WHEN A MASKED MAN . . .
Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents. Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament. But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer. One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe-and won't back down . . .
MEETS HIS MATCH . . .
Artemis Greaves toils as a lady's companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress. When the Ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads, she recognizes a kindred spirit-and is intrigued. She's even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious Ghost is by day . . .
DESIRE IGNITES A DANGEROUS PASSION
Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother-or she will expose him as the Ghost. But blackmailing a powerful duke isn't without risks. Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire-or the temptation of his embrace?
Artemis Greaves is a woman who is dependent for almost everything. She is the companion to her distant cousin, Penelope. Penelope’s family took her in when her parents died and her twin brother was accused of murdering 3 men. Penelope’s father managed to get Apollo admitted to Bedlam instead of facing the hangman’s noose. Because she’s is “just” a companion she must do whatever Penelope asks of her and one night it is to go into St. Giles and drink a glass of gin. To say St. Giles is dangerous would be putting it mildly. The women, of course, are set upon by thieves but are saved by a man in a Harlequin who is named the Ghost of St. Giles. Artemis watches the Ghost battle three men and wins - after that she can’t stop thinking about him.
Because the Duke of Wakefield is courting Penelope Artemis gets to spend a fair amount of time with the man. When the women head to a House Party at the Duke’s country home Artemis gets to know Maximus even better as she likes to take early morning walks and so does he. They start a sort of friendship but Artemis finds herself falling for Maximus. Maximus too finds himself more than intrigued by this woman who is different from any other he’s ever met.
When Artemis figures out that Maximus is the Ghost of St. Giles she finally figures out how to get her brother out of Bedlam – by blackmailing Maximus with his secret. While Artemis and Maximus start an affair in bed it soon turns into an affair of the heart for both of them as well, but Maximus refuses to marry anyone but the finest bloodline in honor of his father. Artemis isn’t about to put her heart on the chopping block but Maximus doesn’t want to let her go.
I love the Maiden Lane series and always expect wonderful things when I read one of Hoyt’s books. This one was no different. While this one had a slightly darker undertone with the Duke searching for his parents murderer and Artemis’s brother in Bedlam it was still a great romance.
Maximus was a man who was devoted to his mission – that of finding his man who murdered his parents one night in St. Giles. By becoming the Ghost of St. Giles this allowed him to keep an eye out for the murderer. This had its high and low points but it also made him a vigilante of sorts. He was actually kind of a historical Batman. No, really! lol He had an underground cave type thing where he exercised, he could get in from a hidden tunnel, he had a cape, his valet was the only one who knew about the Ghost, his parents were killed, and in front of him. I mean, wow, that’s pretty damn close to being Batman. I love Batman though so these things were kind of fun to read about. Anyway, Maximus was tortured. He’d led his life as he thought his father would have wanted him to so when it came to Artemis he wanted to “keep” her but he wasn’t willing to marry her. This made him fall down several rungs on the ladder of my fine opinion of him. He did try to help Apollo which was wonderful but he just held out a bit too long for my liking when it came to accepting Artemis for who she was.
Now Artemis was a woman with the strength of Hercules, imho. She’d led an idyllic life for the most part until her father died and then her mother passed not long after. Her twin was then found alive surrounded by 3 of his friends who were dead. He was accused of murder and put into Bedlam. Her twin, Apollo, is strong as he’s not gone crazy just from being in a loony bin when he isn’t loony. Artemis then gets taken in by distant cousins and pretty much ordered around. Not like a maid but not far from one. I mean, I know she’s a companion but she owns like three dresses. Come on! The family is definitely rich enough to provide a few more but she’s more of an afterthought. Just living that way and having to visit Apollo in secret as her cousins want her to have nothing to do with him would take a huge emotional toll on anyone but Artemis handles it all with grace and I had to admire her for that. I think when it came to Maximus that she handled things well and exactly how considering his attitude toward their relationship. I can’t say I’d have been quite as strong when faced with the same situation as Artemis and I loved the way she dealt with it all in the end.
Overall this was another winner from Hoyt. I can’t imagine where we’ll go next in Maiden Lane but I can’t wait to get there!
Rating: 4 out of 5
4 hours ago