Let's face it. I love the Maiden Lane series, so any offering will get an automatic 4 star plus rating from me. 'Moonlit Night' does not disappoint! This time the main story is paired with 'The Prince and the Parsnip' or how to uncover the heart of the matter.
Hippolyta Royle fascinated me right from when we first met her in Dearest Rogue.
Even her name is interesting, and she's always seemed a little mysterious. She becomes involved with the Ladies Syndicate supporting the St Giles Home for Unfortunate and Foundling Infants. Then in the Duke of Sin, Montgomery decides he will blackmail her into marrying him. The indomitable Bridget Crumb, housekeeper extraordinaire come to the rescue there.
Thwarted, Montgomery later kidnaps her! What a beastly man he is! But Bridget again handles the situation and Hippolyta escapes across the moors, although this time pursued by the Duke's fox hunting dogs. And this is where the novella takes over.
Grimly determined Hippolyta forges on, and is rescued by Matthew Mortimer when she flags his coach down. There are some amusing scenes, some charming scenes and quite a few sizzling scenes. Matthew has been called back from his exploits to take on an earldom and an estate on the brink of ruin. Hippolyta is a wealthy heiress. Of course the situation is ripe for all sorts of interpretations and Matthew is convinced, mostly, that rather than him giving Hippolyta a ride to her destination, she is in fact taking him for a ride. He's heard plenty of stories from doxies looking for easy money. Well he's no gull. What ensues is a couple of strangers, at odds with each other and yet there is an attraction, that deepens as they are thrown together.
How they work out their relationship, full of misunderstandings and assumptions as it is, makes for a fine and not too lengthy read.