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Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt

Friday, October 28, 2011

Scandalous Desires
Maiden Lane #3

Elizabeth Hoyt
Historical Romance
Published in 2011

H/h - Michael OConnor/Silence Hollingbrook
Setting: St. Giles, London, 1738.

Read in Oct, 2011.
My rating:

                                                                 [spoiler alert]

Finally, after 7 months of waiting I get to read the most anticipated release for me of this year. So, did I find everything I was hoping for? The answer is, yes, I did... almost. The story was fantastic, the writing excellent. Mickey was absolutely mind blowing, heart warming, hawt and sweet. Silence was adorable, the kind of heroine I want in my Romance, no wishy-washy whiner! I loved ALL the love scene of this book. Even then, there were things I thought weren’t mentioned or discussed well in the end. Many may find Mickey’s transformation kinda over-the-top but for me, it was perfect. I mean this is why I read a romance because I want my pirate to be wicked(-ly sexy) and remain so with me; be insane about me, love and worship me. Mickey did all that and more for Silence. It was incredible, because when Silence understood him (thanks to Mickey that he wasn’t being obtuse at that point) and returned it too. I loved that EH didn’t make Mickey out to be something he wasn’t and his yearning to hold one shaft of goodness in his life, Silence (and Mary Darling), no matter the cost, was just delicious to read.

The backstory has been building from book #1. We heard of Mickey in Wicked Intentions. In book #2, Notorious Pleasures, things develop to a new level between him and Silence. If you haven’t read it: Silence was married to an older guy and thought her marriage was perfect, she wanted to be in love and thought her husband returns her feelings. Her husband William, being a captain of a ship would go away for long times so they really didn’t have a steady marriage in that sense. We knew Charming Mickey, the river pirate, is the most notorious criminal of St. Giles. He is very eager to get his tithe (read: stealing) from every ship that touches his area near Thames and that area is almost all of it I think. He’s not only a pirate and a thief but also has a scandalous reputation regarding the whores and stuff. He’s called charming because of his sinfully handsome good looks; tall, muscular, dark hair and eyes, with a beautiful face, so managing/getting women aren’t a problem to him, ever. Silence, like many others, has heard his name. We also know that her elder sister, Temperance, with her brother Winter, used to run an orphanage. There were incidents, with Temperance falling in love with Lazarus, Lord Caire and marrying him (book #1), Winter took care of the orphanage and Silence would help out whenever she could. Their oldest sister Verity and Brother Concord is married and live apart. The next, Asa comes and goes as he wishes, not wanting to be a part of it. Then, there was a fire, a Lady’s beneficiary society with Lazarus’s mother and Lady Hero (heroine, book #2) and their friends were taking care of the building of the new orphanage. In book #2, Silence’s husband returns and she was very happy to have him with her. Mickey goes on a raid in his ship and the guy was accused of thievery and so on. He’s depressed. Silence instantly starts hating Mickey but would save her husband no matter what, so she braves it and faces Mickey in his lair aka his gaudy palace. The description of it, I disliked it immediately. I felt the same towards Mickey, he was so in vain (kinda reminds me of Adam Black here lolz)! She is attracted to him on spot (so was Mickey) and the air was fairly crackling whenever these two got together. Then Mickey, being the selfish a$$ he is, comes forward with a bargain, which is to spend one night with him, in return he’ll give back the things he’s taken. Silence agrees to save William but what took her by surprise (and me) was Mickey never did have sex with her as she originally expected. In this book you get to learn, in details, what actually happened that night. Mickey was planning a trap for her, somehow he’d deemed that Silence is his and like or dislike (he still doesn’t think he can actually ‘love’), he doesn’t let go of anything that he deems is his! The next day, as Mickey asked, Silence goes out disheveled, in front of the onlookers in the street and her reputation is in ruins. No one believes that nothing happened; not her husband, neither her siblings (but here, I learned Winter believed her, albeit a little late), let alone other people. Silence now hates Mickey, mostly because her ‘perfect’ marriage is ruined by this. William goes away and dies when the ship goes down after a few months (I thought good riddance and glad there wasn’t a plot here to bring him back!). Sometimes later, one day, she finds a newborn at her doorstep. Nothing unusual for an orphanage but for some reasons (maybe she suspected that it’s got something to do with Mickey), she makes the baby special to herself, naming her Mary Darling. She, once or twice, saw Mickey in the crowds whenever she was out with Mary. But, she thought she was imagining things. Then there were gifts that start coming for the baby. One day, one gift, a silky mane of black hair proved what Silence’s been suspecting for sometimes now.

