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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A startling debut !
You will not be able to put this book down. I read it in one sitting and it's definitely a keeper.

This book is a delightful and emotional romance with a few very steamy scenes. It's good to see a lot of people with flaws! No dashing, heart stopping handsome hero or silly virgin in this book. Elizabeth Hoyt is one heck of a storyteller. She's got a very funny,...
Published on 26 Mar 2007 by J. van de Lindt

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good... 3.5 stars
An empoverished widow takes the position of secretary to an Earl, only to discover he awakens passions she'd thought long forgotten. Accidentally discovering he intends to visit an exclusive London brothel in order to slake some of his unspent lust, she decides to take advantage of its unusual services ~ she dons a mask, books a room, and requests that the Earl be sent...
Published on 22 Dec 2006 by T. B.


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A startling debut !, 26 Mar 2007
By 
J. van de Lindt "Romance Reviews" (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
You will not be able to put this book down. I read it in one sitting and it's definitely a keeper.

This book is a delightful and emotional romance with a few very steamy scenes. It's good to see a lot of people with flaws! No dashing, heart stopping handsome hero or silly virgin in this book. Elizabeth Hoyt is one heck of a storyteller. She's got a very funny, chatty tone and the book has some great tense and exciting moments.

If you are looking for a book that is historically correct you must look elsewhere. It's not very likely that something like this would ever have happened. But this book warms every corner of your heart with a well-crafted emotional love story and unforgettable characters.

Every chapter starts with the fairy tale of The Raven Prince. Very clever done.

I can't wait for her next book The Leopard Prince and the only big disappointment was the fact that The Raven Prince is Elizabeth Hoyt's first book and there is no backlist. Lets just hope she writes with the speed of lightning.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a Half Stars, 16 Sep 2008
The Raven Prince follows the developing relationship of Mrs Anna Wren and the Earl of Swartingham (Edward). Anna becomes the Earl's secretary to earn the money her household needs to stay solvent. However, when she learns the Earl intends to visit a brothel in London, she decides to take matters into her own hands and rendezvous with him there as a mystery woman rather than have him satisfy his desires with anyone else.

What makes the story for me, are the characters of Anna and Edward. They come alive on the page and you're completely pulled into their world. They are well-matched, Edward has a formidable temper - no china ornament is safe when he's around - but Anna is more than capable of standing up for herself.

He hesitated. "I wouldn't want to intimidate you, Mrs. Wren."
"You don't."

There's also a thread of humour that runs through the book, moreso in the early part before everything goes wrong, though it also pops its head up again towards the end. Edward is very sharp. And I could quote and quote from their snappy exchanges but I'll leave them for you enjoy when you read the book.

The story is beautifully constructed. I don't want to give anything away, but there are small incidents or things that are mentioned in passing that have greater relevance later in the story. So it's well worth taking the time to savour the story rather than rush through it. The secondary characters are also well written - whether villain or friend.

The love scenes are sensual but it is the relationship between the characters that I love, the little details that have raised this to a keeper for me. I can't say that The Raven Prince has converted me to historicals, but I'll definitely be picking up the rest of Elizabeth Hoyt's backlist.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story. Best so far in trilogy., 18 Nov 2012
Mrs Anne Wren lost her unfaithful husband six years ago. She lives with his mother, 'Mother Wren' in a small cottage. They've found it hard to make ends meet since his death. She meets Edward de Raaf, the Earl of Swarthingham by accident when he and his horse cause her to fall and lose the contents of her basket. She doesn't know who this stranger is, but he's instantly rude to her, blaming her by suggesting she caused the accident. He looks more fearsome with the mud seeping into the scars on his face. He also has a big nose and thin, bloodless lips. (He doesn't resemble the guy on the cover).

She later learns the new earl needs a secretary. Desperate for the money, she takes the job without having met him. But when they come face to face, the earl is instantly drawn to Anne's beauty. She's attracted to him as well, but neither go any further. To settle his lust, he decides to head to Aphrodite's Grotto, a London brothel for the wealthy. Anne learns this, and gets to London first. She has a friend who's a courtesan, who agrees to help her get the earl. Anne wears a mask so the earl won't know it's her. They sleep together twice and soon the earl is torn between this masked courtesan and his secretary. He heads home and decides he needs a wife. He chooses the timid Miss Gerard. Anne learns this and is upset. But he still cannot forget Anne or the courtesan. When he learns the truth, he decides to have Anne. But there are many obstacles before they can be together.

I loved this story. I'd previously read 'The Serpent Prince' and wasn't that impressed with it. But this one was much better; a typical 'Beauty and the Beast' type story. I've got the last one in the series, 'The Leopard Prince,' ready to read. I hope it's good like this one.

4/5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something different!, 6 Mar 2007
By 
H. Wallace (Milton Keynes, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
4.5 stars

Sometimes we as romance readers are looking for something different (though still enough the same that we are still comforted and reassured). THE RAVEN PRINCE provides all this and more. It's sensual and sexy, yet completely touching and full of emotion. This novel is evidence that Hoyt's ability to evoke a meaningful connection with wholly unconventional characters is profound.

The hero Edward de Raaf is not your typical hero, his body scarred from small pox which he suffered during his childhood but with a heart so deep and sex-appeal so... robust, you can't help but fall-in-love. Especially while watching him fall-in-love...

Anna Wren is also not your typical heroine, past the "age of innocence" usually written about in historical romances, she knows what she wants in life and in bed - and that's Edward! Her wisdom and strength of character and... unconventional behaviour (for me anyway!) is so endearing and makes for a wonderful read!

The book is not without its' flaws, things which are standard in romances: misunderstandings that could easily be resolved with talking it through instead of running away. But this is very minor and overall, it's heart-warming and lovely - perfect for a night snuggled up with something hot to drink.

