Title: Thief of Shadows

Author: Elizabeth Hoyt

Series: Maiden Lane Book 4

Publication Date: June 26, 2012

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Main Characters: Lady Isabel Beckinhall, Winter Makepeace


Personal Rating: 




Historical Romance


Sex Scenes: 

Fiery Passion



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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.


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.


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.


I find myself enjoying this book but not as much as I enjoyed the previous three. I am going to give this book three red hearts. It’s still a great read. It’s just that I really liked the first three books. I liked the hero and the heroine as well.

I liked Winter Makepeace. In the first three books, he seemed like a boring schoolteacher who dedicated his life in serving the home and teaching the children. In the third book, we can now see that he is actually a passionate man, especially on things that he care about, like the school and his family. We see him work with his brothers in getting Silence back. And when Mickey O’Connor was freed by the Ghost of St. Giles, we automatically know that it was Winter, protecting the man his sister loves.

I liked him in this book as well because we can now clearly see the difference between Winter the schoolteacher and Winter the Ghost. I like how he is with the children, strict but fair. I even like the way he was confident with himself, despite having no sexual experience.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Lady Isabel Beckinhall. She’s actually okay, for the most part. However, I just did not find her as interesting or exciting as the first three heroines. Temperance was a wild, sensual woman who was able to help Winter in managing the home and rescue children from being sold and traded. Hero was a lady through and through who had a streak of wildness in her and was the perfect match for a rake like Griffin. Silence was the best one, I believe. Young but smart and brave too, to have been able to face a pirate feared by many.

Isabel, though, there wasn’t anything else I could say about her other than she was a real lady, and that, for me, is not really much of an accomplishment. Maybe I am not being fair to her. She is, in fact, helping the home and all that. However, I still think there are many other things a woman can do, even during an era where ladies were treated more like decorations instead of equals. I am just a bit disappointed that there wasn’t any more to her other than tutoring Winter in being a gentleman.



Elizabeth was born in New Orleans but grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was fortunate to be able to travel extensively as a child, visiting St. Andrews, Scotland; Germany; France; and Belgium. She spent a year in Oxford, England and was a summer exchange student to Kawasaki, Japan.

Elizabeth has a BA in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and, as a result of having no clue what to do with her life thereafter, a career history as a barista, a (terrible) sales clerk, a Wisconsin Revenue Service data entry slave, and an archeological field work grunt. Fortunately, Elizabeth married relatively young and produced two children who kept her busy until her mid-thirties. At about this time, when her youngest was entering Kindergarten, Elizabeth’s mother hinted that perhaps Elizabeth should get a Real Job.

Sadly, Elizabeth was so delusional she thought writing a romance novel might qualify as a Real Job.

But! Five years later, to everyone’s surprise, she actually sold that romance novel (The Raven Prince) and began a rather successful career as a Romance Novelist. This was most fortunate since Elizabeth is singularly unqualified to do anything else but Make Up Stories.

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