Review: Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-bookdarlingbeast
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #7
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Apollo Greaves
Heroine: Lily Stump
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 28, 2014
Started On: June 28, 2016
Finished On: July 07, 2016

Darling Beast, the 7th book in the Maiden Lane series brings to readers the story of Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne, who is believed to be a dangerous killer, someone who owing to his aristocracy gets committed to the Bedlam, until his sister Artemis had taken matters into her own hands and enables his rescue. Now a fugitive hiding from the law, Apollo is a man who without the ability to speak due to injuries sustained, is trying to lay low and hopefully work towards clearing up his name.

Lily Stump, the mother of a seven year old is hailed to be the best comic actress of the generation. With funds running low with the shut down of Harte’s Folly where she had been working before, Lily takes up residence in the charred remains of the pleasure garden and tries overly hard not to be taken in by the connection that is forged between her son and the beautiful giant that she thinks is not quite right in the head.

It is Apollo’s love for creating spectacular gardens that has him working on restoration of the same at Harte’s Folly, not to mention the fact that Apollo had been one of the investors of the pleasure garden when it had first come into being. While Apollo thinks he has time to find evidence to implicate the real perpetrators of the crime, law enforcement as well as those that want him dead so that their secrets would stay buried with him are trying to hunt him down, which makes his association with Lily and her son a doubly precarious one.

Duke of Montgomery’s role in the story was one that was fascinating and I found myself getting more curious by the minute about his character and what it is that drives him. His role in helping Apollo find the real murderer was one filled with laugh out loud variety of witty dialogues, together with introduction of various other secondary characters that made the story an enjoyable one.

I concur with the majority of the readers who did not find this story as exciting as the rest of the books in the series has been up till now. Perhaps, it has something to do with the fact that Duke of Midnight was the book prior to this in the series, and it felt as if Hoyt had outdone herself in telling the Duke of Wakefield’s story! Even though Darling Beast might not have been as exhilarating a read, I still found myself thoroughly engaged with the story that took place, more than enough to recommend Darling Beast and the rest of the books in the Maiden Lane series to anyone and everyone who just loves to indulge in a well seasoned romance!

Final Verdict: Hoyt makes it so easy to fall in love with the charm, beauty and wit that fills the pages!

Favorite Quotes

All thought left her head as the giant plunged beneath the water.
Lily’s mouth half opened.
The setting sun broke through the cloud cover and bathed the pond in golden light, reflecting off the ripples left by his movement. He burst from the water. He was facing her now. The muscles bunched on his arms as he slicked his wet, shoulder-length hair back from his face. The mist swirled amber over the surface of the water, adorning his gleaming skin as if he were the tributary god of this ruined garden. Her pity evaporated, burned away by the sudden realization that she had it all wrong.
He was…
She swallowed.
Good Lord. He was magnificent.

She lifted her legs, wrapping them over his hips loosely. “Now, now, now.”
He glanced up at her and his smile had left his face. He bit down on his bottom lip as he notched himself, the skin white beneath his teeth. He flexed his hips and nudged inside.
Big. He was a big man.
She gasped, holding her legs wider, higher, trying to give him more room.
His eyes were closed, his upper lip hitched in a snarl, almost as if he were in pain.
Or great pleasure.

He propped himself on his elbows and screwed his hips into hers, his cock deep in her. And as he did so, he watched her, a bead of sweat slipping down the side of his dear face. He pushed a lock of her hair off her face and brought his mouth crashing down on hers, open and wet and not entirely in control.
But his hips kept moving, plundering her, owning her, making her climb those heights again.
She groaned into his mouth, animal and wild, and felt the slip of his hard chest against her nipples.
This man.
Whatever his name.
This man.

“Put your legs around me,” he huffed in her ear, humid and hot.
“They’ll hear us.”
“Lily,” he groaned, “please do it, love.”
The endearment jolted through her, going straight to where he still shoved into her.
She wrapped her legs around him, as high as she could, and as she did, he grasped her bottom in both his hands and lifted her. She clung to him, impaled on his penis, the position so obscene she should’ve fainted from just the thought.
Instead she nearly came.

But it couldn’t last forever, that was a fevered fantasy born of heat and his smell, and when he began losing his rhythm, she reached between them, pinching her clitoris with two fingers.
He watched her, his lips curled. “You… you’re…”
She leaned close and whispered against his sweaty neck. “I’m touching myself. Pleasuring myself as you fuck me.”
He gritted his teeth and the tendon in his neck stood out in stark relief.
She felt his come flooding her, seeping out around his penis.
And when she climaxed herself, she bit down on that tendon, tasting salt. Tasting life.

“He licked the bared nape of her neck. “Tell me.”
“I want you,” she whispered. “I want your cock in me. I want you to fill me and stuff me full until I can’t talk or remember my own name.”
He lost all control at her words. He reared, withdrawing and slamming back into her, the man entirely subsumed in the animal. All he was, all he could feel was his cock conquering her pussy, making her his mate for now, forever.
He bowed over her and bit into the back of her neck, holding her hips still so that he could plow into her over and over again until he felt her shudder under him, contracting around him. She moaned, low and lost, as she came, and he knelt up then, never stopping, never slowing, pounding as she trembled beneath him until he threw back his head and roared his own release into the night.
The stars whirled above them as he slowly sank back over her, panting, wondering if he’d ever again regain his humanity.
Or if he’d lost it forever to this woman.

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Review: Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-bookdukeofmidnight
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #6
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Maximus Batten, the Duke of Wakefield
Heroine: Artemis Greaves
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: October 15, 2013
Started On: June 27, 2016
Finished On: June 28, 2016

Duke of Midnight is the 6th book in the Maiden Lane series and by far my most favorite. Towards the end of Lord of Darkness, the 5th book, once again Elizabeth Hoyt makes a startling revelation, perhaps the most astonishing one at that since the series began. The identity of the 3rd Ghost of St. Giles, this time someone who is more driven by his own personal vengeance against those that had done him and his family wrong, a member of the nobility, not to mention a member of the Parliament itself; Maximus Batten, the Duke of Wakefield.

Readers who have had their run ins with Maximus in previous books in the series would have been hard pressed not to be intrigued by all that he is. Projecting a cold and formidable front, the Duke of Wakefield is someone who seems to be as straitlaced as they come, his utter dislike or perhaps even hatred for gin and makers of gin something that is known all over the country. While Maximus works hard to push through relevant laws that could tackle with gin making, something which he believes most passionately is the core reason behind the decay of society, at night, Maximus dons the mask and costume of the Ghost and traipses through the worst of slums in London, in the hopes of finding clues that would lead him to the villain he has been pretty much searching for a major part of his adult life.

Artemis Greaves is a character that came into prominence through the introduction of her beautiful cousin Lady Penelope Chadwicke into series, for whom Artemis is companion to. Lady Penelope is someone who wants nothing but the best for herself. Thus, determined to have Maximus as her husband, Penelope embarks upon the quest with much fervor, which does earn her the attention of Maximus in his usual cool, aloof and calculated manner. There is no joy in a transaction which Maximus believes suites him rather well. There is no fire that burns in him to possess Lady Penelope, unlike Artemis her companion who makes him want to go into hiding with her by his side and forget the whole world.

Artemis gets under his skin without Maximus knowing of it, their interludes during the quiet hours of the morning on his estate grounds something that pricks and prods at him until his emotions are tangled up in need for none but Artemis. But Artemis is one with her own agenda to push forward. Someone who is ready to do anything for the freedom of the one man for whom she would lay down her whole life for, even if it means enlisting, bribing or even coercing the help of the powerful Duke himself to do so.

There are multiple reasons why Duke of Midnight ended up being my favorite of the series. For anyone who knows of my reading tastes, I am someone who is drawn to dark characters, a bit ruthless and driven by needs that they cannot control when it comes to the heroine in question, no matter how hard they may try. Maximus was that hero for me from the Maiden Lane series. Brought up to take his rightful role as the Duke, the responsibilities of being one are thrust upon him at a tender age when both his parents get killed. Maximus has to grow up overnight without having time to properly grow into the duties required of him. Thus makes Maximus a hard man, a man who is principled, a man who often times comes off as cold, aloof and removed from the rest of the world, an image that serves him well most times.

Maximus is also the only Ghost of St. Giles who actively continues his training for the role, having turned part of his home into a training facility where he subjects himself to grueling hours of training so that he is one lethal machine of brawn, intelligence and strong will, focused on getting to the truth behind the murders of his beloved parents and making those responsible pay.

That strong ironclad will of Maximus was something that I admired and bemoaned over in equal doses. There is something quite alluring about a man who knows his own mind, well, for that matter I love a woman who knows her own mind as well – but with Maximus, him being my favorite hero in the series, I am allowed to be a little biased. The fact that his attraction and want for Artemis clouds all his senses does not make him give up on what he has planned for his life, but rather, he wants Artemis on his terms, as hard headed and stubborn it makes him. But the beauty of it when it comes to heroes who are strong minded comes in their submission to the greater force of love for the heroine, which is an aspect I enjoyed in Duke of Midnight. The moments of jealousy which overtakes Maximus during the heady encounters with Artemis, the ones that makes him go all “mine” with sheer possessiveness – those were the moments I reveled in.

