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Maiden Lane #3

Scandalous Desires

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Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies in a woman's heart?

Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind--and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back...and he's asking for her help.

"Charming" Mickey O'Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London's criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he's never been able to forget the naive captain's wife who came to him for help and spent one memorable night in his bed...talking.

When his bastard baby girl was dumped in his lap--her mother having died--Mickey couldn't resist the Machiavellian urge to leave the baby on Silence's doorstep. The baby would be hidden from his enemies and he'd also bind Silence to him by her love for his daughter.

393 pages, Kindle Edition

First published October 24, 2011

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About the author

Elizabeth Hoyt

36 books6,761 followers
Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long-suffering husband.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,313 reviews
Profile Image for Baba  .
859 reviews3,871 followers
November 24, 2015
5 stars. Reread November 2015. Review edited November 24, 2015.

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"That’s me girl.“ He brushed his lips over her forehead, breathing the words. “That’s me love.”

So much tension. Banter. Vulnerability. Emotions. Tenderness. Sensuality. Love.

London, April 1738
The most notorious river pirate, Charming Mickey O’Connor, has taken the widow, Silence Hollingbrook, and the little Mary Darling to his palace to protect them. He fears that the villain, Charly Grady, the Vicar of Whitechapel, will harm them. Fearless and relentless Mick O’Connor had lost any vestige of guilt, remorse, or soul on a winter’s night sixteen years ago. Yet it seems he still has to lose a great deal because he was determined to protect Silence and Mary Darling with his life. If you have read Wicked Intentions, then you know that Mick had hurt Silence cruelly, yet over time she has forgiven him. Silence being with Mickey, somehow calmed his black soul, and he had no plans to let her go. Ever.

Two words that would sum up Scandalous Desires are…scandalously good.

My reread was a huge win and I was having a total blast! It's a wonderfully penned historical romance story that provides well-drawn and likable characters. The buildup is exciting and utterly sensual and backed up with plenty of witty banter, fantastic dialogue and some wonderful sensual scenes. Charming Mickey with his not so black heart is absolutely irresistible and so exquisitely swoon-worthy. He's my favorite HR hero. While Lord Caire, hero of Wicked Intentions, is temptation personified, Mickey O'Connor is sin personified. Who could resist such a sexy beast with such an alluring and keen mind? It was so bloody amusing to read between the lines also.

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Mick has charisma as all get out and seduced Silence with food, patience and words and, of course, his sexual prowess. That man is incredible.

He touched his lips to hers and unlike their first kiss, this one was nearly chaste. He couldn’t draw her body near because the baby was still between them. Still, he could savor her softness. He hid his claws and brushed his mouth against hers, as delicately as a butterfly’s wings on a petal. She breathed a sound and he tilted his head, licking softly, tenderly over her mouth.

The author did a great job at redeeming Charming Mickey O'Connor, the river pirate, to Michael, the man, who loved his Silence dearly. And seeing such a strong and ruthless man holding a little girl in his protective arms made my heart melt, as did his sexy Irish brogue, by the way. With Mickey, you get both sides of the coin: darkness, anger and bitterness, but also lightness, gentleness, tenderness and love. And, eventually, Silence brought out the very best of him.

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Scandalous Desires can be read as a standalone. Though it would be good to check out Wicked Intentions first to see what happened between Mickey and Silence in the first installment. Just so you know, I didn't particularly like the river pirate in Wicked Intentions. Then again, I'm very glad that I changed my opinion about Charming Mickey. Scandalous Desires is a beautiful and emotional love story between two great characters and one that should not be missed, provided you are a HR fan.

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There is always a possibility of redemption even for a man with a dark soul. Do ye agree with me, Saint Michael?

Recommended read.
Profile Image for Shawna.
3,550 reviews4,578 followers
May 27, 2022
Reread/listened to the audiobook May'2022:

I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook version, and I still loved this scandalously fantastic romance as much as I originally did! Big 5+ star favorite keeper!

Original rating/review Oct'2011

5+ stars – Historical/Georgian Romance

Wow...just...WOW! A+mazing! Brava Ms. Hoyt, you have truly outdone yourself and exceeded expectations with this spectacular romance!

I wanted to write a full review, but life has been crazy and stressful this past week, leaving me with too little time and insufficient mental capacity. So I’ll just do a bit of gushing about this magnificent read instead.

I’m a huge Elizabeth Hoyt fan, and I’ve enjoyed every book in the Maiden Lane series thus far. So it’s no surprise really that like so many others I’ve been eagerly waiting for Silence and pirate Charming Mickey to have their chance. I actually predicted and hoped for their romantic pairing back when I read Wicked Intentions.

“Call me crazy, but I can actually imagine her {Silence} being paired with Charming Mickey. That is if Hoyt can redeem him like Lisa Kleypas managed to do with Sebastian St. Vincent in the Wallflowers series.”

And my oh my, Ms. Hoyt most definitely delivered! Charming Mickey O’Connor is one of the best heroes in Romancelandia! He’s utterly ruthless and autocratic, yet vulnerable and endearing, not to mention rakish, vibrant, and sexy as all get out! And I love that he undergoes a transformation and redemption in some sense, yet still retains his rogue pirate’s charm.

Fans of Lisa Kleypas’s beloved heroes, Derek Craven from Dreaming of You and Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent from Devil in Winter, Billy Blade from Gaelen Foley’s Lady of Desire, and Andreas Merrick from In Total Surrender should find Mickey equally, memorably swoonalicious.

I just loved, loved, loved everything about this...the engaging story, perfect pacing, rich dialogue, superb secondary characters, nasty, cringe-inducing villain, danger and intrigue, drama and humor, steamy love scenes, and most especially the passionate, volatile romance between such an unforgettable H/H pairing: a dynamic, unrepentant bad boy hero and a prim heroine whose quiet strength finds and melts his nonexistent, cold heart. Charming Mickey O’Connor and Silence Hollingbrook are one of my all-time favorite couples. And the Clever John fairytale weaved stylishly throughout the story is an ideal compliment that makes it even more captivating.

I could go on and on, but quite simply, Scandalous Desires is the best historical romance, and one of my favorite reads, of the year, not to mention an all-time treasured keeper. Big, scandalously delicious 5 stars!

Oh, and my “Who is the Ghost of St. Giles?” prediction was correct, too!
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,774 followers
November 5, 2020
3.75 Stars

Could’ve done without Silence calling it a penis too many times for comfort cuz that just felt too clinical and funny and not at all sexy. 🙈 Though in retrospect, I guess she was staying true to her character. That being she was kinda prudish, never was adventurous with her late husband, but she had an active curious mind.