I'm really looking forward to Hoyt's next book THE LEOPARD PRINCE out in April!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good... 3.5 stars, 22 Dec 2006
An empoverished widow takes the position of secretary to an Earl, only to discover he awakens passions she'd thought long forgotten. Accidentally discovering he intends to visit an exclusive London brothel in order to slake some of his unspent lust, she decides to take advantage of its unusual services ~ she dons a mask, books a room, and requests that the Earl be sent only to her arms.

Despite a risque plotline, the character of the writing is, IMHO, more traditional in style. The story races along at a fair old speed, with likeable leads and a diverse, interesting range of characters in the cast. Regrettably, there's a lack of depth to the telling, which leaves this reader feeling somewhat unsatisfied, but overall this is a likeable read. Worth a try.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I got the book based on raving reviews but, 8 Jan 2008
England, 1760.

I meet the hero, Edward at the same time that Anna, the heroine, does. They are involved in an accident in the very first chapter when he nearly runs her over with his horse and is unseated into a puddle of mud. He does not appear to be much of a gentleman, as he does not help her to collect the things he knocked out of her basket. Instead he is rude to her and rides off! He also happens to be ugly. My interest is immediately picked. That is an intriguing opening that offers great potential for an original story.

And the story is original - Anna is a penniless, plain widow who needs to get a job (and not a rich husband as it seems to be the usual goal of penniless heroines) in order to keep herself, her mother in law and a maid in training. Edward is an Earl who is in dire need of a secretary since he appears to be unable to keep one for more than a few months due to his legendary foul temper. So, she starts working for him which is not a problem at all, I am sure women became secretaries all the time in Georgian times.

The cause for Edward's temper is that he has issues: his family died when he was a child due to the smallpox and he is the only one to have survived - he has pox marks all over his body which makes him ugly to everyone including his late wife who died in childbirth cursing his ugliness. But it turns out, Anna doesn't think he is ugly, she finds him attractive. He also finds her attractive but cannot make a move because she is a lady after all. Not only she is a lady, she is also a lady who cannot have children and what Edwards wants more than anything in his life, is to have a family. And this is why he goes to London in order to arrange a marriage with a chit who cannot look directly into his eyes but who says that the marks in his face do not bother her, and he is so desperate he actually believes her. Oh, he also goes to London because he needs to attend to his bodily functions and get rid of his desire for Anna by having sex with a prostitute at this exclusive brothel called Aphrodite' Grotto.

But Anna, the plain, penniless secretary who at this point has major hots for the Earl is a cunning feminist who believes women have the same rights as men to have sex without being called whores by society. What does she do then? She asks a prostitute that by a Deus Ex Machina of a secondary plot lands at her door step to help her get into the brothel so she can pretend to be a prostitute without Edward's ever knowing. What ensue then are two torrid encounters that leaves me, Anna and Edward breathless. Also, who ever knew that a simple mask could be such an effective disguise?

Of course, Edward ends up finding out about the plot, gets really upset (he even cries, thinking that she might have had sex with other men other than him or that she was only attracted to his pox marks) but sees no other option than to ask her to marry him. Which she refuses because she cannot deny him the right to have children. Until they eventually get together and work out their issues and there comes the Happily Ever After which surprise, surprise, involves children.

There are some other silly plots going on at the same time, which I will not dwell into as they did not capture my interest and did not add to the story in my opinion. Come to think of it, I don't think I was really interested in any part of the story at all. What started as an original premise quickly became an unbelievable plot that involved more sex than love. I could not see how, when or why they fell in love with each other. As a matter of fact, it was not even clear to me that they were so attracted to each other or that the sexual tension was powerful enough to make Anna take such a desperate measure as to pretend to be a prostitute. Edward on the other hand, was calling her "my Anna" in a point of the story where they were hardly even friends.

I did not connect to the characters mainly because I didn't see their connection to each other. All I saw was a horny secretary and a lonely Earl.

I started out very excited about this book, having read nothing but raving reviews everywhere but must say I ended up sorely disappointed. I will give the author another try with The Leopard Prince though.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of her best in my opinion, 5 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this book and was very taken with the hero - his moments of utter confusion are charming. It was also a pleasant change to find a Hoyt book that didn't contain a Ghost of St Giles - which, after reading 4 of, I found tediously similar.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Trilogy, 22 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
I do like Elizabeth Hoyt's stories, this one is part of a trilogy and each one can be read on its own as a complete story. Spent a few hours reading all three and thoroughly enjoyed it, she is a very good storyteller.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 8 Jun 2013
Loved this historical romance between the scarred, grumpy Lord Swartingham and kind, witty widow Anna Wren. Their love was slow building based on humour and mutual respect and of course attraction. The Lord was heavily scarred but Anna saw past his ugliness to the protective man behind. I loved the twist and then the following fall out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars - a good read but nothing groundbreaking., 17 Jan 2012
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Most of the stars I've given are just for the writing. I've never read a Hoyt book before but she is a great writer and I appreciate that since the market seems to be flooded with historical romances - the majority of which are just basic in terms of plot/dialogue/writing style. The pros are it's a good read, it has the happily ever after and the hero was appealing being the brooding alpha type. I wish the characters had been more developed, that is one of the major let-downs. There is a point in the book where things simply turn/happen and more insight into the characters thoughts would have really helped. There are also some plot devices and characters that are just ott and way too convenient and this took a lot away from the story and took it from really good to just good/passable. Also, at the start of each chapter Hoyt starts with a passages from a made-up story 'The Raven Prince' which started to grate on me. Overall, I would recommend this as an easy read. It does what it says on the can and I have read far better romances but it was still enjoyable.
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