This is the third book I have read by Elizabeth Hoyt in her “Maiden Lane” series and I just love it! Even though I have not read all the books in the series I just love how she keeps coming up with different characters and how she interweaves them throughout!
Even though this is a little out of order, I have to say I cannot wait to see what she does that the horrible Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery!!! He is so awful I cannot wait to see what she has in store for him and Bridge Crumb- the housekeeper. He has had it coming for over two stories now. Even the little snippets we saw of him in this story were fantastic!
Now on to the hero and heroine in this story, Eve Dinwoody is the illegitimate sister of Val or the Duke of Montgomery. He has always protected her and looked out for her and Val has given the financing of the theater, Harte’s Folley, to her. Eve is a very smart and pragmatic business woman. She also loves her brother and is unbendingly loyal to him. Asa Makepeace is also unbendingly loyal to the theatre. It is his passion and his life. He takes his job of managing the theatre very seriously. When Eve decides to take a “hands on” approach to managing the theatre Asa is less than happy about her meddling.
I really liked Asa and Eve together. Right off they don’t like each other and they rub each other the wrong way, but it makes for wonderful tension and wonderful reading. Eve is a very isolated individual. She has no friends and no connections outside of her brother-for her, emotional connections are very difficult. Asa is very outspoken and crude- he says what he means and means what he says. I loved how they both got underneath each other’s skin. Asa really breaks through Eve’s isolation and in many ways she helps him reconnect with his family. I loved the background that the author provided on both these characters and it became easy to see why they had the different hang-ups that they did.
Aside from the great chemistry between Asa and Eve, Hoyt also includes a little bit of mystery as Asa’s work at the theatre is being sabotaged. I was curious to see who was causing all the trouble and placing the lives of these people in danger. The presence of Val was also a good addition to the story since I am impatiently awaiting his story. The characters from “Darling Beast” and “Dearest Rogue” also appear and I enjoyed their participation in the story.
Needless to say I continue to be a huge fan of this series. Hoyt combines so many great elements in the series that the minute I finish one story I am impatient for the next. I can almost feel how great “Duke of Pleasure” will be to read. This was a great addition to the “Maiden Lane” series.
**ARC provided by Publisher**