Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #1
Also in this series: Wicked Intentions, Lord of Darkness, Darling Beast, Dearest Rogue, Sweetest Scoundrel, Duke of Sin, Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane #10.5), Duke of Pleasure, Duke of Desire, Once Upon a Maiden Lane, Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6)
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: August 1st 2010
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From the New York Times bestselling author of To Desire a Devil comes this thrilling tale of danger, desire, and dark passions.
A MAN CONTROLLED BY HIS DESIRES . . .
Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London's most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand-she's spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk . . .
A WOMAN HAUNTED BY HER PAST . . .
Caire makes a simple offer-in return for Temperance's help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London's high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control-one that may well destroy them both.
A BARGAIN NEITHER COULD REFUSE
This novel started out slow for me. The first few pages intrigued me, but I didn’t really fall into the story until the 3rd or 4th chapter. This novel is much darker than some of Hoyt’s others. Although I’ve come to expect some dark humor, she’s generally lighter than this. It totally worked, though.
Unlike so many others set in the Regency period, this novel is different in that it’s set in the early 1700s. The hero and heroine are from different classes entirely. He’s an aristocrat, though we never find out what exactly his title is, and she’s the daughter of a brewer and of a much lower class. I liked that this wasn’t more of the same Lord and Lady of the ton (which is mostly what I’ve been reading lately).
Both main characters had dark secrets they were trying to keep. Temperance is doing penance at the foundling home for hers, and Caire keeps everyone at arms length because of his. Both need to learn to open up and let the other in. They also need to learn to let go of the past.
Temperance is a strong character. Because of her actions in the beginning I thought she might be too headstrong, but that wasn’t the case. Caire accuses her of being a martyr, and though she is, it’s to a small degree. Mostly she’s just punishing herself for what she considers a very great sin, which is something I was able to sympathize with.
Caire’s character is harder to describe. He’s an unemotional person in the beginning, and comes off almost too cold. He’s also standoffish and aloof. He finds himself becoming fascinated by Temperance almost despite himself, and he can’t help but fall into her. Watching him open up to her was wonderful. He shies away from touch, because it physically pains him, even with Temperance. I like that Hoyt didn’t make her the exception to everything with him. He still had to struggle to let her close – both physically and emotionally – despite his desire for her. My heart broke for him as the novel progressed and he let Temperance see inside who he really is.
I really enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Temperance’s siblings. My heart broke for her sister, Silence, and the plight she suffered with her husband, William. I’m also very curious about her brothers Asa and Concord. I can’t wait to find out more about them in the future. Her brother Winter, who she runs the foundling home with, was less of a mystery, though he had secrets and shadows I want to discover as well.
I’m sure I know who the Ghost of St. Giles is, but I can’t wait to see if I’m correct. I also want to know more about Lady Hero, who is to be the heroine of the second novel, Notorious Pleasures, scheduled for release Feb, 2011.
I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the resolution between Caire and his mother. It was obvious they were headed for a confrontation, but it was wrapped up too neatly for me in the end. I was also disappointed with how the suspense plot was wrapped up. I would have liked to see a bit more attention focused in that direction (though I have to say I wasn’t surprised at the identity of the villain).
Although it got off to a slow start, it wasn’t long before I was pulled in. I adored the dark, intense characters. My heart ached for the emotional pain they suffered. This looks to be the start of another stellar series from Hoyt.
4.5 out of 5
Thief of Shadows
Lord of Darkness
Duke of Midnight
Duke of Sin
Duke of Pleasure
Duke of Desire