Anyway, I also could’ve done without the additional POV of minor characters I didn’t give a single eff about. It was like reading Heir of Fire, and then Manon Blackbeak was suddenly introduced and became a regular. I’m sure you’d appreciate it if you’re committed to this series and plan to read the next book.

“Because ye’ve bewitched and bespelled me, my sweet Silence, didn’t ye know? I’ll agree that the sky is pink, that the moon is made o’ marzipan and sugared raisins, and that mermaids swim the muddy waters o’ the Thames, if ye’ll only stop weepin’. Me chest breaks apart and gapes wide open when I see tears in yer pretty eyes. Me lungs, me liver, and me heart cannot stand to be thus exposed.”

Apart from that, I really really liked this. Mickey was a snack. Even when he was an a**hole (), I didn’t hate him cause in a way he was doing her a favor?? I adored Silence even though I think her name was odd, and the baby I can’t recall the name of was cute too.

Honestly, I’m just obsessed with Mickey—everything he said and did, how he was when he was around or with Silence. Watching him slowly fall for his two girls will have your heart meltin’ and feelin’ all the swoony feels. This was my first pirate HR, and I’m looking forward to find one that is actually set on a ship in the open sea.

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
533 reviews1,359 followers
October 6, 2020
If the rest of the series is anything like this book I believe that I would be stuck binge reading the whole series these coming days because this. was. So. good.

So we’ve got,

a once poor now a rich dressed in silk and jewellery PIRATE.

one year ago he left his daughter on the front door of the heroine’s for her “protection”. Now his enemies know about his daughter, so he kidnapped her and brought her to his home to protect her himself.

A widowed heroine who one year ago was humiliated because of that same jerk pirate.

That’s when Silence went to his house and demanded to have the girl who is like a daughter to her back. When he refused, they made an agreement that both her and his daughter would stay at his home till he could get rid of the danger.

A gorgeous little girl who keeps on calling her father “Bad”.

I loved watching him struggling and not knowing how to deal with his daughter at the beginning and then how slowly he started to actually care and warm up to her.

And lastly, Lad, the dog who keeps on following him around no matter how hard he tries to get rid of him!

This was really entertaining. I loved the writing so much. The plot flowed nicely and steadily. And I freakin loved the main characters! The developing of their relationship was sooo goood!! I just loved the book so much.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,247 followers
February 6, 2017
My favorite one of the series so far because..Sexy Pirate!

We met this sexy beast in book one and I've been dying for this story. "Charming" Micky, the notorious river pirate, sits upon a throne in a gold-covered room filled with treasure and receives petitioners and others like a king. Silence (our girl), met up with him in book one after he had stolen her husband's ship's cargo. He made a deal with her to give it back, and it ruined her life and marriage. So, she's not in the pirate-wenches fan club with me.

bitch be crazy

Mick has been thinking about Silence since that day, and when he has his illegitimate infant daughter dropped into his lap, he leaves her on Silence's doorstep because he knows she will love the baby and take good care of her. Also, to keep the baby safe from his enemies knowing about her. But, more nefariously, to get Silence to love the baby and tie her to him through the child. Yes, because having a baby always works to make a person stay with you and love you... It's a solid plan.

So of course there comes the day when Mick takes the baby and Silence into his lair "to keep them safe." He likes having a nice, respectable lady in his house, but things don't go exactly according to plan. He thought having this beautiful sweet woman and a baby in a house full of pirates, thieves, and whores would go smoothly. She would quietly knit and do "female" things during the day, and he could see her on his terms when he wanted to as he sits on his throne in his golden room. Cuz we all know that having a baby in the house never disrupts the party-life.

There are hundreds of these memes. And, they are all true.

The ways in which Mick's life is turned upside down by Silence and the baby are hilarious. I loved the scene in which he comes into the house and finds them all giving a mangy dog a bath in his giant, fancy bathtub with scented soap. It reminds me of so many times in my own marriage.

Oh, hi honey, the kids and I made whipped cream today!
... And, I adopted 6 puppies. What? I couldn't separate them!

So, the book was a lot of fun, the hero was amazingly swoon-worthy, and the heroine was likable - she didn't just obey him blindly. Also, the series itself is really good and always makes me excited for the next story.

Profile Image for Alp.
736 reviews375 followers
April 12, 2016
This was exceptionally wonderful. I LOVED IT!

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m very picky when it comes to HR because it’s typically more miss than hit for me. But Scandalous Desires absolutely obliterated all my high expectations!

Elizabeth Hoyt did this to me again! She’s a masterful storyteller, weaving her words into an unforgettable historical-romance story. I'd read this book non-stop for hours and savored every word on every single page of it. I really love her writing style.

In this book, we meet “Charming” Mickey O’Connor, the most notorious river pirate in London, and Silence Hollingbrook, a widow who had given Mick a feeling of restlessness and haunted his sleep for months.

Silence has become one of my favorite heroines. She’s a brave and kindhearted woman. I admired her for being forthright and honest with her feelings for Mick. She knew what she wanted and she was strong and courageous enough to follow her own heart.

And Mick, oh Mick! He caught my eye since he first appeared in the first book, Wicked Intentions. I had a feeling I would love him, and yes, I do! I love him! His miserable childhood made him become such a complex and fascinating character. He’s exactly my kind of hero.

He tore his mouth from hers and shouted his triumph. She was his, now and forevermore, until the end of time, until the seas ran dry and man no longer roamed the earth, amen.
His and only his.

“I love ye, Silence O’Connor, with all me black heart.”
“I don‟t think your heart is all that black.” She smiled though tears sparkled in her eyes again. “I love you, too.”

Although the plot was simple, the writing was excellent. The story flowed nicely at a perfect pace and I loved the conclusion of this book. I was so happy Mick and Silence got their very beautiful HEA eventually.

All in all, Scandalous Desires was an utter pleasure to read. I was thoroughly engrossed throughout the entire story. If you’re looking for a good HR book with an emotional storyline, breathtaking romance, and adorable characters, all you have to do is pick this one up and you’ll never be disappointed!

Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Juliana Philippa.
1,028 reviews925 followers
March 7, 2022
4.5 stars. Ever since my Elizabeth Hoyt obsession began this past summer I have been anxiously anticipating this book. Mickey's character is one of my favorite types of heroes and I loved his pairing with Silence. From the moment I learned of it, I was reminded of the Derek Craven-Sara Fielding matchup in Lisa Kleypas’ Dreaming of You , which is one of my favorite HRs.

