Series: Maiden Lane #1
Published by Grand Central Publishing on August 1, 2010
Genres: BDSM, Historical Romance
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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.
First up in my readalong of the Maiden Lane series with the wonderful group of “But Do They Bang?” hosted by @b.andherbooks, @miss_melissalee and @onthesamepa9e, is Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt.
Now it’s been a minute since I’ve read (& finished) a historical romance novel. Luckily this one was just the ticket I needed to jump back into the subgenre. Wicked Intentions follows Temperance, a widowed woman running a foundling (or orphanage) home with her brother Winter. She encounters Lazarus, Lord Caire, an aristocratic searching for the murderer of his mistress in St. Giles where Temperance’s home is located. Lord Caire requests Temperance’s help in navigating the St. Giles area and in exchange he will help introduce her to other aristocrats that may be interested in becoming a patron (aka donating to) her home for orphans. Naturally, Temperance can’t say no to such an offer when the home desperately needs more money. So off they go investigating through the dangerous streets of St. Giles at night.
What I loved about this story was the complexity of the characters. They both had their faults to come to terms with and accept both within themselves and with each other. I really enjoyed seeing them come together in this way — with full acceptance of each other. They’re both struggling with “sins” and shame, but seeing them accept themselves and erase that shame was so wonderful to see. Of course it took a lot of work and the whole book for them to realize and accept themselves and each other, but it was well worth the wait and we’ll worth watching throughout! The romance here was just sublime in this regard!
I also enjoyed the “mystery” aspect as I’m a big mystery lover and love when it’s a part of a romance novel. Nothing like some side intrigue to keep the story going! I’m also intrigued by the other mysteries set forth in this first novel and am looking forward to seeing how they might come up again or be revealed in later novels of the series.
Lastly, I also enjoyed a lot of the secondary characters throughout this novel. We got to see some POVs from them which was nice and interesting. Definitely wants me to explore other novels in the series. I’m hoping some of them get their own stories!
Overall, I’m really excited to read the rest of the books in this series and enjoyed this introduction to the Maiden Lane series.
Notes/Trigger Warnings: this story has some violence, detailed descriptions of the remains of a murder victim, there’s also mention of selling children, prostitution and an implied sexual assault/rape of a secondary character, off page. There’s also some mentions of sick infants and fear of an infant death. This story also contains light BDSM.