Summary: There comes a time in a woman’s life when she must do the unthinkable – and find employment. For the widowed Anna Wren, that means taking a job as female secretary for the Earl of Swartingham. Secretaries are always male – never female – as Anna well knows but the real downfall of her career is the realization that she is falling in love with Edward de Raaf – the Earl. But when she realizes that he is going to visit a brothel in London to take care of his ‘manly’ desires, Anna sees red – and decides to take advantage of the opportunity to also take care of her ‘womanly’ desires – with the Earl as her unknowing lover. But the Earl has another reason for going to London. He is formalising his betrothal and trying (with little success) to forget about a secretary that has no right being female. Unhandsome, he knows that no woman wants him. Except for the mysterious lady with whom he spent two unforgettable nights at Aphrodite’s Grotto, the most scandalous brothel in London. But when Anna’s plan is revealed, a bit of blackmail is thrown into the mix, a proposal is rejected and even the Earl himself will be unprepared for the intrigues that ensnare them.
Heroine: Anna is definitely gutsy and I praise her for that. I couldn’t really relate to her character though.
Hero: I didn’t really find anything charming about the Earl of Swartingham, which was a complete bummer.
Supporting Cast: Edward’s silly valet Davis was a fun character to read. I also loved the dynamics between Anna and her mother-in-law Mother Wren.
Plot: I think it’s a bit of a problem when I find the snippets of a fairy tale at the introduction to every chapter to be more interesting than the actual plot. I just wasn’t into the different circumstances that brought Edward and Anna together. There were some parts of the novel, such as the dialogue, that didn’t quite seem historically accurate, which bothered me.
Romance: Well there’s no doubting that Elizabeth Hoyt has written at least three of the steamiest scenes that I’ve ever read so far in a romance novel. It was such a shame that I couldn’t get myself to like Edward de Raaf. I just really didn’t feel the chemistry between Anna and Edward which made the steamy scenes lacking.
Love Potion Strength:
I’ll definitely read more of Hoyt’s work (probably not in this series), but the combination of the unexciting hero and the disappointing plot just wasn’t to my liking.