Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #3
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: “Charming” Mickey O’Connor
Heroine: Silence Hollingbrook
Date of Publication: October 18, 2011
Started On: June 04, 2016
Finished On: June 15, 2016
Scandalous Desires, the 3rd installment in the Maiden Lane series brings to readers the much awaited story of Silence Hollingbrook and her nemesis “Charming” Mickey O’Connor, a man whose life is surrounded by material richness garnered through a life of pirating. It is at the hands of Mickey that the life of marital bliss that Silence had envisioned for herself gets utterly and completely destroyed, not to mention that of her reputation as well. For all those reasons and more, I was pretty excited to discover how exactly Hoyt would redeem Mickey in Silence’s heart, for him to become a hero worthy of the love that Silence can give.
Silence is the youngest female sibling of the Makepeace family, having taken over the reins of handling the home for abandoned children in St. Giles from her sister Temperance. Of all the children under her keep, the one named Mary Darling is the closest to her heart because Mary had been found on her own doorstep, thus making Mary to Silence a child like that of her very own, until Mary’s father takes her away, who happens to be none other than the dreaded Mickey O’Connor.
Mickey bargains with Silence and pushes her just enough so that Silence has no choice but to stay on at Mickey’s home, if she is to be there for Mary Darling. Even though Silence knows that her family would have issues with her staying with the man who practically destroyed her, Silence realizes rather pragmatically that where she is concerned, there is no further loss of reputation to be had. As Silence and Mickey navigate the precarious affairs of their heart and emotions where each other are concerned, Silence discovers a side of Mickey that he hides behind that veneer of cockiness and the power that he commands among his brethren.
For Mickey, worldly richness is all that he craves for, what he believes is important, understandable given the life of poverty and hardships that he had lived through. The fact that he had witnessed his own mother commit acts out of love for her husband, acts that had turned off Mickey’s ability to love and be loved is one aspect of his life that he keeps hidden, especially when it comes to dealing with Ms. Hollingbrook, who is the very definition of innocence itself.
But Mickey plays a dangerous game with his heart, by denying himself from facing the truth of his burgeoning feelings for Silence, who in spite of herself becomes intrigued by Mickey and the various contrasting facets of his character, enough for her to leave everything that she considers right and as should be, to pursue her desire and love for a man who refuses to believe in it.
While Mickey did not exactly live up to my image of him as a villainous hero, he did prove to be an irresistible one who pretty much commanded every scene he strolled into. There is a perceived laziness to his character that is at odds with his quick wit and intelligence that Silence comes to witness as she spends time with him. There is a core of goodness in his heart that he hides from at all costs, even at the cost of losing Silence, who becomes everything to him in a short span of time.
There are two very contrasting sides to Mickey’s character, the pillaging pirate that Silence could never have loved and the man behind that facade, the man who loves butterflies, the one who sings to Mary Darling with that beautiful voice of his that turns Silence’s emotions inside out. But would Mickey ever be able to give up one for the other, become worthy of the love that Silence holds in her heart for him? That is the question that drives the story to its ultimate conclusion and I loved every single minute of the journey that took me to its final destination.
This is a story though that could be read as a standalone would cause a reader to miss out on pieces of Mickey and Silence’s story that forms the background for some aspects of the delectable tale that takes place in this novel. Towards the end of Scandalous Desires, Hoyt makes a startling revelation of the hero who would be gracing the next novel, i.e. the much revered Ghost of St. Giles.
Final Verdict: With every word, Hoyt creates decadence of a kind that is irresistible to the heart!
His wickedly sensuous upper lip pulled back in a sneer. “What is love?”
She leaned close to him. “Something you will never have. Something you’re incapable of feeling. I pity you, Mickey O’Connor, for I may have lost my true love, but at least I had him for a time. You’ll never feel love.”
His sneer had grown and his voice was low and terrible. “I may not feel love, but I do feel this.”
He grabbed her hand and thrust it beneath the bathwater.
She struggled so violently that the water splashed over her bodice and the rug, but he was stronger than she. He forced her palm down against his male part, hard and thick, and held it there as he grasped her hair with his other hand. He yanked, pulling her hair, arching her neck, and suddenly his mouth was on hers, cruel and merciless.
He closed his eyes and she saw that his big body was trembling. He gripped the coverlet in both fists. “Ye must tell me if anythin’ I do frightens ye. I don’t want to hurt ye. I—”
She placed her fingertips against his lips and he froze. His black eyes snapped open and he watched her, wild and dangerous.
But not to her.
Never to her. She didn’t know how she knew this, but somehow, deep in her bones, she knew now that Michael O’Connor would never hurt her physically. He might hurt her emotionally, but even that wouldn’t be on purpose. One couldn’t blame the animal for the instincts he was born with.
Perhaps she was doing it wrong. Perhaps he really was in pain. She leaned down and brushed a soft, nearly chaste kiss over his lips.
It was as if she’d put spur to him. His tongue was in her mouth, his hips arching off the bed and his hands holding her down as he drove his length into her again and again. His passion was intense, nearly overwhelming and she hung on, determined to ride him out. Determined to bring him as much pleasure as he’d brought her.
Suddenly he pulled from her kiss, his teeth gritted, his head arched back, and he shouted. At the same time she felt the scald of his semen rushing into her.
“Turn yer head to me, love.”
She did and he devoured her mouth, licking salt tears from her lips, thrusting his tongue deep within, a pirate demanding tithe.
She arched and he could no longer hold himself back. He flexed his hips and drove deep within her, holding her cunny in the palm of his hand. He speared within her clenching valley, plundering all that was sweet in her. She opened her mouth wide in a silent scream and his release caught him, hard and fast as he kissed her openmouthed. 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.
“Put me where ye need me, sweetheart,” he whispered.
She reached between them and grasped him, conscious of his muttered curse as she did so. She couldn’t help a quick stroke up and down. He was so hard, so beautiful.
“Silence…,” he warned.
She couldn’t wait any longer. She put him at her entrance, biting her lip at his heavy heat. It felt so good—so right. For a moment she stilled. Would she ever be able to recover from this height if he walked away from her someday? She felt as if she were giving a part of herself. Something that could never be taken back again.
He twisted and shoved and began to breach her and she looked up as he did.
Michael—her Michael—was watching her, his nostrils flared, his lips drawn back from his teeth.
Oh, God, he was so powerful! She watched him. A bead of sweat dripped down the side of his face, his lips curled back with his exertion. She wanted to kiss him, to embrace him and tell him he was everything to her, but all she could do was hold on and try not to fall apart when the explosion came.
For it was fierce—as fierce as he. A burning, ripping tide of pleasure nearly as violent as it was wonderful. She felt as if her world was tossed up in the air and came down completely re-pieced. This was earth-shattering.
This was love.
She closed her eyes, drowning in his lovemaking, pushing everything else aside.
“Silence,” he said. “Is it enough?”
She opened her eyes with an enormous effort and smiled up at him. “I love you.”
His eyes widened at her words and he roared, still pistoning in and out of her. The feel of his loss of control, the rush of emotion made her come as well, sudden and hard. A warm bubble expanded inside her, reaching her belly, her chest, her limbs and her fingers, until she shook with love and fulfillment.
Until she thought she might die of ecstasy and sorrow.