Lily Stump, one of London's premier actresses, is down on her luck. Having left her previous employer and signing on with someone knew for more money, she thought all would be fine. She hadn't counted on the theatre burning down, not being able to find work and then having to move out of her home. She now finds herself living in the remains of the burnt theatre and living off the money that writing plays brings in.
Having escaped Bedlam, where he was placed for a crime he didn't commit, Apollo Greaves, the Viscount Kilbourne spends his days hiding from the Crown. He works on the remains of the theatre gardens trying to bring them back to life. Because of an injury while in Bedlam, he is unable to talk. He uses this to his advantage to hide as a simpleton. He soon realizes that he didn't hide it well enough when he meets Lily and he calls him out on it.
Lily's son has taken a liking to him and the three of them end up spending lots of time together working on the garden, having picnics and just conversing. But what happens to their idyllic life, when his real identity is discovered?
This was the first book in this series that I have read...nothing like picking it up with book 7, huh? Having said that, I was in no way confused about what was going on. There were characters from the previous books in this story, but I don't think that it took anything about from it because I hadn't read them.
I did really enjoy this story. Most historical romances are not between a lord and an actress, so it was a nice change of pace. Having one of the main characters also be mute was definitely something that stands out in this book. Hoyt did a wonderful job with this and it was not a distraction to the story. We also have the mystery of who actually committed the crime that Apollo was accused of.
Overall, it was a great out of the ordinary read for me and I will definitely be going back to read the books that come before this. The next book in the series is about 2 of the secondary characters in this one and Hoyt did a wonderful job of giving us just enough about them to keep us coming back for more!