Artemis is a heroine who shone equally bright in the story. With a future that looked bleak, with nothing to her name but the goodwill of an uncle who took her in, Artemis’s determination to work against the odds nevertheless, to prove the innocence of her brother was something that resonated deep within me. Even her burgeoning feelings for the Duke is something Artemis is willing to sacrifice in order to see to it that her beloved brother is removed from Bedlam, where he is rotting away into an existence that would prove to be the death of him, sooner rather than later.

I believe that Artemis is the best fit for someone with such powerful emotions and desires as Maximus. She is able to get through to him in a way that no one else can, her ability to read him so effectively being a quality of utmost importance given how easily he can don on a mask that would show to to the rest of the world that nothing touches him, when in fact things deeply do. Artemis dares him to show to her that side of his that few would ever see – the one without the artifice that society dictates he wears whenever he goes out and about. That for me, was the beauty behind the union between Artemis and Maximus when all was said and done.

Loved it all, which is why I would recommend this book with the whole of my heart!

Final Verdict: Earthy & evocative, with just the right touch of erotic; scorches the pages & moves the heart.

Favorite Quotes

A shrill whistle rent the air. Percy, who had been trotting along beside them, lifted his head alertly before racing to Wakefield’s side. Bon Bon scrambled on short little legs to keep up with his new friend.
Artemis watched the dogs go and found herself staring at the duke. He was looking in her direction, and even at this distance he was commanding, almost as if he were demanding something of her.
She felt light-headed.
Then Penelope tapped him on the arm and he turned to the other woman to smile and make some comment.
Artemis shivered despite the bright sunshine.

Something quickened in him, rising, hardening, reaching eagerly for the challenge. She was no soft society lady. She might disguise herself thus, but he knew better: she was a goddess, wild and free and dangerous.
And a most suitable opponent.
He picked up Lady Penelope’s gloves and, unsmiling, saluted Miss Greaves with them. She bowed to him, equally grave.
Maximus turned to the house, thinking. He had no idea how he would do it yet, but he meant to best her. He’d show her that he was the master, and when she’d admitted his victory… well, then he’d have her. And he’d hold her, by God. His huntress.
His goddess.

Ridiculously, he thought he could feel his heart beat faster. Despite their antagonism, despite her threats to his equilibrium, he wanted to see her, and right now he wouldn’t examine why.
In another few steps he made the clearing with the pond and looked about. He could see the dogs milling a quarter way around the pond—even Bon Bon was there—but he couldn’t yet see her on the path.
And then he did see her and arousal went straight to his cock.
Artemis Greaves was in the pond, as graceful as a naiad, her skirts bound up at her waist, standing thigh deep in the sparkling water.
How dare she.

Maximus glanced away so she couldn’t examine too closely the expression on his face. “Who was he?”
“Thomas Stone. The son of the town’s doctor.”
He sneered. “Beneath you.”
Her gaze hardened. “As you so kindly pointed out, my father was notorious for his flights of fancy. Too, I had no dowry to speak of. I couldn’t very well be choosy. Besides”—her tone softened—“Thomas was quite sweet. He used to bring me daisies and violets.”
He stared, incredulous. What sort of imbecile brought such common flowers to a goddess? Were it him, he’d shower her with hothouse lilies, peonies overflowing with perfumed bloom, roses in every shade.
Bah, violets.

“What”—he turned and seized both her arms—“has gotten into you?”
“He’s dying,” she whispered furiously, trembling within his grasp. “I didn’t receive the letter until almost noon—because Penelope didn’t think it important enough to give it to me earlier. Apollo is lying in that hellhole dying.”
His jaw set as he searched her face. “I can have a carriage readied for you to return to London within the hour. If the roads are—”
She slapped him, quick and hard.
His head turned slightly with the blow, but other than that his only reaction was the narrowing of his eyes.
Her chest was heaving as if she were running. “No! You must go to London. You must get him out. You must save my brother because if you don’t, I swear upon everything I hold holy that I’ll ruin both you and your illustrious name. I’ll—”
“Little bitch,” he breathed, his face turned fiery red, and he slammed his mouth against hers.

“You come to a bachelor’s rooms—bedroom—well after dark all by yourself to give him a trinket you could just as easily hand him in the morning.” His voice was mocking. He wanted to break her suddenly. To make her feel the rage he did at the situation they had been placed in. Were it not for her history—and his—he might’ve courted this woman. Might’ve made her his wife. “Have you no care for your reputation?”
She stepped toward him until she was so close he fancied he breathed the same air as she and when she tilted her face up to look at him he saw that she wasn’t nearly as calm as he’d imagined.
“No,” she murmured, her voice a siren’s song, “none at all.”
“Then I’ll be damned if I will,” he muttered and kissed her.

He pulled back, his chest heaving, and looked at her angrily. “Don’t start something you mean to stop.”
She met his gaze squarely. “I don’t mean to stop.”
His eyes narrowed. “I cannot give you marriage.”
She’d known. She’d never thought he could—she would’ve sworn so had she been asked a minute earlier—but his blunt words were an arrow of pain piercing her heart nonetheless. She bared her teeth in a smile. “Have I asked you to?”
“And I never shall,” she vowed.

She shivered.
“Don’t think I’ve forgotten when your fichu slipped from your dress,” he murmured. “Strange, for I’ve seen more immodest décolletages at every ball I’ve ever attended, yet I’ve been entirely unable to remove the thought of your breasts from my mind.” His gaze flicked up to hers, dark and enigmatic. “Your breasts and other parts of you. Perhaps it’s the very fact that you usually cover yourself so modestly in public that makes the unveiling that more anticipated. Or perhaps”—he bent and whispered in her ear—“it’s you. Merely you.”

He slid his thumb between her folds and found that nub at the top, pressing down as he watched her face. She arched involuntarily, the sensation singing through her limbs.
A muscle ticked on his jaw, his face stern and ruthless, as he pressed again, his finger finding her entrance and slipping in.
She bit her lip, staring back at him, refusing to break their gaze, wanting him to continue.
“God,” he whispered. His nostrils flared suddenly, and seemingly against his will, he kissed her.

She held her breath.
His eyes flicked open to look at her. “Be brave.”
She raised an eyebrow, waiting.
He grinned.
There was a pinch, a growing pressure. She tensed. It hurt. He was so big and she felt suddenly small and fragile. Was this truly meant to be?
He leaned down and brushed his lips against her nose. “Sweet Diana.”
Then he shoved hard.
She inhaled. It burned, but that didn’t matter. She was called Artemis, and a huntress could withstand pain.

“Diana,” he whispered. “My Diana.”
She touched the corner of his lips, and he opened, taking her thumb into his mouth, biting tenderly on her flesh.
She felt his belly rubbing against hers, the wet slide of his hard flesh in hers, the brush of his chest against her nipples, and she liked it. There was no pain now, only a feeling of closeness. Of animal intimacy. Perhaps she’d been wrong: perhaps this was the moment a woman was nearest to the wild animal: when she was without constraints or thought, no society telling her what she must do and what she must not. Free from civilization.
They were bound together in this primitive act.

She opened her eyes to find him watching her like a predator. Calculating, waiting.
He held her gaze, and she saw a faint smirk curl one corner of his mouth. The rug was suddenly gone from her lap, and then she felt the slide of her skirts up her legs.
“Do you remember that morning?” he asked, his voice impossibly deep. “You emerged from the pond like a goddess triumphant. You’d flaunted your ankles the day before”—he brushed warm fingers over her left ankle, making her shiver—“but that morning I saw the tender curve of your inner thigh, the sweet bend of your knee, the shy sweep of your calf. You revealed them as coyly as a siren singing a man to his ecstatic death—and you didn’t even know it, did you? By the time you reached the shore I was hard as iron.”

His thumbs rubbed slow circles on her hipbones as if to gentle her or maybe to keep her relaxed. Although if that were his purpose, it wasn’t working. She still held his gaze in defiance, but her breath was quickening as if she were climbing a staircase.
Abruptly he looked down.
He stilled, simply staring at her. He made no movement, but there was a wild possessiveness in his eyes that made something inside her stretch and purr in response. He wanted her. Wanted this part of her. She was suddenly jealous of any other woman he’d ever looked at like this. He hadn’t the right—they hadn’t the right. This look, his expression, this moment was only between them and no one else.
They were a universe of two.

His movements were sharp and abrupt as he drove himself into her again and again. He was nothing like the sophisticated aristocrat he was in front of others. One corner of his mouth twisted in a sneer, his eyes a glaring furnace. He used her body for his own pleasure, for his own need, working her up and down on his cock. He was little more than an animal now.
And she gloried in it. She—she—had driven him to this. Had made a man who captured kings and foreign diplomats with the surety of his eloquence quite simply lose his mind.
He pushed up with all his might, shoved to the hilt within her, and froze, head thrown back in an agony of pleasure.
She leaned forward and delicately licked the salt sweat from his lips as his seed flooded her.

