A man controlled by his desires…
Infamous for his wild, sensual needs, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is searching for a savage killer in St. Giles, London’s most notorious slum. Widowed Temperance Dews knows St. Giles like the back of her hand— she’s spent a lifetime caring for its inhabitants at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk.
A woman haunted by her past…
Caire makes a simple offer—in return for Temperance’s help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to London’s high society so that she can find a benefactor for the home. But Temperance may not be the innocent she seems, and what begins as cold calculation soon falls prey to a passion that neither can control—one that may well destroy them both.
A bargain neither could refuse.
Set in the first half of the eighteenth century, this first book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series takes place about a century earlier than the time period I usually read in. First published a few years ago, when it turned up available for review again recently I thought it was about time I gave this popular author a go.
The best thing about this book is the setting. I’m a big fan of books involving working class London of the past, especially when they involve an area I am very familiar with. Hoyt captured the atmosphere and the dreary mood of St Giles wonderfully, and it’s what kept me turning the pages. I wish more authors were brave enough to tackle this aspect of the London of the past.
On the other hand, this is most definitely a “first book” in a series. We are introduced to many characters who will star in future books, all with bizarre and unfamiliar names. Many have storylines introduced that are not finished here, which makes the book feel like a first instalment in a serial rather than a complete book on its own.
I’m particularly confused about the masked superhero who kept popping up to save the day (er, night) and then disappearing again!
Our hero is original, and interesting in a lot of ways, but there’re some unanswered questions there, too. What is his actual title, for example? We know he’s a “Lord Something”, but it’s all very vague. And why he feels pain when he’s touched is never answered, and also feels a bit like something out of X-Men or something like that.
Our heroine is quite interesting, though her secrets aren’t really addressed until the end. I do find it odd she was using modern psychology to address the hero’s issues. These issues involved a BDSM subplot that I’m not sure I needed to read. The whole book doesn’t cover this in detail; mostly it comes up near the end.
I do think it was terrible that the heroine abandoned a dying baby, a sick and injured brother, and a building full of orphans for a bit of sex during her darkest moment!
There is plenty of potential in this book, enough that I will look into this author in the future. However, I’m not sure this is her best work.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.