Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review: Wicked Intentions

Wicked Intentions
Elizabeth Hoyt
Historical Romance/London 1737

Maiden Lane/Book 1

Grand Central Publishing/August 2010

Goodreads First Reads

From the back cover ~


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 the area like the back of her hand—she cares for its children at the foundling home her family established. Now that home is at risk…


Caire makes a simple offer—in return for Temperance's help navigating the perilous alleys of St. Giles, he will introduce her to 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 a cold bargain soon falls prey to a passion neither can control—and may well destroy them both.

Elizabeth Hoyt's first book in her new series was a joy to read. Let me tell you about Temperance and Caire and Hoyt's ability to create some of the most vivid and fascinating characters with an equally imaginative plot. And the secondary characters - I'm having a hard time picking whose book I want next. Which doesn't really matter since Ms. Hoyt has already picked the character and hey, it's one that was on my list. :)

And I must also tell you about King Lockedheart. And Meg, who proves to be smarter than a king. But first, Temperance and Lord Caire, a match not made in heaven but on a dark alley in St. Giles.

Temperance Dews has a kind heart and hates to turn away any child in need. But the children of her orphanage are not the only ones in need. Temperance and her brother, Wilder who teaches, are behind on their rent and are about to be thrown out, along with the over two dozen children living there. Then salvation comes in the for of Lord Caire with a proposition for Temperance. She's desperate and I think, intrigued. She's also aware of at least some of Caire reputation. So with those two things in mind, she take him up on his offer. Temperance is really kidding herself into thinking she only wants the opportunity to find a new benefactor for the home. I think she wants to spend time with Caire and take a walk on that wild side that she's secretly fascinated with.

Lazarus Huntington, or Caire as he is often referred to, is an aristocrat but isn't exactly welcomed into the finest homes in London. I'd said he's more tolerated at best, and feared at worst. He knows it and doesn't really give a damn. Right off I liked his attitude. That "to hell with what they think" when he doesn't really like the they in questions anyway. So why should he care? Caire also has this odd affliction? I'm not sure what to call it and I'm sure it didn't have a name in 1737 but the fact is, he doesn't like to be touched. This most likely stems from his childhood and that he was raised by his nurse, away from his parents. His isolation and a tragedy in his childhood left a profound affect on Caire.

Temperance and Caire together make such a delightful odd couple! They come across as being such opposites but in actuality have quite a bit of things in common. They both have a very high sense of responsibility. Temperance lives in near poverty when really, she could have remarried and left the orphanage but she refuses to give up. Caire doesn't have to find the killer, his life is still more or less the same whether he finds the killer or not. At least, that's how it seems. But Caire does care about others, he just doesn't believe he's capable of caring or loving anyone but we see how, over the course of the book that changes. Temperance isn't of the believe that she can't love but that she's not worthy of love. She has a terrible secret that makes her feel this and affects her relationship with the people who care about her. I liked seeing how both Temperance and Caire helped each other find their own weaknesses and over come them.

If you're familiar with Ms. Hoyt's writing then you'll know she not only gives the reader an emotional love story but she gifts us with a fairytale within the main story. It comes in the form of a few paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter. I'm come to look forward to those little stories, they're like the special topping on a bowl of homemade ice cream. Delicious! This time we learn about King Lockedheart and Meg, a maid in the king's court. Lockedheart thinks he knows everything but Meg proves to him he's not as wise as he thinks and she has something to teach him. It was a sweet fairytale and a treat to read.

There was a lot going on in Wicked Intentions. There is the orphanage's need for funds. Caire's search for a killer. A mysterious "ghost" figure who appears when help is needed. And Temperance's siblings, who have some important side stories that I'd like to read more about. I think the various plots and subplots helped to keep me entertained and not bogged down or bored with any one story line. Without giving anything away, I hope we haven't seen the last of one certain character with questionable motives. He intrigued me. ;)

I was thrilled when I found out that I had won Wicked Intentions from Goodreads First Reads program. This is a wonderful start to a new series. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Notorious Pleasures, due out February 2011.

Rating: A


  1. This one is sittig in my TBR pile, calling to me. I have read so many good things about it, I am *dying* to get started.

    Great review.

  2. Hi Leslie,

    I have Wicked Intentions on its way from, but I think it got lost in the mail. Don't you just hate when that happens? I am glad to hear this one is so great. I love a good tortured hero book. I can't wait to read it now. I have been on a historical romance kick.

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  4. Very insightful review.

    I enjoyed WI, too. Lots going on like you mentioned but I never felt that Lazarus & Temperence's love story got lost, which is key. I wished there was more focus on their romance though. My one quibble is that Caire really wasn't as bad a baddie as he was billed to be! I wanted him to be dark with a capital "D" but he was very teddybearish, lol.

    I think I know who you are talking about and I'm pretty sure that 'person' will be getting his own story. He's just too compelling not to. =)

  5. Ooooh, I didn't read the whole review Leslie, just the last paragraph, but I saw that A and I'm sooo excited. I can't wait to read it. I moved this book down and haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it's up there for me! Yay!

  6. Danielle ~ Thanks! If you're in the mood for a historical, this is a great choice. :)

    Jill ~ This is another to add to your historical romance list. If the copy from pbs doesn't show, let me know & I'll send you my copy. :)

    Scorpio ~ I think Caire thought he was bad given the perceptions of that time period. For modern perceptions - not so much.

    I hope you're right about "him" getting his own book. I want to know his story!

  7. Hils ~ You know I enjoy Hoyt's writing, some more than others, this one was just wonderful. Enjoy!

  8. I really enjoyed this one a lot too and like you, |I really get pulled into the fairy tales at the beginning of each chapter.

  9. I adored this one!! I also liked that it was a little darker than her others. But still with her wicked sense of humor that just seems to work so well for historicals.

  10. You pretty much sold me on the first paragraph of your review, Leslie.

    I'm pretty sure it landed on my radar after Lori saying she really enjoyed it. Now it's a done deal for me and it gets added to the list!

  11. Great review, Leslie :D Sounds like you enjoy Wicked Intentions a whole lot. Perhaps I should give Ms Hoyt another chance :)

  12. Kristie ~ I always look forward to those extra stories. I'd be really sad if she stopped including them.

    Lori ~ yes, love her sense of humor. She makes it fit with the time period!

    Christine ~ I hope you enjoy it!

    Nath ~ Oh, gosh. I'm trying to think of what you wouldn't like about it. LOL OK. Yes, try her again - I'll take full responsibility. :D

  13. LOL, Leslie! You said so, I just might!!

  14. I have this one out from the library at the moment, and I am really looking forward to reading it! I am something of an Elizabeth Hoyt fangirl though, so my expectations were already pretty high.

  15. Marg ~ I really think this is one of her better books. It's a very good start to the series. :)