Maiden Lane—Book 4
By Elizabeth Hoyt
Publisher: Grand CentralRelease Date: June 26, 2012
Warning—this review contains spoilers.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again as it bears repeating—Elizabeth Hoyt writes some of the best historical romance that I’ve ever read. She has a killer knack for bringing together the people within the seedy, gritty parts of
and the aristocracy of the glittering ballrooms in a perfectly believable way.
It’s no wonder she has quickly become a fan favorite. London
With Thief of Shadows, we finally get Winter’s story! He first made his appearance in book one of Hoyt’s
series, Wicked Intentions, where he
instantly captured my attention as the manager of the Home for Unfortunate
Infants and Foundling Children located in St. Giles. I knew then that there was
more to this man. At the end of the previous book, Scandalous Desires, readers discovered that Winter is the infamous
Ghost of St. Giles and was injured while helping river pirate Mickey O’Connor
escape the gallows. Thief of Shadows
begins with the widowed Lady Isabel Beckinhall saving the Ghost from the mob of
people looking for him. She and her servants tend his wounds and give him a
temporary refuge, but by the next morning he is gone.
By day, Winter manages and teaches at the home. By night, he rescues those who cannot save themselves—innocent children orphaned on the streets of St. Giles. He is completely and wholly dedicated to both parts of his life. When his ability in managing and representing the home is questioned by one of the patronesses of the Ladies’ Syndicate, Isabel is tasked with tutoring him in the ways of the ton in order to give the home a good image with the aristocracy. Winter immediately rejects Isabel’s offer, but the lady is persistent and eventually he sees the importance of it. During their lessons, Isabel can’t help but push the dour schoolmaster’s buttons.
Isabel made a disappointed moue and was rewarded with the firming of Mr. Makepeace’s lips. It was too bad of her, really, but for some reason it amused her to no end to poke at this man. To subtly taunt and prod. He was so stiff, so utterly self-contained. Perhaps he simply had no emotions to restrain, but she didn’t think so. No, Isabel knew deep in her heart that there was a volcano somewhere under that granite shell. And if it ever blew, she wanted to be there to witness the explosion.
Isabel learns that Winter is a God-fearing man, and even goes as far as to call him priestly. As their lessons continue, it doesn’t take her long to learn that he has zero experience with women. (Yes, our Winter is a virgin!) Isabel enjoys the blunt conversations she has with him as they don’t mince words. She also likes how she feels when she’s with him.
He spoke to her as an equal, as if her rank and his position simply didn’t matter. But it was more than that. Many men considered women either ethereal beings to be placed on a pedestal or childlike and unable to hold logical thought. Winter talked to her as if she were as intelligent as he. As if she would be interested in some of the same things that engaged him. As if he might want to know what she thought about. He talked to her as if she mattered.
And considering it now, she realized no one had ever been curious about her, Isabel the woman. She had been wife and daughter, lover and witty society lady. But no one had ever looked beneath those masks to find out what the woman who wore them really thought.
Was it so terrible to want to be closer to a man who saw her as a person?
Winter relishes his time spent with Isabel and tries to not let his feelings overshadow his mission. When he discovers that someone—an aristocrat, at that—is snatching little girls off the streets for nefarious reasons, Winter is determined to do whatever it takes to stop them...by whatever means possible.
Winter is a truly remarkable hero. He comes across as rigid and constrained, but for a very good reason. He made a vow and he is determined to see it through. He is honest, protective, and loyal to the bone. I dare anyone to read this book and not fall in love with him. He is that special. As he puts it, he is a pit of darkness. The overwhelming darkness makes him feel unworthy to shine, so it takes someone of Isabel’s caliber to show him the light. She is witty, confident, and gives as good as she gets. But she has her own secrets that she is resolved to keep. Their exchanges are charged and filled with tension and when Isabel and Winter finally get together, they thoroughly heat up the pages. The love scenes are sexy and quite beautifully written.
Hoyt brings back beloved secondary characters from the previous books to set up the next installment in the series and, like always, I cannot wait for it. Thief of Shadows is an extraordinary book and another keeper from Hoyt. I highly recommend it!
I am so excited about this, I have been reading the Maiden Lane series and was hoping I had timed it right to just keep reading when I got to Winter. I am reading Scandalous Desires now, I wonder if she is going to continue the series through the whole family, I really want to know what Asa is up to.ReplyDelete
I really want to know what Asa is up to.Delete
Me too, Dianna!
