Wednesday, June 27, 2012

ARC Review: Thief of Shadows

Thief of Shadows
Elizabeth Hoyt
Historical Romance
Maiden Lane Series/Book 4
Grand Central Publishing/June 26, 2012


Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles—protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.

Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society—flirtation, double entendres, and scandalous liaisons—Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar—and his lips so tempting.

During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything—the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.

Absolutely Love This Series!  There, had to get that out.  Now on to the much anticipated story of Winter Makepeace and the woman who captured his heart.  Once again Elizabeth Hoyt has woven a beautifully written, suspenseful romance that brings the reader into the world of the dark and dangerous St. Giles district of 1730's London.

We first met Winter Makepeace at the beginning of the series in Wicked Intentions.  Ever since then I've been curious about this quiet, intellectual man.  He is very proper, coming off a little too stiff even for this time period.  We finally get to really know Winter and I couldn't be happier!  He is an alpha hero in beta clothing.  Winter cares deeply for the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children.  It's not just a family obligation but very dear to his heart.  I loved seeing him with the children, his patience and love for them show what a fascinating man he is.

Lady Isabel Beckinhall has made previous appearances in the series but little is know about her. She's a proper lady who tends to hide her quick wit behind her manners.  I simply adored Isabel with her intelligence and need to love and be loved.  She seems to have it all for a woman of her time period, independence and wealth but she doesn't have what she needs.  I loved Isabel's bravery and her ability to take control of a situation.  She's a bit older than Winter, six years, and more experienced.  It was a pleasant surprised to have the tables turned. 

The mystery of young orphan girls disappearing in and around St. Giles is the focus of Winter's night time ventures.  He is obsessed with not only protecting his children at the orphanage but the other children of St. Giles.  Winter has such an overwhelming desire to care for and protect it was nice to see someone take care of him when Isabel came into his life.

I found Winter and Isabel's romance charming in how Isabel was the aggressor with Winter attempting to maintain some distance.  He is very good with the word play but Isabel is certainly intelligent and able to keep up.  Their dialogue is a lovely prelude to their more intimate moments. 

There are a number of secondary characters who play into Winter and Isabel's developing relationship, all associated in one way or another to the home. I love this sense of connection the characters have, whether they be a house maid or a titled lady.  Hoyt shows how each character views the home, the Ghost and the place each of them have in society.  It's a very enlightening look at the society of the day. 

One thing I got a thrill out of was the swordplay scenes.  They were exciting and so very well written.  Hoyt makes the reader feel as if you are right there, front row to the action.  This series continues to surprise me.  Just when I think Hoyt can't top her previous book, she gives us a different type of hero who is as complex and captivating as previous heroes.  Add in the strong, intelligent heroines and you have a lovely historical romance series worth reading. 

Rating:  A

Maiden Lane Series ~

Wicked Intentions
Notorious Pleasures
Scandalous Desires
Thief of Shadows
Lord of Darkness (February 26, 2013)
Duke of Midnight (2013)


  1. Finally downloaded this last night. Cannot wait to read it!

    Another fantastic review, Leslie.

  2. I'm behind in this series -big surprise lol- so I just looked at your grade. So glad to see an A!!

  3. I haven't even started to read this series but I have the first two books. Her Four Soldiers series was my intro to historical romance - I was a late starter :-)

  4. Lori ~ Enjoy! Love this series so much. :)

    Ames ~ Catch up! I know, easier said than done. LOL

    Mary ~ Better late than never but now you've got some great reading ahead of you. :)

  5. I really enjoyed this book, but I was left wondering about the revelation in the epilogue and whether she had changed the rules that had been set up previously. Oh well, will still read the next book!

  6. Marg ~ I loved the surprises and where this series is going!