In this story, one day, Silence comes to the orphanage to find Mary gone. Since William’s death, she’s living here and helping out Winter. They’re still awaiting the new building, which, in the middle we find, is almost done. She knows who took Mary and goes there. She marches right into Mickey’s gaudy palace and confronts him. I LOVED this scene. Mickey, again puts forth a bargain; there’s trouble brewing with an old enemy of his, he needs to take care of what’s ‘his’ (namely, Mary... and Silence, if his plans go well). He doesn’t acknowledge or deny Mary as his (but one look at Mary and her attitudes would leave no question in anyone’s mind), saying her mother was a whore whom he kept for sometimes, so there’s every chance Mary isn’t his but he’ll take care of her now that he’s claimed her as his. Silence very reluctantly agrees, only for the baby. You could see how close she’s with Mary, the girl knows her as her mother, calling her ‘mamoo’ all the time. So, I wasn’t very disappointed that she chose to be with Mickey, even though it might bring bad reputation for the orphanage and its finance.

Mickey was f*cking happy to see his trap right in place, again. He’s a scoundrel for naught, a selfish bastard at that. And, inwardly, he wants this widow to be his treasure of all treasures. He wants her here and it was convenient, the trouble with his enemy to get her in his palace. He also knew bringing Mary here would help. Then we get an up close look on his lifestyle; very opulent and unabashedly gaudy. He flashes himself in tight breeches and open neck shirts that enhance his manly body, wearing bejeweled rings in every finger. He loves sweets, always eating them, having a boy holding a tray full. He eats like a king, with all his pirates with him, even his whores as the current ones live there. He loves more and more of everything, like a monarch as he does in his bedroom, sometimes taking 2/3 women at the same time. This little information kinda had my stomach in knots. I’m glad there weren’t any details but was enough to know it wasn’t just another bawdy gossip about his prowess. But, in his mind, he’s always haunted by a pair of beautiful blue-grey-hazel eyed woman with brown hair. At present, he sets a room for Silence and Mary. He appoints a babysitter, Fionnula to help Silence. Mickey is half-Irish so a lot of his workers are Irish in origin. One was Bran, a young man who’s his right hand and Fionnula’s love (lover too I guess). I didn’t like that Mickey’s whores were still in residence when he made Silence stay. I know it’s illogical, he wasn’t any monk... still, I wanted to slap his face. When he asks Silence to eat with him in his dining room (and she refuses), those women were in there too. But he soon gets rid of them, his mind always focused on Silence.

Lord but Silence kept defying him in the most fun way possible. It wasn’t only the dinner but many other things. Not that she was kept hungry, Fionnula along with Mickey’s most trusted men Harry and Bert, who were ordered to look after her and Mary, would bring food for her. It was not a chore to like Silence. She was utterly adorable and admirable. Mickey knew of his employees’ doings of course but he never said a thing. Then there was the dog, Lad, every freakin’ scene with him and Mickey or Mary or Silence was hilarious and so heart tugging! Lad was absolutely adoring towards Mickey (as Harry said “the dog has wonderful affection” for him hahaha) and whoever shows a little love to him. Mickey actually loved the dog but showed it in his way (being grumpy and foul mouthing because it always ruins his bed). I loved the way Mary took to him and Silence gave him a bath, Mickey kept saying he stinks of “roses and whorehouses”. I mean EH writes some of the most beautiful scenes and it was proved again and again in this story. Not only that, I think I’ve quoted so many ‘quotes’ in GR, can’t tell you. Hell, I could quote the whole book, there were so many beautiful lines or scenes in every other page! I always love EH’s secondary characters, here there was no exception. Loved Harry and his ‘ugly mug’ (I know I shouldn’t but there was a line, I was laughing hard reading that) and the ever irritable Bert along with Fionnula, even Bran. I loved all of their banters but I adored the way Mickey and Silence wage a silent (and sometimes vocal) war; the most delicious war ever, if I might say so. So, in her defiance she once was going out with Mary, who was becoming bored. Mickey actually grabbed and threw Silence on his shoulder and... God, you just have to read the scene, it was so crackling with sexual tension. Silence was also trying to find something to put a chink in his armor, saying to herself that it’s for Mary but of course, it wasn’t solely for Mary. I loved that she’d always remind Mickey that Mary is his daughter because Mickey, outwardly, showed he doesn’t care at all. I knew the mighty would fall harder than he’d ever imagined and he did, with me enjoying every minute of it! I also loved every scene with Mary and Mickey, they were two sides of the same coin. Mary was as stubborn as Micky, always crying ‘bad!’ whenever he was near. It did made him think a little about his relationship with his daughter when Silence lectures him as to how he can improve it, only if he tries.