He lay on top of her, his upper body braced on his arms but his hips and legs weighing her down. Trapping and holding her.
“You’re mine,” he said, laying his cheek against hers. “Mine and no one else’s.”
“Maximus,” she warned.
“Yield, Diana,” he whispered, parting her legs. She could feel the thick heat of his cock pressed hard on her bottom. “Yield, warrior maiden.”
“I’m not a maiden. You took that.”
“And I would again,” he growled. “I’d steal you away and keep you in a castle far from here. Far from any other man. I’d guard you jealously and every night come to your bed and put my cock into your cunny and fuck you until dawn.”

“Do you want that, Diana?” he muttered into her ear, his breath humid on her skin. “Do you want to be mine and only mine, away from this cursed world, in a place inhabited by just we two?”
“Oh, yes,” she said, her voice fierce.
He levered himself up. “I’d go a-hunting in the day and kill a fine stag. I’d bring it back to our hidden castle and dress it and cook it over a fire and then I’d sit you on my lap and feed you, morsel by morsel. All your sustenance would be by my hand and mine alone.”
She laughed then, for she knew he didn’t truly want such a biddable doll. She squirmed and turned in a sudden movement so that she lay facing him.
“No, I’d hunt with you by your side,” she said as she reached up to pull his face down to hers. “I am your equal, my lord. Your equal and mate.”
“So you are,” he breathed, and bit her lip.

 “Diana,” he murmured in her ear, licking. “Diana, you are everything I’ve ever wanted and shall never have.”
Tears pricked at her eyes and she opened her mouth to sob.
“That’s it,” he said. “Weep for me. Bear my pain. Take my come. For I can give you nothing else.”
And he thrust into her in hard, sharp punches, each movement striking against that place within her. She gritted her teeth and bowed her head into the pillow. It was too much. Too little. A continual assault against her senses.

He opened his eyes. “Never leave me.”
She shook her head, breaking free from his rein and rising like the huntress she was. She let his poor cock slip to the very mouth of her before slamming herself back down. She rode him. Her thighs were strong and lithe, her brows drawn down in resolute purpose, and her lips were parted wide in something very like wonder.
It was the last that made him move. Dear God, if he couldn’t have anything “else, if she was determined to hollow him out and leave him a husk, then he would remember this:
Artemis riding him like the goddess of the hunt.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BAM | Kobo | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes


Review: Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-booklordofdarkness
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #5
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Godric St. John
Heroine: Margaret Reading
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 26, 2013
Started On: June 24, 2016
Finished On: June 27, 2016

Lord of Darkness delivers the story of the second Ghost of St.Giles, Godric St. John, who made for a brief but rather intriguing secondary character in Wicked Intentions, the first book in the series. The idea that more than one Ghost of St. Giles is in operation took root during the debut book and solidified with the delivery of Winter’s story that precedes this one.

Godric marries Lady Margaret Reading under “duress”, thinking that he would more or less be able to live his chosen life with a wife he would have little to do with. Godric has no intention of being drawn into the shaky emotional grounds where love takes root and loss is a given when you give your heart irrevocably to someone else. Godric mourns the death of his first wife, who had lived a life of illness, withering away in front of his very own eyes, taking a huge chunk of his heart and soul when she had finally being laid to rest.

After 2 years of residing in the country, Margaret Reading (Megs) decides that it is time for her to seek out her husband, for the sole purpose of getting herself with child. For that to happen, Megs has to get over the fact that Godric can never replace the love of her life, whose untimely demise at the hands of a mad man known as the Ghost of St. Giles is something she is looking to avenge. On the first night of her return to London, Megs runs into none other than the infamous Ghost, whom she has every intention of killing without knowing the true identity of the man behind the mask or the circumstances that had led to the murder.

Godric puts up a valiant effort in the face of the onslaught that Megs wages in order to get her husband to bed, long enough to put his seed to good use. But in doing so, Megs finds that it is more difficult than she thought to keep her heart and emotions separate from the physical aspect of a relationship that her body betrays her in every manner possible. But Megs is determined to keep her husband at a distance in the face of the war that Godric wages when it comes to giving her pleasure of a kind that she never thought she would find with anyone else.

While Godric is determined to weed out the true killer who was behind the murder of his wife’s lover, every kill Godric makes in the name of the Ghost, the avenger and protector of the weak that works in darkness, he sheds one more piece of his soul to the abysmal darkness that has become his friend ever since his wife had departed from his life, or perhaps even since before. Whether the real danger comes from his wife, determined to hold a piece of herself back from him, or from the dragoons captain equally fervent in his pursuit of the dastardly Ghost of St. Giles, or from the inquiries Godric makes as the role of savior he has taken upon himself for the weakest, remains to be seen as the novel reaches its ultimate culmination.

While Lord of Darkness delivers two protagonists who are mourning lost loves in their own right, the wealth of grief that Godric harbors in his heart was one that got to me. Not that the pain that Megs had undergone was any less, but Megs had the time to heal in a way that Godric never gave himself the opportunity to. For me, Megs was the toughest character to like or even perhaps love in this story. While I understood that she did not want to betray the memories of the first man that she ever truly loved, I couldn’t quite accept the way she tended to hold pieces of herself back from Godric in bed and out of it in a way that continued to kick Godric where he hurt the most.

Godric yes, is a big boy who can handle himself. But the fact that he capitulated towards his wife’s needs sooner than Megs did was telling in a way that didn’t quite sit well with me. Godric is a very giving man, perhaps too giving. Godric’s long and painful journey nursing his wife in her long journey towards an ultimate death should clue in characters to the sort of honorable and faithful man that Godric is. To have that kind of soul once again give and give until Megs realizes in her own time that she mirrors and echos Godric’s feelings was just a little too late in coming for me.

I also had a teeny problem with where Godric’s feelings of love for his wife suddenly emerged from. Though story delivers a connection that had been forged between Godric and Megs way before she had turned up at his home in London, I wanted something more for both of them. Something more tangible and tension of the kind that could have made the book that much better in my opinion. This is a trope that could have delivered a ton of angst if it had been steered in that direction, but nevertheless Hoyt manages to deliver a read that takes your breathe away and then some, even with all the teensy problems that I had with the heroine.


Final Verdict: With each book, Hoyt delivers enchantment of the kind that stays with you forever!

Favorite Quotes

When his breath caught, when his pace quickened, so that her hips sank beneath his into the soft mattress, she swallowed, straining her eyes to see in the dark. When he suddenly stilled, buried deep in her throbbing flesh, locked with her in animal intensity, she wanted … so much.
But all she received was what she’d asked for.
His seed.

She gripped his arms as he shoved resolutely against her, seating himself fully. She looked up, trying to see something of him in the darkness. An expression, perhaps how he held his head.
But he was simply a large male shape.
And yet … she knew it was him. Would’ve known it blindfolded. Whether by scent or some more primitive means—perhaps an alchemy of souls—she felt him bone-deep.
Godric. Poised above her.
Godric. Withdrawing his cock in one long, pulling slide.
Godric. Flexing his hips back into her with a final twist at the end.
He was overpowering her senses, laying claim to her soul.

It caught her by surprise when it came, no slow buildup, no warmth diffusing through her body. This was fast and hard, a fire sweeping through limbs already weakened by the previous orgasm. She was dimly aware of her hands scrabbling at his sides, his shoulders, as she tried to urge him to do something. She was going to expire, to die, if he didn’t pick up his pace, didn’t take his cock and ram it into her.
And whether because he could sense her extremity or because he was there himself, he did it. He let her legs fall and braced himself on his strong, straight arms and slammed his hips into her, making violent, urgent, blissful contact with her. The bed rocked, the headboard banging rhythmically against the wall, and any other time she would have been mortified, but right now … right now she was in paradise. White light obscured her vision as bliss flooded her being, seizing her, shaking her, giving her life.
She could fly like this, perhaps live eternally.

He’d made it worse for himself; he knew it the moment her fingers curled into her pretty cunny. Her lips parted moistly, her head thrown back as she began to stroke herself, and it took everything he had to keep from spilling. To watch her pleasure herself as she rode his cock and not end this too soon.
“That’s it, darling,” he whispered low, coaching her, wanting to see her bring herself to fulfillment. “It’s sweet, isn’t it? Touching yourself, letting me watch. Do you like it? Do you enjoy putting on a show for me? Parting your pretty lips, letting me see how moist you’ve become, fucking yourself on me?”
The crudity seemed to jolt something within her. Her eyes widened, her back arched, and he felt the muscles of her sheath grip him tight, so tight.
Right before he lost control himself.

He seemed to take forever, widening her, burrowing into her swollen tissues. Then he made a final shove and she felt the fabric of his leggings brush firmly against her bottom.
He held himself there and she could hear the sound of his rough breathing in the quiet of the room. She bit her lip, mirroring his earlier grimace. She couldn’t seem to catch her breath—and he hadn’t even started to move.
And then he did, a slick, hard slide that rubbed against something wonderful inside of her. She couldn’t help the squeaking cry she gave, and as if her hips moved of their own accord, she began bumping back against him.
He huffed a rough laugh. “So impatient.”

