Title: Once Upon a Moonlit Night
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, #10.5
Publisher: Forever Yours
Date: July 5, 2016
Hippolyta Royle is running for her life. Pursued by hounds on a cold rainy night, the heiress flags down a passing carriage and throws herself at the mercy of the coach’s occupant. Whoever this handsome traveler may be, he is her only hope to escape a terrible fate. But should he agree to escort her to safety, he’s in for much more than he bargained for.
At first Matthew Mortimer doesn’t believe Hippolyta’s story, that she’s a fabulously wealthy heiress who’s been kidnapped. He assumes she’s a beggar, an actress, or worse. But once his new travel companion washes the mud from her surprisingly lovely face, and they share a breathtaking kiss, there is no turning back.
I have been reading the Maiden Lane series since the first book, Wicked Intentions, was released in 2010. They are very, very good, but can be dark and intense . . . not to mention heartbreaking.
This is not one of those books. Yes, it is a Maiden Lane. (Be sure and read Duke of Sin before this one. Otherwise, you’ll have no clue.) Yes, it is very, very good. Where it differs is that it is fun! And funny.
The main characters are Hippolyta Royle and Matthew Mortimer. Don’t you love those names? And those are not the best ones. My favorite character is Tommy Teapot. I’m not going to say anything about him because of spoilers, but he is the best.
Hippolyta has escaped from a kidnapper (that’s why you have to read the previous book) and Matthew finds her soaked and muddy on the side of the road. She TELLS him she is really a lady and a heiress, but he doesn’t believe her. And that frees her. She is not as constrained as she has always had to in her reactions and she loves it.
Matthew learns quite early on that she has a temper. It’s his fault. He says something unforgivable to her. After all, she is only a beggar, or a thief, or possibly a prostitute and he really, really wants to kiss her, but decides he better not, because
“And besides, he rather thought at the moment she might bite his tongue off if he stuck it in her mouth.”
Of course, eventually he does get his kiss and it looks like they are going to get their happily ever after. But Hippolyta does have a secret. Something that could ruin her and Matthew.
And she is being blackmailed.
This is a great addition to the series. It fits in with the other Maiden Lane books and I think introduces a character that we will see more of in a later book. At least, I hope so. I can’t tell you who it is because of spoilers (again), but I really liked him.
Duke of Pleasure is next and I already have it on preorder. The release date is November 29, 2016 and I cannot wait.
This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.