Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt
Book One of the Maiden Lane series
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: August 1, 2010
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Publisher - won THIS giveaway
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
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 I Liked:
You all remember when I requested an eARC Lord of Darkness, the fifth Maiden Lane book? I read that one and LOVED it, but I hadn't read any of the previous four books. Almost immediately after, I entered and won a giveaway for all five books! So my reviews will be out of order for the series, going from book five to books one through four.
Needless to say, you do NOT have to read this series in order! While many characters overlap between books, and it's a tad bit of a shame that I read the NEWEST book in the series and then decided to read the previous ones, nothing is needed for each new book. You can read them individually, or as a series. I LOVE THAT about this series. They're all companions, and yet, they're are part of a series.
So. The book. I really, really liked this book. Like Lord of Darkness, Hoyt creates an intriguing plot, a unique set of characters, and NO insta-love, or quick lusty romance. While I love a chemistry-filled romance book, I love it when an author can create a book that is chemistry-filled, but not necessarily from the start, and when the author can allow the characters to fall for each other, chemistry and all.
Caire and Temperance are AMAZING together, and apart. Caire is so strange, but he's so ruined inside! I love his brash, uncaring nature, because really, he is just a sweet man who wants everyone else to feel the same hurt that he does. I just wanted to give him a hug the WHOLE TIME! And run my hands through his hair. I have a thing for long-ish (like, shoulder-length), silvery-blond hair, on males. Yay, Caire!
Temperance, despite my dislike for her name, is an amazing lady. I admire her strength with so many children, her love for her siblings, and her selfless nature towards everyone, but especially towards Caire. She is unflinchingly brave, courageous, and still vulnerable. Hoyt does such an amazing job with indirect characterization of both Temperance and Caire, as well as many of the secondary characters.
I love that BOTH protagonists have a background story. Many times, in historical fiction or historical romance books, one character has a past that haunts them, but not both. I love that Hoyt's characters all have that extra level of depth.
The plot of this story - oh, let me tell you. Usually, with historical romance books, it's generally the same, right? Man + woman + obstacle = happy ending. Well, this book, and this series as a whole, is different. There are "happy endings", which is nice, and obviously, there is romance. But so much action happens between Point A and Point B! And, a lot of that action involves secondary characters of one book who become primary characters of another book (like Silence, who appears in Book Three, and Godric, who appears in Book Five). I love how the secondary plot weaves the series together, and yet, you can pick apart the series to read each book individually.
I LOVE THIS BOOK!
What I Did Not Like:
There were some... strange parts to this book. Book Five (Lord of Darkness) did not have the same odd scenes. It wasn't an inhibitor, but I didn't really feel comfortable reading them. Luckily, there were only two or three scenes with the, ah, weird scenes. Trust me, you'll know what I'm talking about if you read this particular book.
But the scenes didn't bother me too much!
Would I Recommend It:
YES! To all adult, historical fiction, and/or historical romance book lovers, you will LOVE the originality and superb writing of this book (and series). For mature readers only though!
4 stars. I loved this book so much, but it feels like a four-star one to me. An excellent start to the series!