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Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Wicked Intentions
Maiden Lane #1

Elizabeth Hoyt
Historical Romance
Published in 2010

H/h - Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire/Temperance Dews
Setting: St. Giles, London, 1737.

Read in April, 2011.

My Rating: 5+


                                                                       [spoiler alert]


Oh my, this book is really really good! Even though there are things about it seem odd to me, even though the hero has white-ish hair, even though he can be creepy (I mean that in a good way, ermm, he did make my hair raise with his stares and words!), even though the children of the orphanage and the heroine and her siblings have seriously uncommon names. *takes gulps of breath here* ... Ok, the book is more of a Gothic thriller, with a lot of suspense and hair-raising moments, a mystery figure to be discovered, then of course the sexual tensions between h/h with the subsequent yummy, steamilicious love scenes. Above all, this book is so gripping, I've read upto 14 chapters, even though I've started it last night. OH YEAH! :D

I really like Temperance, our heroine who's very smart and no chicken! She's a widow, runs an orphanage near St. Giles, which was originally founded by her father. She and her youngest brother Winter is everything for it but they're, by no means, well-off. So, money has been an issue for them ever since their only patron died. Temperance does care about the kids she looks after and worry about the future. Her other sisters (Verity and Silence) are married, and the oldest brother Concord has his own family, so can't help out. Second oldest Asa doesn't really care about it much so she never asks for help from him. As the story progressed, we saw that she's been a widow for 9 yrs though not much about her husband and/or her relationship with him is revealed (yet) but it's certainly understood that she's a very passionate woman. I mean the story is set in 1737, I understand that women were not supposed to give into the physical pleasure. It was seen as a sin. And, Temperance, it seems to have given into it once before, with a man not her husband and has been repenting ever since. This I still don't know much about, though I understand her dilemma. So, all her time is spent with the orphanage. Until the arrival of our hero, that is!

Lazarus, Lord Caire is an odd man. Seriously. He has touch issues. Ermm, I'm not new to it, read a book or two with heroes suffering from this issue. So, I almost immediately guessed what kind of 'sexual perversions' people were talking about. He is looking for the murderer of his last mistress. And, yes, I did have questions like why looking for the murderer of a mistress he certainly felt nothing special for? All his previous sex partners were paid women (because of the aforementioned 'perversion'), they were just vessels for his own lust (in his own words BTW). So why risk it all and search for the murderer? Then, as I got to know him better (all the scenes with his mother in it, he hates her), I felt I begin to understand him bit by bit. I understood his vulnerabilities and confusions; about himself, about his own 'demons'. He thinks he's corrupted to the soul so he can never love. This search, to him, was just a whim, when in reality it wasn't (he didn't know that of course). Not at least after he met Temperance. At once point, I knew he's going with it mostly because he wanted to spend as much time with her as possible. He was immediately attracted to her, sought her out, proposed this unusual arrangement of having her as his guide through St. Giles when any woman living there would've served the purpose. (Temperance did ask him why her? Also, why this search? ... where I got some of the answers to my own questions.) In return, he would help her find a patron for the orphanage. His attraction, soon he finds out, is more than physical. Temperance is so very different from the women in his life. The only other woman (or girl) he ever cared for was his younger sister Annelise, who passed away at the age of 5. Poor guy. I mean, things about him (all the talks of whores and mistress) should've seriously grated on me! It does in most cases but this guy is such a complex character. And, he is very very sexy, really have to mention it. So, every odd little thing about him only made me w... ermm, yes ... just as Temperance herself. So, I've felt for him the same as Temperance did throughout the book, just couldn't ignore his magnetic personality.

