Notorious Pleasures by Elizabeth Hoyt

We’re continuing our review of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series with book two, Notorious Pleasures!

Here’s a synopsis to get us started, courtesy of Hoyt’s website:

Their lives were perfect . . .

Lady Hero Batten, the beautiful sister of the Duke of Wakefield, has everything a woman could want, including the perfect fiancé. True, the Marquis of Mandeville is a trifle dull and has no sense of humor, but that doesn’t bother Hero. Until she meets his notorious brother . . .

Until they met each other.

Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, is far from perfect – and he likes it that way. How he spends his days is a mystery, but all of London knows he engages in the worst sorts of drunken revelry at night. Hero takes an instant dislike to him, and Griffin thinks that Hero, with her charities and faultless manners, is much too impeccable for society, let alone his brother. Yet their near-constant battle of wits soon sparks desire – desire that causes their carefully constructed worlds to come tumbling down. As Hero’s wedding nears, and Griffin’s enemies lay plans to end their dreams forever, can two imperfect people find perfect true love?

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Photo from http://www.goodreads.com

I loved this book! From the characters (looking at you, Griffin)  to the plot, this novel had me hook, line, and sinker. I couldn’t put it down once I started!

The plot itself isn’t something that we haven’t seen before – perfect society lady engaged to the perfect finance who meets his rakish and charming brother. Sparks fly, desire strikes, and the usual bedlam ensues. But thanks to Hoyt’s masterful writing, and engaging characters, this story is fresh and exciting.

Continuing off from the plot already set up in Wicked Intentions, Lady Hero becomes one of the first patroness of foundling home that Temperance used to run with her brother. It’s nice to be able to find out what happened to Caire and Temperance when we left them at the end of the first novel. Revolving this series around Maiden Lane and the orphanage makes this a unique series, because it’s not often that you find romance novels revolving around an organization that seeks to do good for people and children not of the aristocracy. In the case of Hero and Griffin, they both have this desire to help others without expecting any gratification or acknowledgment in return. Both have created this near-perfect exterior for the benefit of their families, friends, and other contemporaries, but there is a lot more hiding underneath that we get to explore as their relationship develops.

Hero and Griffin are immediately at odds with each other when they first meet, and I couldn’t help rooting for them from the very beginning. I mean, who can resist the attractive bad boy with a hint of a soft side? Hero is endearing and witty, and their story is hands down my favourite one of this series.

Coming up, it looks like we’ll be back with the Makepeace family with sister Silence Hollingbrook’s adventure with the notorious pirate ‘Charming’ Mickey O’Connor.

Happy reading!

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