Title: Thief of Shadows
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, book 4
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
"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."
Thief of Shadows is the fourth book in the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt.
Winter Makepeace lives to serve the needy, especially the children, he has dedicated his life to this, during the day as the headmaster of a home of foundling children and at night as the protector of St. Giles also known as the Ghost of St. Giles.
His nighttime occupation is not an easy one and more than once he has been wounded trying to protect others and that is the case after saving the pirate “Charming” Mickey O’Connor from hanging (Scandalous Desires, third book in the series). Winter finds himself gravely injured, followed by a mob and without means of escape.
Lady Isabel Beckinhall is on her way back home from visiting the home for foundling children where she is a patroness, when the commotion on the street catches her attention, what surprises her the most about the situation it’s the injured man in the middle of the street, without thinking twice she orders her coachman to put him in her carriage and takes him home with her to treat his injuries. She knows the man she just rescued and tended is the famous Ghost of St. Giles, but she can’t learn his real identity because he doesn’t let her remove the mask he is wearing. As soon as he’s able and without anyone’s notice Winter/Ghost leaves Lady Isabel’s house without further ado.
But Winter’s problems doesn’t end with his leg injury, he is also investigating the mysterious disappearance of small girls in St. Giles and if that wasn’t enough some of the other patronesses of the home of foundling children find him unfit for the position of headmaster and want a man with better social skills than him. Winter has dedicated his life to the home of foundling children and is willing to do anything to be able to continue in his position, including accepting the help with classes in proper social behavior and etiquette from the infuriating and intriguing Lady Isabel
What neither of them was expecting was to find the other bemusedly fascinating.
Since the moment I was introduced to Winter Makepeace in Wicked Intentions (first book on this series) I knew there should be more about him than his dour and staid façade, but honestly I wasn’t expecting to be this much. Saying that I was surprised to learn that he was the Ghost of St. Giles is an understatement but the more I get to know Winter the more I realized there was not a better man to be The Ghost of St. Giles than him.
Winter is a passionate man, everything he does he does it giving all of himself without reservations whether related to the children he cares for or being attracted to Lady Isabel. For that same reason he doesn’t want to feel what he is feeling for her, he is new to all this and doesn’t know how he should act in this kind of situations.
Lady Isabel as many society ladies shows one face to the public while hiding her real self; Winter is the only one that has been able to see behind the fake veil she wears in public.
Lady Isabel also doesn’t want to feel what she’s feeling for Winter, not only he’s six years her junior but he is not the man a woman like her should get involved with, but no other man has ever intrigued her as Winter has and when she discovers he is the Ghost of St. Giles she can’t help but want him more.
Both Winter and Lady Isabel have strong personalities. They are very smart and witty as well, the banter between them was one of the best I’ve read. Their scorching attraction is off the charts, and the steamy scenes are boiling hot. Mrs. Hoyt knows how to build up the sexual tension and how to deliver with the sexiest scenes you can imagine.
The mystery involving the missing girls in St. Giles was really well done and had me wondering until the end.
Thief of Shadows is a Great addition to an Amazing series (capitalization is in order). Thief of Shadows can be read as a stand-alone but I recommend you to read all the books in this series. Without a doubt Maiden Lane is one of my favorite historical series ever. I’m eagerly looking forward to the release of the next installment of this series, Lord of Darkness.
If you like historical romance you have to read this book and this series in general. Mrs. Hoyt is a master storyteller, one you need to discover by yourself.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Thief of Shadows
Lord of Darkness (Feb. 26th 2013)
Duke of Midnight (2013)
Other reviews Goodreads