Tag: Princes Trilogy

Retro Review: The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted June 28, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 15 Comments

Retro Review: The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Holly
The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Princes #3
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: September 1st 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, General
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

WHEN THE DEVIL MEETS AN ANGELCountry bred Lucy Craddock-Hayes is content with her quiet life. Until the day she trips over an unconscious man - a naked unconscious man - and loses her innocence forever.
HE CAN TAKE HER TO HEAVENViscount Simon Iddesleigh was nearly beaten to death by his enemies. Now he's hell-bent on vengeance. But as Lucy nurses him back to health, her honesty startles his jaded sensibilities - even as it ignites a desire that threatens to consume them both.
OR TO HELLCharmed by Simon's sly wit, urbane manners, and even his red-heeled shoes, Lucy falls hard and fast for him. Yet as his honor keeps him from ravishing her, his revenge sends his attackers to her door. As Simon wages war on his foes, Lucy wages her own war for his soul using the only weapon she has - her love.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review was originally posted on October 9, 2007.

Sybil forced me into reading this book. She swore it was the best thing since If His Kiss is Wicked, and talked me into buying it. There was some drama with Amazon over this book which may prompt me to write them a letter.

I ended up buying it in eBook format. I think it started out kind of slow, but once I got past the first couple of chapters, I fell right into it.

Lucy Craddock-Hayes is out for her morning walk and stumbles upon what she believes is a dead body..a dead naked body. As it turns out, he isn’t dead at all. He’s one Viscount Simon Iddesleigh and he’s been beaten to a pulp and left for dead.

Lucy takes him home and begins nursing him back to health. She’s very surprised to learn his identity and even more surprised to find that she likes him. He’s witty and sarcastic, but she sees depth in him and it intrigues her.

Eventually Simon is well enough to leave, but hesitates until he and Lucy are shot at. To keep Lucy safe, he heads back to London to do what he was doing before he ended up nearly dead in the country…avenge the death of his brother.

But he finds he can’t stay away from Lucy, and after a short period of time he returns to the country to ask for her hand in marriage. She immediately accepts. But once married and settled in London, the danger surrounding Simon begins to escalate and Lucy fears she’ll never be able to save him from his biggest threat…himself.

I’m honestly not sure how to review this book. There are so many things I want to touch on I’m not sure where to start or how to properly express my thoughts.

I think I’ll just make a list and go from there.

Simon

What an amazingly deep character. On the surface he has a devil-may-care attitude, but he showed so much more depth than I expected. He truly was tormented by the death of his brother and committed to his quest for revenge on those responsible. Each death was a stain on his soul.

The thing is, Simon wasn’t your typical Alpha hero. He was actually described as more Beta than anything, though I didn’t think of him as such. For example, he wore red heeled shoes and wigs and ruffles. Honestly, I think EH did a fabulous job representing the times. Too often we see men in nothing but breeches and boots, when that wasn’t in keeping with the style of that era. But despite his heeled shoes and wigs, I felt he was…manly. Although he put up the front of being reckless and one of the lazy ton, his character was deeper than that.

Watching his inner struggles and seeing his obvious care for Lucy was fabulous. I was well and truly emotionally invested in his journey. Although he knows he should let her go, he can’t. After one duel, before they’re married, he comes home wounded and bleeding. Lucy tries to get him into bed and he begs her to stay with him.

“Severe angel.” He finally opened his eyes, frost gray and intense. “Promise me. Promise me on your mother’s memory that you won’t leave me if I give you back your wings.”
She blinked and thought about it, but in the end there was really no other answer. “I promise you.”
He leaned closer until she could see the shards of ice in his eyes. “Say it.”
“I promise on my mother’s memory,” she whispered, “that I won’t leave you.”
“Oh, God.”
She didn’t know whether it was a curse or a prayer, but his mouth came down on hers hard.

….Lucy looked down at herself. Thee was a bloody hand print on the bodice of her dress.

Though Lucy becomes more important to him than anything else, he can’t give up his quest for vengeance. He struggles to do what’s right, although he isn’t sure what that is….Lucy’s idea of right is to stop killing, but he knows he needs to avenge his brother.

Lucy

I loved this heroine. She was rather unconventional for a historical heroine. Her childhood was a good one, so she didn’t suffer many of the issues so many others do. She wasn’t afraid of love or commitment, didn’t fear men and had a rather bright outlook on life that wasn’t at all annoying.

