Release Date: Nov 12, 2017
Series: Maiden Lane
Heat Level: Warm/Sensual
Publisher: Grand Central
Imprint: Forever Yours
I will fully admit that novellas are my guilty pleasure. I love them. You get a quick hit of exciting romance without having to invest a large chunk of your day to feed your obsession. It’s kind of like speed dating only it actually works out and you don’t just meet a bunch of weirdos who live in their mother’s basement.
I have had the pleasure of reading several of Ms. Hoyt’s full-length books so I jumped at the chance for this little read. If you’re a fan of witty humour and a strong sense of connection between the main characters, this is an author for you to add to your reading list.
Mary Whitsun has neither the time nor patience for too handsome, self-confident aristocratic men. She enjoys her simple life and limited prospects until the dashing Henry, Viscount Blackwell accosts her in her favourite bookstore and changes her life forever. Could she really be the long-lost daughter of an Earl? More importantly, could she really be his fiancée? Spending the rest of her life with a man whose very proximity makes her heart beat faster might be too much even for this strong-willed girl. Mary will take marathon dance lessons over his intense stare any day of the week. But his stare, his very existence sparks something inside her that just can’t be denied but could quite literally be the death of them both.
Ms. Hoyt jumps right in by creating an obvious and intense attraction between Mary and Henry. You feel it from the first few pages and the heat intensifies as they get to know each other better. Henry volunteers to work with Mary to teach her the ways of polite society but selfishly uses most of that time in attempts to seduce her. I like the playful way they flirt with each other throughout the story and I find that dynamic between them is what sucks the reader in.
With a novella, it can be hard to really establish a connection with any of the characters but I found myself very much enjoying Mary and Henry’s love story, brief as it might have been. I felt invested in their happy ending and that of some of the other characters featured in this edition who I am sure feature more prominently in her other books in the Maiden Lane series. You may only have a few pages to get to know your lead characters but I believe Ms. Hoyt has done a good job of revealing her strong, devilish hero and her intelligent, compassionate heroine. The only critique I have of the writing is a few choice words used that take the reader by surprise. They felt a bit out of place given the heat rating. I think the author could have gotten her point across without suddenly using the more base descriptions of the male anatomy. They didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story but they didn’t feel like they flowed with the tone of the rest of the novella.
Overall, I think this novella is definitely worth the quick read. Whether you have read the other 12 books and novellas in the Maiden Lane series or not, it doesn’t really matter. No previous experience is required to get caught up in this fun and enticing love story. If you run out and buy all the other books in this series that you somehow managed to miss reading before, don’t say I didn’t warn you.