Ever since my Elizabeth Hoyt obsession began this past summer I have been anxiously anticipating this book. Mickey’s character is one of my favorite types of heroes and I loved his pairing with Silence. From the moment I learned of it, I was reminded of the Derek Craven-Sara Fielding matchup in Lisa Kleypas’ Dreaming of You, which is one of my favorite HRs.
Our Hero. Mickey is so lovable and definitely one of my favorite heroes. I think it’s sometimes difficult to have villain-turned-hero characters, because the transformation needs to feel authentic. I think Hoyt definitely succeeded with that, because by the end Mickey is still Mickey—maybe a little more domesticated and more than a little changed, but it’s the same person, only with a new side to him. I loved his cant and was glad that Hoyt kept that throughout the book. Made for some fantastic lines.
Our Heroine. I didn’t have much of a feel for Silence before, though I did like her from what I’d seen of her first encounter with Mickey. She’s a very engaging heroine and I enjoyed watching her also come into her own, standing up for herself and not taking his shit. Her character is calm and soft, setup to perfectly juxtapose Mickey’s rough edges. In some of the events towards the end I feel like she bowed to pressure or didn’t push enough, whereas she had been very firm and ready to put herself out there before. But all in all she was good and a great fit for Mickey/Michael—and she totally kicks ass at the end when she _____!
Everything Else. I loved how Mickey slowly warms to Mary Darling and ends up becoming so attached to her. I didn’t like how she kind of disappeared in the last third/quarter of the book and didn’t have as much of a presence or personality as she did earlier in the book. The underlying “mystery” plot was a good one and ended up being the the main story-driver and relationship obstacle.
The standard guy-can’t-admit-he’s-in-love-and-realize-what-he-really-wants was employed. I find that ploy very tiring, because it’s so often used—I mean, we get it, guys are commitment phobes, next! I wasn’t as annoyed here because Mickey is by no means ignoring or denying the depths of his feeling and given his history and experiences, it (for once) is perfectly logical.
The Difficulty of Meeting High Expectations. One of the things I was worried about was how excited I was about the book – would it be able to live up to expectations? When I saw everyone’s rave reviews for it, it made me all the more nervous. Because of the buildup this time around which led to some unavoidable disappointment—it always does in cases like these—I think I’ll probably love it more the second time around.
While I normally will read an HR in one sitting unless the house is on fire—and really need me because they’re not able to put it out themselves—I actually put this book down two or three times. However, I do think this mostly has to do with the extreme anticipation and inevitable result.
Bottom Line. So bottom line: a great read. I loved the characters. I loved the plot. I loved the writing—great dialogue, especially on Mickey’s parts; I adored some of his lines! I loved the sexual tension—though Scandalous Desires was on the lighter end of Hoyt’s books in terms of frequency and explicitness. Read it!
P.S. We find out in the epilogue who the Ghost of St. Giles is and there is a little teaser at the end for the next book. I wasn’t surprised and the heroine is obvious from this book; I was a little surprised by the kind of pairing Hoyt decided to do, but still very excited to read it!
Two of My Favorite Quotes:
Her room was smaller than his, but somehow the air seemed fresher, less close. He could hear the sound of the child’s heavy breathing in sleep and softer, slower, the woman’s. He went to stand next to the bed and even though the room was unlit, he could make out, faintly, her slight form beneath the covers. The sight somehow calmed his soul. She lay in his bed, in his house, and no matter what bargain she thought she’d made with him, he knew the truth.
He had no plans to let her go—ever.
Around and around his finger slid, until she sighed restlessly and moaned his name—Michael—the only one who called him so.
But he allowed it, for she was a fair prize, this soft-hearted woman. And if she were his woman, well then, he supposed in a way he must be her man.
If you liked this book, you might also enjoy (similar character types and/or plot setups) …
Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
One Night Is Never Enough by Anne Mallory
In Total Surrender by Anne Mallory
The Proposition by Judith Ivory
Surrender to the Devil by Lorraine Heath
Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas
The Least Likely Bride by Jane Feather
Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman by Lorraine Heath