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Thief of Shadows

(Maiden Lane #4)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  9,768 ratings  ·  912 reviews

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 c
Kindle Edition, 377 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Grand Central Publishing
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4.10  · 
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 ·  9,768 ratings  ·  912 reviews

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Excuse me for just a moment...

One of my all-time favorite romances. THIS is why I refuse to give up on romances. THIS.

Lady Isabel Beckinhall is two and thirty. She is a high-born widow and has had several lovers. She knows how to play the game of "polite society," is confident, funny, independent.

Winter Makepeace is six and twenty. The son of a brewer, he manages a home for orphans. He has dedicated his life to championing the weak and helpless. By night he is a sort of 18th century superhero
Warning: Be prepared – When you start this incredible book, you will not want to stop until the end!

“Promise me this: that you’ll show me only your true face, no matter how ugly you might think it. That’s our true intimacy, not sex, but the ability to be ourselves when we are together.”

From the very first pages, I was held tightly in the grip of this remarkable story. There’s no wading in here to get to the goodies as once again Hoyt works her magic and gives us another winner! This is an unfor
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I can survive the loss of something I’ve never had. I cannot survive losing you.”

Honestly, I didn't expect much from this book, probably because I wasn't impressed with Lady Isabel Beckinhall since I met her in the previous one, Scandalous Desires. Besides, I’d never felt the aura of ‘hero’ radiating from Winter Makepeace, and I thought he was a bit boring. Oh boy was I wrong! I must admit, I almost skipped this book and if I had really done that, I would never have known how amazing he was!
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every one of my reviewer friends are all a-twitter after Winter Makepeace, the hero in this book. He is a swashbuckling man who dons the mask of a simple school teacher by day. By night, he is fighting crime with super-hero powers. He's like a ye old Superman acting like ye old Clark Kent.

But, luckily, our ye old Lois Lane, aka Isabel, isn't as easily fooled by a simple pair of glasses and sees through Winter's facade pretty quickly. I liked her the most just for that. It's ridiculous how the av
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historicals

“Every gentleman you meet must voice his admiration, his wish to make love to you. And those are only the ones who may voice such thoughts. All about you are men who cannot speak their admiration, who must remain mute from lack of social standing or fear of offending you. Only their thoughts light the air about you, following you like a trail of perfume, heady but invisible.”


Baroness Isabel Beckinhall's carriage had come to a standstill in the worst par
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*** 4.69 ***

A buddy read with the Romance Readers at the MacHalos:):):) Yes, we do exist!

I would have liked to write a brilliant review about this book, since it made me all romantic and put me in a loving and worm mood, but I just don't have it in me today.... It has nothing to do with the book! It was wonderful! Winter made me fall in love with him from the get go and Lady Isabel Beckinhall, the lightly older and more experienced woman, was everything a strong but still sensitive lady should

4.5 stars

Lady Isabel Beckinhall finds the Ghost of St Giles lying wounded on the streets. With a mob bearing down on him, she orders her men to lift him into her carriage. Having saved the notorious pirate “Charming” Mickey O’Connor from hanging earlier in the day, the mob are now baying for the Ghost's blood. Isabel takes the Ghost, aka Winter Makepeace, to her home where she tends his wounds. The following morning the Ghost has gone, leaving Isabel wondering about his identity.

Winter is by day
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, what did I think about this Maiden Lane installment? I'm not exactly sure.

I hate those times when I finish a book and walk away thinking, it was good. Not great. But good. But I can't put my finger on the issue.

put my finger on it

Unlike that ^ guy who managed to put his finger where it did not belong!

Read as a BOTM read for Historical Book Club, Virgin Hero trope

Series: Yea.

Sexy times: This is Elizabeth Hoyt and she excels at HR sexy times. Virgin hero, experienced heroine. What's not to love about that?

confidence in a woman

Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

There's two emotions I can always count on when reading Hoyt's books joy and disappointment. Joy because I'm reading such an awesome book, and disappointment cause when it's over! What happened to savoring the book Rane? But I couldn't help myself cause it was awesome!

Thief of Shadows picks up right up where Scandalous Desires, and where Scandalous Desires had some weakness in the heroine and some anti-climatic moments toward the end, Thief of Shadows had none of this, the heroine Isabel Beck
3.5 stars

"Has anyone cherished you just for yourself?"