Our Hero. Mickey is so lovable and definitely one of my favorite heroes. I think it's sometimes difficult to have villain-turned-hero characters, because the transformation needs to feel authentic. I think Hoyt definitely succeeded with that, because by the end Mickey is still Mickey—maybe a little more domesticated and more than a little changed, but it's the same person, only with a new side to him. I loved his cant and was glad that Hoyt kept that throughout the book. Made for some fantastic lines.

Our Heroine. I didn't have much of a feel for Silence before, though I did like her from what I'd seen of her first encounter with Mickey. She's a very engaging heroine and I enjoyed watching her also come into her own, standing up for herself and not taking his shit. Her character is calm and soft, setup to perfectly juxtapose Mickey's rough edges. In some of the events towards the end I feel like she bowed to pressure or didn't push enough, whereas she had been very firm and ready to put herself out there before. But all in all she was good and a great fit for Mickey/Michael—and she totally kicks ass at the end when she _____!

Everything Else. I loved how Mickey slowly warms to Mary Darling and ends up becoming so attached to her. I didn't like how she kind of disappeared in the last third/quarter of the book and didn't have as much of a presence or personality as she did earlier in the book. The underlying “mystery” plot was a good one and ended up being the the main story-driver and relationship obstacle.

The standard guy-can't-admit-he's-in-love-and-realize-what-he-really-wants was employed. I find that ploy very tiring, because it's so often used—I mean, we get it, guys are commitment phobes, next! I wasn't as annoyed here because Mickey is by no means ignoring or denying the depths of his feeling and given his history and experiences, it (for once) is perfectly logical.

The Difficulty of Meeting High Expectations. One of the things I was worried about was how excited I was about the book - would it be able to live up to expectations? When I saw everyone's rave reviews for it, it made me all the more nervous. Because of the buildup this time around which led to some unavoidable disappointment—it always does in cases like these—I think I'll probably love it more the second time around.

While I normally will read an HR in one sitting unless the house is on fire—and really need me because they're not able to put it out themselves—I actually put this book down two or three times. However, I do think this mostly has to do with the extreme anticipation and inevitable result.

Question for Those Who Have Read the Book.

Bottom Line. So bottom line: a great read. I loved the characters. I loved the plot. I loved the writing—great dialogue, especially on Mickey's parts; I adored some of his lines! I loved the sexual tension—though Scandalous Desires was on the lighter end of Hoyt's books in terms of frequency and explicitness. Read it!

P.S. We find out in the epilogue who the Ghost of St. Giles is and there is a little teaser at the end for the next book. I wasn't surprised and the heroine is obvious from this book; I was a little surprised by the kind of pairing Hoyt decided to do, but still very excited to read it!

If you liked this book, you might also enjoy ...
(similar character types and/or plot setups)
* Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
* One Night Is Never Enough by Anne Mallory
* In Total Surrender by Anne Mallory
* The Proposition by Judith Ivory
* Surrender to the Devil by Lorraine Heath
* Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas
* The Least Likely Bride by Jane Feather
* Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman by Lorraine Heath

Two of My Favorite Quotes
Her room was smaller than his, but somehow the air seemed fresher, less close. He could hear the sound of the child’s heavy breathing in sleep and softer, slower, the woman’s. He went to stand next to the bed and even though the room was unlit, he could make out, faintly, her slight form beneath the covers. The sight somehow calmed his soul. She lay in his bed, in his house, and no matter what bargain she thought she’d made with him, he knew the truth.

He had no plans to let her go—ever.


Around and around his finger slid, until she sighed restlessly and moaned his name—
Michael—the only one who called him so.

But he allowed it, for she was a fair prize, this soft-hearted woman. And if she were his woman, well then, he supposed in a way he must be her man.

Read my review or Tempting Teaser on Fiction Vixen Book Reviews. (Written October 27, 2011)
Profile Image for Mo.
1,363 reviews2 followers
December 10, 2015
Mickey, ye would charm the knickers off a nun!! LOL. OK, being Irish, I have a bit of a problem with Irish characters and especially OTT Irish characters with OTT Irish accents. WE. DO. NOT. TALK. LIKE. FUCKING. LEPRECHAUNS.

But I sort of said to myself, he is based back in the 18th century so let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

Charmin' Mickey.

He sure was charming.

"I need to know that I'm more to you than a woman in your bed."

Oh God, he was so powerful. She watched him.

"Why must ye be the one that haunts me dreams? I've seen ye weepin' night after bloody night since the day I sent ye from me palace ..."

Soon the daffodils would bloom.

"That's me girl.
That's me love."

Profile Image for Choko.
1,221 reviews2,597 followers
December 11, 2016
*** 3.44 ***

A buddy read with the fans of Historical Romance at the MacHalos! We love us some Gentlemen Rogues!!!
Profile Image for Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣.
651 reviews407 followers
November 28, 2016

How lovely was that!

A pirate obsessed with a young widow, takes his time for about a year to get the woman within his grasp. There's just no resisting a bad boy with a (secret) heart of gold. Lots of sex, lots of snarky banter... you know: a very relaxing read.

And then, there's the prison sex scene...

That's why I take away a star.

All in all, do I recommend the book? Definitely! It's funny, sexy and adventurous.
Profile Image for KatLynne.
547 reviews564 followers
February 14, 2015
Feb 2015 - Did a buddy read with a friend and enjoyed just as much the 2nd time around:).

5+++ Stars I loved most everything about this book and Charming Mickey O'Conner is a hero you'll not want to miss!

Thanks to my GR friends Shawna, Denise & Lisa's review for bringing this amazing book to my attention. This set me on course to read this series and it's one of the best I've read this year.

Due to so many great reviews already posted I think I'll just give a peek at a few remarkable attributes of our hero. Our brave heroine, Silence, says it so much better than I:-)

"Tall, broad and everything that was male"
"Handsome as sin"
"His voice was like liquid sin, dark and dangerously seductive"
"His tongue was wet and hot and felt indescribable..."
"Charming with his Irish brogue, cold black hair, hard, muscled body"

Of course, there's much more to the man than his drool worthy looks and I enjoyed every layer revealed.

Perfect escapism and I was hooked from the very first page; I laughed, cried and fell totally in love with this pirate as well as the woman who "soothed his soul."

