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A MAN CONDEMNED . . .
Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown's soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he's quickly driven to distraction . . .
A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .
London's premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she's forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren't the only inhabitants-a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there's more to this man than meets the eye.
OUT OF ASH, DESIRE FLARES
Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he's forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free.
Hoyt's seventh Maiden Lane Victorian romance (after Duke of Midnight) gives a unique twist to the tale of Beauty and the Beast. In mid-18th-century London, Lily Stump is a beautiful young actress trying to make ends meet for herself and her young son, Indio. While living in a burnt-out theater, Lily is drawn to a mute gardener, whom her son has nicknamed Caliban. Though initially Lily had thought that Caliban lacked intelligence, she quickly learned otherwise as he begins communicating with her through writing. Drawn to his protective kindness toward Indio, Lily is fascinated that a man as strong as he could harbor such a gentle nature. As she learns the secret behind his true identity and his greatest fear, Lily must decide whether her love for him is strong enough to weather the obstacles that threaten to destroy the possibility of their future together. Hoyt's Maiden Lane novels are always a treat, and this installment is no exception to the rule, with a fascinating hero and his resourceful damsel in distress.