I've loved romance novels since...like forever. I read across most subgenres of romance. I also write fantasy/paranormal and new adult romance.
Whoa. This book could possibly be my favorite Maiden Lane story. I'd been waiting to read the Duke of Wakefield's story and it absolutely lived up to my expectations.
Artemis Greaves is a lady's companion to her cousin Penelope when a family scandal leaves her with no other options. Her beloved twin brother Apollo has spent four years in Bedlam after being (falsely) accused of murdering three friends. "Madness" runs in their family and it's thought that Bedlam would be a better option than a hangman's noose.
Maximus Batten, priggish Duke of Wakefield by day, Ghost of St. Giles by night. (Yes! Like Batman only less grim.There's also a bat cave.) And his name is Maximus! Artemis learns his secret and decides to blackmail Maximus to get his help freeing her brother.
What I loved: everything. Okay, a heroine you want to hang out with. Artemis is a survivor who had an unconventional upbringing but is making the best of it. (Penelope would be a trial to work for.) She's also devoted to her brother, possibly one of the only people trying to help him. She's funny and she's bold and I loved how Maximus fell for her. Hard. I also loved Maximus. He's a great mix of uptight on the outside but unraveled underneath. Artemis bring out the wild side of a guy who seems like he doesn't have one. The little touches of Greek mythology were nice too.
What didn't work for me: no complaints here. If you're a dog lover there are four dogs in this story. Not my cuppa, but they were cute.
Some of the scenes in Bedlam were hard to read. I'd forgotten that people used to be allowed to go on tours to visit such places. The conditions and the treatment of mental illness seemed accurate and appalling.
I highly recommend this book and this series. :)
***A new character makes his debut in the epilogue. Hi, Val.