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4.4 out of 5 stars19
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 26 March 2011
I enjoyed this, even if I did have to smother the realist at the back of my head that kept muttering away about levels of syphilis among 18th century whores and their customers. However - the realist battered into submission - I liked that this was set away from the standard Regency period, and thought the gin-soaked awfulness of life for so many (poor) people, and the lawlessness of early 18th century London was well presented - there are ball rooms and fancy houses as well - this isn't all grim reality!
This book centres around a peripheral character from Book 1 (Wicked Intentions), but unlike Book 1's "ordinary" leading lady, Lady Hero is sister to a Duke no less, and stuffed to the gills with convention and duty. She is well advanced along her correct and proper path of loveless marriage and producing heirs when she meets her fiance's brother - the said-to-be wicked and scandalous Griffin (were people really called Hero and Griffin in 18th century England?).
There are sex scenes here, maybe a few too many, but there is a nice earthy realism about Ms Hoyt's bedroom (coach, library...) scenes that lifted these from the standard he did this, she clings, she comes, he comes norm of this genre - our virginal heroine worries about smell, and my inner realist was soothed by one of the secondary characters stating "... if I'm lucky, my husband won't have half a dozen mistresses and give me the pox..."
The denouement was daft really (oops, my inner realist is recovering!) but what the heck - these books are meant to be escapist fun, and the skill in the field is putting in enough reality to make these books interesting, but departing enough to ensure happy endings. Some fail and leave me annoyed that I bothered to read to the end, or worse, giving up half way through. No danger of that with this, it pulled me along at a fair old lick, I was interested in the secondary characters, found the depiction of male friendship beautifully done, as was the very clear tension between duty and heart. Will probably read fine as a stand alone, but much will become clear if you read Book 1 first.
Good set up for Book 3, Scandalous Desires, out in Nov 2011.
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on 24 February 2011
After having read Wicked Intentions, which was the first book in the 'Maiden Lane' series and absolutely loving it, I really looked forward to reading this 2nd book. I also thought that the story of Hero and Griffin was excellent and the fact that the heroes of the books are less than perfect make them interesting to know. I like the ability to see the progression of the other cast of Maiden Lane characters that are appearing in the books especially Silence who will be coming in the next book. I do feel that I can touch the emotions that both books convey in their main characters and that is a great recommendation for any book I read. You won't be disappointed with these!!
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Set late in the year 1737, London, England. Lady Hero Batten is the lovely sister of the Duke of Wakefield. She has recently become the fiancé of Thomas Remmington, the Marquess of Mandeville. Wakefield and Mandeville are friends, as well as parliamentary alliances, who are actively fighting against the scourge of gin drinking among the poor of London. Many babies become orphans due to gin; therefore, Hero is a patroness of the Home for Unfortunate Infants & Foundling Children. Hero does not love Mandeville, but does like him and is content. But then she meets his notorious brother.

Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, enjoys his rakish ways. His brother never had a head for business, so when their father died ten years ago, Griffin took over the financial dealing for the family. Mandeville knows that their late father left then penniless; however, he has no idea that Griffin saved them from financial ruin by becoming the biggest gin distiller in St. Giles. Though the family no longer has serious debts, Griffin feels he cannot give up the still until his family funds are stable. Things would be a lot easier if his nasty gin competitor would quit attacking his distillery and/or killing the employees.

Hero takes an instant dislike to Griffin. Due to the way she first met him, Hero calls him Lord Shameless. Griffin believes Hero is too serious and calls her Lady Perfect. Yet their battle of wills quickly sparks into the flames of desire.