A treasure that I'll enjoy reading again!
Profile Image for Jonetta.
2,244 reviews970 followers
November 25, 2015
River pirate Mickey O'Connor resurfaces in this story, this time when he's faced with a threat that affects Silence Hollingbrook, now widowed, and baby Mary Darling. What follows puts them together for an extended time, revealing their true selves to one another.

I loved the "dance" Mickey and Silence orchestrated throughout the story, their witty dialogue eventually being replaced with honest and sincere revelations. When I began the story, I was unsure if I could warm to Mickey so I was very pleased he eventually emerged as a more substantive character. I also liked how Silence used his given name when she was relating to the man, not the pirate.

The story was exciting with some interesting twists and surprises. The romance was seductive and I enjoyed the way Silence and Mickey's relationship developed. There were so many layers to the story and the narrator, Ashford Mcnab, captured it all brilliantly. She managed a host of characters and dialects so effectively. I loved everything about the story and the narrator's performance.
Profile Image for Karen.
810 reviews1,026 followers
January 1, 2016

Well this series just keeps getting better and better! Elizabeth Hoyt has really captured my interest in these characters and the growing intrigue in St. Giles is just too much to resist.

This story involves the recently widowed Silence Hollingbrook, and the notoriously arrogant and wicked pirate Charming Mickey O'Connor. The same ruthless man who only a year ago had cost her not only the love and respect of her dear husband, but also her entire reputation and good standing in the community.

Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind--and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother.

"Charming" Mickey O'Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London's criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he's never been able to forget the naive captain's wife who came to him for help and spent one memorable night in his bed...talking.

When his bastard baby girl was dumped in his lap--her mother having died--Mickey couldn't resist the Machiavellian urge to leave the baby on Silence's doorstep. The baby would be hidden from his enemies and he'd also bind Silence to him by her love for his daughter.

Mary Darling O'Connor was just adorable, and it wasn't long before she started melting her notorious father's black heart.

..and then there's Lad

I loved everything about this book. I even fell in love with "Charming" Mickey's exaggerated Irish brogue.

"Turn your head to me, love."

Mickey, me love!

She felt as if her world was tossed up in the air and came down completely re-pieced. This was earth-shattering.

Already started book four. Great series Ms. Hoyt!
Profile Image for Zurks.
26 reviews1 follower
June 16, 2012
What the actual fuck?

I'm forcing myself to keep going with this. The 'hero' Mickey is anything but with an ego so big I'm surprised he can walk and chunks of the plot seem forced.

Edit: I'm at page 145, this is the first time I've disliked a book so much I felt the need to review. May the force be with me.
Edit2: p.161. Okay that was the strangest self-pleasuring scene I've ever read...and then she watched him? Am I reading the same book as everyone here?!
Edit3: predictable in that the pirate guy is somehow redeemed, yawns @ Silence, yawns @ Mickey - reinventing him as Michael isn't going to make him any less of an ass to me! I didn't like either of those two, the dog and other supporting characters interested me far more.
Edit4: Parts of the book in other points of view served no purpose to the story except to provide a backdrop for the next in the sequel - not complaining because I like the character who the next book will be about [Winter] but couldn't the author have made it relevant to this novel?
Edit4: Must add that I liked the "Clever John" bits at the beginning of each chapter.

Edit 5: because after writing the most negative review of my life I probably owe some kind of explanation: this was the first Hoyt book I read, it was recommended to me because I usually enjoy Julia Quinn.
Anyway, I could never see why Charming Mickey was a swoon-worthy character - yeah he had faults and kind of admitted to them but he was also a criminal, and ruined lives. His own backstory didn't touch me enough to write off his actions or make him likeable. I think the author thought hunky alpha male pirate plus sensible clever ladylike heroine equals chemistry and romance but it was a big miss for me. I couldn't relate to either character and didn't feel like they were fleshed out well.

Parts of it were dumb: Mickey denying Silence to be fed, his staff sneaking her food and her accepting then refusing because she fears for the safety of his staff should he find out, him practically admitting he knows, her continuing to refuse out of apparent sheer stupidity. TSTL. I have an issue with this too - at first she refused to dine with him because obviously they are all criminals and other unsavoury shades for the most part but after he has his whores leave his 'palace' she dines with him.
The marriage consummation scene was quite distasteful for reasons that should be obvious.

In all, for someone who was supposed to be sensible Silence really threw her reputation to the wind - and completely abandoned her brother Winter and the the orphans.

To conclude, I'd pay to have this book erased from my memory.
Profile Image for Al George.
502 reviews320 followers
May 16, 2016
It was good, it was enjoyable, but it was not great.


Setting / Time / Genre: Georgian England

Length: 393 pages.

Series: Yes, and I have read several. This would be my second favorite of the four I have read.

Sexy times: Yes. Slightly more scandalous than your average historical romance, but nothing over the top.

Plan on reading more by the author: Hells to the yesses. There are several more in the series.

Synopsis in one sentence or slightly more: Heroine is attached to the hero's child, hero kidnaps said child to bring said heroine to his stronghold, and there's some serious sh!t going down seeing as how he lives outside the law ans does bad things.

Heroine: Silence. That's her name. I liked her. Quite a bit actually. However, I did get hung up on a few of her more TSTL moments.

Hero:Mickey / Michael. He's the one who really catches your eye in this book. He's a pirate of sorts, however, not the kind that sails the high seas. Nah. He sits in a throne room redolent of Henry VIII (at which point I totes judge him). He's your typical tortured hero and lordie, do I love me a little hero torture. Yea, him, I found interesting.

Why it did or didn't work for me: It wasn't that it didn't work. It did. It's a good, almost great, read. It was an interesting tale full of redemption and I do love a good redeemer. It was just that Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt was amazing. As in, how can any book follow that one and be nearly as amazing? So I liked this story. I just wasn't as drawn to it. I didn't feel so on the edge of my seat or in love with the characters. I still managed to read it in basically one day, so it had to be pretty good for that to happen.

All in all, this was an awesome read. And the only thing my review should do is make you want to read this book. Because it is totally worth it. Every single page.
Profile Image for Melanie A..
1,088 reviews422 followers
May 17, 2018
"Sweet Silence. I may be named for an archangel, but yer the one who shines with a clean, pure light."
Elizabeth Hoyt delivers once again!

Honestly, I was a little nervous going into this one. The scene in book 1 where Silence is forced to walk down the street in disgrace will be FOREVER etched in my mind, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to forgive Charming Mickey O'Connor for his abominably cruel actions.

