The author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Publication: Hachette, 2011
Got it from: La library
I think I might be in love with Elizabeth Hoyt. Remember last year when I read Thief of Shadows and loved it so much? Well, reading Scandalous Desires reminded me of how much I loved that one. I mean, I loved this one too. But Thief of Shadows is just the best.
Because I am contrary I ended up reading these two books out of order, so it was like watching one of those movies where you get the ending and you have to figure out how they got there. And to make it more confusing for you, I haven't even read books #1 and #2 in the Maiden Lane series yet - but #6 is here in my TBR pile. Please note - I do not recommend this. There are a lot of intertwined stories and they are meant to be read in order. I hadn't even intended to read this one (#3) but it was in the book sale in my library and I read the back cover and...
You see, I am obsessed with Once Upon a Time and Colin O'Donoghue/Captain Hook. So when I saw that Scandalous Desires was about a charming roguish pirate my brain went:
"Charming" Mickey O'Connor is a pirate, but not the kind of pirate you're thinking of. He's a river pirate, he lives in London and raids ships that come into the Thames. He's pretty much the King of Pirates and he's a pretty bad guy. Exactly one year earlier Silence Makepeace (Winter's sister from Thief of Shadows) had to go to Mickey to plead with him to save her husband. What went down is a bit complicated, but what you think happened didn't happen except that Silence's husband thought it happened, and wouldn't speak to her. And then his ship sinks and he dies and Silence goes to help her brother at the orphanage and ends up raising a baby girl, Mary Darling, who's left on the doorstep.
Only it turns out Mary is Mickey's daughter - surprise! - and she wasn't left there by chance, she was left there because he needed to hide Mary from his enemy and Silence is the only decent woman Mick knows (every other woman he knows is a whore). Until Mick decides that Mary is in too much danger and has to keep her under his own roof. This is when the story begins, with Silence refusing to be parted from Mary and going to live with Mick and his merry band of pirates.
What basically follows is a classic Beauty and the Beast story with a twist. Silence, who's as much a do-gooder as her brother, ends up charming all the pirates, right down to their mangy dog. It's a testament to Hoyt's great writing that I didn't absolutely love the two main characters but I loved the story. Silence is almost too sweet, and Mickey is a jerk, but they grow and learn and feel like fully rounded characters. The pace never flagged, it was perfect balance of heart and humour. And sexy. Hoyt's writing is so very, very addictive. Highly recommended.