Me three! Asa wasn't mentioned very much (or at all, IIRC) in Thief of Shadows, but I'm super curious!Delete
Great review, Andrea, for a wonderful book! "Extraordinary" is the right word for Hoyt. Thief of Shadows is my favorite in the series so far, and I too impatiently await the next book.ReplyDelete
I have the feeling the next book is going to be very good! :)Delete
Oh my goodness, the teaser in the back has me on pins and needles!!! I've been intrigued by Godric St. John from the beginning!Delete
I was thinking for a while that he was the "ghost". Then I started thinking Winter, so are they both the ghost?Delete
Dianna, you don't really expect me to answer that, do you?? Read on, my friend! ;-)Delete
Great review, I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion of Hoyt, she is one of my favorites, I've loved all her books, and this one is my favorite in the series as well.ReplyDelete
Welcome to The Romance Dish, Julie! Is this your first visit?Delete
Hi, Julie! Thank you! Scandalous Desires holds a slight edge as my favorite, but all of her books are keepers for me. Such talent!Delete
PJ, not my first visit, but I think it's the first time I've commented! Love your blog!Delete
I may as well just keep the love going! Thief of Shadows is my favorite in the series too. It truly is an extraordinary book. I fell in love with Elizabeth Hoyt's writing with her debut book and she continues to solidify those feelings with each book she publishes. Can't wait for the next one!ReplyDelete
Thanks for another terrific review, Andrea!
I'm with you, PJ. When I read her debut right after its release, I was blown away. I couldn't believe it was a debut book! Love her stuff. :)Delete
I looooved this book so much! SO glad to see most everyone else did too. I had been waiting for Winter's story since the first - knew he was a hottie. Still waters run deep :)ReplyDelete
The Brunette Librarian Blog
Glad you feel the same way about Winter, Brunette Librarian! And welcome to the blog. :)Delete
I can't wait to read this one. You're are right about Hoyt--she writes some of the best historical romances!ReplyDelete
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did, LSUReader!Delete
It took me a long time to read EH after the first 4 or so of her books. Some of them were too graphic with strong language for me....She is an excellent author, though, and I would like to see her stories have less of the explicit language. But, since you and I like the same kind of story and heroes, Andrea, I will give this book a try.ReplyDelete
I think you'd enjoy this one, Deb. Winter is a "to die for" hero. Let me know what you think after you read it! :)Delete
I have been waiting for all books in this series to be out before I read them. Whether this is the last or not, I need to start the series so I can work my way to Winter's story sooner than later. He sounds like my kind of hero.ReplyDelete
You must have the patience of a Saint, librarypat. I couldn't do it! LOL!Delete
I hope I'm not too late! I have bee waiting, not too patiently, for this book just like so many of you. Andrea this was a tremendous review; it really captures the feel of the series and of the times. Even though I was certain I knew who the Ghost of St. Giles was; I have been anticipating his story since book one! I cannot wait to get this book. Do you know if this is the end of this series, or does Elizabeth Hoyt have more of it up her sleeve?ReplyDelete
Hey, Flora! Thank you for your sweet words. :) Oh, she does indeed have more up her sleeve! I know that there are at least two more books in this series: LORD OF DARKNESS in Feb 2013 and DUKE OF MIDNIGHT in December 2013. I would love to read Asa's story, but don't know if she has plans for him or not. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!Delete
THIEF OF SHADOWS goes immediately on my wish list. Swoon!!ReplyDelete
Yay! Swoon is right! ;-)Delete
I didn't read your review because of the spoilers.... I just skimmed down here to the comments to let you know I love Elizabeth Hoyt's books! I just started thief of Shadows and can't wait to find time to read more! I always stalk her website waiting for new release dates and new excerpts to be listedReplyDelete
LOL! I don't blame you for skipping to the comments, savannah. I'm not fond of spoilers either. I've never understood how some people can read the end of a book first! Enjoy TOS!Delete
I'm looking forward to all those books, especially Dream Lake.ReplyDelete
That's wonderful, Andrea! I'm so glad to hear that the series is not ending here. And truly, your review was execellent!ReplyDelete
Aww, thanks, Flora. And I'm so glad there will be more in the series, too!ReplyDelete