I shouldn't have worried though. This amazing author had me eating out of the palm of her hand from page one. She took the time to develop Silence and Mickey's relationship, dealing with all their baggage and creating some truly swoon-worthy moments.

I can't recommend this series enough!

And the Ghost of St. Giles has been revealed! Next book, please!
Profile Image for Lisa Kay.
924 reviews514 followers
December 28, 2011

★★★★★ & a Wow! Loved every word of it. It is so neat when a book lives up to my hopes and desires. Charming Mickey and Silence have had an unusual history in the Maiden Lane series, with plenty of aching hurt ー the kind that goes bone-deep ー and it is so neat to see the fabulous Ms. Hoyt pull this one off. The pacing is spot-on, the mystery palpable, and their HEA believable. Amazing secondary characters too! I really don’t like it when an author uses the epilogue to set up the next volume; nevertheless, after this wonderful endeavor ー and since it is a continuation of the storyline from this entire series involving the Ghost of St. Giles ー I’ll forgive her. Can’t wait for the fourth installment, Thief of Shadows, coming out in July, 2012!

BTW, if you love romance book cover art, and want to see the “set back” or inside cover on this one, go up under the bookcover and click on where it says “more photos (1)” – for a nice bath scene – sans dog! (Thanks Punya for posting!)

Also, while I strongly suggest you read this series in order, here is a link to Elizabeth Hoyt’s website listing the Maiden Lane Cast of Characters in case you need a refresher.

Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane, #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt Notorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane, #2) by Elizabeth Hoyt Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane #3) by Elizabeth Hoyt Thief of Shadows (Maiden Lane, #4) by Elizabeth Hoyt
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,645 reviews1,512 followers
March 10, 2017
3.5 I love you with my Black Heart Stars

When the end of the Wheel of Time gets you down it is time to binge read a lot of HR and smut. Continuing on my journey to purge the book hangover of that series.

This is a little bit like a beauty and the beast retelling in a lot of ways. I was super excited for Chaming Mickey and then he started out as such a freaking asshole. Like more than the normal assholedness of most HR books. But he is apparently really sexy.


I wanted this story from the minute I ended the first book of the series and it opens with Mickey forcing Silence to come live with him. Well he didn’t kidnap her or anything (that might have been better) but he did kidnap his daughter and tell Silence that she could stay with him and Mary Darling OR she was welcome to leave but she would not be taking the baby she had treated as hers over the last year. What is she to do.

Really most of the rest of it is a take on Beauty and the Beast. If you don’t want to eat with me then you will not eat at all and there is even a lot of stuff to do with books and his exquisite library. Does this ring any bells for anyone else? With the help of some of the men in his crew Mickey learns that he can’t treat Silence the way that he has treated everyone else in his life and maybe, just maybe he will need to listen to her needs and wants and treat her like a person if he is going to get her to stay voluntarily once the ‘Danger’ she and Mary Darling are in has passed.

Okay, so I totally hated Mickey the first half of the book and then he starting to show why maybe some would find him charming. I liked the romance that grew between him and Silence to the culmination of their feelings.
She raised her head, glaring angrily. “You don’t even believe in love. Why are you agreeing with me?”
He laughed.
“Because”—he leaned down and licked at the tears on her cheeks, his lips brushing softly against her sensitive skin as he spoke, “ye’ve bewitched and bespelled me, my sweet Silence, didn’t ye know? I’ll agree that the sky is pink, that the moon is made o’ marzipan and sugared raisins, and that mermaids swim the muddy waters o’ the Thames, if ye’ll only stop weepin’. Me chest breaks apart and gapes wide open when I see tears in yer pretty eyes. Me lungs, me liver, and me heart cannot stand to be thus exposed.”

Overall I liked the romance and the hints to Mickey’s background and why no amount of treasure will ever feel like enough to him. But the rest of the story didn’t have any surprises for me. I knew who the bad guy was to Mickey I even figured out right away who the traitor was in his midst.

These have been really okay HR reads for me so far but I’m waiting for that great book. I know it is out there for this author and we are just getting warmed up. Still I’m a little tired of the man-whore finding the woman of his dreams that is practically as pure as snow who changes him forever. But Winter’s book is next and I KNOW he isn’t a man-whore so this could be fun.
Profile Image for Vintage.
2,452 reviews480 followers
July 9, 2019

Charming black hearted, Black Irish Mickey the pirate basically kidnaps the sweet innocent Silence only after ruining her reputation, destroying her marriage and breaking her heart. She only accepts staying at his tacky and luxurious house because she adores the plot moppet Mary Darling, a chip off the old Black Irish block.

Cliches they are abounding, begorrah and thanks be praised, as Elizabeth Hoyt plays them up for a heated romance with the ultimate bad boy and good girl heroine. Forget the rest: Hades and Persephone, Danny and Sandy, Barbie and..not Ken.

Plot? Who cares. It’s not the best Maiden Lane, but after reading Brenda Novak and the po-faced residents of Buttinski town, an unrepentant bad boy and the Miss Quaker Miss who tames him was up my alley.

And because I just can’t decide and they are both so darn pretty,

Hmm, basically the same review. I guess that makes sense since it's the same book.

I love a bad boy.

The Maiden Lane series is very well done. Dark and interesting heroes, the heroines vary from sweet and innocent to more sophisticated, a Georgian setting for a change from the ever present Regency, steamy, steamy erotic scenes, and what seems to be well-developed research. The overlying premise follows a tight knit family and their orphanage and the nobility they interact with, and, yep, end up marrying.

Scandalous Desires has so many elements I should adore: the hero or anti-hero is an intense, bad boy with a yen for a good girl. Silence, yes that's her name, is a sweet and honorable heroine who ends up reforming our resident bad boy by simply existing. She also happens to mother his daughter Mary Darling. Mickey, the bad boy, left his daughter with Silence a book or two ago due to his crush and to protect her from his evil enemy.

I love a great character name and this series is full of them: Mary Darling, Temperance, Silence, Winter, Artemis... etc and so on.

As much as I enjoyed this book and the series, I didn't buy the reformation of our rake completely. I almost did, but not quite. Still a solid 3 star book and one I would recommend. For a true rake who does not really get reformed, and is dastardly charming, I would go with Duke of Sin. Or Anne Stuart's Ruthless
Profile Image for Luana ☆.
541 reviews94 followers
May 23, 2021
Ha, that end! I knew it!!!