I don’t think there was much growth on Lucy’s part throughout the book, but I wasn’t disappointed by that. To be honest, her character was perfect as it was. Her personal conflict came from caring about Simon too much to watch him destroy himself, and that was her main focus. Could she truly love a man who was so violent? Who killed others in cold blood?

She sees the different sides of him, mainly with the help of Simon’s niece, whom he calls Pocket. She struggles to reconcile the cold-blooded killer with the simple, caring man.

Lucy stilled, imagining Simon comforting this little girl at his brother’s graveside, putting aside his own grief to explain in childish terms that her father wouldn’t suffocate in the ground. What a tender act. And what was she to do with this new side to Simon? It would be so much easier if he was simply a man who killed, someone who was callous and uncaring. But he wasn’t. He was a loving uncle, a man who tended roses all by himself in a glass cathedral. A man who acted like he needed her and made her promise never to leave him.
Never to leave him…

I truly enjoyed this book. It turned out to be much darker than I expected, which was a welcome surprise. As it turns out, there was a conspiracy involved in the murder plot, and Simon won’t rest until he’s tracked down every responsible party and killed them.

What Simon hasn’t realized – or doesn’t care to realize – is the toll this has taken on his soul. When he meets Lucy he’s fascinated by her innocence and light. But he knows he’s beyond redemption and that she’s not for him, so he does his best to resist her. And even after he decides he can’t live without her he hates himself for tainting her with his darkness, and yet he can’t seem to set her free.

Although the main focus of the book is on Simon and Lucy’s relationship, the secondary story of Simon’s quest for revenge is..amazing. Seeing Lucy fight for him, and seeing Simon fight for what he feels is right, is what truly made this story. I didn’t doubt for a moment that Lucy and Simon cared for each other, but I wasn’t at all sure love would be enough.

The ending of the book was just…amazing. I think I even cried a bit. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you’re interested, Sybil and Meljean Brook had a discussion about it here in the comments section.

You can also read Lawson’s review here. She did a better job than me of outlining the story and finer points of the characters, IMO.

Despite a few flaws I found with the story (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I’m referring to..and if you haven’t, read it to find out) I have to give this:

5 out of 5

five-stars


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Guest Review: The Ice Princess by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted July 23, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Judith’s review of The Ice Princess (Princes Trilogy #4) by Elizabeth Hoyt.

SEVEN NIGHTS OF SIN . . . As the madam of Aphrodite’s Grotto, the most infamous brothel in London, Coral Smythe knows everything possible about men’s needs and desires. Yet she’s never experienced the love of a single man—not even that of Captain Isaac Wargate whose hawk-like eyes stare at her with both condemnation…and lust.

SEVEN NIGHTS OF ECSTASY . . . Captain Wargate heartily disapproves of the sensuous madam who always wears a golden mask. She lures his officers from both his ship and their duty. But when Coral herself is offered up as the prize in a game of chance, Wargate impulsively enters…and wins.

SEVEN NIGHTS OF LOVE . . . Now the puritanical navy captain has just seven nights to learn everything he can about the mysterious madam and what she knows of a man’s desires. But when Coral is threatened by the new owner of Aphrodite’s Grotto, will Wargate take a chance on the woman beneath the mask…and on love?


This novella was first released in 2010 but has recently shown up again on Net Galley and as a committed Elizabeth Hoyt fan, I was delighted to read and review this work. It is a continuation of Carol Smythe’s story as part owner of a well-known brothel, one that is frequented by the ton as well as those well-heeled men of wealth from the business world. But the famous madam–a woman whose identity is hidden by a golden mask–has now come into a difficult financial situation and has now lost the majority ownership. The new majority owner has now determined that she will once again be required to service clients, and as a means of raising even more interest in her re-entry as an active prostitute, an auction sells her for seven consecutive nights. But she draws him in, even though he is determined that she will not attract his crew and distract them from their tasks and duties.
Perhaps the issue that drives this story is the need for the captain to examine his own values, his own deeper needs, the inner reality that attracted him to this infamous woman. The novella is so well-written that it reads like a longer novel and is filled with intense feelings, both on the part of the captain and the madam. It is about the longings both feel deeply, desires to know more than what their present lives have allowed, wanting to move out of their lives’ circumstances. This story is a study in how a man who has set such restrictive boundaries over his feelings and his natural needs that he is angry when he had to confront them. By the same token, Coral wants a life of normalcy, wanting to be loved and valued as a human being, not just an object of lust and a life as an object used to satisfy men who actually value her much as they would dirt on the bottom of their shoes.

