Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

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Publication Date:
June 26th, 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN:  1455508322
Age Group: Adult (VERY ADULT)
Genre: Romance/Adventure/Erotic
Source: Digital Galley provided by Eldeweiss
Lootability: ***
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.

The latest instalment of the Maiden Lane books, Thief of Shadows is the story of Winter Makepeace, and his growing attraction for Lady Isabel Beckinhall amidst his search for kidnapped young girls in the guise of the Ghost of St. Giles, and a fight to keep his Father's Orphanage under his management.

What I Liked: Isabel is acerbic and vivacious, she has enough wit to be called clever, plenty of affection (when shown how to bestow it), all a fine combination for a romantic heroine. She will need all of these qualities to tame the stoic Winter Makepeace as he continues to deny his attraction (alright, let's call a kettle, a kettle here and call it his lust and undeniable sexual attraction) for her.
There are two intersection story arcs through the novel. The day adventure was somewhat boring, especially when compared to what happens as soon as darkness falls in St. Giles. Winter, as the Ghost of St. Giles, is hunting for whoever is behind the kidnapping of young girls while being blamed for the death of a young aristocrat. This means danger (and how we love danger!) and that danger spreads the seeds of some hot and heavy loving. (I'm going to advise everyone to avoid reading this, or any of Hoyt's other novels, in public. It could make a sailor blush.)
The erotic portions of the novel were a bit much for me, I'm used to the subtle inclusion of sex within YA fiction, not anything 50 Shades of Grey worthy. While I can enjoy the romantic aspects, I tend to skip over the rather graphic sex scenes. I think they were more sexual in this novel because of Winter's restraint.

What I Didn't Like: It annoyed me when they started playing Great Expectations and were trying to teach Winter to play the gentleman and teach him confinement. It became a game, competing for the management of the Orphanage. It's been done, and even with a few fight scenes (Winter pulls out his sword (; ) it was still astonishingly dull during the daytime scenes.
The Ghost of St. Giles story was far more interesting, though a tad convoluted, and at the end I felt like I had missed an important piece of the puzzle.
I'm going to be immature for a moment. Does anyone else giggle at the words used in these books? I can't help myself.

It's a fun next step of the Maiden Lane adventure, and if you enjoy it, then book 5, Lord of Darkness is expected out February 2013. Here's the blurb to keep you excited:
Since the death of his first wife, Godric St. John has devoted his nights to protecting the innocent of London disguised as the notorious Ghost of St. Giles. When Lord Griffin Reading discovers Godric's secret double life he presents him with an offer he can't refuse, and Godric finds himself married to a young—and pregnant—stranger.
Two years ago Lady Margaret "Megs" Reading lost both her lover and her unborn child—but not before being forced into a marriage of convenience with Godric St. John, an older, dour gentleman she barely knew. No longer content to spend her days at her husband's country estate, Megs leaves for London to get the two things she wants most: to find and bring to justice the man who murdered Roger, her lover, and to have a child of her own. But in order to conceive a baby, she's going to have to seduce the husband she hasn't seen since their marriage breakfast.


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