I wasn't highly anticipating this couple but they showed me and had some great heat between them. Our hero Winter is the epitome of still waters run deep. His and Isabel's back and forth, especially in regards to their sexual innuendos, had some spine tingling moments. I posted my favorite secondary characters of 2016 just this afternoon but let me add a late addition, Joseph Tinbox. Gah, I NEED his and Peach's story (this pairing has to ha
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it

This picture reminds me of a moment in the book when Winter Makepeace and Lady Isabel Bekinhall could no longer deny the passion that was getting stronger with every stolen glance and slight touch. And what follows proved to be a very sensual scene that caused a hitch in my breath and a tingle in my belly. ❤

Winter has been a constant thread in the three books leading to this one and within each book there was another layer of him revealed. Who was this man and why had he become this protector an
Lisa Kay
Harlequin Mask

★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Oh, I love the Maiden Lane series and this one is so well narrated by Ashford MacNab, who also does the rest of the series; thus, it is all the more pleasurable.  Her accents and tones were very well done, making them discernible individual characters.

As far as the story, it is hard to follow on the heels of “Charming” Mickey O’Connor and Widowed Silence Hollingbrook, but Ms. Hoyt pulls off the telling of the sainted Winter Makepeace and wi
3.5 starsWinter Makepeace has devoted his life to being the headmaster of the home for foundling children in the poverty stricken area of London called St. Giles. However, by night, he's the mysterious Ghost of St. Giles, a sort of a historical version of Batman, trying to protect mostly the abandoned or orphaned children of the district. The night he's injured while saving Mickey O'Rourke from the gallows, he himself is rescued by Lady Isabel Beckinhall. She's a widow and one of the patronesses ...more
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't think I was a huge fan of Winter in the previous books. I started this and got a little bored and put it away. Got back to it again and I must say I ended up really enjoying it.

Winter is younger than Isabel and their social standings are miles apart. She is upper class and he is definitely in the lower classes. To her mind, nothing can ever come of their relationship.

The banter was great between them. He wasn't intimidated by her station. Although she is a widow, he makes her feel like
Melanie A.
4.5 STARS!
Forever wasn't for them.
After a bit of a lackluster start, Ms. Hoyt managed to tie all the threads of Thief of Shadows together and pull off another incredible installment in the Maiden Lane series!!

I think I just wasn't able to connect with Winter Makepeace in the beginning. As Lady Isabel says . . .
He was so stiff, so utterly self-contained. Perhaps he simply had no emotions to restrain.
But once the story got rolling and Isabel and Winter relaxed into their characters, I s
Read it in one sitting and loved it.

Had so many things that I just squee over in a book:
- Virgin hero? CHECK.
- Older woman, younger man? CHECK.
- Hero in pursuit/unrequited love? CHECK.
- Suspense element that did not take over the story, but was enough to keep the plot interesting? CHECK.
- Evildoing villain I totally did not guess? CHECK.
- Heroine I actually liked and whose reasoning for shying away from the hero was noble and not TSTL "logic?" CHECK.
- Sprinkling of secondary characters who tied
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She slowly reached out and ran a finger down the length of the deformed nose of his mask. “Who are you?”
His beautiful mouth twisted. “Whoever you wish me to be.”
She laughed then, a little breathlessly. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep, sir.”
“I never do,” his words whispered across her senses.

I’ve been looking forward to Winter Makepeace’s book since the first book where we found out that he is the Ghost of St. Giles. And I must say I was not disappointed by him.

Winter lives for his work

Robin (Bridge Four)
I am in love with Winter Makepeace. He is my newest dream man. He is everything I ever wanted in a Historical Romance hero and more. He is utterly swoonworthy.


This is my favorite book of the series so far. And not just because of Winter (who still holds my heart in his hands) but also because of Isabel who gets to be a strong woman of the time and not a virgin since she is widowed and has had a few lovers since in fact. This is something I’ve been asking for in an HR book for forever and finally
3.75 stars

Beautiful story with interesting, flawed, complex leads.

This used a character/couple trope I'm generally not a big fan of and I guess it slipped my mind before reading this since Winter is such a stoic mystery who carries himself so much older. The hero is 6 years younger than the heroine and a virgin to boot. The virgin part doesn't bother me, in fact it made for some really interesting compelling scenes between the h and hr who both are for the lack of a better term, straightforward.
Princess under cover
This is definitely my fav installment in the Maiden Lane series. I have a thing for self-denying males who only give themselves to the woman they love. Quite unbelievable, this is true, but that's why we read romance! To fantasize about the ideal man rather than live with the mundane reality. And my ideal has always been a devoted man who exerts powerful self-control on his baser instincts but can't resist the woman he's destined to fall in love with.

