by Elizabeth Hoyt
Book 1 of Maiden Lane
Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London's most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows the area like the back of her hand—she cares for its children at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk…
A WOMAN HAUNTED BY HER PAST
Caire makes a simple offer—in return for Temperance's help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as a cold bargain soon falls prey to a passion neither can control—and may well destroy them both.
Wicked Intentions is an extremely enjoyable book, and yet it was still kind of hard for me to determine how much I actually liked it. To be honest, I have a hard time describing my experience, because this historical romance actually holds a darker tone and atmosphere in comparison with all the Regency and Victorian romances I've been inhaling as of late.
I had been wondering whether there was an underlying religious theme for some time; but I wonder if maybe it wasn't just because of the time period that gave that effect. Mainly this had to do with all of Temperance's talk about being a sinner and being a good Christian, and not doing un-Christian-like things such as non-traditional sexual acts... the like... such as blindfolds and tying someone up.
Nonetheless, the characters are interesting, even if quite standard. Temperance is your almost virginal, innocent, and saintly heroine; Lazarus is the bad-tempered, broody, and devilish rogue. I say that Temperance is almost virginal, only because she has been married, and she has had sex before; except that, from the way she acts, you would think she'd never engaged in intercourse before.
This is a historical romance formula that isn't unfamiliar, with the standard character types. Except that it then throws you for a loop by giving you traits and acts by our main characters that are certainly out of character for their character type... if that makes any sense. Nonetheless, in the end it makes the entire book so much more intriguing and enjoyable.
There were certainly some steamy-hot sexy times. The romance was a little predictable, truth be told, and so was the murder mystery. Some other characters were interesting, although I have a hard time liking any of Temperance's brothers, because they all act like a bunch of jackasses towards their two sisters, Temperance and Silence. It just makes me remember why I spent so much time avoiding reading historical fiction, romance or otherwise, mainly because it irritates me to see the way women are treated--even if it seems like a simple trivial slight.
Although, it then brings insight into Temperance's talk about sinning and Christian values when you see the way her brothers behave, as well as learn what her marriage bed had been like before her husband died.
Anyway, I'm also trying to figure out the whole "Ghost of St. Giles" thing as well--seems like a strange superhero thing.
If I had one complaint, it would be that, I lean more towards books with a slight comedic tone. Wicked Intentions didn't quite have that; but it's still highly enjoyable. The audio book narrated by Ashford McNab was also done excellently, though it took a bit of time for me to get used to.