His breath caught and he swiveled his hips, grinding against her, leaning close over her, whispering low in her ear. “You’re touching yourself, aren’t you?”
She swallowed, closing her eyes in bliss. “Y-yes.”
“God,” he muttered, and she wondered if he’d finally lost the power of speech.
Perhaps he had, for he suddenly planted one hand over her shoulder and shoved hard into her, pressing her into the mattress. He was pushing her body up the bed with quick, forceful jabs that spread her apart, made her see a starburst behind her closed lids.
A spike of near-painful pleasure bloomed between her legs, flowing and expanding through her, a river of sweet completion. She moaned, loud and low.

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Review: Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-bookthiefofshadows
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #4
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Winter Makepeace
Heroine: Isabel Beckinhall
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 1, 2012
Started On: June 15 2016
Finished On: June 22, 2016

Towards the end of Scandalous Desires, book 3 in the Maiden Lane series, there comes perhaps a startling discovery for some, and for the rest, something that they might have already been suspicious of when it comes to Winter Makepeace. Winter’s role in the home for foundling children has made him a very prominent secondary character in the past 3 novels, one that endears readers to only part of who he is. By day, he is the controlled, stoic headmaster of the home, and at night, he assumes the persona of the Ghost of St. Giles, a figure revered and feared in equal doses, a man who keeps to the shadows of the night and hunts those that preys on the weak.

Isabel Beckinhall the Baroness of Beckinhall, who is widowed at a young age, makes her free of certain restrictions when it comes to moving about in the society. Becoming a patroness of the foundling home gives her a sense of purpose, something she actually looks forward to in a way that perhaps helps heal the broken aspects of her heart and soul. When she encounters the injured Ghost of St. Giles, even though she is much curious and more than a little intrigued about the identity behind the mask, she respects the Ghost’s wishes and refrains from inquiring further. Little does she know that the Ghost is none other than Winter, a man whom she thinks to be too rigid and dour faced to be of an interest to her.

When Winter’s role as the headmaster of the foundling home is thrown into jeopardy, it is up to Isabel to teach him of the ways to move about in the elite of the society. Thus Isabel embarks upon a dangerous mission in more ways than one. A particularly precarious one to her heart when it is in danger of sliding into being utterly in love with Winter, Isabel becoming the one ensnared in the risky venture of teaching Winter the art of seduction and more.

Hoyt has a way of taking on tried and tested tropes in the world of romance and bringing something fresh and vivid to readers at the same time. In Thief of Shadows, Isabel is the older heroine, the experienced widow who takes on lovers of the same kind, that is until she is taken in the arms of Winter Makepeace. Winter is younger than Isabel by many years, inexperienced and a virgin to boot, which makes him doubly more delicious in a certain sense. His inexperience does not stop him from becoming a lethal force to be reckoned with in the bedroom and out of it, his nocturnal activities bringing danger of a whole different kind to his doorstep as he grows more and more weary of his chosen path in life.

Winter has lived a life of self-imposed control and and rules that had never left him wanting before. However, with Isabel in his life, the vividity of life that she brings to his otherwise dark, dull and grey existence is one that he is hard pressed to turn away from. Little by little, Winter learns that he could have a life that includes Isabel as the woman by his side, the woman who manages to turn his world upside down just by walking into the same room.

In Winter, Isabel finds the room to grow, to seek solace of a kind she never thought would ever come her way. Scarred in a way she never admitted to even herself, it is Winter who brings to her life something she has always yearned for, but has completely turned her mind away from because of the futility in wishing for something she is no longer capable of. That alone was a beautiful aspect of the story and I loved Winter wholeheartedly for how he dealt with Isabel’s wounds. For Isabel, there is no turning away from the man who sees her, really sees her, the woman behind the facade she presents to the rest of the world.

It takes a writer of immense talent to keep up the momentum of a series through each and every single book. Hoyt has managed to do that and more in the Maiden Lane series, which is why I would recommend these hot and delectable reads of love, mystery, and steamy sex to all romance readers out there!

Final Verdict: Steals your heart, storms your emotions and leaves you begging for more!

Favorite Quotes

“Would you like me more if I knew how to simper and twist my words?” he demanded.
His sudden aggression made her reply without thinking, straight from her heart. “No. I like you as you are.”
She licked her lips at her admission and his gaze settled broodingly on her mouth. It felt like a brand, that look. A physical touch more intimate than any embrace. Her lips parted in wonder and his eyes rose slowly to meet hers, for once unshielded.
Dear God, what she saw in that look! How he had hidden these many years behind the guise of a simple schoolmaster, she didn’t know. Anger, passion, lust, and surging hunger swirled in his stormy eyes. Emotions so stark, so strong, she didn’t understand how he kept them under control. He looked as if he were about to attack her, ravish her, and conquer London and the world itself. He could’ve been a warrior, a statesman, a king.

She opened her lips against his. He claimed her like a barbarian marauder. The kiss was rough, unpracticed, and without finesse, and yet Isabel felt a trembling thrill go through her. She was used to civilized embraces, carefully thought out, impeccably implemented. Mannered and cool. The Ghost of St. Giles, in contrast, was a storm breaking over her, all passion and emotion.
All real man.
She felt his arms come about her, pulling her tight against his chest as he bent her helplessly, lost, falling, her heart half beating out of her breast. And she knew—she knew—that she kissed not only the Ghost of St. Giles, but Winter Makepeace as well.

His eyes opened, his sensuous upper lip twisting in a snarl. “I’ll never forget you no matter what.”
And he grasped her hips firmly, shoving up into her. He was untried, inelegant, jerky, and rough—and she loved it.
She flung back her head and laughed breathlessly.
“Damn you,” he growled, jamming himself in and out of her, his cock ruthless and hard. “Do it.”
She looked down at him, a goddess supreme. “Fuck, you mean?”
His eyes narrowed to slits. “Make love. Make love to me. Now.”

“Slowly,” he whispered, and covered her mouth with his.
For a moment she forgot everything. His tongue was in her mouth, warm and strong, masculine and insistent, and his cock was pushed so far inside her that her feminine lips were spread wide. He had her. He was in control.
Then he began walking, still kissing her, and the motion was exquisitely seductive, a subtle nudging, a sweet, rhythmic rocking.
She moaned against his lips. “Winter.”
“Yes,” he murmured back. “Yes.”
Then her back was against a wall and he’d braced his legs. Suddenly he was driving into her. Fast. Hard. Deep. Exactly right.
His teeth were bared, his lips pulled back, and his eyes glittered as he stared at her. “Yes.”

“Now,” he whispered, and withdrew his cock an incremental amount. So tiny, less than an inch, surely. So small it should hardly matter at all.
But when he thrust back inside her, quick and hard and nearly brutal, the movement sent her hips grinding against his hand, trapped between her and the mattress. Sent her gasping for breath as the sensation spurred all her nerve endings to a nearly painful pleasure.
“I love you,” he whispered as he thrust again. And again. Each movement controlled. Each small movement devastating in its effect. “I love you.”
She lost all concept of time. She lost her place and surroundings. She couldn’t remember who he was—who she was. She lost her mind.

“So brave,” he murmured into her hair, stroking it. “So beautiful and brave.”
“I’m not beautiful,” she rasped. “You shouldn’t see me like this.”
She must look like a hag, and the horror of her gauche tantrum and her naked vulnerability made her hide her face in his shoulder.
But he placed a gentle palm under her chin and turned her face back to him. “I’m privileged to see you like this,” he said, his eyes fierce. “Wear your social mask at your balls and parties and when you visit your friends out there, but when we are alone, just the two of us in here, promise me this: that you’ll show me only your true face, no matter how ugly you might think it. That’s our true intimacy, not sex, but the ability to be ourselves when we are together.”

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Review: Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-bookscandalousdesires
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #3
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: “Charming” Mickey O’Connor
Heroine: Silence Hollingbrook
Sensuality: 3.5
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!

Favorite Quotes

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.

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Review: Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-booknotoriouspleasures
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #2
Publisher: Vision
Hero: Griffin Reading
Heroine: Hero Batten
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 1, 2011
Started On: June 01 2016
Finished On: June 04, 2016

My journey into reading through the backlist of Elizabeth Hoyt continues, this time with the second book in the Maiden Lane series. Notorious Pleasures brings us the story of Lady Hero Batten, the daughter of a Duke, who has pretty much perfected the etiquette that is required of her in polite society. The final nail in the coffin where she is concerned is her betrothal to the Marquess of Mandeville, a union that is forged much like a business transaction as is the norm.

Lord Griffin Reading returns to London after almost a year, Griffin preferring to reside in the country residence where he harvests crops. It has also been three years since Griffin and his brother Thomas had become estranged, a source of much anxiety to their mother. Griffin hides behind a veneer of notoriety that precedes him, which makes it easier for his brother to continue with his feeling of disdain, sitting on higher moral ground where his brother is concerned.

