Review: Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt

notorious pleasuresReviewed by Jen

Elizabeth Hoyt writes such sensual and decadent romances. She consistently delivers the goods, with fantastic sexual tension and love scenes that practically light up the pages.  They’re the kind that make you fan yourself, but I don’t find them gratuitous or crass, just very hot.

I had to say that first.

This is the second story in Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series and the tone isn’t quite as dark as in book 1.  There are many overlapping characters and storylines, though, so while you don’t have to read Wicked Intentions to enjoy the main romance, you’ll appreciate the backstory for some of the secondary threads.

Our heroine is Lady Hero, patroness of a home for foundling children, sister of a duke, and essentially a paragon of everything a noble woman should be.  As the story begins she is announcing her perfect match to a marquess.  The only problem is that Thomas isn’t the hero of the book.  It’s his brother, Griffin, who is everything his brother is not. While Thomas is proper, gracious, and socially beloved, Griffin is considered a profligate rake.  Society believes he seduced his own sister in law.  A man like him has no place in Hero’s well-ordered life.

Griffin and Hero have the most inauspicious beginning you could imagine. She walks in on him in flagrante with a married woman. And he barely blinks an eye.  She is disgusted by his behavior, and he’s not much more impressed by her. They part ways calling each other “Lady Perfect” and “Lord Shameless.”  But the two of them are pushed together by circumstances. Griffin runs a gin distillery in St. Giles and that’s where Hero’s home for the orphans is under construction. He refuses to allow her to travel there unsupervised and –voila—they have a reason to be together… a lot.

I could easily buy into the sexual tension there, but I have to say I was surprised at how easily they gave into it. Especially Hero. As sexy and attractive as these two are together, I struggled some with the cheating element of the story. Yes, it’s clear that Hero’s engagement is just good ton, but the fact is, she WAS engaged.  And she remained so for the vast majority of the story.  It bothered me that she kept sleeping with Griffin while still having every intention of marrying his brother.  If you can get over that hurdle, it’s quite an engaging romance.  Griffin and Hero are opposites, but compliments.  And really, there is so much more to Griffin than meets the eye. He really is a good guy and worthy of so much more than the hand he’s been dealt. Hero is… ok.  It takes her a little longer to stop getting in her own way. But ultimately, I enjoyed these two together. And the action part of the story didn’t overshadow the emotions and moves pretty well.

There is also an enticing secondary story brewing for Silence, the heroine of book 3. I was really interested in what was going on with her in Wicked Intentions and now I am more intrigued than ever. I can’t wait to see how that pans out.

Overall, this isn’t my favorite installment in the series because of Hero’s engagement, but it’s still steamy and ultimately satisfying in the end.

Rating: B/B-

Click to purchase: Amazon

Notorious Pleasures
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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