After finishing the tenth book in the Maiden Lane series, Duke of Sin featuring the Duke of Montgomery and his housekeeper and lover Miss Bridget Crumb, I did wonder if Ms. Hoyt would ever, ever, ever give Hippolyta Royle her own happily ever after. I’m sure there w29e other readers also hoping to find out what in world happened to her after she went running off into that dark and stormy night as she is desperately trying to escape Val and his plans to force her into marriage. We have answers! Once Upon a Moonlit Night is a novella within the Maiden Lane series where Ms. Royle finally meets the man who she will fall in love with and marry.
I think novellas can be tricky. Authors have only a small amount of page time to work with, but readers still expect the same level of relationship development and backstory. Which is next to impossible to achieve without utilizing at least a small amount of insta love and lust between the main protagonists. Hippolyta and her hero, Matthew, meet when she is running through the woods in her bid to escape the awful Duke of Montgomery. She stumbles in front of his carriage and practically begs for a ride to the next township. She’s bedraggled, exhausted, and basically looks as far away from a rich, connected heiress as can possibly be. Matthew, himself, isn’t in the best mood or state of mind as he is coming home from overseas after many years and to an inherited estate in need of much work. As you can imagine neither are looking for love or any kind of relationship entanglement when they crash into each other. But that’s what they get. Love.
Yes, there is instant desire between them, maybe even a hint of instant love. Yes, their romance moves fast and the ending is a bit abrupt. Yes, I do kind of wish that Hippolyta and Matthew’s book was novel length instead of novella length, and yet, I enjoyed this book. Maybe it’s because this series is one of my favorite in all the historical romance genre. Overall though, I was thankful for the answers to my questions about what happened to Ms. Royle after the events in the previous book. I’m looking forward to the release of the next book in the series, Duke of Pleasure has a release date of November 29, 2016. Final Grade- B-
Once Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt
July 5th 2016 by Forever Yours
GoodReads * Amazon * Barnes & Noble * KOBO * Audible