TITLE: Notorious Pleasures
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Hoyt
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 371 pages
PUBLISHED: Grand Central, 2011
HOW I GOT IT: Received from Publisher for Review
FROM GOODREADS: Their lives were perfect . . .
Lady Hero Batten, the beautiful sister of the Duke of Wakefield, has everything a woman could want, including the perfect fiancé. True, the Marquis of Mandeville is a trifle dull and has no sense of humor, but that doesn't bother Hero. Until she meets his notorious brother . . .
Until they met each other...
Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, is far from perfect - and he likes it that way. How he spends his days is a mystery, but all of London knows he engages in the worst sorts of drunken revelry at night. Hero takes an instant dislike to him, and Griffin thinks that Hero, with her charities and faultless manners, is much too impeccable for society, let alone his brother. Yet their near-constant battle of wits soon sparks desire - desire that causes their carefully constructed worlds to come tumbling down. As Hero's wedding nears, and Griffin's enemies lay plans to end their dreams forever, can two imperfect people find perfect true love?
MY TAKE: I fell in love with Elizabeth Hoyt's "Maiden Lane" series with the first book "Wicked Intentions". I was excited to read this next installment because the author had already hooked me with the character of Lady Hero Batten when she befriended and championed the heroine Temperance in that story. I was FAR from disappointed.
The story starts with Hero finding Griffin in an extremely compromising situation ~ and then saving his backside, along with the very married lady he's entertaining. Things just get more chaotic from that point on. Elizabeth Hoyt has outdone herself in this sequel, which can be thoroughly enjoyed as a stand alone book (although I HIGHLY recommend the first book and will be anxiously awaiting the next, due out in November).
Excitement, danger, drama and intrigue intertwine beautifully with romance and duty in this delightful story of English nobles who fall into a forbidden love amidst the slums and seedy side of London. All of the above elements and great characters for an "un-put-downable" book are in place: rogues, wantons, gentlemen, ladies, mysterious masked men, orphaned children, pirates and more! I really got a kick out of this book.
Lady Hero is a fabulous protagonist. She has been raised to be the perfect daughter of a
Duke. In fact, Griffin nicknames her "Lady Perfect" upon their first meeting. She practices being unflappable and impeccable. I laughed about her habit of trying to freeze people with the lifting of her left eyebrow! One of the things that had really hooked me when I read the teaser in the back of Wicked Intentions was that she practiced this expression in front of the mirror. It made me laugh out loud and become even more fascinated by her.
Some of the male characters are very atypical of that time period in some aspects and then true to form in others. They tended to be quite arrogant and yet Griffin was rather modern in his desire to not change Hero, but to encourage her independence and her quest for knowledge. He was supportive of her project in rebuilding the orphan home, in spite of resistance from her brother and her fiancee, Griffin's own brother.
Highly recommended read from a great author who I think just keeps improving. This story is getting better as it goes and I'm already really looking forward to the next installment in which we'll get to know a bit more about a roguish Irish Pirate and the lovely widow who is running the orphan home.
~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.