(Maiden Lane, #10.5)
Genre: Historical Romance (Georgian, 1741)
From New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt comes a delightful Maiden Lane novella that begins once upon a moonlit night—and ends wickedly, wonderfully ever after…
Hippolyta Royle is running for her life. Pursued by hounds on a cold rainy night, the heiress flags down a passing carriage and throws herself at the mercy of the coach’s occupant. Whoever this handsome traveler may be, he is her only hope to escape a terrible fate. But should he agree to escort her to safety, he’s in for much more than he bargained for.
At first Matthew Mortimer doesn’t believe Hippolyta’s story, that she’s a fabulously wealthy heiress who’s been kidnapped. He assumes she’s a beggar, an actress, or worse. But once his new travel companion washes the mud from her surprisingly lovely face, and they share a breathtaking kiss, there is no turning back.
I really enjoyed this latest addition to Elizabeth Hoyt’s fabulous Maiden Lane series. This novella follows Hippolyta Royle’s “adventures” after escaping the clutches of the wicked Duke of Montgomery (DUKE OF SIN)
I love the unconventional first meeting between Hippolyta and Matthew. I had a vivid picture of the wet, bedraggled, dirty, smelly Hippolyta trying to convince a disbelieving Matthew that she is telling the truth and she really is an heiress! It’s hardly surprising he doesn’t believe a word and is convinced that she is either a beggar, an actress or a whore. Given the circumstances, I can forgive his boorish attitude and rather coarse language and to his credit he does take pity on her and offer to give her a lift to the next town.
Well, it was a cold and wet night after all, and he had a bit of soft spot for scamps who could tell a cock-and-bull story with a straight face.
Matthew is both surprised and impressed by Hippolyta’s intelligence and wit and starts to have doubts about his original assumptions. He also feels very protective towards her while she feels safe with Matthew. I love the scene where Matthew walks in on Hippolyta while she is soaking naked in a tin bath, and he sees for the first time just how beautiful she is.
Ms Hoyt is excellent at building sexual tension and those who enjoy their romances with a goodly dose of sexy times will be more than satisfied (no pun intended).
I admire Hippolyta’s spirit when she attends Viscount D’Arque’s ball, knowing the potential scandal it would create, and I love how Matthew is a solid presence, supporting and encouraging her.
…she stumbled a bit.
But Matthew caught her so that none of those watching could see the hesitation. “Head held high, Princess, “he murmured in her ear.
D’Arque and his grandmother, Lady Wimple, also rally round to offer their influential support and it was wonderful to see Hippolyta triumph. I think Lady Wimple sums it up perfectly.
“Well! This is all very satisfactory. I can’t think when I’ve seen a scandal with greater dash.”
I cheered when the blackmailer is well and truly hoisted by his own petard and thoroughly thrashed by Matthew. I also enjoyed seeing, Sir George, Hippolyta’s father, put the final nail in the blackmailer’s coffin.
Last but not least, I must mention Tommy Teapot, Matthew’s pet mongoose, a real charmer who steals every scene he’s in.
My only criticism is that I would love to have spent more time with Hippolyta and Matthew and see them enjoying their Happy Ever After.
Favourite Romantic Quotes
“Beggar or heiress. Princess or pauper. I didn’t give a goddamn who or what you were, Hippolyta, I just wanted you.”
He’d stood by her, had believed in her when she’d been hopeless. Had rescued her and argued with her and made love with her and she…She loved him, her pirate, her husband, her Matthew.
MY VERDICT: This novella is a must read for all fans of the Maiden Lane series. For those who have yet to read this brilliant series…what are you waiting for?
REVIEW RATING: 4/5 STARS
SENSUALITY RATING: HOT
Read June 2016
Maiden Lane series so far (click on the book covers for more details):
**I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.