Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt
Book Two of the Maiden Lane series
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 1, 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):
Lady Hero Batten, the beautiful sister of the Duke of Wakefield, has everything a woman could want, including the perfect fiancé. True, the Marquis of Mandeville is a trifle dull and has no sense of humor, but that doesn't bother Hero. Until she meets his notorious brother . . .
Until they met each other.
Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, is far from perfect - and he likes it that way. How he spends his days is a mystery, but all of London knows he engages in the worst sorts of drunken revelry at night. Hero takes an instant dislike to him, and Griffin thinks that Hero, with her charities and faultless manners, is much too impeccable for society, let alone his brother. Yet their near-constant battle of wits soon sparks desire - desire that causes their carefully constructed worlds to come tumbling down. As Hero's wedding nears, and Griffin's enemies lay plans to end their dreams forever, can two imperfect people find perfect true love?
What I Liked:
You all know I read Book Five (Lord of Darkness) before I read the other four, right? So, I read Book One (Wicked Intentions), and decided that this entire series could quite possibly be my all-time favorite historical romance series. While I didn't enjoy this book (Notorious Pleasures) as much as I enjoyed Book Five and Book One, I still think it is an excellent companion to a truly wonderful series.
Hero and Griffin are firecrackers to the fireworks. I loved every single interaction they had with each other, even if at times, I wanted more from them. Yet again, Hoyt does an excellent job creating chemistry between the characters, but drawing out the love scenes and intimacy until late into the book. And the actual "love" part - in which the character truly love each other - feels extremely real. Most adult books make the relationship between the male and female protagonists a really chemistry-filled, lusty relationship, and the development of love really doesn't happen. Hoyt has no problem, in any of the books that I have read, with creating lust and love between the two protagonists.
Just as with Book Five (Lord of Darkness) and Book One (Wicked Intentions), the two protagonists, Hero and Griffin, have a lot of depth to them to begin the novel. Griffin has the reputation of being quite the rake (modern-day PLAYER), but he has a sad and yet selfless background. Hero does not have as interesting a background as Griffin, which is quite possibly why I did not connect with her as much as I did with the other heroines of Book Five and Book One. Nevertheless, both characters had significant character development throughout the book, and we do reach a nice, happy ending.
And that is one of the biggest reasons why I love these books so much. The development of love throughout the book, the background of the characters, and the character development of each book is present and strong in each book. That is a key difference between Hoyt's Maiden Lane series, and many other historical romance books out there.
What I Did Not Like:
I've already said that this one wasn't as good as Book Five or Book One. I can't place my finger on why that is, but I know for a fact that I did not connect with Hero as much as I did with Margaret (Book Five) or Temperance (Book One). I don't know why, but I didn't particularly like her very much, and I found her, by herself, very boring. I just didn't care enough about her as a person. Her with Griffin - different story.
Would I Recommend It:
YES! But read this one with the entire series. This book alone is great, but with the entire Maiden Lane series, is fantastic.
3.5 stars -> rounded to 4 stars. I really liked this book! I wanted more, but I am satisfied by what I got.