Elizabeth Hoyt has done it again, wow’ing me with another swoon-worthy romance in her Maiden Lane series. Lady Phoebe Batten has come a long way from the pudgy, bespectacled little sister we met back in Lady Hero’s book. She has grown into a woman who is intelligent, spirited, and now, completely blind. Captain James Trevillion, formerly of the King’s dragoons, serves as her bodyguard.
The situation is difficult for both James and Phoebe. James is used to being a leader of men, capable and strong. Since his leg was badly damaged beneath his horse, even walking is now a painful endeavor. In some ways, it’s a blessing to have a job and a purpose, but his current duties are a far cry from what they once were, and even still, there are times he must physically struggle.
Meanwhile, Phoebe is chafing at the restrictions her brother puts on her life, all in the name of her protection. She never got a season; she can barely take a step without someone hovering. Her every action is screened and monitored. At first, she can only resent Trevillion’s presence in her life. To her, he wasn’t a man… just another shackle, courtesy of her brother. But over time, that begins to change, as his quiet strength and reliability turn him into something more.
I absolutely loved watching Phoebe grow to recognize James as a man. It’s such an awakening for her. As her awareness grows, we as readers, get to experience it with her. Due to her blindness, I found her feelings and sensations so much earthier. So much is experienced through smell and touch. It’s so sensual. Beyond that, I loved how forthright she is. She is so honest and upfront about her feelings and desires. I liked her very much.
Then there is James. I’m such a sucker for a damaged hero, and I love, LOVE the pairing of a common man with a woman above his station. He is utterly delectable as he struggles against his own desires. He is completely convinced she could never be his. Which makes it all the more gratifying when he stops fighting it. There is such wonderful sexual tension between James and Phoebe. The only thing better is watching them give in to the attraction.
The action is pretty good and the mystery helps move the story along. As a bonus for longtime fans, we get to catch up plenty with past characters and see how all of our previous couples are doing. Hoyt also takes time to set up Eve as the heroine of the next book. I can’t say I am all that excited about her, but it will be cool to finally see a story for Asa Makepeace. I have faith that this series will continue to satisfy.
Overall, I really enjoyed this romance. Honestly, my only complaint is that I wish it were longer.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing