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Customer Review

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent follow on from first, with good development for the next..., 26 Mar. 2011
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This review is from: Notorious Pleasures: Number 2 in series (Maiden Lane) (Kindle Edition)
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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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Jul 2015 21:42:42 BDT
Hero was certainly used in Shakespeare's time - see Much Ado About Nothing and Georgette Heyer used it as her heroine's name in Friday's Child, Hero Wantage - so if it's good enough for Miss Heyer.... And there is evidence that Griffin was used in the 1800s as a Christian name - but it was unusual.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2015 09:23:16 BDT
DebB says:
I'd forgotten about Hero Wantage - but Jane Austen is full of Janes and Susans and Annes... nary a Hero or a Griffin. I think authors use 'different' names just because they can, or maybe they've always fancied a particular name. When I was about 8 I longed to be called Amber, and I've always loved the name Cass, so if I were to write a novel I'd probably slip one or both of those in!

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jul 2015 11:04:05 BDT
I totally agree. Sometimes the fancy names are so out of place they get in the way of the narrative. It's a real skill to get a name that fits the character and the times. However, on the other side of the argument, we have some exceptionally peculiar names in our family dating right back to Medieval times - and apart from on our family tree I've never seen them anywhere else. I longed to be called Tallulah after the feisty Miss Bankhead but got Caroline instead - I am so not a Caroline!
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DebB
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Location: Oxfordshire, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 2,168