They got inside each-other’s skin without even knowing it. It was gradual, not in your face-type, even though I wanted them to forget everything and jump into bed. There are books, once or twice come along, where I want the H/h to have sex all over, I love their chemistry so much. This book was one of those. Soon, Mickey realizes, if he wants Silence to open up, he needs to open up himself, even if a bit and I so appreciated his thought. Not so selfish and obtuse, was he? And he does after some times. But suddenly, Mary becomes ill and Mickey goes nuts over it. He does everything for her and with Silence’s constant care, Mary recovers. Here there was a scene, as Silence was in a dead sleep from exhaustion and Mickey found Mary just woke up. He finally takes her in his arms and sings to her. It was SO beautiful. Can’t you tell, I go weak when I see a big, strong, handsome man singing lullabies to a baby while cradling it? Silence was a goner (just like me) as she woke up to observe it. After that, when Mary falls asleep, they talk. I won’t discuss the scene thereafter, when Silence understands Mickey’s desperate need for her; only let me tell you, it burned the pages off my book! *fans herself*

After this, their relationship improves a lot. Mickey ‘requests’ Silence, this time, to dine with him and she accepts without any qualm. She was also opening up, knowing this man isn’t at all what the rumors say; there’s so much more under that façade! I loved the scene where Mickey peels an artichoke for Silence. It was beautiful, with all the innuendoes (or was it Silence and my mind playing tricks? :p). Then, there were kisses, once or twice. More Lad, Mary and the others. A very funny scene leading to the backyard with all of them (Mickey was trying to make a bored Mary happy, soooo sweet). I loved the scene afterwards, when Silence and Mickey talked there. When William’s topic came up, Silence slapped Mickey because his reasoning of her marriage being not-so-perfect was damning and she couldn’t take in the disillusionment. What took my breath away was Mickey taking the same palm and kissing it softly. His words to Silence were always so poetic and beautiful, more so with his cockney mixed with Irish cant (aside the sexy dirty talk and f-words with his crews, phew!), you’ll wonder if he really is what he lets others see. Soon, they talk more about Mickey’s past life and the awful childhood he had. About his deadly enmity to the Vicar (appeared in book #2) and his real relationship with the man. It was so utterly horrible and unbelievable for me, considering the relationship, what the man did to Mickey’s mother and then, wanted to do to him. Mickey also tells Silence his real name is, of course, Michael and soon, she starts calling him that. There was an inherent sweetness inside Mickey, long buried but not dead. The young boy loved his mother. The older man mourns the loss of this relationship (and her death now) because the woman was SO in the Vicar’s grip, so loyal to him (even after the nasty things he did to her and made her do)... Lord, I didn’t really know what to think, except feeling a profound sadness for the lost boy and this grown man. He was the one who burned the Vicar’s face with vitriol and ran away at 13. After that, it’s how he became what he is today. I loved that he battled the cruelties of life with this insatiable urge to make a way for himself, no matter how morally questionable that way was.

One day, Mickey takes Silence to an opera, as Silence learns Mickey appreciates music just as any connoisseur. While she was getting ready, wearing a dress Mickey bought for her (the scene where he gave it her was very heart tugging). It was then when Fionnula brings up the information about his previous women. Silence was utterly shocked as well as fascinated. I wish that afterwards, she asked Mickey about it. I wanted to see his face and how would he explain things to her. This bit was that important to me and I thought should’ve been for their relationship, too. Anyway, after having a wonderful time in opera, they return to the palace, only to find it under attack. In between, we read about the mentally unstable Vicar and his ‘plans’ for Mickey and his lasses. Fionnula was killed with vitriol by the Vicar’s men. It was so horrifying to read that every time when her name came up after that, I simply cried. We also saw that Asa, Concord and Winter were planning a rescue for Silence. Winter already tried once but Silence didn’t go with him. In the chaos, they are there, with Lazarus, to rescue Silence and Mary. Knowing that he’s lost the safety of the palace, Mickey asks her to go with them. Silence does that, knowing Mickey would come for them soon. Then Mickey goes to sort out this mess, in the process, finds a suspect, a betrayer among his men. Silence keeps waiting for sometimes and gets frustrated as the days pass by. Mickey plans to go away to a countryside manor he’s bought, where his identity is a secret to the people. Then he sneaks into Lazarus’s country estate where Silence was at that moment and asks her to come away with him.

