Notorious Pleasures Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 2011
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"There's an enchantment to Hoyt's stories that makes you believe in the magic of love."―RT Book Reviews
"Elizabeth Hoyt writes with flair, sophistication, and unstoppable passion."―-Julianne MacLean, author of PORTRAIT OF A LOVER
"Hoyt is firmly in control of her craft with engaging characters, gripping plot and clever dialogue."―Publishers Weekly
"The new master of the historical romance genre."―-HistoricalRomanceWriters.com
"A sexy, steamy treat!"―-Connie Brockway, USA Today bestselling author on THE RAVEN PRINCE
About the Author
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.
The winters in Minnesota have been known to be long and cold and Elizabeth is always thrilled to receive reader mail. You can write to her at: P.O. Box 19495, Minneapolis, MN 55419 or email her at: Elizabeth@ElizabethHoyt.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am reading this series out of order. I still have not read book 1. Book 2 gave some background to characters who will appear in later novels and I enjoyed learning a little of their back-stories. I don’t think it matters if you read the books in order, but do it if you can. In my opinion, however, the better books are 3, 4 & 6 (although reviewers I admire dislike these – just goes to show how personal our love of romance novels is!).
Griffin Remmington, Lord Reading, enjoys his rakish ways. His brother never had a head for business, so when their father died ten years ago, Griffin took over the financial dealing for the family. Mandeville knows that their late father left then penniless; however, he has no idea that Griffin saved them from financial ruin by becoming the biggest gin distiller in St. Giles. Though the family no longer has serious debts, Griffin feels he cannot give up the still until his family funds are stable. Things would be a lot easier if his nasty gin competitor would quit attacking his distillery and/or killing the employees.
Hero takes an instant dislike to Griffin. Due to the way she first met him, Hero calls him Lord Shameless. Griffin believes Hero is too serious and calls her Lady Perfect. Yet their battle of wills quickly sparks into the flames of desire.
**** FOUR STARS! Never satisfied to give her readers a simple story, author Elizabeth Hoyt keeps a variety of subplots running in the background. For example, each chapter begins with a short paragraph about Queen Ravenhair.Read more ›
Hoyt created very high expectations with her first books published. She writes with unusual aplomb, she adds a lot of sensuality without falling into soft porn boundaries, her characters have a certain zing to them, a certain je ne sais quoi, and most of all, there is plenty of humour. And finally, the main story's progress are interspersed with fairytale blurbs that relate to the novel. This book has all that, so that's good news.
The not so good news is that I think this is one of her less memorable cast of characters. Hero might have an usual name but except for being a good but very serious girl, in peril of sitting on the shelf, with a realistic view of what a Duke's daughter is supposed to do in society, she doesn't burn the page. Not that she's unsympathetic, if anything she's almost too nice. And Griffin (eh, how cheesy is that name?) is your rake with a hidden heart and secret turmoil. Of course, they would repel one another like magnets, but also, of course, (again a cheese attack!) they're incredibly sexually attracted to one another. There's just one hitch, she's already engaged. And I lied about there being just one hitch, there's another, she's engaged to his brother. And there's bad history between them.
So can you say cookie cutter? Yes, a little I have to admit. Fortunately, Holt makes incredibly good cookies out of the dough. The characters, though run of the mill, remain very appealing and certainly are a lot of fun.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Griffin has quite the scandalous reputation, especially since it's believed he seduced his brother's first wife. Because of this, Griffin and Thomas are barely on speaking terms, although Griffin has done a great deal to keep the Mandeville fortune intact with his business ventures. One such venture Griffin is involved in is being one of the biggest gin distillers in the dark world of St. Giles. Griffin is surprised to find that Hero has interests in St. Giles as well, as the patroness for the Home of Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children run by the Mrs. Silence Hollingbrook and her brother, Winter.
Soon Griffin is concerned for Hero's safety as she enters the dark streets of St. Giles. He refuses to allow her to be unaccompanied and becomes her bodyguard of sorts. Griffin and Hero's relationship changes into friendship that comes to ahead when their passions explode for one another. They begin to sneak away to act on their passion (the first love scene between them is incredibly erotic and seductive) knowing they are betraying Thomas, who in turn can't forget his mistress, the loud and vibrant older widowed Mrs. Lavinia Tate, who he longs to be with desperately.
Guilt eats away at Hero while Griffin tries to make Hero see that they are perfect for one another. He'll do whatever he can to keep Hero, even if it means betraying Thomas in truth.
Notorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane series, Book 2) by Elizabeth Hoyt is beyond steamy and romantic. Griffin will be on the lips of many readers for this supposed bad boy is really not want he seems, even from his initial meeting with his Lady Perfect as he nicknames her. Hero is not some naïve, simpering miss, but a strong, outright woman who feels she must live up to her duty, and that is to marry well. Griffin puts a major wrench in her plans and their secret affair not only makes for great reading, but is emotional and very poignant. Griffin wants to be a better man for Hero and although they're walking a fine line with one another because of acting on their attraction for one another, there will be no doubt in anyone's mind that these two belong together.
Ms. Hoyt is very skilled at combining three stories in one. We see Thomas's angst over letting go of his mistress because of his future marriage to Hero. Then there is Silence, who made quite an impression in Wicked Intentions, the first book in the Maiden Lane series. This is a woman who feels hopeless because of a major sacrifice she made on her part to help her husband. Their marriage is strained because of it, and they only way she gets through the day is taking care of her newly adopted daughter, Mary Darling, who was left on her doorstep. Mary has an angel watching over her, as well as Silence, which the mystery as to who this possible suitor is shouldn't be a big surprise for those who know what occurred with Silence in Notorious Pleasure. Let's just say that Silence will have even more drama and heartache in her life because of this shadowy protector in Scandalous Desires, the third book in this series that will be released later this year.
The only thing that irked me while reading Notorious Pleasures was the constant reminders that Griffin is too naughty for his own good and how virginal and pure Hero is. This was more telling than everything, and actually the total opposite of what these two characters are from their actions and deeds. Also, the ending maybe a bit too pat for some and there's one thing left unresolved that I wish was tied up.
Overall, I really enjoyed Notorious Pleasures a great deal since I found Wicked Intentions lacking. This is a great historical romance that I recommend anyone read. Hero and Griffin are a great couple who end up bring out the best in one another.
Wicked Intentions (Maiden Lane)
With THAT said, I was really disappointed with the overall romance story. Funny enough, I didn't really have an issue with Hero or Griffin for the first half or so of the book. I am willing suspend belief that a Duke's daughter/sister didn't have a man of business to conduct her affairs, and actually had no qualms visiting St. Giles. And I couldn't be bothered with Griffin's way of making money.
What fell apart for me, was Hero's schtick: 'Lord Shameless is so bad, but he's soooo hot! I will bed him (again and again) but not wed him! I'm sad that my future husband slapped me in anger, but I will marry him any way because it was my fault and brother dearest knows best. ' Like seriously, by the second half of the book I couldn't figure this chick out.
Now the sleeping together doesn't really bother me, as much as the fact that *when Griffin offered marraige she said no BECAUSE she thought it was insincere since he was doing it out of duty.* Huh?! You say you love him , you have sex with him while engaged to his brother, but you don't want to MARRY him because it's not the 'right thing' to do?!! But you're marrying his titled elder brother because THAT's the right thing to do?!!
Now I thought this part would have been the main conflict of the novel, but then we see that when Saint Hero comes to her senses, breaks it off with Thomas, she decides again that marrying him would be the right thing to do. WHY you say?! Because he slaps her full across the face, and her brother then decides the best course of action would be for her to marry him anyways. Because OF COURSE when someone tells you they're sorry for slapping you in anger, and they won't do it again, they're telling the truth.
Let me go off on a parallel point here, I think that Thomas' and Wakefield's characters got shafted to make the story move along. It's like Hoyt needed to find something intolerable to Thomas to do, to make the reader want Hero to get back with Griffin (I guess love wasn't enough huh Ms. Hoyt?) while simultaneously needing a reason why Hero HAD to marry him (hence the brother that at the beginning asked if she was happy with the relationship, is now steamrolling her to the altar.) I'm not even going to touch the sub story of Mrs. Tate and Thomas. When Thomas proposed marraige to Mrs. Tate , while Hero was still heroically thinking she would be marrying him, it was as if the character of the fiesty Mrs Tate was just put in and back written to give Thomas an excuse for not marrying Hero.
So that's my 2 cents on this book. Sorry I don't have a glowing 5 star review!!
