Maiden Lane #1
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Published on August 1, 2010 by Grand Central Publishing
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
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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.
What in all the name of book gods did I just read?
We open to a woman out in a less-than-respectable neighborhood following a quest to retrieve an orphaned infant. Because surely nothing can get in the way of a woman with such a large heart and a children’s home to run. Along the way she unknowingly catches the attention of a noble, Lord Caire, who’s lurking about on another mission entirely. He asks for her guidance of the people in the aforementioned area — St. Giles — in return for introducing her to society to gain patrons for her home.
You’re telling me that it’s totally plausible that some lord scumming it would not only ask but first seek out the help of a woman who is clearly not on that side of the tracks. I think not. Even in the world of romance that doesn’t fly. I’m already halfway to putting the book down from that alone but let’s keep going for the sake of the story.
Temperance, woman of the hour, has her own issues but is more than willing to take Lord Caire around the bad parts of town late at night despite knowing next to nothing about why he needs her help. His reason unfolds with her constant urging but by this point the plot has drifted away from any type of mystery or suspense to keep tensions high and into the realm of lusty looks and heated encounters.
That’s all their relationship consists of, when it comes to it. Lord Caire has…particular tastes in the bedroom that just so happen to stir something in Temperance as well. Convenient that he picked her as his guide. Outside of the poorly written attraction, Lord Caire is downright nasty and cruel for no reason, a fact which gets ignored by Temperance several times over. She not only lets it slide but pursues him even after all this treatment, and in the midst of a crisis too. He’s an ass and she’s an idiot. I felt no love toward either one.
The plot progresses into a roulette wheel of Temperance at the children’s home worrying, her and Lord Caire mentally undressing each other, and Temperance’s sister, Silence. Who has nothing to do with this story yet gets an entire subplot and several scenes that set up a happy marriage turned sour and ends on that note (I smell a sequel).
Also, what’s with the names? I understand there’s plenty of freedom when it comes to these but if you’re writing a historically set romance, I’m not expecting Temperance, Silence, Concord, Winter, etc. Maybe I don’t know enough of the era but this family seemed to be a tad odd.
I think of everything, though, the writing set the final straw. I’ve never read anything by Elizabeth Hoyt before and perhaps this book is an exception but I found the writing a complete mess. When I’m reading I pay attention to grammar more out of habit than anything, and this book had issues, enough to distract me from the already lacking story and characters.
Wicked Intentions was quite definitely not the book for me and would not be one I recommend to fellow romance readers.