Their relationship grew with each of their night outings. Lazarus finds himself more and more possessive and attracted to Temperance. She wants to return the feelings too but for her confusion about her sexual needs. But in the end, with a little persuasion from Lazarus, she gave in. Then there was this scene between them in a brothel, it was so hot! *fans herself* And, so were the love scenes I've read so far. The way EH portrayed Lazarus, you can't but feel tinglings when it comes to sex. I know I did. Temperance now knows what she wants from him and Lazarus doesn't know how to give it to her. Ah, the dilemma, the irony! :/

I'm really liking the plot. Still have questions about things, will check them out as I go. Secondary characters are very good. I liked Temperance's siblings, even her brothers as exasperating as they were! I'm yet to meet Verity. There's something about Silence and Charming Mickey, a dockside thief, though he's more of a king of thieves. Things about him I found crass (the scene in his den), not very impressive. Even though Silence is married, there's a book with these two in the future. I'm really interested in that. I liked Lady Hero, the heroine of the next book. Not much is revealed about her but I found her nice, if a tad reserved (Duke's daughter and all that lolz). I like the way Temperance is with her employees, Nell and even the wet nurse Polly. Their interactions are honest and enjoyable. Lastly, the children of the orphanage themselves, I loved reading about them. :)

PS: Do the murders and the mystery surrounding this book sound like those of Jack the ripper? At least to me, it did. I've read about those killings *shudders* and there are elements in this book quite common with the Jack the ripper cases.
********************

WOW! 5 stars, no less. So glad to read another winner from EH. I really really loved this book. In the end, both Lazarus and Temperance stole my heart along with the other characters.

I loved everything about this book. Loved the way h/h communicated, the way they were with each-other. I loved the love scenes, the way Temperance helped Lazarus cope with his difficulties. I didn't care about any of their past(s). Got some answers to some of my questions. I had some suspicions of my own about the murderer so wasn't very surprised to find who that person was. Nevertheless, EH definitely pulled this book through. I was captivated, didn't skip a single scene of the book. Now, I'm really looking forward to the other books in this series.

I loved reading both Temperance and Lazarus's musings about their respective pasts and their feelings for each-other. Sometimes I just wanted to drag Lazarus out of the book, then hug and kiss him. No, his white hair didn't matter (I know some reviews made fun of it, my two cents: get a life!) And, Temperance was great, IMO. Loved the way things went for the orphanage, despite the fire. Also things between Lazarus and his mom was sorted out, I liked the part Temperance played in it. And of course, the last chapter was very agonizing, the scenes of the fire and thereafter ... Oh, I felt tears prickling behind my eyes and for a moment I thought Lazarus will die. It was that thrilling! This book that intense and full of that something which makes Romance a worthwhile read. I knew from the Princes Trilogy that EH can do this so very well, don't know what happened in the Four Soldiers series but this book is a marvelous start to the new Maiden Lane series.

So, questions remain. Who's the Ghost? How/in which circumstances will Mickey and Silence get together again? Who's Mary Darling? (I have some guesses though) Would there be a book about Winter? Who'd be his heroine? (more guesses) What about the mysterious brother Asa? Any book for Lazarus's friend St. John? So very sorry that I forgot to mention him in the secondary character part of my other post. He's such a gentleman and a true friend. Only person Lazarus genuinely cared for until Temperance. St. John's love for his severely ill wife and the ever increasing misery because of that just broke my heart. He's the bookish sort and very sensitive. It was clear throughout the story that he did care for Lazarus in return. I'll be extremely disappointed if he doesn't get his own book. :/

Finally, another EH keeper for me, that's all I can say. :)

PS: The fairy tale (as usual) in this book was titled "King Lockedheart".

Favorite quotes:

“Lazarus had never thought of himself as lovable. Therefore it should come as no shock at all that Temperance did not, in fact, love him. No, not a shock... but it would have been nice had she had some small feeling for him.
Lazarus pondered his own sickening craving as he guided his black gelding through the London morning throng the day after he'd walked out on Temperance. It appeared that his own nascent emotions had provoked a new desire as well: the urge to be loved. How banal. And yet, banal or not, he could not change the way his heart felt.
A corner of his mouth quirked up humorlessly. It seemed he must be like other men after all.”
These lines made me rather sad and I really wanted to hug him tight. :/ 

“I love you," she sobbed, rubbing her hands over his face, his hair, his chest, making sure he was solid and real. "I love you, and I thought you were dead. I couldn't bear it. I thought I would die too."
"I'd walk through fire for you," he rasped, his voice hoarse and broken. "I have walked through fire for you.” 

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I love to read in my spare time and do reviews the books I read. My blog Punya Reviews just turned 6 in 2017 and still going strong. I love music and traveling. Sometimes, I wish I could live inside a book, having my own HEA. :)
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