Jess the Romanceaholic's Reviews > Scandalous Desires

Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt
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This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: October 18, 2011 (Available Now!)
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Imprint: Forever
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: ARC Gift from the Publisher
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Maiden Lane series
Series Best Read In Order: Yes
Steam Level: Steamy

*SPOILER WARNING* Official Blurb and Review both contain spoilers for previous novels in the series.

Silence Hollingbrook is a virtuous woman with a sterling reputation. That is, she was, until nine months ago she made a deal with the devil to save her husband from gaol for a crime he didn’t commit. Naively convinced that those who knew and loved her would believe her when she told them the truth about what really happened, she was shattered to discover that no one, not even her beloved husband William, believed she had not sold herself to Charming Mickey O’Connor, the notorious river pirate. Now (two books later), William is dead, lost at sea, and Silence finds solace working in her family’s Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children, and the love of her adopted infant daughter, Mary Darling.

Charming Mickey has been fascinated with Silence ever since she stormed into his urban fortress demanding that he help her husband escape the gaoler. At the time, he merely offered his assistance in exchange for Silence spending the night in his bed — yet he never once so much as touched her. Then sending her home with her gown half undone and her hair in disarray, intentionally ruining the shining reputation of a virtuous woman, he insisted that if her husband really loved her, he’d believe her when she told him that nothing had happened. When of course her reputation was destroyed, and no one, not even her family or husband believed in her innocence, he thought to take satisfaction of knocking the stars out of her eyes. He couldn’t understand, however, why it actually almost bothered him that he’d ruined her life — after all, he was a hedonist of the first rank, and took great pleasure in many a people’s pain.

When an infant bastard daughter he neither wanted nor cared about is dumped on his doorstep, her prostitute mother having died, Mickey sees an opportunity to ensnare Silence even further into his web by depositing the child on the doorstep of the foundling home where Silence had sought solace after that chaste night in his bed.

Now his greatest enemy, the Vicar of Whitechapel, has discovered the existence of Mary Darling, and sees her as a pawn to use against Mickey. Snatching Mary Darling from the foundling home, Mickey whisks her away to his “palace” in Whitechapel, and waits for Silence to follow, which she soon does.

Trapping Silence with her love for Mary, Mickey coerces her to stay with him by playing on her guilt and fears for the child’s safety. But finally having Silence under his power once more doesn’t bring about the sense of triumph Mickey first expected, and soon, he finds that he is the one in danger — of losing the very heart he claimed he didn’t even have.

I have been anxiously awaiting this book since the first moment that Mickey stepped onto the pages and agreed to help Silence in exchange for her reputation. Mickey is the ultimate bad boy — a complete hedonist and utterly ruthless — and I was dying to see Silence get under his skin. I just knew from the very first time we met him that his redemption would be both very hard won and incredibly satisfying, and I was right on both accounts.

Silence was also a much stronger heroine than I’d originally anticipated — she seemed so weak and naive in the previous novels, but her steadfast loyalty and her devotion to Mary Darling brought out quite a bit of ferocity in her when needed, and it served her very well when paired with Mickey.

While there were a few moments where some of the language choices pulled me out of the action, and I didn’t particularly care for the name change halfway through the novel, the relationship between Mickey and Silence, as well as the intrigue and adventure made this book an easy favorite of mine. The climax of this novel was by far one of the most nail-biting of any historical romance I can recall, and the HEA was also by far one of the most satisfying.

The next book in the series, Thief of Shadows, is due out in summer of 2012, and I tell you, I’m already chomping at the bit for it. It will star the ever-elusive Ghost of St. Giles, whose identity was finally revealed in the epilogue of Scandalous Desires, and I, for one, am dying to read it (and quite happy that I was right as to his identity!).

Recommended for fans of ruthlessly alpha bad boy heroes, fiercely loyal and protective heroines, and of an intoxicating blend of romance, intrigue, betrayal, and suspense.

A deliciously solid 5/5 Stars
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04/01 marked as: read

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Ruth I can't wait!!!

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