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Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bestseller Hoyt (To Desire a Devil) brings steamy sensuality to the slums of early 18th-century London in this engaging series launch. Demure widow Temperance Dews desperately needs funding for her orphanage. Lazarus Huntington, the famously debauched Lord Caire, needs to find out who murdered one of his mistresses. Lazarus offers Temperance an interesting bargain: if she will be his guide in the grimy neighborhood of St. Giles, he will pay the rent she owes and introduce her to more respectable nobility who might serve as patrons. Dire circumstances force the pair into intimate situations as they discover each other's deepest secrets, and Temperance reveals the passion hidden beneath her puritanical dress. Readers will enjoy the unusual pairing of an aristocratic man and a poor but educated widow, enhanced by earthy, richly detailed characterizations and deft historical touches.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
It is an offer Temperance Dews can’t afford to turn down. Ever since they lost their last patron, Temperance and her brother Winter have struggled to keep open the foundling home their family runs. So when Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, arrives one evening with a proposition, Temperance finds herself inviting the notorious nobleman in for tea rather than showing him the door. Lazarus needs to find someone in St. Giles, and he believes Temperance can help him because the foundling home is located in a crime-riddled London neighborhood, and she knows nearly everyone. In exchange, Lazarus will give her the temporary funds she needs, and introduce her to the wealthiest members of society. It was a simple business transaction, but Temperance and Lazarus quickly find themselves distracted by his and her new “partner.” With a dash of sharp wit; a rare literary flair for creating complex, compelling characters; and lively writing that packs a powerful emotional punch, Hoyt delivers the first sensually charged, danger-infused installment in a new Georgian-set series. --John Charles
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Top Customer Reviews
WICKED INTENTIONS has all the ingredients that usually work for me in a paperback romance. Relatively tormented hero, heroine with a secret in her past, a mystery to solve, interesting secondary characters from all walks of life, hot romantic interludes, moments of suspense, moments of tenderness, the necessary HEA. But I found myself not appreciating the H and h much. The hero, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, has, we are to understand, shocking sexual proclivities and a tormented past which leaves him as an adult with a revulsion to human touch and an inability to form emotional attachments. This dislike for touch is also, I assume, what is responsible for his preferences during sex. The problem for me is I read the whole book and then rechecked it after reading and still couldn't find much of a reason for it. I was expecting sexual abuse as a child or some other devastating trauma such as the hero was subjected to in Anna Campbell's CAPTIVE OF SIN, but could find no real reason for his 'touch' problem, only for his emotional attachment issues. In addition, this problem with touch was a bit inconsistent and particular: I can touch you/You can't touch me/Sometimes it's OK, sometimes not.
Heroine Temperance (and the rest of the Makepeace family) also puzzled me. The family has a brewery (not financially sound at this time) run by an older brother and also a charitable home for orphans which Temperance and her brother Winter are in charge of. The family exudes the piousness of Quakers, especially Temperance and Winter. So what's with the brewery in the family background? I believe Temperance denies being a Quaker but they behave in a very pious manner, with the reading of Psalms and prayers and good works and their whole way of being is inconsistent with a family that has been involved in the production of alcoholic beverages.
Next we have the puzzle of the deal between Temperance and Caire. She is familiar with the disreputable St. Giles neighborhood because her Foundling Home is located there. Caire needs a guide to the area as he searches for the murderer of his lover of 3 years. So she agrees to be his guide if in return he will escort her to ton engagements so that she can find a patron/sponsor for the Foundling Home, which is badly in need of funds. This sounds good on paper but in execution these two as a duo are extremely ineffectual and inefficient. Their outings together (whether to the slums or to the upper-class gatherings) serve to build up a sexual relationship but lead to little success in finding either murderers or patrons. Caire did his most productive search on his own and Temperance only found potential patrons through a plan she and Godric St. John, Caire's friend, come up with, without Caire's knowledge.
Speaking of Godric St. John reminds me that this book is full of secondary characters, some of whom are integral to the story, but some who are very incidental and seem to be there only to prepare us for future books. All are interesting, fortunately, especially those from the slums. And the ending of the book leaves us wanting to know more about poor Silence, Temperance's sister, but it appears that Lady Hero Batten will be the heroine of the next book. I hope we find out more about Silence's problems in that book, unless Ms Hoyt plans for Silence to have a book of her own.
I'm sorry to have been nitpicking in this review. I did like the book enough to continue reading future books in the series, but not well enough to give it a higher rating.
The writing is sound and lures the reader onward. Many characters present themselves (this is Book 1 of a series) and are also well defined and complex. If explicit erotica which is less than gratuitous offends the reader, they only have to elide it (it does have a purpose, but is not vital).
I wona a copy of the ebook (good! my print was in tatters), then got the audio on sale at Audible.
Our heroine is a widow who helps with the family charity - a foundling home. The home is set in St. Giles, a dangerous slum. The hero is a lord who is seeking his mistress' murderer. He is a cold and distant fellow, and he cannot bear to be touched by another human being. His sexual proclivities are considered odd.
The heroine has her own demons.
Her knowledge of the slum make her the prefect guide for the hero. The couple find there is more to their relationship than the physical.
The story also involved the heroine's brothers and sister. The sister risks everything for her husband. The older brothers cannot seem to get along, and the youngest is slowly dying under the weight of running the founding home.
The book covers many emotions - romance that is dark, unsettling, hopeful and hopeless. I shall look for the next book in this series.