Book Review: Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

Title: Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane #1)
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Year: 2010
Pages: 383
Dates Read: May 27-28, 2017
Format: Kindle
Genres: HR, M
Rating: ★★★★
Summary: 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…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. (Barnes & Noble)I wasn’t so sure about this one when I started it.  I was actually more interested in the fourth book in the series but decided it would probably be better to read this series in order.  Despite that, this book pulled me in fairly quickly, and I ended up liking it quite a bit.  I debated whether I should give it 3 or 4 stars, but I was in a good mood and went for the higher rating.

Hoyt has an excellent writing style.  She can just pull you in almost right away and make you want to keep reading.  I wasn’t completely sold on the couple, but I did like them.  I was okay with the ending.  It wasn’t anything remarkable, and it was kind of simple, if I’m being honest.  But I didn’t really care.  It was a happy ending, and that’s what I wanted.  (Also, this book promises kiny stuff.  I’d say it’s mildly kinky, if you’re into that.)

I really like how Hoyt sets up the series with this novel.  We are introduced to Lady Hero, who is the focus of the second novel.  We get a few chapters from Silence’s point of view, and her book is the third in the series.  I like how the whole series is set around the area of Maiden Lane and that we are introduced to characters who will have important roles in the story later on.  It makes me think more about secondary characters than I might otherwise.  Other authors have done this, of course–like Tessa Dare with the Spindle Cove series, for instance–but this one just feels so fantastical.  There’s a masked vigilante (which I’m always here for btw), children with Nathaniel Hawthorne character names, a good amount of humor, and some outspoken women.  And the female lead accepts herself as she is, and it’s beautiful.  How could I not like it, really?

I also like that it’s set during the 18th century.  Historical romances are largely set in the Regency or Victorian periods, so it’s pretty refreshing to have a series set a few decades earlier.

This is just good, classic storytelling.  I felt like Catherine Morland reading her Gothic romances.  It was really fun and exciting to read, and I could never fault that.

Favorite Quotes:

  • “I rarely feel anything. But like the legless man, I’m unaccountably fascinated by those who can dance (66).”
  • “A man in a harlequin’s tunic, a floppy hat with a scarlet feather, and a black half-mask.  Oh, and he was brandishing both a long and a short sword.  Rather overly flamboyant, in my opinion (192).”
  • “This was the only possible action, and since he would no doubt disapprove of it, she’d seen no point in telling him in advance (195).”
  • “Truly. I think a man may find happiness—or discontent—no matter if he has a full belly or not (213).”
  • “Why?” she asked urgently. “Why did you make me watch?  Why me?”
    “Because,” he murmured, “you draw me.  Because you are kind but not soft.  Because when you touch me, the pain is bittersweet.  Because you cradle a desperate secret to your bosom, like a viper in your arms, and don’t let go of it even as it gnaws upon your very flesh.  I want to pry that viper from your arms.  To suckle upon your torn and bloody flesh.  To take your pain within myself and make it mine (214).”
  • “It was a strange thing, this feeling of empathy. He’d never experienced it before. He realized that what hurt this woman hurt him as well, that what made her bleed caused a hemorrhage of pain within his soul (234).”
  • “Please remember that just because love isn’t expressed doesn’t mean it isn’t felt (275).”
  • “You’re a gentleman of intellect, a very cynical one. I think you spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about the world and how very alone you are in it (288).”
  • “He was at her mercy, this powerful, lonely man, both physically and emotionally. If she made the wrong move, she might hurt him terribly, for she knew now that she could hurt him, and the realization was wondrous and strange (371).”

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