Summary: Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies within a woman’s heart?
“Charming” Mickey O’Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London’s criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. Yet he’s never been able to forget the naive captain’s wife who came to him a year ago for help—and spent one memorable night in his bed…talking.
Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind–and a year ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back…and he’s asking for her help.
Heroine: Silence had always been fun to read about in the first two Maiden Lane books so I was really excited to read about her story. Nothing really sets her apart from other romance heroines except for the fact that she is quite opinionated. Not to mention the fact that Silence is an extreme do-gooder. Everything she does is basically because she thinks it is the right thing to do. She’s not exactly a feisty heroine who goes out of her way to get what she wants.
Hero: Charming Mickey is not your typical pirate. Mostly because he works on land. Bummer for me, because I prefer my pirates on water. Take the water away from the pirate and the image is incomplete – well, at least in my opinion. Charming Mickey also happens to have a very strong Irish brogue, but I didn’t find it charming at all. Don’t get me wrong – I like an accent every once in a while (hello, Jamie Fraser!) but on Charming Mickey, I just found it quite irritating. It was one of the main reasons why I just couldn’t get myself to think of him as a hunky hero.
Supporting Cast: In the previous books of the Maiden Lane series, I quite enjoyed the interaction of everyone who played a part in the orphanage. SCANDALOUS DESIRES by Elizabeth Hoyt is quite different from the first two because the main setting is Charming Mickey’s palace. The supporting cast is made up more of his lackeys such as Harry, Bert, and Fionnula. I liked what they brought to the story; the way they interacted with Mickey allows readers some more insight about his character.
Plot: You know, Silence’s story was quite intriguing in the first two Maiden Lane books… up until she got her own. SCANDALOUS DESIRES jumped right into the story with Silence in Charming Mickey’s palace demanding back Mary Darling. Even for someone who had read the previous novels, I had to stop and think about exactly what had happened before. The premise could be a bit confusing for readers who had not read the first two Maiden Lane books.
The main conflict in SCANDALOUS DESIRES by Elizabeth Hoyt is a fued between Charming Mickey and the Vicar of Whitechapel. Basically, the Vicar is evil and because of past beef with Mickey, Silence and Mary Darling are in danger. There really aren’t intense scenes between the Vicar and Mickey. When the two are in the same scene, all they really do is exchange words so the tension is lost. However, one thing that Elizabeth Hoyt is able to do successfully throughout the whole Maiden Lane series is keep readers on the lookout for the next book. Once the conflict in SCANDALOUS DESIRES by Elizabeth Hoyt had been resolved, Hoyt skillfully weaves an introduction to the conflict of the next book in the series.
Romance: Because of the fact that I was really not a fan of Charming Mickey, I just didn’t feel the chemistry between Mickey and Silence. And without chemistry in a romance novel… well, that just saps the enjoyment of reading one. On the other hand, Hoyt continues to prove that she can damn well write a sexy scene.
Love Potion Strength:
SCANDALOUS DESIRES was by far not my favorite Elizabeth Hoyt book, but it doesn’t mean that I am forever turned off to reading her novels. I still think of her as one of my favorite authors in the genre, but I can’t possibly love everything that she writes. I will continue with the Maiden Lane series, especially with the way the SCANDALOUS DESIRES had ended.