Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane) – book review

Thief of Shadows
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Book #4 in the Maiden Lane series
Number of Pages: 377
Historical Romance
Ages 15 and up
CW: child abuse, kidnapping, violence,
infertility/miscarriage talked about
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.

The romance between Isabel (Lady Beckinhall) and Winter was everything I had hoped it would be, and more. I’m going to quickly say that this review does not have spoilers for this book, but does have spoilers for the previous books. So if you haven’t read the first few books in this series, please be aware and decide if you want to go further.

Not only does this story have romance, witty conversation, and intrigue, but it also has so many great lines. Not just in dialogue, but in descriptions as well.

“She was rumored to have been a beauty in her youth, but age had placed a hand on her face and pulled down, bringing with it the skin around her mouth, eyes, and neck.”

That is not my favorite, but it won’t cause any flags on my reviews on certain prudish sites. And it gives you an idea of what I’m talking about.

Winter is so dour in the previous books, other than some peeks of him trying to keep in his humor when around Isabel in the previous story. Turns out that a fire burns underneath that rigid exterior. Unlike many heroes who have hidden inner fire, Winter doesn’t ever let his burn freely, not even when he’s under the guise of The Ghost of St. Giles. He will open the door a crack to get the job done when out protecting the streets, but there is still a tether on that fire. So much so that Winter has taken a personal vow of celibacy to be the best protector he can be with no distractions. Isabel has what it takes to stoke those flames, leaving Winter questioning his vows, reasoning, and whether he can continue to be the anonymous Ghost.

This story starts with a good dose of danger and excitement. The chemistry between Winter and Isabel is off the charts but Winter cannot help but wonder if Isabel is attracted to him or the Ghost or both. There’s a sort of Zorro/Batman suspension of disbelief that has to happen with some of the closeness these two share at the start, but it works. As things progress, Winter isn’t sure if Isabel knows his secret. Once Isabel figures it out, she is uncertain if Winter knows she knows.

Some of the things Winter has to go through in this story broke my heart. The way certain people in the aristocracy treated him and thought of him got my ire up and made me want to scream. He is such a steady person, not letting others see his emotions. That Isabel and Winter can be their true selves with each other is lovely and touched my heart.

There are 12 books in this series and some of the children in the orphanage are getting older, I can see them coming back in later books as adults. I’m hoping to see Joseph Tinbox as an adult. Not to mention Mary Whitsun, Peach, and Christopher. I couldn’t help thinking, in this story more than in the previous stories, that the author is thinking well ahead for these characters. Maybe in this series or maybe in a whole new series.

5 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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2 Responses to Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane) – book review

  1. Louise H says:

    Fantastic review. I’ve not read this series but it very much sounds like something I would enjoy. Oh my poor TBR list.

  2. Pingback: Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane) – book review | All In Good Time

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