A MASKED MAN . . .
Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles-protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.
A DANGEROUS WOMAN . . .
Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society-flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons-Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar-and his lips so tempting.
A PASSION NEITHER COULD DENY
During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.
Rating: B for content and B+ for narration
Unfortunately, I haven’t got time right now to write a full review, but perhaps I’ll get to it eventually.
I started listening to this when I was on holiday in August, (having listened to Notorious Pleasures and Scandalous Desires as well) but never got to finish it. As I’ve just got the most recent audio to review, I thought I’d go back and finish this one. I’d already decided to leave out book 5 (Lord of Darkness) because the narration was so dire, but I know what happens and who’s who in that book, so skipping ahead won’t be a problem.
Anyway. Back to this one. I liked it, but not quite as much as Wicked Intentions or Scandalous Desires, and that surprised me a bit, as I’ve liked Winter as a character in the previous stories and had suspicions that he’d turn out to be a repressed sex-god, which indeed, he did 😛
That said though, I did enjoy the way Ms Hoyt built the romance between him and Isabel. The aptly named Winter has frozen his heart and his emotions to such an extent that his desperation to ‘tame the beast’ within him has caused him to cut off his access to all his finer and warmer emotions, too; and Isabel, beneath her worldly exterior is insecure and feels unworthy of love because of her inability to bear children. The scene where she finally breaks down in Winter’s arms was superbly done, and I thought Ms Hoyt handled that aspect of the story in exactly the right way. In so many stories where the heroine is thought barren, she turns out not to be, but here, that’s not the case. Isabel doesn’t become miraculously pregnant at the end of the story, and the line about Winter pausing to grieve for the children he would never have was just beautiful.
Ashford MacNab’s narration is as engaging as ever. I do have reservations – her range in terms of pitch isn’t wide and her tone can sometimes veer towards the monotonous, but she has a way of delineating the characters using tone and accent that just works. I’ve enjoyed listening to her in these books and for me, she IS the voice of the Maiden Lane stories.