- Title: Thief of Shadows
- Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
- Series: Maiden Lane, Book 4
- Genre(s): Historical
- Publisher: Grand Central, June 2012
- Source: Free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley ($7.99 ebook and mmpb)
- Length: 377 pages
- Trope(s): Angst, Beta Hero, Virgin, Widow, In Disguise
- Quick blurb: Manager of a foundling home with a Deep Dark Secret gets deportment lessons from a wealthy widow.
- Quick review: Not my favorite from Elizabeth Hoyt, but the Virgin Caped Crusader hero makes it a memorable read.
- Grade: B
She might think this was merely a physical joining, but he knew far better.
He was claiming her as his. He’d warned her once before what this physical act meant to him. This was a union. This was forever.
The happy couple….
Lady Isabel is a wealthy widow in her 30s who fills her days with charitable works. Winter is a 26-year-old manager of a foundling home who rescues children from the depths of a desperate slum.
Georgian London. Hoyt is one of the best at historical world-building, and her descriptions of the sights and sounds and smells of St. Giles play a big role in reinforcing the tension and loneliness and despair of the story.
A little over the top with the masked vigilante and the child slave labor and the random murder of a peer and the meddling patroness, but it was exactly what I expected, so it worked for me.
I loved how Winter and Isabel were drawn to each other out of loneliness and their mutual need to draw each other out from behind their masks – literally and figuratively.
….Winter talked to her as if she were as intelligent as he. As if she would be interested in some of the same things that engaged him. As if he might want to know what she thought about. He talked to her as if she mattered.
…. “That’s our true intimacy, not sex, but the ability to be ourselves when we are together.”
But for whatever reason, I never felt that gut-wrenching connection between them like I have with nearly all of Hoyt’s previous couples, especially Hero and Griffin in Notorious Pleasures and Helen and Alistair in To Beguile a Beast. There was dramatic and romantic tension, but it seemed like it never really resolved to give me that sense of relief I was looking for.
Not my favorite from Elizabeth Hoyt, but the Virgin Caped Crusader hero makes it a memorable read.