Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt
Book Three of the Maiden Lane series
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 24, 2011
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Publisher - won THIS giveaway
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind—and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back . . . and he's asking for her help.
"Charming" Mickey O'Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London's criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he's never been able to forget the naive captain's wife who came to him for help—and spent one memorable night in his bed . . . talking.
When his bastard baby girl was dumped in his lap—her mother having died—Mickey couldn't resist the Machiavellian urge to leave the baby on Silence's doorstep. The baby would be hidden from his enemies and he'd also bind Silence to him by her love for his daughter.
What I Liked:
Oh my gosh. This book... I loved it so much. It is different from the other Maiden Lane books, and I love that. Mickey and Silence - ah! I love the pair of them so much.
I love this book for so many reasons, but one of the biggest ones is the progression of Mickey and Silence's relationship. As with every Maiden Lane book, there is some intense chemistry, and yet, by the end of the book, the two protagonists truly love each other. This book is no different in that aspect, but there is more.
Silence and Mickey do not originally lust after each other (at least, Silence does not). In the beginning, Silence is infuriated with Mickey, because he took Mary Darling from her (Mary Darling is the small child that Silence has been taking care of - introduced in Book Two). Mickey and Silence have previously met before - in Book One - and those circumstances were life-changing for Silence (read Book One and Book Two for more).
So, in the beginning, Silence wants nothing to do with Mickey. She agrees to stay with him only so she can stay with Mary Darling. Mickey, on the other hand, subtly notices her as a woman, but no real attraction sprouts from either of them until the book continues.
My point is, the chemistry starts NOT at the beginning, it builds and builds, and I believe that this allows Silence and Mickey to have less of a physical relationship, and more of an intellectual or friend-like relationship. It's around 80% of the book that the first love scene occurs, and by then, both characters unknowingly love each other (well, Silence knows she loves him; Mickey doesn't acknowledge it and won't admit anything).
Mickey's background story is truly heartbreaking. It makes him less of a roguish pirate with a black heart, and more of a human being. Don't get me wrong, I still love his pirate nature, but I love his gentler side as well. Especially when he finally warms up to his daughter! So sweet.
The ending to this story is different than the endings of Book Five, Book One, and Book Two (I can't say anything for Book Four yet). The circumstances of the climax are very different, and therefore, the ending is different. I'm said to see a certain part of Mickey disappear, but I am thrilled with the ending nonetheless. Don't get me wrong - it's a happy ending. It's just different from the usual happy ending.
Did I mention that Mickey is Irish, and Hoyt incorporates his accent into the dialogue? It's hilarious and endearing. And did I mention that unlike high-society gentleman, Mickey walks around bare-backed? YUP.
What I Did Not Like:
I didn't have many problems with this book. Towards the end, like, the last 30%, was a bit crammed and rushed, and I didn't like that Silence kept distancing herself from Mickey. But again, happy ending. Everything (for the most part) worked itself out.
Would I Recommend It:
YES! Go get this one. I love it so much, and I have already re-read it several times since I first read it. It's that good!
4 stars. This one might be my favorite of the series. I have one more to read - Book Four, Thief of Shadows, but I really, really liked this one. And Book Five. And Book One. They're all so good!