Thief of Shadows is a very good addition to the Maiden Lane series. Here is what Goodreads says about the book:
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.
Characters: Winter Makepeace is a new virgin hero. His life is devoted to the foundling home and his nighttime identity as the Ghost of St. Giles. He does not have time for a wife or a family so he has decided to live a celibate life. Lady Isabel Beckinhall has a face she shows to society. Winter is the only one who realizes that she had a very different private face. Elizabeth Hoyt loves to write two main characters from different parts of society, characters who should not even mix but who are drawn together. Winter and Isabel meet those criteria. They should be oil and water but are not. Both Winter and Isabel are full developed characters. There are secondary characters but not much time is spent on their development.
Plot: The book starts with danger and that danger continues to run throughout the story. There is a villain. Hoyt put in several red herrings before the real villain is unmasked. She also set the scene for the next book.
Backstory: This is book four. Many of the characters for the first three books are present and there are hints about what happened in the previous books. Those hints do not interfere with the story. Thief of Shadows will stand-alone. I just think it is more fun if you have read the previous books.
Writing: The writing is very smooth. The story moves at a steady pace with scenes and sequels that allow the reader and the characters to rest between the action. It also gives the reader time to set to know more about the main characters.
Tension: Tension makes or breaks a story like this and tension makes Thief of Shadows. There is more that one type of external tension and each of the main characters have secrets that generate a lot of internal tension. Both together add up to a great story.
Pick this one up if you want a good historical romance. If you have not read the rest of the series you need to pick up Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #l), Notorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane, #2), and Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3).
Grand Central Publishing published Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt in 2012.
I received a eARC of Thief of Shadows from NetGalley. Thief of Shadows is scheduled for release on June 26, 2012.