A Stand Alone Novella From New York Times Best Selling Author Elizabeth Hoyt Miss Mary Whitsun Is Far Too Intelligent To Fall For The Rakish Charms Of A Handsome Aristocrat But When The Gentleman In Question Approaches Her In A Bookshop, Mistaking Her For His Fianc E, Lady Johanna Albright, The Flirtatious Encounter Only Raises Questions Could Mary, A Servant Raised In A St Giles Orphanage, Actually Be Lady Joanna S Long Lost Twin Sister If So, Mary Has Been Betrothed Since Birth To The Rakishly Handsome Aristocrat HimselfHenry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, Is Far Too Intrigued By Mary To Let Her Go So Easily He S Drawn To Her Sharp Mind, Her Indomitable Spirit, And The Fiery Way In Which She Dismisses Him Ladies Simply Don T Dismiss Lord Blackwell But As Mary Makes Her First Hesitant Steps Into Society, She Can T Help But Wonder If She Truly Has A Place In Henry S World Or In His Heart I ve given this a C at AAR, so that s 3.5 starsWhile Duke of Desire is the final full length book in Elizabeth Hoyt s long running and incredibly popular Maiden Lane series, that wasn t quite The End, as the author is treating us to a novella or two to round the series off and, in Once Upon a Maiden Lane, brings us back to where it all began the streets and slums of the St Giles area of London.Some of the reviews I ve read of Duke of Desire made mention of the fact that the book didn t really feel like the end of a series most of the time, such books feature cameos from characters from the previous books, filling pages with happy families as everyone catches up with each other That doesn t happen in Duke of Desire, and I, for one, was glad of it, because it would have been much too implausible and would have detracted from the main story Instead, Ms Hoyt kept her powder dry and has presented us with Once Upon a Maiden Lane a novella featuring Mary Whitsun, who appeared regularly in the earlier books as one of the older orphan girls raised at the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children run by the Makepeace family This will be followed in December by Once Upon a Christmas Eve, which will feature a very long awaited story for Viscount D Arque.As is implied by the title, this story has a bit of the fairy tale about it Mary is a young woman now, and resides in the household of Lord and Lady Caire Wicked Intentions where she is employed as a nursemaid to the Caires two young children.On her afternoon off, she is browsing in a bookshop when she is approached by an extremely handsome young man clearly an aristocrat and addressed as Lady Joanna Mary, who is distrustful of handsomeness and even distrustful of it when it comes in an aristocratic package, makes clear to the gentleman, who introduces himself as Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, that she does not find his joke at all funny but when his friend, John Seymour, also points out Mary s strong resemblance to Lady Joanna Albright, she becomes very suspicious It seems that the very same year she was left at the orphanage, the twin daughters of the Earl of Angrove were abducted, and while one of them, Lady Joanna, was subsequently returned to her family, the elder twin, Lady Cecilia, was not Blackwell, who was betrothed to Cecilia as a boy, is expected to marry Joanna instead but isn t keen She s like a sister to him, and besides, she s in love with someone else Enchanted by Mary s loveliness and her spirited response to him, Blackwell is determined to prove that she is Lady Cecilia and then to make her his wife as originally intended.Once Upon a Maiden Lane is or less your basic Cinderella story, although this being Elizabeth Hoyt, it s not quite that simple It seems that someone isn t wild about Lady Cecilia s return and doesn t waste any time in trying to harm Mary and while the ladies of the Albright family her mother, sister and grandmother welcome Mary with open arms, the Earl is less than friendly towards his long lost daughter The romance between Mary and Blackwell is nicely done, if a little rushed, and, as one would expect of such an accomplished storyteller, the writing is deft, humorous, poignant and laced with the sort of earthy sensuality that is Ms Hoyt s trademark I did, however scratch my head at the inclusion of the excerpts from The Curious Mermaid, the legend which graces the opening of each chapter, which is basically The Little Mermaid subverted and honestly, I didn t quite see why it was there other than to preserve continuity with the rest of the books in the series.Those hoping for the big Maiden Lane reunion that didn t happen in Duke of Desire will find it here, although Ms Hoyt very wisely doesn t include speaking parts for everyone I had to smile at the name bestowed upon Val s the Duke of Montgomery three year old daughter, which is every bit as flamboyant as one would expect given who her father is and it was nice to check in with some of the characters we haven t seen or heard of for a while.Once Upon a Maiden Lane is a charming little story that makes a nice coda to the series, but ultimately, it suffers from novella itis an underdeveloped story and characters I was grateful for the chance to go back to where it all began, but ultimately, this is one for the fans. 3.5 Stars ARC provided by the publisher I m always a little weary of historical novellas cause I feel like it s not enough to really delve deep into the characters I want to see their journey, their heartaches, their pain and their happiness But as you know I love my Maiden Lane series so I decided to jump on this one.Even though I wasn t wowed, I still enjoyed this story and it was a nice happily ever after I do think this is a good read if you re looking for that quickie fix and to maybe catch up on some of the earlier characters in this series I recommend it for all historical lovers A cute addition to the maiden Lane series This is the story of Mary Whitsun who we met in the previous books Hers is a Cinderella kind story There s a twist, obviously, and it was short, but I liked it. I was pleased one of the Mary s from the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children got her own romance Mary Whitsun may have grown up in an orphanage, but she didn t grow up without love thanks to Lady Caire and all the others running the home But still, the possibility of being a lady, and having a family sounds too good to be true, yet that s what has happened to Mary Out on a day off she runs into the impossibly handsome Lord Henry Blackwell, and her life forever changes While out shopping Lord Henry Blackwell mistakes Mary for Lady Joanna