After reading Scandalous Desires, I really was looking forward to this one (and like S.D., the epilogue sets up book 5). I wasn't disappointed. Winter was everything anyone could want in one of the main characters. Isabel was a good character too, even if I took a little longer to warm up to her.
But back to Winter. He is an unconventional character in a historical romance. He's not of the nobility. He's the son of a beer brewer who runs an orphanage. He is poor. He is younger than Isabel. He is a virgin. I can't think of anything I didn't absolutely adore! Bottom line: he and Isabel are perfect together.
I enjoyed the secondary characters. I would have liked a bit more on the mystery of the "lassie snatchers," like was Roger in on it? And who murdered him? Maybe book 5 will tell that story?
Character guide and spoilers:
Isabel Beckinhall was married to a much older man when she was very young, he died leaving his mistress and son (Christoper) without. Isabel takes in Christoper. It turns out she's had many miscarriages and has been told she is barren.
Winter: single, runs the foundling home, teaches, virgin, ghost of St Giles (one of them).
Both Temperance (#1) and Hero (#2) find out they are pregnant.
Margaret (Griffin's sister) was in love with and pregnant by Roger Fraser-Burnsby. He's murdered in this book. Presumably by Ghost of St Giles. RF-B was friends with Viscount Adam d'Argue (might be an interesting character), Earl Kershaw, and Mr Seymour (killed by Winter in self-defense, was also responsible for abuse and enslavement of the poor girls).
St John is Lazarus's (Lord Caire of book 1) friend mourning death of wife, Clara. His book is next. He also happens to be the Ghost of St Giles. One of them.