When Hero at first walks in on Griffin, it is to find him in a less than savory position with the lady of the manor, forcing an instant dislike to come into place with one another. While Hero dismisses Griffin as someone who is not trustworthy, a man seen to be controlled by his baser appetites, Griffin considers Hero to be a bit too uptight, someone who could use a bit of loosening up, perhaps in bed and out of it. What both Griffin and Hero refuses to accept is that their dislike hides the real reason behind their perceived animosity towards one another – their instant attraction to each other.

What Hero does not realize is the trouble she is getting herself into by agreeing to an engagement with a man whose brother becomes the sole focus of her desires. It certainly does not help matters to realize that Griffin too feels the same way, and with society having already gone through one episode of scandal concerning Griffin and his brother, Hero is hard pressed to find a way to combat the unquenchable desire Griffin arouses in her.

Notorious Pleasures might not be a story well received by readers who have delicate sensibilities, especially when it comes to grey areas concerning that of loyalty towards ones betrothed. Furthermore, Griffin embarking on an affair of the flesh and the heart with the woman who would rightly become his sister in law in the future might be a bitter pill to swallow for some readers. I, however had no such problems with the story that emerged. I am always for authors who pushes the boundaries of the accepted norm. It is always a matter of how an author deals with the fallout. Life teaches us day in and day out that it is one gigantic lump of mess, which everyone is best trying to traverse without falling flat on their face. To read stories that are realistic in this nature is what I crave and Hoyt certainly does that and more with her stories.

With Notorious Pleasures, as is the norm with all her works, Hoyt manages to draw in the readers into a complex and multi-layered story that sees the emergence of Griffin’s character as one that is worth so much more than the initial impression he makes. There is a core of strength and loyalty inside of him that makes him appealing on so many levels. There is also the fact that the hidden facets of his character that emerges in the story makes him the actual hero where the two brothers are concerned, not that Thomas is a hard core villain of the variety people might think him to be given this statement. Even though his interest in Hero might make people look upon Griffin in a less than favorable manner, his saving grace comes from the fact that his brother too is not entirely honest with himself when it comes to his impending marriage with Hero.

Hero is a woman who is torn between the conventions demanded of her by society, by her powerful brother, the Duke of Wakefield and of course her desire to slay it all and stand with the man who makes her insides tremble with want whenever he walks in to a room. Griffin certainly does not make it easy for Hero to stay away from him, nor does he make it easy for her to walk away from the hedonistic pleasure that is to be found in the circle of his arms. The ultimate decision that Hero finally makes would not have been an easy one, which made me mighty proud of her for doing so, rather than opting for the easy way out.

Notorious Pleasures also continues the thread of story related to Silence Hollingbrook, whose marriage had practically died in front of her when Silence had taken matters into her own hands regarding the possible incarceration of her husband. Hoyt does a remarkable job out of leaving the reader wanting for more, and much more, and that is exactly why the Maiden Lane series is a must read for all romance readers out there!

I would also love to gush a bit about the beautiful covers that graces Hoyt’s novels. Each and every single cover featuring a couple is beautiful. The colors, the setup and layout as if it had come out straight from the pages of the book itself. Love them all!

Final Verdict: With a Hoyt novel, one is never a choice. One is never ever enough!

Favorite Quotes

“Please,” he moaned. “Please.”
He turned his head and licked across her nipple before gently closing his teeth over the tip. She gasped, her head falling back against his shoulder. He worried her nipple, then let it go to kiss it softly.
“Stroke me,” he gasped, and let her hand go.
She did, pulling up over that hard flesh, hidden beneath her skirts. That part of him that made him a man.
“Like this?” she whispered, low and intimate in the rocking carriage. Outside, London passed by. Inside she held a man’s penis in her palm.
“Yesss,” he hissed before tonguing her other nipple. “Exactly like that.”

She looked up at him, so full of his flesh. Was this all there was?
He seemed to understand the question in her eyes. He lay against her, his upper half braced away from her on straight arms. He smiled again, this time rather grimly, and grunted, “Feel.”
Then he slid against her, his penis slowly pistoning out and into her. She gasped. He did it again, his eyes watching hers, and swiveled his hips, grinding down on her.
“Oh!” With her hips tilted up, his body was hitting that spot exactly, each pull of his cock adding somehow to the exquisite sensation.
“Feel, my heart,” he whispered, and she saw that his eyes were glistening.

He reached the apex of her sex and spread his hand, pressing down quite explicitly on her clitoris.
And she jerked, hard and hot, falling from a great height, the wind whistling past her ears, glorious in her descent.
He arched away from her and pulled his cock partway out, then slammed it back into her, rough and fast and relentless. He thrust in and out in short, jerky, controlled movements, never so hard as to rattle the door, never so soft as to let her down from her fall from on high.
She wanted to scream, wanted to shout aloud with joy. This rapid energy was too much, was not enough. She wanted him to continue forever. She bit, gently, precisely, on his earlobe and his mechanical rhythm stuttered. He jerked, arched, jerked again and then thrust one last time, holding himself deep within her.
She felt heat flood her insides.

“Shhh, it’s all right,” he murmured as he settled between her thighs again. His penis was naked and big. “I’ve got what you want and need, if not love.”
She shook her head, no longer sure, no longer able to decide what was real and what was sexual excitement. “I don’t—”
“Hush.” The head of his cock nudged her entrance, and she felt the delicious stretch. “That’s good, isn’t it?”
A rough edge lined his voice now. He entered her, one slow inch at a time, and it was torture. She made to arch up, to embed him all at once, but he shifted one hand, holding her hips firmly down.
“Take it,” he growled. “Let me give you this at least.”

She arched beneath him, her hands scrabbling at his shoulders. He slammed his mouth over hers just as she opened it to scream. Hot flashes of lights were going off behind her eyes. His cock was rubbing, rubbing, rubbing over that one delicious spot, and she was going to die from the endless pleasure.
He thrust his tongue into her mouth, and she sucked it helplessly. He ground his hips into her and shuddered. She felt the tremors wrack his big shoulders. He tore his mouth from hers and groaned, long and low, his body shaking as it poured life into hers.

“Does he watch you like I do? Does he know that your eyes turn to diamonds when you’re aroused?” He nipped along her neck, his kisses insistent and hard. “Does he know that you like to read in Greek but loathe drawing? Does he wait with bated breath for you to arch your left eyebrow so prissily—and then grow hard when you do?” He thumbed both her nipples at once, bringing a surge of heat between her thighs. “Tell me, Hero, goddamn it to bloody hell, tell me: Does he make you feel like I do?”
“No!” Her answer was a despairing wail.
His thumbs were between them, spreading her folds as if he had every right, as if she was his, now and forever, until the end of time, amen. And then he was in her. Hard and hot, moving so exquisitely she began to cry.

“Do you love me, Hero?” His pale green eyes were full of torment. “Do you love me like I love you?”
And she cracked apart on his words, a stream of liquid heat pouring forth from her center. She trembled beneath him, trying to tear her gaze from his as her passion exploded within her. As rivers of sweet pleasure spread through her thighs and belly. As her heart fractured and re-formed.
But he wouldn’t let her look away. He held her gaze as his own eyes half closed and the muscles of his face, neck, and chest tightened. She watched helplessly as he convulsed above her, his big, strong shoulders gleaming with sweat.
He thrust into her once, twice, three times more and held himself there, tight against her, their bodies locked, as he orgasmed. His eyes pled silently with hers, defiant and proud.

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Review: Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-bookwickedintentions
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #1
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Lazarus Huntington
Heroine: Temperance Dews
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: August 1, 2010
Started On: May 31, 2016
Finished On: June 01, 2016

Having finished the Princes trilogy, I turned my attention towards the Maiden Lane series next. Wicked Intentions is the debut book in the much raved about Maiden Lane series and a book I must say that I loved to pieces from start to finish. True to her trademark, with Wicked Intentions, Hoyt once again delivers a story that can only be termed unconventional at best, with a hero and heroine who are unabashedly unapologetic in embracing who they are meant to be, when they accept the truth that their collective future lies with one another.

Lazarus Huntington, known as Lord Caire is a man who is known for his unusual sensual appetites. Searching for a murderer in St. Giles, where the poorest of the poor live, Lord Caire enlists the assistance of the most unlikely of partners, Temperance Dews, a 28 year old widow, running the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children alongside with her younger brother Winter Makepeace in the slums known as St. Giles.

Though Temperance would like to say no to Lord Caire’s request, what he offers in return is too crucial for the home for Temperance to turn away from. Even though Lord Caire does not tell Temperance whose murder it is that he is investigating, every expedition in the dark of the night that these two embark upon brings them closer to one another in a way it would not have been possible if otherwise. Lord Caire in return, introduces her to members of the elite society, from whom she might be able to procure required funding to keep the home up and running, a home that is running seriously low on funds.

While the investigation brings simmering to the forefront, emotions that Lord Caire and Temperance would not have dared otherwise give voice to, there exists the fact that for someone like Lord Caire who does not believe in the happily ever after, his place does not lie with a woman like Temperance. Similarly, Temperance deals with her misgivings about someone like her, who is not part of the elite society being with a person as important in the inner circles of the upper echelon as Lord Caire. However, none of that truly means anything in the grander scheme of their unabashed desire for one another.

