A Masked Man . . .
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.
A Dangerous Woman . . .
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.
A Passion Neither Could Deny. . .
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.
I have been a fan of Elizabeth Hoyt ever since the debut of her first book, The Raven Prince. Over the years, I have fallen in love with her unconventional characters, daring plotlines, and passionate love scenes. Her Maiden Lane series has really impressed me and Thief of Shadows is no exception. I was intrigued by Winter Makepeace, brother of Temperance and Silence, since his introduction and was very excited to read his story.
I absolutely adored Winter in this book! I loved almost everything about him from his "superhero" persona to his schoolmaster tendencies. It should come as no surprise that Winter is a virgin, but he is not simpering weakling. One of the best parts of this book was watching him delve into his baser instincts that he had restrained for so long. I was really inspired by his mission and how it wasn't just for fun. Winter passionately believed in the causes he was supporting and had no problem explaining his opinion to others.
His heroine, Isabel, is another example of a person hiding behind a mask though an invisible one. At first, she appears to be nothing more than a bored widow who spends her days socializing and financially supporting charity causes. I really enjoyed watching the different layers of her personality reveal themselves, particularly when she was around Winter. He had an uncanny ability to see past her mask and find the true woman inside. I also liked that Isabel had obvious vulnerabilities, but she strived not to let them define her.
Together Winter and Isabel were sensual and vivacious. They really brought out the best in each other and their happily ever after is easily believable. They also had a load of sexual tension that just crackled through the pages. Like all of Hoyt's books, there is no lack in hot scenes once the tension gets to be too much. She really knows how to turn up the heat without making it seem sordid or cheesy. I, for one, like that she is not afraid to make her characters passionate especially around each other.
The suspense plot of the book, which revolved around children working in a sweatshop type of factory, was action-packed and kept me interested. Hoyt really made the reader feel nervous that Winter would not find these children and her descriptions of their plight made it that much more poignant. These scenes really tugged at my heart and gave me an even deeper understanding of why Winter does what he does. Also, in a different tone, I really liked the swashbuckling feel that the Ghost scenes provided which reminded me of a comic book.
There were a few minor subplots that involved Lady Margaret Reading, sister of Notorious Pleasures's Griffin Reading, and the overbearing Lady Penelope. These side stories provided a brief retreat from the main plot without overshadowing it. I am especially looking forward to Megs's story after the way this book ended.
In conclusion, I continue to adore this series and Hoyt's writing. She is definitely an author who researches methodically and isn't afraid to push the envelope. I am never bored reading one of her stories. Can't wait to read Lord of Darkness (February 2013) and Duke of Midnight (December 2013)!
1. Wicked Intentions
2. Notorious Pleasures
3. Scandalous Desires
4. Thief of Shadows
5. Lord of Darkness (To Be Released February 2013)
6. Duke of Midnight (To Be Released December 2013)
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