Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

July 9, 2012

"I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair's too short

Down to here
Down to there
Down to where
It stops by itself
" - Hair
Spoilers may be present. Well, now we know who the Ghost of St. Giles is - or do we?  Thief of Shadows is the fourth installment in Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series.  And, do you know what?  I'm really enjoying the current trend in village/city/town series that are playing out in Romanceland.  I still might get my villages mixed up, but I believe its making for more fully developed stories.  All those reoccurring characters with all their foibles and flaws are making some really intriguing storytale weaving.  I'm find them very entertaining.

In the Thief of Shadows we have our main characters, Lady Isabel Beckinhall, an older widow (not a virgin widow), and our hero, Winter Makepeace, aka Ghost of St. Giles, who is a virgin - until he meets Isabel that is.

Oh, and by the way Winter has a hairy navel.  Not just hair here and there, no siree.  He's a hero.  Everything about him must be exaggerated.  Well, how much hair does he have, you ask.  His hair is so thick you cannot see his navel.  Now, I like hair as well as the next guy/girl - but you can't see his belly button!  That's not hair, that's fur!  On top of having a furry navel, it only seems to be centrally located around the navel, so, I'm thinking I don't want to see that walking toward me on a beach.

I digress.  Back to the story.  I enjoyed this book immensely and as in all Elizabeth Hoyt's tales, Thief of Shadows was filled with some wonderfully powerful writing.

One of the things that most struck me while reading was that the way Ms. Hoyt described clothing left no doubt as to what class that person belongs.  This is not just a book filled with a fashion show.  There is one great scene that exemplifies what I am talking about.  Isabel is dressing, or should I say she is being dressed.  All she ever does is move her arms up and down or step in and out of petticoats and what-nots.  By the end of this rather lengthy scene, there is no doubt that she is of the upper upper crust - far far above our humble hero Winter.

As a couple, Isabel and Winter were great, even though her tutoring him on how to blend into society was a bit of a stretch.  He wasn't some grunting Neanderthal, he was an educated man who seemed to already know the ins and outs of high society.  So, I never bought the initial reason for their being together.  Nonetheless, they made a great couple, who had some really hot, hot sex.  And, by the way the virgin Winter caught on really fast.  In fact, he and Isabel could find a second job with Cirque de Soleil.  There were a number of times I had to reread just to figure out what they were doing.  You're bending backward and looking where?  At what?  Also, virgin Winter has a gigantic Mr. Toad.  It goes all the way to his navel.  At least that's what we are told by Isabel.  Although how she can see through the fur to the belly-button is beyond me.  Must be one of those mysteries of the universe.

Back to the story.  When Isabel wasn't sneaking down some dark hallway she was a fascinating character.  Her relationship with her husband's illegitimate son Christoper, was very touching to watch.  Wish it had been explored more.

Speaking of touching.  Big tear jerk moment!  Bring on that tissue box when Winter decides he must lose Joseph Tinbox to the navy.

Overall, this was a great read.  I enjoyed the couple, but I loved what was going on around them even more.  When all of this was put together it was a lovely read.

By the way, I had one of those moments when a great descriptive sentence jumps off of the page right into my brain.  On page 191 of the paperback issue, the description of Lady Whimple: "She was rumored to have been a great beauty in her youth, but age had placed a hand on her face and pulled down,..."  Great visual of the hand of age on her face.

Great book.

Time/Place: Georgian England
Sensuality: Hot!!!!!!!!!


Tracy said...

OMG when Winter was trying to tell Joseph that this was the best thing for him I just lost it. Such an emotional moment.

Loved the book - love Elizabeth Hoyt. *sigh* lol

Melissa said...

The characters were great! The story was great! Wait, he's a virgin? Yet it was still well-written. The touching scene with Joseph was beautiful. And best yet, the Ghost still lives!

Melissa said...

The characters were great! The story was great! Wait, he's a virgin? Yet it was still well-written. The touching scene with Joseph was beautiful. And best yet, the Ghost still lives!