losing his father’s ring. His whole life since the murder of his parents has been about finding the man responsible. He’s also the only remaining Ghost haunting St. Giles.
Now some quick background on Artemis, she is the granddaughter of an Earl. Her father had the courtesy title of Viscount but because his father did not approve of his wife, they were estranged and Artemis grew up with little money. She also has a twin brother, Apollo. Her brother is currently in Bedlam because he is accused of killing 3 men. This happened shortly after the death of her parents and her grandfather never responded to her letter requesting help. So she turned to a distant Uncle, Penelope’s father, who had her brother declared mad in order to avoid the noose. Now she is Lady Penelope’s companion and is only slightly resenting her lot in life. However, it affords her the ability to see her brother and ensure that he is at least minimally cared for.
Okay. Now Artemis and the Duke are constantly being thrown together. He is pursuing her cousin, who is beautiful and vain. However, she has the right pedigree. After meeting Artemis as the Duke, Maximus is immediately drawn to her but because of her brother, she is unsuitable to be the next Duchess of Westfield. Maximus is obsessed with doing everything perfectly as Duke because of the guilt he feels towards his parents.
Artemis also finds herself confessing things to the duke. Like telling him about the ring the ghost lost in the rescue.
That night, she awakens to the Ghost looking through her bedroom. The ring is on a chain around her neck, but she does not offer it to him. Instead they talk and she is intrigued by this man London fears.
A short time later, our MCs are together at the Duke’s house party at his country estate. Maximus a is out the first morning of the parry and comes across Artemis, sans shoes, roaming the forest. His dogs seem to have a knack for finding her wherever she is. They chat and this pattern continues as the party goes on.
Things get interesting when Artemis realizes that the Duke is the Ghost. While fencing with another party attendee, he shows his more lethal nature. That coupled with the ring she found, allows her to draw this correct conclusion.
While normally Artemis would keep this information to herself. Wakefield is a powerful man, so powerful he may just be able to get her brother out of Bedlam. So she blackmails him. Maximus is not amused and really does not feel like she’s much of a threat. Afterall, who would believe a companion over a well respected Duke.
Artemis gets more desperate though. After initially broaching the subject with the Duke, she finds out that her brother is dying. She has no details and when she tells Penelope she must go to her brother, Penelope tells her to forget him. Her place is with Penelope and distancing herself from the mad Viscount.
Artemis ups her blackmail game, becoming more blatant with her insinuations about the Ghost’s identity. Maximus drags her into the woods during an outing with a few of the other guests and asks what she thinks she is doing?! She tells him about her brother being on his deathbed. Maximus swears, kisses her, walks back to the group and tells them he has urgent business in London.
That night, the Ghost of St. Giles breaks Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne out of Bedlam. Artemis is close behind, having convinced Penelope to lend her to Maximus’s sister Phoebe while her aunt is away. Phoebe is the sister that is going blind if you might recall from Hero’s book (Maiden Lane 2).
Now that Artemis knows that Apollo is safe and can heal in peace, she and Maximus confront each other. And by confront, I mean bang.
He does not offer her marriage. He is very up front with that but Artemis does not care. The sexual tension and the explosive kiss were all she needed to offer herself to the duke.
So now they are under one roof and they are getting busy. This is helpful because part of the Duke’s quest of redemption is to put his mother’s emerald necklace back together. It was stolen when she died and broken apart. He now has all but the last two pieces.
After returning home as the Ghost and finally, after almost 20 years meeting the man responsible, Maximus tells Artemis about the necklace. The highwayman, Old Scratch, is to blame and still wears a piece of his mother’s necklace. He shows her the pieces and Artemis jumps out of bed.
Returning she gives him one of the two missing pieces. Her brother, thinking it was paste, gave it to her on their 15th birthday. Maximus finally has a clue to tracking Old Scratch’s identity!
Maximus gets a lead from Apollo and continues in his quest, while Aretmis is learning that her relationship with Maximus is not going to be a secret much longer. And while he’s stated that he’ll buy her a house and make her his mistress, she loves him too much to watch him marry not just another woman, but her cousin.
We finally arrive at the climax of our tale. Maximus is getting closer to finding Old Scratch, Artemis is getting ready to leave forever, when everything comes together at Hart’s Folly. Maximus followed his lead, only to find the man dead. Artemis is with Phoebe when Old Scratch, Lord Noakes, tries to kidnap Phoebe, but settles for Artemis instead. He drags her to a boat as Hart’s Folly burns around them.
Maximus arrives to see Noakes using her as a shield while holding her at gunpoint on a boat. But Artemis is not someone to underestimate and she throws herself into the Thames.
Maximus just about drops dead at the sight of Artemis going under the water. He immediately jumps in and saves her, forgetting about his vendetta.
He cuts her out of her wet skirts and brings her to the surface. There he is hauled into a boat by none other than our other favorite ghosts. Turns out, Godric is just as bloodthirsty as ever and he killed Noakes before he could escape.
“But…” Both men looked over inquiringly when Maximus spoke. “But I never asked you to help me with Noakes.” Makepeace nodded, his expression grave. “You didn’t have to.” “You never had to,” St. John concurred.
Once home, Maximus proposes to Artemis and tells her how much he loves her. The moment he thought she was gone, everything else ceased to matter. She happily agrees and that’s it.
And when we return to Maiden Lane, we’ll catch up with our other favorite Olympian Twin.
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