Okay, this book was nice. I don't know whats about the big bad guy that makes them so interesting. I can't believe how he planned to have the heroine in his clutches. Very devilish and smart of him. Good for him, he knows what he wants and he does all in his power, despite a silly thing like moral and honor, to get what he wants.

This book is the contrast of a prude and a sinner and as soon as the relationship starts to develop the book start to have a lot of action... before that, I was stuck a while. I think because this book crosses so many lines of right and wrong that it takes a while to process everything. You know a cute pirate is still a pirate.

After that end I can't wait to read the next book.
Profile Image for Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*.
425 reviews207 followers
November 17, 2019
This book far exceeded my expectations!! Great story and the Charming Mickey/Silence love scenes are so HOT!!! The identity of the Ghost of St Giles is revealed as well. (My guess was way out). Altogether, this will probably be the best book of the year for me.

My Charming Mickey

My Silence


When I discovered that the publishing date for SCANDALOUS DESIRES, the third book in Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series, had been brought forward to October 18, I was jumping with joy, so eager was I to the read Silence and Charming Mickey's story. So imagine my frustration when I found out that, living in the UK, I had to wait until November 3! Well, the wait was worth it because this book is amazing.

The book opens where Silence Hollingbrook once again finds herself standing before the notorious river pirate, Charming Mickey O'Connor, just as she had once before with devastating results.

A year earlier, Silence had been leading a happy and contented life with her husband, William, a ship's captain, until he is accused of collusion in the theft of his ship's cargo by the owners. Silence cannot stand by and see her husband sent to prison, or worse, and resolves to confront the real culprit, Charming Mickey O'Connor. But in return for the cargo, Charming Mickey exacts a high price – she must spend the night with him.

The next morning, although she swears she did not sleep with him, no one believes her. Her family think she is lying rather that admit the terrible sin she has committed and her husband becomes cold and distant. Her reputation is in tatters and her marriage in ruins.

When William goes back to sea, Silence decides to help her brother in running the foundling home. Then tragic news arrives that her husband has been lost at sea and the only bright spot in Silence's life is the baby, Mary Darling, left outside the door of the foundling home some months earlier. Silence comes to love Mary like a daughter and so is horrified to discover that she is in fact Charming Mickey's daughter. So when Mary is kidnapped, Silence knows exactly who is responsible.

Since that day a year ago, Silence Hollingbrook has haunted Mickey O'Connor's dreams and now his scheme to have her under his power and under his roof has come to fruition. But he also needs to protect his daughter and Silence from his sworn enemy, Charlie Grady, the Vicar of St Giles. So Mickey insists that Mary Darling stays with him and his men so that he can ensure her safety and when Silence protests, he says:

"Why, darlin' I said the babe had to stay with me, I never said ye couldn't as well."

So the trap closes! Unwilling to be parted from Mary Darling, Silence agrees to stay, risking not only her own reputation but that of the foundling home as well. But, this time, she will not go like a lamb to the slaughter and will defy Mickey at every turn. Gradually she discovers that beneath that cold, ruthless exterior is a very different man - a man she could love.

Meanwhile, Mickey finds himself falling hopelessly in love with Silence. But can he protect the two people who have come to mean so much to him from a cold and calculating enemy? Is he willing to give up everything for love?

Only Elizabeth Hoyt could take a ruthless river pirate, who not only steals and murders without guilt or remorse but also ruins a young woman's life on a whim, and turn him into one of the most memorable romantic heroes ever. Surviving a harrowing childhood, Mickey is forced to beg and steal in order to survive on the dangerous streets of St Giles until eventually he claws his way up to be the most feared river pirate on the Thames. After such a struggle, I can understand why he makes no apologies for being who he is:

Pirating was all he had to guard against starving and want. Pirating had saved him, fed him and given him a life and a future. His money was his strength.

The gentler emotions of love and compassion have no place in his life because to him they represent signs of weakness. I think it is, therefore, the allure of Silence's purity, gentleness and deep capacity for love that draws Mickey to her because his life has been so devoid of all these things. As Mickey starts to open up to Silence, it changes everything between them because she begins to see the real man behind the flamboyant pirate.

A man moved by Silence's tears:

He'd seen men gutted and killed, watched starving women prostitute themselves, seen beggar children lie down in the gutter and die. He'd fought with tooth and nail to reach the place where he was now – where he didn't worry over food or a roof over his head. He'd killed men and never thought about their faces again.

Yet the sight of Silence in tears nearly unmanned him.

A man who is stirred by beautiful music:

Mick had come to the opera a little more than a year ago on a whim and had been instantly enthralled. That a man could produce such a wonderful sound almost made him believe in God.

A man who treasures a certain special book:

The one that had taught him there was beauty in the world. She'd (Silence) found Michael's treasure, the heart he'd kept hidden.

A true romantic hero who captures your heart.

Silence definitely comes into her own in this book showing courage and strength of character in her defiance of Mickey's absurd, autocratic commands. She also does some serious soul searching about her marriage. She has always thought she had the perfect marriage and that William truly loved her. But she comes to realise that it was all a delusion because when she truly needs him the most, he doesn't believe her and turns away from her. She compares William's love with the all consuming love that Lord Caire has for her sister, Temperance and knows that her husband never loved her like that. She realises that her feelings for Mickey run far deeper because, although she still feels the pain of William's loss, it is nothing like the terrible loss she would feel if anything happened to Mickey.

Ms Hoyt does an excellent job of building up the sexual tension between Mickey and Silence and one particularly memorable scene comes to mind where Silence spies on Mickey through the connecting door to their bedrooms:

So she stayed at the crack in the door, watching breathlessly as Mickey O'Connor did something very earthy indeed.

Not difficult to guess what he was doing! As I've come to expect from Ms Hoyt, when Mickey and Silence finally come together, the love scenes are filled with eroticism and sensuality.

SCANDALOUS DESIRES has a fast-paced and exciting plot with some very dramatic revelations (including the identity of the Ghost of St Giles) and a really heart-stopping climax. We get to see some familiar faces including Temperance and her husband, Lord Caire, Lady Hero Reading and Silence's brothers, Winter, Concord and the elusive Asa. I love Mickey's two henchmen, Harry and Bert who provide some light relief and Mary Darling is simply adorable.

I really loved SCANDALOUS DESIRES and it certainly surpassed all my expectations. It will definitely find a place amongst my select number of all time favourite historical romances. The Maiden Lane series seems to go from strength to strength and is a must read, not only for Elizabeth Hoyt fans, but also for all lovers of powerful, sensual and exciting historical romances.