The scenes in the Windward Manor were great. Loved them. Mickey was getting closer to Mary as well, his affection very apparent. I wish there were more scenes between the father and the daughter. Silence wasn’t still sure what to think of their relationship but she knew she’s already in love with him. Mickey tells him more about his life and Silence knew she’ll give into this, for there’s no return. And those love scenes were well worth the wait. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! I loved them SO much. Mickey proved his prowess and more and I don’t mean it with ‘choreography’ but with his intensity and reverence for Silence (and her returning it). Then Harry pays a visit with the suspect. Mickey is very sad yet angry at the man. Even then, he doesn’t kill him and plans something else for him. That night, he plans to go away to finalize his ‘dealings’ with the Vicar. The suspect, who was now in full remorse, informed him that Silence and Mary are in grave danger. As they make love, Silence tells him ILU but Mickey doesn’t know how to return it and bungles by asking her to stay as his mistress. Don’t get me wrong, I knew he’d treat her more than a mare mistress, I knew how he felt about her already but he just didn’t know how to talk about such intense emotions, they were so foreign to him. Then he won’t give up pirating as Silence asked him again and again because it made him feel helpless, powerless. I understood his dilemma since this is the only life he’d always known. So he makes crazy love, the only way he can express and hoped that she’d understand. But Silence won’t have it, she wants all of HIM which is why I couldn’t blame her for what she did next. Then came one surprise after another. The Vicar sets the ultimate trap, which led to some heart stopping moments for me but also some great actions and a few really beautiful ones with Silence and Mickey. You MUST read it to find out. Silence did kick butt, take my word for it.

I wish the epilogue was more about these two. MORE Mickey would’ve been my kind of ending but it was mostly about the setting of the next book. There were scenes in this book with the orphanage and Winter that gave us some hint at his heroine and the links with which they’d come together. The teaser chapter led us to believe that Thief of Shadows will have some definitive discoveries though it didn’t come as a surprise to me. I suspected it a longtime ago. What disappointed me was Winter’s heroine. I think it should’ve been Miss Greaves, Lady Penelope’s companion and not the worldly aristocratic widow who is waaaaay older than him (pretty sure 6/7 yrs). But I have to hold my opinions till I read that and see how things go. July seems so far away at the moment, ugh!

A very gorgeous 5 star, just like Mickey himself because me ‘heart’ him! I’m still having trouble imagining a face for him, does he have to be so gorgeous? *stares off into the space dreamily*

PS: The fairytale used in this book has been already been published as a free ebook, it’s titled “Clever John”. Check out my review for more information. :)

Favorite Quotes:

“Ye know as well as I that I lost whatever heart I once had long ago,” Mick replied without emotion, a simple statement of fact. “If the babe lives, or if she dies, it makes no difference to me. I’ll still eat sweetmeats on the morrow and taste the sugar on me tongue, still f*ck women and feel the pleasure in me bollocks. And, Charlie—mark me well, now—I’ll still kill ye and laugh in yer ugly face as I do it.”

“Goggie!” she exclaimed, holding both hands out urgently to Lad, who’d been dozing by the fire.

“By all means,” Michael replied amicably, as if he and Mary were having a conversation. “Let’s bring the mutt with us, as well. He’s almost presentable now that he stinks o’ roses.”

At her gesture Michael cursed and caught her hand, falling suddenly atop her.

She stared up at him wondering what bedchamber faux pas she’d committed.

He groaned at her look. “I’ll let ye pet and play all ye want—after. Now I need”—he pushed her chemise to her waist, parted her thighs, and settled between them—“to be inside ye.” 

“He grinned, though his face was strained. “That’s it, love. Use me to make yerself feel good.”

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.

She slumped against him, the scent of their passion musky in the night air.

“Sleep,” he murmured to her, and held her against himself, his c*ck still buried deep.

She was caught and he had no intention of ever letting her go.

He grunted and stirred, withdrawing from her. She only had a moment to be disappointed and then he flipped her to her back and rose over her, powerful and male. He casually parted her legs with his knees and thrust into her again, hot and hard.

She gasped at the swift invasion, the lovely feeling, and then his face was next to hers, his big palms cradling her cheeks.

“What I want,” he drawled, “is ye. Nothin’ else.” 

“Why?” he whispered as he leaned over her, supported on one arm. “Why must ye be the one that haunts me dreams? I’ve seen ye weepin’ night after bloody night since the day I sent ye from me palace with yer dress half undone. If I had it to do over again, I’d cut me own right hand off rather than hurt ye so. Will ye never be able to forgive me, Silence love?”

“I already have,” she replied, cradling his cheek in her hand. “Long, long ago.”

 “Will ye be wantin’ this now, madam?”

“Yes, please,” she whispered. She wanted to engrave the sight of him thus, about to make love to her, in her mind.

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Punya
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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