(Likely this is also why I'm so obsessed with
Carol *Young at Heart Oldie*
I absolutely loved this book!

It was amazing to see Ms Hoyt turn the dour, surly, humourless Winter Makepeace into a take-your-breath-away hero. I was surprised to discover that he was the Ghost of St. Giles at the end of Scandalous Desires. My money had been on the elusive brother, Asa. But, as they say, never judge a book by its cover.

Winter is so refreshingly different from other heroes and that really appealed to me. I love his total dedication to rescuing and caring for those vulnerable chil
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
Posted on Under the Covers

I wondered how Elizabeth Hoyt would top the fascinating and well-written pirate hero, Mickey of the last book. However, it was obvious from the very beginning that Hoyt had a plan for Winter Makepeace. One that worked so well that it may have become my favorite book of the series.

As the headmaster of the home for foundling children, Winter is stoic, but caring. I wasn’t sure how I would handle his story because he has never quite been a favorite of mine. That has change
Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Historical Romance Readers
Grade: B+ or strong 4 stars

Thief of Shadows is a sensual historical romance about the masks people wear, the emotions they hide, and the risks people take when they find something to believe in.

The Story
Winter Makepeace is the austere manager and schoolteacher for an orphanage in the London slum known as St. Giles. He has worked for the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children since he was seventeen years old. Over the years, he has witnessed the neglect, mistreatment, and abuse the
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My definition of a brilliant story is one that forces you to forget about anything else beyond the plot, making you feel as though nothing else mattered aside from the tale that was slowly unfolding in front of you. It is one that gets you so thoroughly invested in the characters that you actually end up sharing their experiences--even to such a degree that the lines between you, the reader, and the characters get blurred. The risk of reading such a story is that it's so damn hard to move on. Ev ...more
Thief of Shadows is an engaging, suspense-filled, emotional journey that I enjoyed to the fullest. I recommend the entire Maiden Lane series, and this book adds even more depth and quality to the series. Several parts of this book were unique and different from the typical romance novel, and I loved every minute of this departure from the "norm".

Winter Makepeace:
This man is not your typical hero, but what a hero he turns out to be! Winter is a virgin who is very committed to his celibacy. Duri
Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover
5 amazing, thrilling stars!

I'm really impressed by Hoyt! When a series goes this long usually there's bound to be a book that's a bore, but so far this series has been amazing with each book better than the last!

I have to say I'm in love with Winter! Like head over heels in love. My favorite heros are usually the bad boy, lost soul Derek Craven, Lord St. Vincent type, but Winter caught me by surprise. His quiet strength was soothing and compelling at the same time. I love how the romance survi
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Manda Collins
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Eloisa James, Elizabeth Hoyt
Recommended to Manda by: NetGalley
I have a confession to make. I've been waiting for Winter's book since the very first entry in Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series. Not sure why it is, but I really go for those taciturn, honorable, strong-silent types. And Elizabeth Hoyt certainly delivers. If this were a category romance, or a Harlequin Historical the title would be THE SCHOOLMASTER AND THE BARONESS. But thankfully, it's not, because then we'd miss out on the delicious, role-reversing, lady-tutors-the-virgin-schoolmaster scene ...more
Sam (AMNReader)
It seems like that was a long time for me to read one of these. I liked Winter, I just didn't love him. Ditto on Isabel. I cannot say what was missing only that something was off for me here.

Still, it's better than like 72% of the books I read, and even more, I can't wait to read the next EIGHT books?!
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Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long-suffering husband.

Other books in the series

Maiden Lane (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1)
  • Notorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane #2)
  • Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane, #3)
  • Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5)
  • Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane, #6)
  • Darling Beast (Maiden Lane, #7)
  • Dearest Rogue (Maiden Lane, #8)
  • Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane, #9)
  • Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10)
  • Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane, #11)
“But he place a gentle palm under her chin and turned her face back to him. “I'm privileged to see you like this,” he said, his eyes fierce. “Wear you social mask at your balls and parties and when you visit your friends out there, but when we are alone, just the two of us in here, promise me this: that you'll show me only your real face, no matter how ugly you might think it. That's our true intimacy, not sex, but the ability to be ourselves when we are together. (Winter Makepeace)” 36 likes
“I'll never look at you in any way but complete admiration.” He stroked her hair soothingly. “You will never be a millstone about my neck. Rather you're the sunshine that brightens my day.” He swallowed. “Don't you see? You brought me into the daylight. You've embraced parts of me that I was never able to let see light. Don't make me retreat again into the night. (Winter Makepeace)” 24 likes
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