This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews (TRR)
Profile Image for Natasha.
298 reviews350 followers
April 23, 2022
i think pirate romances are my newest obsession but only if every hero is so dreamy and intense like Micky O'Connor.😍
Profile Image for Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover.
874 reviews554 followers
February 4, 2015
I'm seriously on a Elizabeth Hoyt obsession right now. This woman can write no wrongs! This book was amazing! The last few chapters had me on the edge of my seat! It's 1am and I could not put this book down until I finished it!

Mickey is in my top 5 favorite heros. I loved how well written the story was. The romance started from an unusual place, Silence hated Mickey at first, but it blossomed into something beautiful! Hoyt sure knows how to write a character. I loved seeing Mickey turn from sinner with no heart to a man in love and I love how Silence wooed him away from a life of piracy. It was as if they both redeemed each other. Another great read by Hoyt, now I'm off to get the next book in the series:)
Profile Image for Crystal's Bookish Life.
823 reviews1,439 followers
March 31, 2021
Definitely enjoyed this more than book 2 but not as much as book one. Hoyt is building such a great world here, so many issues are tackled and handled sensitively (trigger warnings abound for sexual assault, violence, grief) and I really wnjoy how complex the characters and relationships are.

Mickey is a great pirate hero who cones off initially very gruff and harsh but really is a puddle of squish for the heroine.

It still feels like this book is getting bogged down with some meandering plot threads which will most likely show up in other books but did lessen my enjoyment in this book as a standalone.

And unpopular opinion: I did not like the bath scene, not a fan.
Profile Image for WhiskeyintheJar.
1,320 reviews543 followers
December 2, 2016
She, Silence Hollingbrook, meek widow of no particular means, had just faced down Charming Mickey O'Connor, the most feared pirate in London.

I was looking forward to this couple because of how "good" Silence and how "bad" Mickey was set-up portrayed; I'm fond of supposed opposites like this, a'la Devil in Winter. Their portrayals ended up being a bit more heavy handed than I like, though. Silence became a bit annoying with her somewhat dry personality and Mickey started to wear thin with his continuous lounging and not taking action against the Vicar.

She soothed his soul, this woman.

This seemed a bit more slow paced, or maybe I just felt like not a lot was happening. Mickey and Silence have some obvious chemistry but I was looking for more talking back and forth and building development instead of the focus on Mickey already knowing he wanted Silence forever. I guess I felt like some connection was missing between them.

For while her head knew she had done the right thing in leaving Michael, her heart was not so sure. Her heart didn't want a good man at all.
Her heart wanted a pirate.

I'm not a big kid person but the baby Mary Darling was a pretty big component in the story only to be a stand-in decoration and felt fairly forgotten; Mickey is said to have bonded with her but I can't say I really saw it.
I liked this story but more because of the wonderful world Hoyt has created, with past and future characters flitting in and out. Hoyt also does an incredible job with her sex scenes, which there are always plenty of, but this time the emotional component wasn't as strong for me. I also felt the story and characters had a melodramatic flair to it that didn't jive with me but the hero was pirate so what did I expect :)
I hope Bran gets a story :)
Profile Image for Jen.
1,655 reviews1,008 followers
December 23, 2016
Another awesome reread for me!!! No time to do a review..so busy with the holidays; plus my little grandson has been very sick. So between hospital, and caring for him not much time at all...But still adoring this series and have moved right on to book four!!
Profile Image for Katie(babs).
1,816 reviews536 followers
September 16, 2011
Elizabeth Hoyt has written the must read historical romance of the year. Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane #3) is beyond perfect from beginning to end. Scandalous Desire will most likely end up being counted as one of my all-time favorite romances because Elizabeth makes the relationship between the hero and heroine work so well when it shouldn’t. “Charming” Mickey O’Connor will become a much beloved hero, so much so that he’s on par with Derek Craven from Lisa Kleypas’s classic novel, Dreaming of You. And do I dare to say perhaps Mickey even surpasses Derek, mainly because the reader is given a bit more insight on the way Mickey ticks and acts the way he does? Silence Hollingbrook is both a worthy advisory and soul mate for Mickey and watching them fall for one another is full of delicious goodness.

Silence lost her husband almost a year ago after he was lost at sea. Her brother Winter runs the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children in London’s poor and criminal ridden, St. Giles. She has become a foster mother to an infant girl she named Mary Darling after Mary was left on her doorstep as a newborn. Silence acts and lives a very Puritan life, still mourning the loss of her husband, Will, who she loved dearly. Will and her were barely on speaking terms after she saved him from going to prison by appealing to Mickey, the proclaim king of the St. Giles underbelly after Mickey stole items from the ship Will was in charge of keeping safe. Silence sacrificed herself to save Will and ended up spending the night with Mickey, although she swears nothing happened between them. Along with her reputation in tatters, her husband didn’t believe her and before Silence could make retributions, he went away to sea and died. (This is in Notorious Pleasures, book #2)

Mary Darling has been snatched by none other than Mickey, who happens to be her father. Silence wants Mary back and will do whatever she can to accomplish that. There’s a few reasons Mickey has “kidnapped” Mary. First, his mortal enemy Charlie Grady, the Vicar of Whitechapel has it in for him. He wants to make Mickey suffer and will hurt those he cares about and are dedicated to him. Mickey wants to protect Mary, or so he tells Silence. He also wants the self-righteous Silence back with him, and by keeping Mary, he knows Silence won’t leave without her. They make a bargain where she’ll stay because she's the only mother Mary has known. Mickey pats himself on the back because again, the spider has caught the fly in his web.

Silence is not used to the opulence Mickey surrounds himself with. She refuses to be bought with beautiful clothes and rich foods, going as far as to starve because she won’t take orders from Mickey. Mickey may have grown up in the gutter and had to lie, cheat and steal for the bounty he now owns, but he can’t figure out how to get through to Silence. He aches to possess her, but he has a fight on his hands when it comes to her because she blames him for the shakiness of her marriage which led indirectly to her husband’s death.

As Charlie Grady ups his threats, Mickey is forced to take action, some immoral, in order to protect not only Mary and Silence, but his faithful servants who would die for him. Soon Silence makes a truce with Mickey and slowly sees who the real Mickey is and what he hides from the outside world. It’s up to Silence to extend her hand and accept this pirate king who is close to stealing her heart.

