ARC provided by NetGalley ~
Lady Isabel Beckinhall has become one of a group of benefactors for the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children ~ and for her pesonally, she's become the biggest supporter of the Home's current Manager, Winter Makepeace. It seems that one of the benefactors has taken it upon herself to find a replacement for Mr. Makepeace, as he's not 'refined' enough for what she thinks the Home needs as representation. So Isabel is going to help refine Winter...she'll tutor him in the ALL the things he needs to know...
Winter Makepeace is not only the Manager of the Home, he's also quite a bit more to the people of St. Giles ~ he's the Harlequin of St. Giles, who risks everything time and again to save children, to help out those who have been victimized and those down on their luck...but the Dragoons grow closer and closer to capturing him, and while Winter has dedicated his life to this cause, he's being tempted away from it by none other than Lady Isabel.
Isabel at first thinks Winter is cold and unfeeling, but as she begins to realize there is a true fire burning under that prim and proper facade, she knows she wants this man...and as a widow with some means, she CAN have him.
WOW, I adored this book!! Winter is NOT your typical hero ~ he's poor, he's a virgin (yes, VIRGIN hero!) and his whole life is about the children of St. Giles. He's not looking to impress anyone ~ least of all some loose moraled woman who is trying to turn him into something he's not. But you can actually FEEL him and Isabel being drawn closer and closer together ~ she appears to be totally out there, but Winter digs in and discovers the true heart of Isabel, the woman who has too many feelings. It was such a pleasure reading how they made each other happier, more open people!
With a thread of mystery running through the book, what with Winter determined to find the 'lassie snatchers' Ms. Hoyt kept me glued to pages until well into the a.m.! Her writing is smooth and seamless, the characters are developed wonderfully, and there was not a single thing I didn't love about this book!
I couldn't put this down ~ it's a story that will make your heart smile!
Grand Central Publishing (June 26, 2012)