I like to read Elizabeth Hoyt, and especially the Maiden Lane series. Her work falls into what I like to call fantastical historical romance. Things like masked rogues (Ghost of St. Giles), unlikely and unique mains (Silver haired foxes and uneducated cockney thugs anyone?), colorful back drops (secret passage laden brothels, pirate lairs, fondling homes, etc.) and the multiple/varying PoVs are common place in her work. This, to me, is historical romance world building (just humor me, okay?), and I love it.
My high opinion of all of that EH world building is rather shot down when the printed words ‘house party’ made their way on the page. Maximus and Artemis fall in love taking their morning walks during Maximus’, The Duke of Wakefield’s, house party. The titillating atmosphere of the country gathering included such activities as ruin meandering, picnicking and archery competitions. Following that, everyone returns to London where nothing more exciting happens than brief forays into an underground work-out room of the Duke’s townhouse.
I had to check the cover many times to make sure that I bought the right book.
Yup, Elizabeth Hoyt.
What happened? I don’t know! I think the bones of the story were quite promising: There is the Ghost of St. Giles, a hard and damaged man, and his plot for revenge. A scrappy woman who shows a fierce love for her mad, imprisoned brother. An opportunity for blackmail. An escape from Bedlam.
Somehow that all got muddled in clichéd and mundane situations that turned the whole thing boring. While that was my biggest disappointment, I have to mention that I didn’t really take a shine to H/hr. We were teased with both characters in previous installments. The Duke remained a selfish jack-leg and Artemis potential was not met. I found her choice to agree to becoming Maximus’ mistress hurtful to the person who offered her sanctuary after the death of her parents and the imprisonment of her brother. I thought that Maximus was…a selfish jack-leg.
I had more to say but have been derailed. Will Smith came on my Pandora station therefore dancing and generally acting a fool in front of my children was necessary. I’m easily distracted.