Scandalous Desire packs quite the punch. We have two characters who are at total odds with one another. Mickey makes no excuses for what he had to do in order to get what he wanted in life. He takes what he wants and he does the same with Silence. The best scenes are when he and Silence banter back and forth, where Mickey is left speechless and more than annoyed because Silence is no wilting flower. Silence breaks down those walls Mickey has constructed, including a few insights on the man that will make readers sigh. Mickey loves books and once special book in his collect made me ohhh and ahhh because it’s so precious. Mickey turns out to be a lovable rogue, one you may want to smack now and again, much like Silence wants to do, but still very much untamed.

Elizabeth gives a great amount of depth within these pages. Charlie is a nasty piece of work, but he’s not one-dimensional. His rage and hate for Mickey is justified in his eyes. There’s some major twists in regards to their relationship and why they want to destroy one another. Also, the mystery of that forbidden night between Mickey and Silence is solved and explained amazing well why Mickey did what he did. It was a selfish move on his part, but helps move along his relationship with Silence.

The love scenes are smoldering, intense and borderline erotic. The first love scene between Silence and Mickey may be my favorite of the year. It’s tender, sweet and so open between two people who are afraid to trust and fall in love because of past regrets.

There’s a secondary story between Silence’s brother Winter and a do-gooder rich Baroness that segues nicely into the next book in this series featuring Winter as the star.

As for the masked man of mystery, the Ghost of St. Giles, I figured out who it was fairly quickly, but don’t be surprised if you’ll be guessing until the very end.

Babies. I want to have babies with Scandalous Desires. This is one of two books this year where I keep re-reading certain scenes because I can’t stop thinking about Mickey and Silence. I can’t tell you how thrilled this book met my expectations and then some.

Scandalous Desires is the best book Elizabeth Hoyt has written so far with endearing characters and an all-encompassing romance you’ll want to hold close and never let go. If there’s one must read book, especially for historical romance fans, it’s Scandalous Desires. It gets the, “I want to have babies, I bow down to the author” KB seal of approval.
Profile Image for Mandi.
2,306 reviews725 followers
October 18, 2011
I have fallen in love with a pirate.

We have seen glimpses of "Charming" Mickey O'Connor throughout the first two books of Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series. And we have, of course, witnessed Silence Hollingbrook sacrifice herself to Mickey for one night to save her husband from charges he stole cargo from one of Mickey's ships. On that fateful night, Mickey didn't touch Silence, but when she returned home to her husband, all trust was lost, and he soon died.

Now Silence, who with her brother Winter runs the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children in the very poor part of London called St. Giles, mourns the loss of her husband and bears the shame of everyone thinking Mickey took advantage of her. But she has bigger concerns. Mickey has kidnapped the very young Mary Darling from Silence's home. Mary was left on the orphanage's door step a year ago, and Silence has come to care for her as her own daughter. But she has suspicions that Mickey is Mary's father.

Mickey is a river pirate, making every boat that passes along the Thames pay him a tithe. He kills, thieves and, although from the outside you would never guess it, he lives in a palace in St. Giles. The heavily guarded, outwardly dilapidated buildings house vast riches. Surrounded by treasures, servants and any woman he wants, Mickey is leading a grand life. But he can't shake that one night he spent with Silence. Although he never touched her, her beauty and air of purity make him desire her in a way he has never felt before.

Mickey has many enemies, but the biggest threat comes from the vicar of Whitechapel, aka Charles O'Grady. The vicar wants revenge for past conflicts with Mickey, and word has reached him that Mickey has a daughter and possibly might have feelings for the innocent Silence. Desperate to keep them safe, Mickey kidnaps Mary, knowing Silence will storm his home to find her. Then, when both are under his roof, he must keep them with him -- and maybe let Silence have a glimpse of the side of him that isn't a pirate.

I always have a hard time writing reviews for books I absolutely love, and Scandalous Desires is one that I have much love for. We have only seen a little of Mickey in the previous two books, and I wasn't sure how Elizabeth Hoyt was going to turn this pirate into a romance hero. My favorite thing is that she doesn't turn him into something he is not. He kills and thieves and revels in his treasures, but then we get these tiny glimpses of his softer side. We saw in Book 2 how he forced Silence to stay with him one night, though he never touched her. But we also saw how he made her walk home in the morning, with her corset undone and her hair messed up so all would think they'd had sex. He has a ruthless side – one that was cultivated from growing up on the streets of St. Giles.

Hoyt also allows us a glimpse of Mickey's softer side. For instance, he demands all of his guards and servants eat dinner with him every night so that everyone is fed well. He pays them well, too, so he has no fear they will steal from him. He may not have a family related by blood, but he has made those he works with his family of sorts.
So when Silence and Mary come into his home, Mickey comes to think of them as his, and he will protect them at all costs, which makes him vulnerable. And his enemies know this.

Of course, it is not at all fun and games when Silence and Mary live with him. Mickey expects obedience, and the only way he can keep them truly safe is if they are locked in their room. But Silence, having to entertain a 1-year-old, needs out.

Mickey O'Connor loomed over her, arms crossed, feet braced wide apart.

"What in the name o' all that's holy did ye think ye were doin'?"

She tilted her chin. "Going for a walk."

He bent, thrusting his handsome face into hers. "When I gave ye orders to stay in yer rooms?"

"Yes." She licked her bottom lip.

For a moment his gaze dropped to her mouth before snapping back up to meet her eyes. "No one disobeys me in me own home!"

For a moment she wasn't sure she could speak. He was crowded into her, his very breath hot upon her cheek. He was so much bigger than she. So much more physically powerful.

But she had determination. "Evidently someone does now."

Silence is a wonderful match for him. She is all warmth and tenderness, but she also can be stubborn. And while she doesn't approve of Mickey's pirate ways, she also shows him compassion and understands how his childhood shaped him into the man he is today. And that is a man who is a pirate, but also a caring, protective, human.

Their romance is very slow to build, which is good. Silence has trust issues to get over relating to her past night spent in Mickey's bed and the fact that he is a pirate. Their romance might take awhile, but is so sexy. There is action -- and adventure of the kind you would expect from a pirate -- but there are also quieter, gentle moments that just stole my heart. And when Mickey finally asks this question:

"Will ye be comin' to me bed tonight, Silence Hollingbrook?"

It is worth the many pages it takes to get there.

I also have to mention Winter, Silence's brother. In past books he has always been so very serious and dour. In Scandalous Desires, he is still all of those things, but we also see a little more edge to him. Dare I saw he almost growls in this book? Oh, Winter Makepeace. I cannot wait for your book.

Scandalous Desires will likely end up being my favorite romance book this year.
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