Maiden Lane, Book #1
Heat Factor: There’s a scene where they’re looking through a peephole at a brothel and it only gets hotter from there.
Character Chemistry: Lazarus feels nothing, Temperance feels too much. They are perfect for each other.
Plot: Running around the slums on the hunt for a murderer.
So, over the summer I read Duke of Sin for morality chain week. Because that book was both bonkers and amazing, I decided to read the series from the beginning.
I have no regrets.
Wicked Intentions is sexy and bonkers and so so fun to read. Hoyt also nails the balance between telling a good stand-alone story and setting up the upcoming books perfectly.
Temperance Dews (née Makepeace), along with her brother, runs an orphanage in the worst part of London. Temperance is a fascinating character—she is a competent widow, but is also subject to her (younger) brother’s guidance. She seethes with emotion, but represses it ruthlessly. And she desires. Oh, how she desires. But, of course, she can’t (guilt, social status, religious background…you name it, she’s got it).
Lord Caire, he of the long, flowing white hair, being a rake and a scoundrel, obviously is very tuned in to Temperance’s sensual side—and is also very determined to bring it out and damn the consequences, because he is a Bad Man who Cares for No One.
Anyway, the plot is basically that Lord Caire is trying to figure out who killed his last mistress, but he needs a guide in the slums. If Temperance helps him out, he will, in turn, introduce her to society so that she can find a wealthy patron to support the orphanage. The murder plot is sometimes ludicrous, but who cares? It means they are forced to spend time together running around the slums and talking to gin sellers and prostitutes. (Temperance’s brother does NOT approve.) They also occasionally hang out in ballrooms, but the real magic happens in the way they’re drawn to each other. In some ways, it’s your standard rake who feels nothing pushes good women outside of her comfort zone, but the execution is so top-notch that I just gobbled it up with a spoon (and I didn’t think I liked heroes like this! Guess I was wrong…). It helps that the sex is very sexy; I thought Hoyt’s portrayal of kink was very interesting, as there’s a lot of societal kink shaming here, but none between the main characters.
Just imagine me flailing around as I cackle with excitement. Then imagine me binge-reading 10 more books just like it. That was my reading experience.
Looking for something similar?