I loved all aspects of Wicked Intentions, especially the backstory of the heroine Temperance. Here is a heroine who is less than perfect, who succumbed to temptations that she should not have, a sin for which she has been atoning for in more ways than she realizes. Her previous marriage while it had not been a bad one, had not been enough for a woman like Temperance, someone who hides her sensual nature behind the life of atonement that she has chosen for herself since the untimely demise of her husband.

Lord Caire on the other hand, having had a difficult childhood, has a hard time with intimacy of the kind that appears normal for most of us. While the story hints at his wild sensual needs, I did not witness any sort of overly risque behavior on his part, though yes, he makes for a very fine specimen in the arena of bed sport. The sex scenes while tastefully done, were of the panty drenching variety, and I kid not. The carriage sex scene in this story has got to be THE hottest and wildest scene of passion that takes place inside a carriage, from all the historical romances that I have read to-date. There is also the jealousy that Lord Caire exhibits, at the merest mention of Temperance’s deceased husband – I had such a fun time reading about the way Lord Caire goes practically rigid whenever his name comes up in discussions, quite heated ones at that I must say.

The only aspect that I wished had been explored further was why Lord Caire shied away from intimacy of the kind that most of us take for granted. Though I understood the psychology behind a past that had marked him, I just wished for a deeper understanding of where he was coming from.

As expected, this book also introduces characters that would get their own books as the series progresses along. One secondary character very prominently featured being Temperance’s sister Silence Hollingbrook, whose marriage lies in utter ruins by the time Wicked Intentions ends, wetting the appetite of the reader definitely for more!

A very satisfying start to the series all around. Definitely recommended!

Final Verdict: Entices to immerse oneself in the enchanted world that Hoyt builds around you!

Favorite Quotes

One moment she was crying in fury up at him and the next he’d swooped down and caught her mouth. Hard, with no mercy. She gasped at the shock. He ground his mouth against her soft lips. She felt his teeth, tasted his hot tongue, and that part of herself, that wretched, sinful, wrong, part broke free and went running. Reveling in his savagery. Rejoicing in his blunt sexuality.
Completely out of her control.
Until he raised his head and looked down at her. His lips were wet and slightly reddened, but otherwise he showed no sign of that devastating kiss.

“Pay attention.” His voice was ragged now.
Something wild and feminine thrilled at the roughness of his voice, at the knowledge that she was affecting him, despite his sophistication. She opened her mouth beneath his, biting back at him, and he inhaled sharply. Then his mouth was crushing hers, roughly, almost out of control, a male creature dominating a female. His female.
He shifted again, his penis drawing back, finding her entrance and notching into her. He raised his head only far enough to whisper, “Now.”
He shoved powerfully.

She tore her mouth away from his, panting, her wrists twisting under his hold. “Stop.”
“No,” he whispered, an unseen ghost. “Let go.”
“I can’t.”
“You can.” He levered himself up a little more and began a slow twist of his hips as he drove into her, and somehow, the pressure, the pleasure, the heat, and the expectation all released at once.
She flew apart, sobbing, gloriously free, no mind, no soul, only a single throbbing point of shining beauty.

She licked him, tasting, wanting to bite. Wanting to devour this man she could neither let go nor fully possess.
She opened her mouth over the tendon at the side of his neck and bit down hard.
He cursed, the sound loud in the carriage. He took her head between his palms as if to forcibly dislodge her, but then abandoned the attack. Instead his hands were suddenly at her skirts, pushing, shoving them upward as he continued to curse steadily.
She clutched at his shoulders to keep her balance as he jostled her, bringing her legs to either side of his hips. She could feel her skirts up around her waist, but she had her eyes closed, savoring the taste of his flesh in her mouth.

She arched her back, feeling his cock, large and insistent, those fingers, assured and relentless. This was wrong, so wrong, and it felt so very, very good.
“Temperance,” he whispered, sliding his left thumb across her mouth as he rubbed his right against her clitoris.
She opened her mouth, licking his thumb.
Her hips bucked, once, twice. Her head fell back even as she drenched his penis in her orgasm. She opened her eyes as she came, watching him beneath lowered lids. His face was drawn, his mouth a tight, tortured line.

“Damn it, Temperance.” His voice, normally cool and dispassionate, was ragged.
She smiled and leaned forward, rubbing herself against him, using his hard, hot flesh to arouse herself. She bent, tilting her hips, and took his bottom lip between her teeth.
He might’ve sworn then—the words were unintelligible—but his purpose was certainly clear. He grabbed her hips in a firm hand and brought her up, shoving his cock in place with the other hand and bringing her down hard.
Oh, ecstasy!

He slapped her bottom through her skirts. “Ride me.”
She pouted. “No.” She liked this, this subtle grinding, this wonderful rubbing.
“Ride me, damn it.” He pressed his thumb against her, and for a moment she saw stars.
Then he took it away again.
“Nooo,” she moaned.
“Then ride me. Please.”

She wanted to tell him—to cry aloud to him—how very much he meant to her. But then she lost her pace, faltered, and fell against him, her body convulsing uncontrollably. Dimly she was aware that he clutched her hips with both hands now, that he was bucking beneath her, driving his length again and again into her open flesh. She sobbed into his shoulder, waiting, her muscles turned to liquid, her center a furnace. He pumped into her without mercy, and she turned her head to watch him, saw when he tilted his face to the ceiling, his mouth open, his teeth bared in a silent bellow.
His semen flooded her.
He was arched, his hips tilted up, her knees nearly off the seat as he held himself in her, pumping out his essence.

He positioned his cock at her entrance, his mouth open and panting, and she watched him as he shoved himself inside her. His head was arched back as if he suffered some unbearable pain. As if he were about to expire.
“Oh, God,” he panted. “I can’t… I can’t…”
And he began pounding into her, shoving her back into the chair, clutching her legs against his chest so that she had no purchase, no way of defending herself against his assault.
Not that she wanted to.

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Review: The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-booktheserpentprince
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Princes, #3
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Simon Matthew Raphael Iddesleigh
Heroine: Lucinda Craddock-Hayes
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 1, 2007
Started On: May 30, 2016
Finished On: May 30, 2016

I should have known better than to pick up the next Hoyt book to read in the wee hours of the morning. Practically read in one sitting, The Serpent Prince is the final book in the Princes trilogy. The Serpent Prince once again delivers an unconventional romance, bringing together two very different protagonists, one being a Viscount, hellbent on seeking revenge for the death of his brother, the heroine being the sheltered daughter of a retired sea captain, being courted by the vicar of town’s little church.

It is Simon’s revenge seeking ways that lands him on a narrow lane in the town of Maiden Hill. Which is how Lucy finds him and nurses him back to health. Lucy does her Christian duty by Simon, even though her father identifies Simon as a threat to his daughter’s emotional well-being and neatly ordered life.

Simon and Lucy’s attraction to one another is an immediate one, though neither wants to admit to the fact. Simon because has no room in his life to court an innocent maiden the likes of Lucy and Lucy because she knows that getting together with someone like Simon is not for her, a small town nobody. However, fate has a way of bringing together lost souls that seeks and yearns to become whole, and that is exactly what happens to Lucy and Simon as well.

Simon, even though he does right by the woman who makes him want to finally start living once again, is unable to let go of his need for exacting revenge on those he holds responsible for the untimely demise of his brother. Feeling responsible over the fact does not make it any easier to let go, which is perhaps why Simon spends more time seeking that rather than spending an equivalent amount of time and effort on the woman who wants Simon to stop doing something that would only keep tainting his already blackened soul.

While I enjoyed The Serpent Prince immensely, I however did not find myself as enchanted with Simon and Lucy as I would have liked to be. Simon was too focused on his need for vengeance than on anything else, while Lucy seemed confused about what she wanted and needed, or perhaps should want and need. Given her upbringing, I guess it was a given that Lucy would not be able to condone what Simon was actively seeking, however, it is a testament to the strength of emotions that Lucy feels towards Simon that makes her feel so torn between what her heart and mind dictated. In one sense, I felt that Simon took more than he gave back, perhaps a necessity given where Simon’s character was coming from.

To say that I recommend Hoyt’s romances to all romance readers would be an understatement. Hoyt’s work is nothing short of magical in a world where there is too little of it left.

Final Verdict: Enchantment, incredible in its beauty lies in the words Hoyt pens.

 Favorite Quotes

She reached her hand out, hesitated, then touched his cheek lightly with one fingertip. He felt the contact sizzle throughout his body down to his very toes.
“Sometimes I think I know you,” she murmured so low he almost didn’t catch the words. “Sometimes I think that I’ve always known you, from the very first moment you opened your eyes, and that, deep inside your soul, you know me, too. But then you make a joke, play the fool or the rake, and turn aside. Why do you do that?”

She sighed and moved her legs restlessly. If Simon was watching her now, he would see her arousal, the damp prickles on her skin. He would see her nude breasts and erect nipples. The mere thought of being exposed to his eyes made her bite her lip. Slowly, she flicked her fingernails over her nipples, and the sensation made her clench her thighs. If he watched . . . She brought her thumbs and forefingers on either side of her nipples and pinched. Lucy moaned.
And suddenly she knew. She froze for an eternal second and then slowly opened her eyes.
He was in the doorway, his gaze locked with hers—hot, hungry, and very, very male.

