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4.5 out of 5
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  • Waited for this book, Loved it!!!

    Another Great book in the Maiden Lane Series!!! I have been waiting for Phoebe's story since we were introduced to her a few books ago. I wanted to see how the author would handle her blindness and her family's reactions to it. I was not disappointed. Spoiler!!!!! This book shows the young woman finally standing up for herself and getting what she wants, a man that started out as a pain in the butt but turned into someone who didn't treat her like glass and became a trusted friend. We get a glimpse into James's family life before he became a solider and why he bacame a solider. Also for those that wondered like me, how his horse was to be named Cowslip. The values transcend the years to current day, showing that just because someone is born with a disability it makes them no more a drain on a family than that family lets them be. Can't wait for the next book and I hope that the author gets a renewed contract for this series!!!

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  • Charming addition to the Maiden Lane series!

    Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favorite historical romance authors and I've thoroughly enjoyed the Maiden Lane series with its colorful cast of characters and intriguing story lines . This latest entry in the series is the tale of two people who have been previously introduced in earlier books, though it's not necessary to have read them in order to pick this one up as each can be read as a standalone (however I would highly recommend them!) Lady Phoebe Batten is the younger sister of the Duke of Wakefield - and a genetic condition has left her blind at the age of 21. James Trevillion who previously was a soldier but was injured in the line of duty has been hired by the Duke to be Phoebe's protector and guide. While Phoebe laments her lack of freedom, it becomes clear that there are those who wish to get at her rich and influential brother by kidnapping her. Even with James by her side, Phoebe is not entirely safe and James has his hands full. But the more time they spend together, the more Phoebe realizes that she is starting to see James as more than just her stoic and unflappable guard. With danger on all sides, will James be able to keep her safe, and more importantly, will he be able to keep the walls up around his heart? Phoebe is such an intriguing and unique character. Her blindness has been slowly increasing such that though she can't see anything now, she still has the memories of what things looked like when she was younger. Her attitude towards her blindness is admirable - there is no point in crying about it, she has accepted that there is no cure and she is determined that it will not stop her from living her life. She is brave, sometimes foolish, sweet and lovely and with a sense of humor that is undimmed by her disease. I love how she goads James into discussions and arguments and always keeps him on his toes. James is wonderful as a strong, courageous, loyal and protective man. He cares more for Phoebe than he's willing to admit (at least at first) and his number one duty is to keep her safe from harm. But when it comes to matters of the heart, he doesn't feel that he is good enough for her. He is older (33), wiser, and jaded. He knows that a marriage between a common ex-soldier and a society lady isn't in the cards for him, no matter how much he might wish it weren't true. But Phoebe is unconventional. She already is seen differently by society due to her blindness. She cares not a whit for what they think and desires only to have a man want her for herself and not her money. As she and James spend more time together, her feelings for him change, and she senses that things are not so cut and dried for him either. The chemistry between them leads to some sweet, steamy and delightful love scenes as James loses his heart to Phoebe once and for all. He tries hard to balance giving her the freedom she needs while still being at her side. I really loved the two of them together. There is a bit of action and intrigue throughout the story as the mystery of who is trying to kidnap Phoebe becomes more complex and I enjoyed this aspect of the plot as well. I was delighted to see Phoebe get her romantic happy ending at last with a wonderful man like James and enjoyed the brief glimpses of characters we have seen in previous Maiden Lane stories. It was thoroughly charming. 4.5 stars.

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