The fourth book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s much acclaimed Maiden Lane series artfully combines action-packed escapades, intrigue, and romance into a powerful cocktail, served up with sterling prose and witty repartee.
In Thief of Shadows, Hoyt pits the wiles of society socialite and leading lady Baroness Isabel Beckinhall against the earthy, stubborn Winter Makepeace, stolid headmaster of the St. Giles Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children. When aristocratic politics threaten to oust the socially inept Winter from his post, Isabel is tasked with tutoring him in the ways of the privileged–conversation, dancing, and flirtation.
But their charm campaign is not without its hiccups–the largest being Winter himself. Although dull and dependable in the light of day, the headmaster moonlights as the notorious masked vigilante the Ghost of St. Giles, protector of London’s less fortunate denizens.
When the Ghost lands in an unfortunate heap in front of Isabel’s carriage, she begins to apply her wits to uncover the masked man’s true identity–after rescuing him from his pursuers.
Hoyt exploits the ensuing drama to the fullest. Replete with twists and turns, Thief of Shadows’s meaty plot only serves to amplify the sparks that fly between Winter/The Ghost and Isabel.
Hoyt’s masterful command of, perhaps, the most important element of a great romance novel–flirty dialogues and sensual banter–is evident on every page. The author skillfully utilizes her plotting and the conversations between her characters to build their relationship, which she then consummates with creative love scenes.
An all-around treat, Thief of Shadows and Elizabeth Hoyt are certainly representative of the best in historical romance.
Whether you are a hardened romance reader or a skeptic, Thief of Shadows will not disappoint.
PS: After you finish this thoroughly entertaining read, you can jump straight into book five, Lord of Darkness, which was just released in February 2013 and has already hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.