Once Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane #10.5)
Released: July 5, 2016
Reviewed by Mandi
This novella can be read as a stand alone, but if you have read Duke of Sin (if you haven’t you must, must, must) you will recognize our heroine, Hippolyta Royle. She is the richest heiress in England, and in Duke of Sin, found herself kidnapped by the duke himself. (oh that naughty duke). The heroine in Duke of Sin helps Hippolyta escape, and this is where Once Upon a Moonlit Night starts. Hippolyta is running in the dark and rain from hounds chasing her and a carriage happens by. Hippolyta is soaked, extremely muddy and not dressed well. She begs the person inside the coach to let her in, and he finally agrees.
This man is named Matthew Mortimer. He is an earl who has spent the last two years in India creating maps and collecting scientific things. When news reached him that his cousin had died and he was expected home to run the family’s failing estate, Matthew hesitantly agreed. He looks upon this bedraggled, dirty person who claims to be wealthy and is sure she is telling him a tale. He calls her princess but also is certain she is an actress or something worse. But, he lets her in his carriage until they get to the next town.
As they travel, they realize they have common interests. Hippolyta was born in India (Matthew doesn’t believe her of course) and she is well educated when he speaks of maps and even when his pet mongoose makes an appearance (Tommy Teapot the mongoose is super cute in this book). Matthew starts to feel protective of Hippolyta and allows her to travel in his carriage on the way to London.
They are so cute together! Hippolyta thinks Matthew is just a beast for being so rude to her and thinking she is a lowly actress. But she also becomes quite attracted to him and they have really nice chemistry. Being novella length this one is quick but well done. It felt like a complete love story to me. Highly recommend