Her eyelids drooped at his words. She wanted to taste him, to do things to him that she was only vaguely aware of. More. She wanted more.
“I want to put myself in you,” he said, guttural. “I want to stay inside you all night, to wake with you around me, to make love to you before you even open your eyes.” He knelt above her. His face was not kind, and she gloried in his savagery. “If I could, I’d place you on my lap, darling angel, and hold you throughout dinner, my cock inside you. I’d feed you strawberries and cream and not move. The footmen would come and serve us and never know that my cock was in your sweet cove all the time. Your skirts would cover us, but you’d have to remain very, very still so they wouldn’t guess.”

“I want this.” He placed his hand over the juncture of her thighs. “All the time. I want to do this”—he parted her legs and lowered his hips until his hardness nestled in her folds—“all the time.”
She moaned. What was he doing to her?
“Do you want it, too?” He moved, not entering her but thrusting his erection through her wetness. He was rubbing against her bud.
She arched helplessly, whimpering.
“Do you?” he whispered into the hair at her temple. He thrust his hips again.
Pleasure. “I—”
“Do you?” He bit her earlobe.
“Ohhh.” She couldn’t think, couldn’t form the words that he wanted. She could only feel.
“Do you?” He cradled both her breasts in his hands and pinched the nipples as he thrust over her again.
And she came, grinding her hips against him, seeing stars in the darkness of her eyelids, moaning incoherently.

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Review: The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-booktheleopardprince
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Princes, #2
Publisher: Warner
Hero: Harry Pye
Heroine: Georgina Maitland
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 1, 2007
Started On: May 27, 2016
Finished On: May 29, 2016

Readers everywhere would identify with the feeling of unabated excitement that courses through them when they discover an author whose voice they come to adore from the first encounter itself. An added bonus would be having the fortune of finding a long backlist of books that you can indulge in. Elizabeth Hoyt became that for me since I picked up Sweetest Scoundrel from her list of books to read.

The Leopard Prince is the 2nd installment in the Princes trilogy, The Raven Prince being my very first Hoyt novel which I read and reviewed in 2012. The Leopard Prince features Lady Georgina Maitland, owner of multiple estates who remains unmarried, labeled as a spinster given that she is 28 years old.

Harry Pye is Georgina’s land steward, a sort of superior servant considering the grand scheme of things where the elite of society are concerned. However, that does not stop Georgina’s fascination to do with all things related to Harry, even though he has been in her employment for just under six months.

Georgina laments the fact that Harry remains stoically unaffected by her, something she should try and emulate in her burgeoning feelings of curiosity and emotions of other nature towards him. When Georgina decides that she would travel with Harry to Woldsly Manor for a visit, Georgina arrives to find more than she bargained for when it comes to Harry, the village’s animosity towards him and a whole lot of danger that seems to follow in Harry’s wake.

Like in every single book of Hoyt that I have read to-date, The Leopard Prince is also filled with intrigue, danger, craftily formulated characters and mind numbing passion with a love that is as strong and virile as they come. Harry is the kind of hero that we all love to shake up. Broody and silent, Harry knows that his station in life is far below that of a lady like Georgina. The fact alone should tell him that he should stay away. But Georgina is a woman who would not be denied when it comes to passions in the bedroom and otherwise.

Georgina’s stubborn and daring nature might be at odds with the time period within which the story takes place. But then again, history is filled with scandalous affairs of one sort or the other and I believe that is exactly why Georgina and Harry’s story fits with me. I loved the unpretentious nature of both Harry and Georgina. Harry has a way with him that makes you go all weak in the knees every single time he uses “my lady” as a term of endearment, and especially when he uses it as he talks dirty to the woman who rouses his passions unlike any other.

There is a reason why Hoyt is a revered name when it comes to the genre. The Leopard Prince serves as a small testament to that fact.


Final Verdict: Steamy & exciting, with a dash of mystery. Hoyt’s mastery delivers spectacular results.

Favorite Quotes

He walked toward her, his boots scraping against the rocks in the road. “Why didn’t you tell me you’d brought pistols?” His voice was raspy and deep. It demanded apology, concession, even submission.
George didn’t feel like giving any.
“I—” she began firmly, strongly, even haughtily.
She didn’t have a chance to finish because he was in front of her. He grabbed her about the waist and yanked her from the carriage. She half-fell against him. She put her hands on his shoulders to keep from toppling over. He pulled her against him until her breasts were quite squashed into his chest, which, strangely, felt very nice. She lifted her head to ask him what, exactly, he thought he was about—
And he kissed her!

He drew a finger slowly across the edge of her bodice, watching her reaction. “What do you want with me, my lady?”
Her breasts seemed to swell. “I . . .” She couldn’t think while he touched her; she didn’t know what to say. What did he need to hear? George looked around the room for help but saw only the piles of food and dishes. “I’m not sure, really. I don’t have any experience in this.”
He dipped two fingers below her bodice and brushed her nipple. She shuddered. Oh, my. Harry pinched the nipple, sending sparks all the way to her most private places. George closed her eyes.
She felt his breath caress her cheek. “When you figure it out, my lady, let me know.”
He closed the door quietly behind him.

She gripped his hips and began to move her own. Utterly without rhythm, but it didn’t seem to matter. Almost . . . Oh, heavens! She actually saw stars. She broke their kiss to arch her head into the pillow in a bliss like none she’d ever felt before.
He was suddenly gone from her body, and she felt warmth splattering onto her belly. She opened her eyes in time to see Harry throw his head back and shout. The tendons in his neck stood out, and his upper body glistened with sweat.
He was the most magnificent thing she’d ever seen.

She knocked at his door.
It swung open almost immediately, as if he’d been waiting for her. “My lady.” His green eyes were heavy.
Harry’s chest was bare, and her gaze was drawn to it. “I hope you don’t mind,” she began vapidly, addressing his left nipple.
He reached out a long arm and drew her in. Slammed the door and pushed her up against it. Shoved back her hood and seized her lips. He tilted her head back and slanted his mouth over hers, thrusting his tongue between her lips. Oh, heavens, she needed this.

“My lady.” His breath puffed over her lips.
With an effort, she opened her eyes. “What?” she gasped. She felt drunken, dazed, as if she floated in a marvelous daydream.
“I hope you do not mind”—he rocked—“my boldness.”
What? “No. I, uh, don’t mind.” She could hardly get the words out.
“You’re sure?” He licked her nipple, the devil, and she jumped.
She was so sensitive, the feeling was almost painful. I’m going to get him for this.
He rocked.
Some other time. “Very sure,” she whimpered.
He grinned, but a bead of sweat ran down his temple. “Then with your permission.”
He didn’t wait for her nod but slammed his entire length into her, shoving her up the door and hitting with exquisite accuracy that place.

He withdrew again, and she could feel every inch dragging against her sensitive flesh. She waited, suspended in time and air, for him to mate her once more. And he did, his cock thrusting into her and his pelvis rubbing her exposed center. Then he seemed to lose control. He began a rapid pistoning, his movements short and jerky. But just as effective, damn him. And it began for her, spreading in waves that seemed to have no end. She couldn’t catch her breath, couldn’t see or hear, could only moan in primitive abandon and open her mouth and fill it with his shoulder, salty and warm.
She bit Harry.
He came, withdrawing from her suddenly but keeping his arms around her as he shook and spasmed his release between them.

He reached underneath and found her mound with ruthless accuracy. “This is what you get with a common lover.” He speared two fingers into her sheath.
She gasped at the sudden intrusion, feeling him stretch her as he stroked with his fingers. She shouldn’t feel anything, shouldn’t respond when he—
His thumb pushed down on her most sensitive spot. “No finesse, no pretty words. Just hard cock and hot cunny.” His tongue trailed across her cheek. “And your cunny is hot, my lady,” he whispered into her ear. “It’s fairly dripping on my hand.”
She moaned then. It was impossible for her not to respond to him, even when he touched her in anger.

“Suck me.”
She was startled. Really? She pursed her mouth and his hips came off the bed, startling her again.
“Ahhh. God.”
His reaction, his obvious enjoyment of what she was doing, aroused her. She could feel that part of herself throbbing. She pressed her thighs together tightly and sucked on Harry’s cock. She tasted his semen and wondered if he would reach completion in her mouth. But she wanted him in her when that happened. George licked one last time and rose to straddle his hips. She guided his erection to where it should be, but it seemed so big now. She pressed and felt him begin to part her. To tunnel and push. She glanced down. The smooth red skin of his cock disappeared into her feminine hair. She moaned and almost came apart right there.

But suddenly he broke. He gripped her bottom tightly and rolled her underneath him. Then he braced himself on his hands and ploughed into her, fast and furious. She tried to move, to respond, but he pinned her to the mattress with his weight, dominated and mastered her with his flesh. She arched her head and widened her legs helplessly. Allowed him full access. Gave herself to him as he continued his relentless pounding. He grunted with each thrust into her body, and it almost sounded like sobbing. Did he feel it as much as she?
Then she fell apart and saw stars, a glorious stream of light filling her being. Dimly she heard his cry and felt his withdrawal, like a little death.
Then he lay next to her, panting.

