Mass Market Paperback, 382 pages
Published August 1st 2010
by Grand Central Publishing
My Rating: ❀❀❀❀
Genre: Historical Romance
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 of all, I have to say--that's a blurb! Talk about sucking me in. I have been intending to start this series forever. Of course, like soo many, I hadn't gotten around to it. But, I must say, I'm anxious to continue this series. I think the huge thing for me was the setting. Set in the slummier parts of London, this is a story that follows the life of a simple woman who isn't a noblewoman. Who has little in the way of money. Who is, really, a commoner. Now, I'm used to regency novels where this is hardly ever the case. The dark setting, mysterious hero, the plot involving murders all took me by surprise and yet, I was drawn in and loved every second of it.
Our hero is a deviant of sorts. He's a lord, but not exactly well looked on by his peers. And his appearance gave me the impression this man was dangerous. As did some other allusions that proved to be some rather depraved and scandalous for the day, which Temperance rather enjoys...But I'll let you lovely readers muse on this while I go on to say that I loved Lazarus. He was wicked, but he was good too, and he wanted to set those murders right. I was intrigued that he was willing to tolerate Temperance's touching him when touch caused him pain, but it was one of the many ways in which he proved he wasn't as wicked as his reputation might hint.
Temperance was an interesting character too. Brave, determined, smart, she hardly struck me as someone from the working classes. She worked hard, had a passion and determination that made me cheer and was in no way dejected or hopeless. She was a prude though. No question about that. But then, suddenly, Ms. Hoyt unpeeled a layer to Temperance that again shows us that people are not always who they appear. And that's why I loved this couple together. They are both so much more than appearances.
I also quite enjoyed that this story wasn't merely about Temperance and Lazarus. It was also about family, and what you are willing to do for your family. I am intrigued by Silence, and what her story might be now that she's been cast out by her husband. So far, her story has been heartbreaking.
Suspenseful, wickedly delicious reading with a cast of characters I'm dying to read more about, I cannot wait to continue this series.