This is a deeply emotional novella and one that will expand the story of the characters in this story series. It is a fine extension to stories that have already captured the interest of Hoyt fans and all of whom wait impatiently for her next work. I have already gone back and read this book once again and continue to appreciate the work of this author. I hope you do, too.

I give it a rating of 3.75 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Forever Yours. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Review: The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted October 22, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 5 Comments

The Serpent Prince

WHEN THE DEVIL MEETS AN ANGEL…
Country bred Lucy Craddock-Hayes is content with her quiet life. Until the day she trips over an unconscious man-a naked unconscious man-and loses her innocence forever.

HE CAN TAKE HER TO HEAVEN…
Viscount Simon Iddesleigh was nearly beaten to death by his enemies. Now he’s hell-bent on vengeance. But as Lucy nurses him back to health, her honesty startles his jaded sensibilities-even as it ignites a desire that threatens to consume them both.

OR TO HELL
Charmed by Simon’s sly wit, urbane manners, and even his red-heeled shoes, Lucy falls hard and fast for him. Yet as his honor keeps him from ravishing her, his revenge sends his attackers to her door. As Simon wages war on his foes, Lucy wages her own war for his soul using the only weapon she has-her love…

When Holly gushed about how good this book was, I took it with a grain of salt. After all, she gave this book a 5. I didn’t particularly like that book. So when she reviewed The Serpent Prince, I didn’t run out and buy it. I also don’t read the 3rd book in a series first (*ahem*). After I read The Raven Prince and The Leopard Prince, I was really looking forward to The Serpent Prince. While I really liked the book, it wasn’t my favorite in the series. It was really good, though.

When Lucy Craddock-Hayes finds a naked man laying dead in a ditch, she’s not quite sure what she should do. When she realizes that the dead man is very much alive, she has no other choice but to take him home. If she doesn’t, she knows that he’ll die. What she doesn’t expect is to become drawn to the injured man. Even after finding out that he is Viscount Simon Iddesleigh, she can’t stop her attraction to him.

Simon has never met a person that makes him feel so peaceful. He’s as drawn to Lucy as she is to him, but unlike Lucy, he knows that nothing good could come of it. While Simon doesn’t know exactly who wants him dead, he does know that it has something to do with his quest for revenge. After the death of his brother, Ethan, Simon has doggedly hunted down the men responsible. The last thing he wants to do is bring Lucy into his life at a time when all he can think about is revenge. Still, he’s drawn to this woman who he has dubbed his “angel”.

The Serpent Prince has one of my favorite plot lines…marriage of convenience. While Simon wants to stay away from Lucy, he finds that he’s unable to do so. He convinces himself that he can kill two birds with one stone. Not only will he be able to marry Lucy and have her in his bed, she’ll be safe. As for Lucy, even knowing that Simon has demons chasing him, she can’t turn down his offer of marriage.

One thing that made this book so powerful was when Lucy realized that her love wouldn’t be enough to save Simon from himself. Even though Simon wanted to give up his revenge, he couldn’t make himself do it. Not even if it meant he would lose the wife that brought so much peace and happiness in his life. This book definitely packed an emotional punch. The last part of the book was amazing. I think that EH did a great job of capturing the feelings that these two characters had for each other.

4.25 out of 5.

This book is available from Grand Central. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Other books in the series:

The Raven Prince The Leopard Prince


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Review: The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted October 21, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

The Leopard Prince

THE ONE THING A LADY MUST NEVER DO
Wealthy Lady Georgina Maitland doesn’t want a husband, though she could use a good steward to run her estates. One look at Harry Pye, and Georgina knows she’s not just dealing with a servant, but a man.

IS FALL IN LOVE…
Harry has known many aristocrats—including one particular nobleman who is his sworn enemy. But Harry has never met a beautiful lady so independent, uninhibited, and eager to be in his arms.

WITH HER SERVANT.
Still, it’s impossible to conduct a discreet liaison when poisoned sheep, murdered villagers, and an enraged magistrate have the county in an uproar. The locals blame Harry for everything. Soon it’s all Georgina can do to keep her head above water and Harry’s out of the noose…without missing another night of love.

