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Monday, December 4, 2017

Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Hey Maiden Lane fans! Remember Mary Whitsun? Well we finally get to learn more about her!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Forever Yours
Release Date: November 14, 2017

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 fiancée, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more 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 artistocrat himself . . .

Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He's drawn to her sharp mind, 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.

What’s it About? Mary Whitsun was left at an orphanage as a baby and as an adult was fortunate enough to be offered employment in the home of the only woman she ever considered a mother figure but when Mary is mistaken for the fiance of a lord, her very birthright is questioned. Henry Collins, Lord Blackwell has been betrothed to Lady Joanna Albright since he was a child since her twin sister was believed dead, seeing the spitting image of Lady Joanna in the form of a servant raises all sorts of questions. If Mary is indeed the missing Lady Cecilia Albright then that means she is Henry’s real fiancée, which he doesn’t mind at all since Mary is lively, spirited, and everything he didn’t know he wanted.

Overall reaction to the story? Elizabeth Hoyt gives longtime fans a special treat with Once Upon a Maiden Lane by bringing Mary Whitsun, a supporting character from the very first book in the Maiden Lane series, into the spotlight. The novella feels like a reunion of sorts with Mary of course but also her employers, Lord and Lady Caire. With these three characters, it left the door open to have any of the previous characters in the series pop in and that opportunity is not wasted at all!

The plot feels familiar, Mary grew up as an orphan who became a valued employee and then was suddenly confronted with the possibility that she is actually a noble lady who was stolen as a child. In true Elizabeth Hoyt form though, there is quite the twist and that makes Once Upon a Maiden Lane a stand out. Mary is delightfully feisty and intelligent. Henry is devilishly charming and kind. Together they have such great chemistry and it’s easy to believe that they would fall in love so quickly.

Mary’s story is the story I didn’t even know I wanted! She grew up to be a memorable character in a long series filled with memorable characters. I’m glad she got her happy ending.

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