the daughter of the Earl of Angrove, but quickly realizes he s mistaken This woman has spunk and life, and stirs up desires in him that Joanna never has Henry thinks he must have discovered the lost Angrove twin, the twin who was to be his wife Mary may have been hesitant at first, but as she got to know Henry and realized he wasn t just a pretty, spoiled aristocrat, her reservations melted Heat and desire spark between them every time they re close Henry was lovely, so I knew Mary couldn t help but fall for him There s a little mystery and danger as someone is either out to kill Henry or Mary They re not sure of the intended target, but when it was all revealed I felt bad for Henry and Mary Once Upon a Maiden Lane is short on pages, but rich with passion and feeling Elizabeth Hoyt brings her characters to life with her beautiful writing, making you feel what they feel, and always delivers a sweet, happy ending A copy was kindly provided by Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 starsI received this book for free in exchange for an honest review This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my reviewI want to learn all of you I want you to know me in return When I next kiss you, I want you to welcome my lips like a lover instead of a strangerA novella listed as 12.5 in the Maiden Lane series, you could still read this as a standalone Mary grew up in the orphanage featured in the series and we ve seen glimpses of her and a couple other characters before but the hero and their romance is a new introduction With some Cinderella inspiration, nursemaid Mary is identified in a bookstore by our hero Lord Henry Blackwell to be the missing Albright twin Twin babies stolen by their nursemaid, while Johanna was recovered Cecilia was never found Henry is taken aback by how much Mary looks like Johanna and immediately claims she is Cecilia Now, this is a novella, so the tempo gets pushed up Henry s immediate claim Mary is Cecilia and the family accepting it is a bit side eyeing but the relationship Henry and Mary have, made up for it for me He looked at her, at her straight black brows and the big brown eyes regarding him so seriously, and yet with a spark of humor, and it was as if something turned over in his chest She was playing with him, this woman. I instantly felt a spark between the two, Hoyt s skill with sexual tension was evident but the friendship and sheer compatibility between the two won the show for me Mary s guardedness but also strength paired with Henry s charm provided a delightful give and take between themAnd you Did you have a pet as a child Yes, several, he replied Dogs and cats Now I ve got two hounds Mole and Timberline Mole His ears are very soft, he said a tad defensively. I also thought this story was laced with skillful writing moments that a top author like Hoyt can provide showing, instead of being told, little nuances of a character make the reading so much richer You ll also get a pretty good feel for the times 1700s as Hoyt focuses on the clothing through Mary being dressed as a lady for the first time As I mentioned, the Cinderella story, and all it s in and outs, has some forced and awkward moments and the ending was a tad rushed but there is an epilogue that works to soothe that you ll see a lot of past characters show up here This is a novella and if you re looking for a quick hit of romance warmth, Once Upon a Maiden Lane would provide that and a friendly return to the Maiden Lane world It was like a fairy tale come true. I always liked Mary Whitsun from the very first book in the Maiden Lane series so it was great to see her finally get her own story.This was a very cute tale that involves a long lost baby and an arranged marriage I really liked Henry Collins He wasn t one of the normal dashing rogues that we have had in the past He is just a good son and decent guy who has known his entire life who he is supposed to marry until he finds the woman that could be her twin the middle of a book store.Harry is relieved that he might not have to marry the woman he grew up with and loves like a sister He might actually have a shot at feeling some passion the woman he was intended to marry all along That is of course if she is the long lost baby presumed dead.The story went a different way than some of the others and I really appreciated that the couple didn t get the traditional HEA that most couples get in this series The was a great bit of fun with an out of the ordinary bad guy and a hero I could really stand behind. Cute, refreshing I was pretty impressed by the ability to get a sense of the characters in such a short time.sigh Novellas. So much better than the final book in the series This was both unexpected and lovely such a wonderful and sweet little happily ever after for her As a result of this closed chapter I now have hopes for novella additions for some of the younger side characters we ve seen throughout the series Josephhhh. Reviewed for herding cats burning soup review live 11 14 Elizabeth Hoyt Surely not When I saw Once Upon a Maiden Lane I was all ohmigosh I neeeeeeded it And, oh, it made me smile And tear up a little, too.The Gist Mistaken identity Well, not really But kinda But not lol Henry is browsing a bookstore and spots his fiance exceptit s not her confusion The plain but intriguing maid he s spotted, though, might hold the answers to a decades old mystery surrounding a stolen little girl She might also be his real fiance Oh dear I loved Mary She s solid and a little lost now that her life has been turned upside down and she s gone from maid to Lady But she has such a heart Innocent and witty Fierce in her own ways I felt so much for her for all she d been through And Henry I adored him, too I liked how he watched out for Mary when he could and all his handsome sexy bits I enjoyed watching them get to know one another and how they tried to make the best of an uncomfortable situation.It s a really quick novella of Mary learning how to be a Lady with the help of her new found family and her sexy new fiance Goodness but a girl s life can change There s a little danger and mystery and a bit of heat and steam Some sweet romance and a heart warming happily ever after All in all, a sweet novella that touched the heart and gave me a little of the Maiden Lane series I so crave It was a nice, light, heartwarming novella and a wonderful addition to a much loved series.
Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long suffering husband.
- Kindle Edition
- 130 pages
- Once Upon a Maiden Lane (Maiden Lane, #12.5)
- Elizabeth Hoyt
- 07 March 2019 Elizabeth Hoyt