The Prince Trilogy continues with The Leopard Prince. Harry Pye was briefly introduced in The Raven Prince. As a steward for Lady Georgina Maitland, Harry knows his place in life. Having grown up on an estate where the Lord wouldn’t let servants forget their place in life, Harry learned the lesson well. While the lords and ladies might dally with the help, they are never anything more than servants.

Lady Georgina Maitland is intrigued by this steward who seems to have secrets in his eyes. Though she tries to stay away from him, she finds herself unable to do so. George is under no illusion that her and Harry have a future, no matter if she wants it or not. Even with overprotective brothers and a meddlesome sister that want nothing more than for George to be happy, she knows that they would never support her marrying a steward.

What happens may be beyond their control. The estate that Harry grew up on borders George’s estate and lord there wants nothing more than the death of Harry Pye. When sheep start turning up dead, seemingly posioned, it’s obvious that someone is out of Harry’s blood. George stands by Harry, even as he tries to distance himself from her. Though he wants nothing more than to be with his lady, he would rather have her safe than in harms way.

The dynamic here was extremely interesting. Harry was a man whose pride drove him. To fall in love with an Earl’s daughter was something that he never considered and is extremely hard to accept. He knows that they can never be truly equal and Harry can’t be happy with anything but that. This is a major obstacle for the two to overcome and is really heart wrenching to read, especially when you know that these two belong together.

4.25 out of 5.

This book is available from Grand Central. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Other books in the series:

The Raven Prince The Serpent Prince


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Review: The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted October 20, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 7 Comments

The Raven Prince

THERE COMES A TIME IN A LADY’S LIFE…

Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits. What is a gently bred lady to do?

WHEN SHE MUST DO THE UNTHINKABLE…

The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior. Dammit! How hard can it be to find a decent secretary?

AND FIND EMPLOYMENT.

When Anna becomes the earl’s secretary, both their problems are solved. Then she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London for his “manly” needs. Well! Anna sees red—and decides to assuage her “womanly” desires . . . with the earl as her unknowing lover.

This is my first Elizabeth Hoyt book and I loved it. From the first page to the last, I was enthralled with the story. It was so unconventional that I couldn’t help but love it. I didn’t want it to end, but it ended on a note that was perfectly suited to the story.

Anna Wren has to find employment before she and her mother-in-law find themselves on the street, unable to pay for their tiny cottage. It doesn’t take Anna long to realize that employment for a woman isn’t easy to come by. When she finds out that the Earl of Swartingham is in need of a secretary, she decides that it is the job for her. It’s only after she starts her duties that she finds out that the Earl is the man who almost ran her down on a walking path not too long ago. That doesn’t deter Anna from wanting to continue the job as his secretary.

The Earl of Swartingham can’t believe that his steward hired a woman as his secretary. Even men quake under the force of his temper, so he has no doubt that he will send a mere woman running for her life. He underestimates Anna’s determination to stay. In Anna, he finds the one person he can’t seem to intimidate or scare away. No matter what he yells or what he throws, Anna doesn’t cower or run away in fright. It doesn’t take long for Edward to develop what he thinks are inappropriate feelings toward the pretty widow. Before he acts on those feelings, he decides to head to London; more specifically to Aphrodite’s Grotto, a place where he can sate the urges that Anna has invoked in him.

Anna is furious and hurt when she finds out where Edward is going and why. Determined that she will not let the man she has come to love go to another woman, she enlists help from an unlikely source and finds her way into the Grotto. With a mask to hide her identity from him, what Anna experiences goes beyond a mere mating of the body. When Edward requests her to return, Anna does so. Yet when he requests for her to return a third time, she knows it’s time to return home for she can never be the woman that Edward needs by his side. She also knows that he will never forgive her if he learns of her deceit.

The decision to tell Edward is soon taken out of her hands and she finds herself in the exact position she was trying to avoid. Though she wants to refuse his offer of marriage, he won’t allow it nor does Anna especially want to. Still, Anna knows that Edward will never be able to forgive her b/c she can’t give him the one thing he wants: an heir.

I read this book in one day. I loved it that much. I’ve since read all the books in the series and this is my favorite one. That is unusual b/c I generally find the books get better as the series goes on. I really loved everything about this book, including the vindictive vicar’s wife who eventually got what she deserved. Anna was an unexpectedly strong heroine who fell in love with the most unlikely of men. Unlikely it may have been, Edward and Anna were perfect for each other.

4.5 out of 5.

This book is available from Grand Central. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Other books in the series:

The Leopard Prince The Serpent Prince


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