**** FOUR STARS! Never satisfied to give her readers a simple story, author Elizabeth Hoyt keeps a variety of subplots running in the background. For example, each chapter begins with a short paragraph about Queen Ravenhair. By the end of this book, readers have also completed reading a brief fairy tale of Queen Ravenhair's search for a worthy king. Mixed in with the story of Hero and Griffin are sections about Silence Hollingbrook, the manageress of the foundling home. There is a teaser chapter in the back of the novel giving a glimpse of Silence's upcoming story, "Scandalous Desires". (No ISBN at the time of this review. Release date is currently set for November 2011.) If that is not enough, the Ghost of St. Giles makes an appearance once or twice. Yet none of these subplots detract from the story of Hero and Griffin. Hoyt manages to weave the subplots, not the fairy tale though, into Hero's life.

Filled with engaging and well developed characters, sizzling romance, and some suspense filled danger, I had a hard time putting this gem down. The writing style of Elizabeth Hoyt flows smoother than silk against skin and is just as seductive. ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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on 19 February 2015
This is book 2 in the Maiden Lane series. I have read other books in that series and enjoyed them, but not this one. It missed the mark for me. I found the opening scene distasteful, and I felt the protagonists Hero and Griffin confused lust with love. For me, there was not enough romance. In later books of this series, Elizabeth Hoyt does the romance/sexual tension build-up better. I particularly enjoyed Scandalous Desires, Thief of Shadows and The Duke of Midnight.

I am reading this series out of order. I still have not read book 1. Book 2 gave some background to characters who will appear in later novels and I enjoyed learning a little of their back-stories. I don’t think it matters if you read the books in order, but do it if you can. In my opinion, however, the better books are 3, 4 & 6 (although reviewers I admire dislike these – just goes to show how personal our love of romance novels is!).
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on 4 September 2012
enjoyed sex scenes did not like hair descriptions sounded too hairy to me did not like all kisses had a "DAMN YOU" before !!!!it's fine and sexy but when it happens in all the scenes and from different guys it seems unreal and fake!!!! did not like the fact that we were continuously told she was perfect and she was nothing but which again would of been ok if there was just some description of her shyness or guilt she absolutely showed no signs of her upbringing she acted more as if it was sth she would have done with little thought just did not connect????????too the use of crude words by the hero were f.... and c.... again could of been exciting if it wasn't over used and by others in the story no originality plus was my first download that crashed and i returned it without even completing it!i did not hate the sex scenes though so 3 stars
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on 24 June 2016
Second in the Maiden Lane series, this one takes secondary character from the first and adds three more who are important to the tale and places the earlier players in secondary status. Except for a Makepiece sister whose story meanders in and out of this one. And we have come to note that there is a few paragraphs of a morality tale at the beginning of each chapter. We also learn more about gin distilling and the economic problems of the time than we thought we wanted to know. Well crafted.
Ashford McNab does well enough as narrator.
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on 3 October 2012
This is an era of British history that does not at first appearance seem suited to romance novels - slums, gin and orphans. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed each book from the series as they manage to combine gritty history with true romance (with some saucy moments thrown in).

This story is my favourite as there is a true conflict to overcome with repercussions. All too often in romance novels, the problems seemed contrived and easily solved, this wasn't the case with this story, the characters had true problems to overcome.

My only quibble with Elizabeth Hoyt (and with most romance writers) is the Americanisms - at no period in time and especially not in 1870, did the British refer to Autumn as 'fall'. Fall is a preposition, not a season!

Otherwise this book, along with the rest of the series, is excellent and well worth a read!
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on 26 January 2014
Thoroughly enjoyed this whole series. Couldn't wait to read this, book number 2. The whole series is connected by character, although each book does stand alone and tells its own story. I bought them all at once and read them one after the other - great. Typical historical romance escapism - highly unlikely in reality (I should think) but great entertainment! I believe there is another book in the pipeline for this series and I will be buying it when it is available.
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on 15 February 2015
A typical book from the genre - one of a saga. I bought five books from the series and then lost interest - they began to feel just a bit repetitive and the characters began to blur. Elizabeth Hoyt has good ideas and writes well and her books generally entertain for the couple of days that it takes me to read them.
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on 10 May 2012
Loved this book beautifully written the characters get under your skin and you love them, the Maiden Lane series books are fantastic you can't go wrong.
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