ONCE UPON A MAIDEN LANE by Elizabeth Hoyt (November 14, 2017; Forever Yours Ebook; $1.99; The Maiden Lane Series #12.5)
A stand-alone novella from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt!
Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancée, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna’s long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth—to the rakishly handsome artistocrat himself . . .
Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He’s drawn to her sharp mind, indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him—ladies simply don’t dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can’t help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry’s world—or in his heart.
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Rating : 4.5 out of 5 Stars
This novella can be read as a standalone, but if you have read the Maiden Lane series (and if not, you really should) you’ll know that the heroine, Mary Whitsun, is an orphan with no family who was raised at the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children in St Giles. Mary finds herself lucky to have found a nursemaid position with her friend, Lady Caire. Her world is turned upside down when an aristocratic family claims she is their long lost daughter, who was kidnapped at the age of 7 months. She is expected, not only to quickly become a refined lady, but also to marry a stranger, Henry Collins, Lord Blackwell. Mary is not a woman to be intimidated easily and certainly not by an arrogant rake who presents himself as her fiancé.
Their banter was delightful. The sparks fly between them from the start. Both are engaging and well-developed characters and their romance is engrossing. I liked Mary, her simplicity and honesty were refreshing. Henry was caring and tender, not at all the rakish hero I expected him to be. As a couple, Mary and Henry were just adorable.
This was a really great story with a set of vibrant characters that I absolutely adored and enough unexpected twists to keep you turning the pages. As a reader, I have mixed feelings when a great series comes to an end. On the one hand, it’s great to have closure to a story, but on the other hand, I never wanted this outstanding series to end! I can’t wait to see what Elizabeth Hoyt has in store for her readers.
An advanced copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.
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