Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane Book 1) Kindle Edition
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
From the New York Times bestselling author of To Desire a Devil comes this thrilling tale of danger, desire, and dark passions.
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
I’m not a big fan of historical fiction. There are exceptions, of course, as with every genre. I like at least a few books of pretty much any type. I have friends who prefer historicals, and are big fans of this book, this series, this author. I listened. They are right.
The first thing that made me love this story is the impeccable writing! The author struck the perfect balance between enough detail to place the reader firmly in 1700s era London, without overwhelming the characters and the telling of their story. Maiden Lane and St. Giles are sub characters throughout, and never the focus.
💥Warning💥This will get spoilery!
Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is wealthy. Extremely wealthy. He’s handsome, he’s smart, well-educated and a little twisty. Sexually. His only sex partners are prostitutes. He ties them up and blindfolds them. He can’t stand to be touched. It causes him both physical and emotional pain. He blindfolds them so they can’t see into his eyes. He has never had a “relationship” with a “decent” woman. He’s never wanted one…until he meets Temperance Dews.
Temperance is a widow. She’s not the virgin of so many historical romances. It might be worse. She was married very young to a man who once wanted to be a preacher, a man with very harsh ideas about what “bed-play” between a husband and wife should and should not be, believing, and convincing Temperance, that anything more was lustful and sinful. She spent her marriage and the nine years since her husband’s death trying to atone for her self-perceived sinful nature with hard work and devotion to the foundling home established by her father. Then Caire breaks into her home…and her heart.
Ding! Ding! Ding! Do the previous two paragraphs sound familiar? Move this story to the 21st century and you have Christian Grey and Anna Steele from Fifty Shades Of Grey! There are differences, of course, but not many between Caire and Christian. Both men think of themselves as monsters and neither, before their stories begin, have had a “normal” relationship with a woman they might want for more than their temporary games. They are remarkably similar…both wealthy, educated, skilled and stunningly handsome.
Temperance and Anna both come from humble, working class families, both well-educated, beautiful and curious. They are both too poor to dress appropriately for the fancy parties, balls and other events that these wealthy men insist that they attend, forcing each to accept clothes as gifts. They have so much in common that the one difference is trivial…Anna is a virgin, Temperance is not.
I’ve made my case for the similarities between these two books. Now I need to point out that the differences are really good. The writing, the pacing, the style and dialog are so vastly different, that both books stand on their own beautifully. Ms. Hoyt took her characters and story to resolution in a single, well-paced book, while Ms. James took three massive volumes to tell a similar tale of healing and unconditional love. Being a fan of the Fifty Shades trilogy, it pains me to say that Wicked Intentions is every bit as good. And shorter. And free.