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Review: Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-booksweetestscoundrel
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #9
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Asa Makepeace
Heroine: Eve Dinwoody
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: November 24, 2015
Started On: May 24, 2016
Finished On: May 27, 2016

I have been meaning to dive into this delectable novel for quite sometime now. Crista on Goodreads is a romance reader whose tastes fairly match that of mine. So I make it a point every now and then to grab some recommendations off her shelf of books, which is how this sweet number caught my eye. This was not my first Hoyt novel as I had previously sampled her talent through her novel The Raven Prince which I reviewed way back in 2012.

Sweetest Scoundrel is book 9 in the Maiden Lane series. Though I picked this novel up without having read the rest of the novels prior to this in the series, I had no trouble at all in picking up the story and I believe this works perfectly well as a standalone. However, having since then gone back and sampled the rest of the novels in the series, I have to say that the full impact of meeting some of the secondary characters that makes their way into the story might not be felt if you decide to pick this up like I did. Nevertheless the enjoyment factor when it comes right down to it is not affected in anyway.

Asa Makepeace is the owner of the pleasure garden known as Harte’s Folly, though few know of the fact, especially not his family. Asa has a chip on his shoulder the size of Manhattan itself when it comes to letting his family know how he earns his living. Though when I first heard of the term “pleasure gardens”, I thought to myself it must be something akin to a brothel or the likes of it, which must be the reason why Asa was so reluctant for his siblings to know of his occupation, I was proven wrong as I read along. I realized that the term was used to denote places which were highly popular in the 17th, 18th and 19th century as a place where patrons can buy tickets to gain entrance and then enjoy a variety of performances such as plays, operas, and symphonies, and even enjoy a meal or two and explore the gardens within which the whole thing takes place. Asa’s reluctance for his family to know that he is the owner of the place stems from his childhood, and the fact that the Makepeace family is fairly religious considering all things.

Sweetest Scoundrel begins at a point where Asa runs into a bit of a trouble with Harte’s Folly being reduced to ashes in a fire, which meant having to start all over. Running short of the kind of capital required to do that, Asa had taken the helping hand lent by the Duke of Montgomery, which is how Asa’s life is invaded by Eve Dinwoody, the Duke’s half sister.

Eve is described as a woman with plain features, someone men would not notice all that much at a first or even third glance. That is what happens with Asa as well when Eve practically forces her way into his business activities, throwing Asa’s life into disarray of the kind he starts to find appealing in a way he never thought possible. But Eve’s past is mired in the kind of darkness and violence that has held her a captive of its memories, leading Eve to live a life half-lived, under the protection afforded by those that she keeps close to her heart.

Working with Asa in close proximity makes Eve stand up and notice things she would not have if otherwise. And for the very first time in Eve’s life, in Asa’s warm and passionate embrace, Eve finds within herself the courage to step outside of the circle that binds and shackles her to the past, a way to break free of the mold that every one has pretty much thought was a given where she was concerned.

Hoyt’s stories aren’t just plain romance novels. There is so much more happening in each and every single one of her stories that I have read since picking up Sweetest Scoundrel to read. There is of course romance of the kind that makes your heart go pitter-patter, there is the factor of enchantment to her stories via the chapter openers that precede every single chapter with a mini fairy tale that keeps you turning the pages. There is also the portion of mystery that adds in the intrigue factor and that is what makes reading a Hoyt novel an experience of the kind you would not find elsewhere.

Asa is a hero well crafted. He is handsome, earthy, passionate and virile in a way that makes your insides go hot in just the merest of seconds. He is also a straightforward kind of character that makes him more endearing in my eyes. There are so many novels out there, especially historical romances where characters always talk in double entendres that can be quite tiring, perhaps an effort by the author to make his or her characters sound overly intelligent. Thus, I appreciate candid honesty in characters because I tend to be a pretty straightforward person myself.

I loved Asa for so many things, the utmost of reasons being his patience when it comes to dealing with Eve. It is not easy for a woman such as Eve to give into her desire to touch and be touched by a man such as Asa. Not because he is a brute or scares her in that sense, but because of a past that makes her reluctant to even test the waters when it comes to the opposite sex. Eve’s courage when it came right down to it was something that I approved of wholeheartedly. There is being afraid and there is being stubborn and mule headed enough not to want to change. I was glad that Eve belonged to a category of her own and charted her own path towards what was best for her. Some of the scenes of passion are downright hot and steamy! Whoever said that historical romance writers do not know how to steam up a carriage window have not been reading right!

Sweetest Scoundrel is a novel that all romance readers, especially those who love unconventional historical romances ought to read. I friggin’ loved the whole thing!

Final Verdict: Rich in detail & multi-layered in characterization, Sweetest Scoundrel makes for a beguiling read!

Favorite Quotes

She lifted her chin. “Then I suppose our discussion is done.”
She turned to go, but he had a hard grip on her upper arm, pulling her back.
“Not yet it’s not,” he growled.
She fought down the old, nauseous fear. “Let go of me.”
“Why?” He cocked his head, an ugly sneer on his beautiful lips. “Can’t stand my touch?”
“Yes!” she tossed back, losing her patience, her self-control, and any upper hand she’d ever had in their argument.
Which was when he took her by the shoulders, pulled her roughly into his arms, and pressed his mouth to hers.
And Eve lost her sanity.

Her breath caught on the thought. Was he saying that a woman would put her hands—her mouth—there?
Her bodice felt suddenly too tight as her breaths became faster. She didn’t know where to look: at those long fingers massaging his own leg or his glinting, knowing green eyes.
“And of course,” he continued, “a woman can pleasure herself—with her hand—and a man…” His hand drifted up, straight to the top of his widely spread legs. He gripped himself frankly—lewdly—and looked at her.
She lost all sense of propriety. All sense of place and time and who he was and who she was.
She stared back into those sensuous green eyes and whispered, “Show me.”

Her nostrils flared as she inhaled. There was a musky scent in the air, salty and animal, and it made her clench her legs together.
He grinned suddenly, his white teeth gritted together, as if he knew what he did to her. His fist was moving faster now, the deep red head of his cock appearing and disappearing between his fingers. It shone, fully revealed, and so big she bit her lip.
“Now,” he grunted. “Now, Eve, watch me. Are you watching me?”
“Yes,” she moaned.
The muscles stood out in his neck as a white liquid erupted from his cock, flowing and spurting, his legs shaking, his hand slowing.
And the entire time he watched her.

He couldn’t take it anymore.
He wrapped his hand around the back of her head and pulled her up, pulled her across his chest, pulled her into a kiss so filthily explicit his tongue might as well have been fucking her mouth.
They groaned in unison and he wrapped his hand over hers, forcing her fingers tight around his erection, showing her how to pull up, the loose skin sliding over his hot core—oh, sweet, sweet God—and down, fisting tight, moving faster, his hips pumping up into their shared grasp.
She moaned and his hips jerked at the sound.
And then she sucked his tongue and hot pleasure speared him. He convulsed, spunk spewing over his fingers, over hers. He smeared them both in it as he yanked himself through it, shuddering.

She wanted to ride him, wanted to hide him away in her bedroom, to use only for herself.
She was jealous of every woman who had come before her. Had used this wonderful penis. Had heard his groan.
She opened her eyes. But it was the women who would come after that she truly wanted to kill.
He was hers. He should never share this part of himself with anyone else.

She threw back her head, riding him hard, the sweat sliding down between her breasts. He lurched up, half sitting, his arm propping him up, and licked the sweat from her body.
She cried out, gasping, holding his head to her even as he sucked one nipple into his mouth. She felt the pull, felt the answering gush, and knew she was falling apart, spreading outward, a star exploding.
He gasped and let go of her breast, bowing his head to her chest, his hair wild and tangled against her as he groaned and shook.
She felt heat inside her and rose one last time, spreading wide her thighs, shoving him as deep inside her as she could.
Trying to keep him forever.

“Because I deserve more,” she said. “I deserve a man who loves me above all else. I deserve a family and happiness.”
“Then go!” he growled. “Go off and find this mythical man and spread your legs for him if it’ll give you what you want.”
She took two strides toward him and slapped him, quick and hard, and then her eyes widened as she realized what she’d done. “Oh, I’m sorry.”
He turned his face back to her slowly, almost lazily. “I’m not.”
And then she was in his arms, his mouth on hers, wild and hot and dangerously close to out of control. He thrust his hand into her hair, holding her head immobile, and ravished her mouth, biting, tonguing, thrusting.

She remembered her hand and how to work it, tearing open his falls and the smallclothes beneath. Her breaths were coming in hot little pants now and she stared up at him as she took him into her fist. She would remember this. She’d remember this until her dying day, she promised herself.
“Ah, Eve,” he groaned, his head falling back, his Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed. He thrust once, convulsively, into her hand, and then he was lifting and spreading her legs, taking his cock out of her hand, thrusting into her.
She gasped, it was so fast. A complete possession.

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