Temperance Dews runs a home for orphans with her brother in a bad part of London, St. Giles. One dangerous night, as she rescues an infant from a terrible fate, she's followed home by an infamous aristocrat, Lazarus, Lord Caire. He makes a proposition to her-since Temperance knows her way around St. Giles, she can guide him through the area to find his mistress' murderer. In exchange, he will take her to society events to find a much needed patron for the children's home. They both discover much more than what they set out to find-in each other.
Lazarus couldn't stand for anyone to touch his skin and always kept everyone at arm's length, even the mistress whose killer he sought. Temperance had her own baggage, she couldn't forgive herself for a past sin and insisted on punishing herself throughout life. The characters were so complex and I enjoyed watching them grow throughout the book.
Lord Caire wasn't your typical romance hero . With his long, silver hair, and intimidating presence, I couldn't help but be reminded of Lucius Malfoy (Draco's dad). He wasn't really attractive to me, but that helped me to see that he was attractive to Temperance and he was right for her.
I liked how the differences in class between Temperance and Lazarus wasn't talked about over and over and it actually wasn't seen as one of the many obstacles to their being together. It was refreshing not to have the characters worrying about society approving or not. The class differences were there but it wasn't seen as an obstacle.
There was a full cast of supporting characters that I hope to see in the next books in this series! Temperance's large family, the outspoken Lady Hero, and the Ghost of St. Giles-who always popped up just in tame to help save the day.
This was a great historical romance that really shows how much depth and heart that stories in this genre can have. Elizabeth Hoyt is an author who continues to succeed in stepping outside of the boundaries.
This ARC was provided for review by Hachette Books
reviewed for http://inthehammockblog.blogspot.com