In the second book, EHoyt brings readers out of St. Giles for a romp through the homes of the rich and titled, as one of the patronesses of the St. Giles foundling home, Hero, is faced with the task of all noble ladies: getting married to a wealthy, titled gentleman. In her case, Hero's brother, a duke, has already arranged for the ideal match with his good friend, a marquess. He's everything she could want in a husband: he's respectful, has a title, has money; he's safe, and Hero likes being safe. Enter her fiance's brother, the disreputable rake, who shakes up Hero's life. Of course at this point you could say it's just another rake gets reformed by lady story, which is true, except it's how EHoyt does it that is rare and unique to the genre. EHoyt let's you into the life of the characters outside of the pretentiousness of balls, parties and clandestine meetings. You develop a sense for who the characters are as people - they aren't shaped merely by literary power, but rather by the circumstances surrounding them. In also a twist on the expected, the titled older brother of the hero comes out as the least heroic of the the characters, due not to what he does but what he doesn't do for a man in his position. The heroine is a character that reminds me much of Jane Austen's heroines - she deftly towes the line between socially acceptable behavior and the desire to just say "to heck with it all". She's not a contender for bad girls club, yet neither is she waving the feminist movement flag before its time.
EHoyt does give viewers glimpses into the foundling home, the Makepeace family, and the dangers faced by the poor of London although not to the extent that was shown in Book 1. You reconnect with Silence, Winter, Charming Mickey, and the Ghost of St. Giles. Of course all of this is done in anticipation of Book 3 which will return readers back to St. Giles and the foundling home as the backdrops for the romance.
Normally I would include a synopsis of the book in my reviews, but I feel there are too many details and spoilers that I'd have to reveal in order for the synopsis to make any sense. So I'll simply say the hero and heroine do have a happily ever after, even if they start off engaged to, or in the hero's case engaged with, other people. And for those who are wondering, the love scenes are on the level of Lisa Kleypas steaminess, hotter than Mary Balogh, but nowhere as scorching as Lora Leigh.
Historical Romance- Jan. 25th, 2011
4 ½ stars
I couldn't wait to get my hands on Notorious Pleasures because I was so intrigued by the perfect Lady Hero Batten, the sister to a Duke. Hero's admirable courage and sympathetic heart makes for a very engaging character and when she meets the devilish Griffin Remmington...wow, combustion! This book did not disappoint.
Lady Hero is shocked to find a married lady dallying with a man who is not her husband. Although she doesn't approve, she feels it is her duty to prevent them from being discovered by the lady's husband! But her disapproval irks the usually confident and womanizing Griffin Remmington. Although he is grateful for the interruption, he finds the straight laced Hero annoying and distracting. This makes him feel an urge to get under her skin as well, especially when he discovers that Lady Hero is newly engaged to his uptight brother. But soon Griffin finds that there is more to Hero than meets the eye and he can't help but want her for himself. And devil that he is, he finds himself set on seducing her even if it tears his family further apart. But Griffin is also up to his head in an illegal Gin making operation and when Hero finds out can she stop him? Or will she turn him in?
The best thing about this story is how Hero changes her rigid view points. When she finds Griffin is involved in making Gin, which is outlawed, she knows it is wrong. But she understands that Griffin feels he needs the money for his own sense of importance and security. Griffin is surprisingly three dimensional. At first you think that he is a careless wastrel, but Griffin is the one that left school and sacrificed his education and carefree youth in order to make money to keep his aristocratic family off the streets. Hero and Griffin must deal with many issues that could threaten their relationship, such as a deep misunderstanding between Griffin and his brother that brings tension to the growing relationship between Hero and Griffin. In fact, the relationship between Griffin and his brother are the cause of a rather shocking scene involving a very honest Hero.
But despite all these barriers, you know that they belong together. I really wanted them to overcome all the problems. I liked that both of didn't know what was missing in their lives until they grew to know each other and complemented each. When they finally did, I was extremely happy and found this book very emotionally satisfying.
Heartwarming, realistic and poignant to read. I loved these two characters; they were perfect for each other.
Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
Griffin and Hero start off with some pretty good banter and the action is pretty good for the first 200 pages or so. The multiple sub-plots take away from building the potential romance between the h/h. The romance really never forms under the weight of keeping the other plots going. Some real potential was missed. By about page 250 it starting getting old.
Griffin is smart enough to dig is family out of financial ruin, but too stupid to think of means other than illegal to regrow their wealth. Then he's too hardheaded to give it up. That just never made sense to me. He was saddly lacking in ethics, but Ms. Hoyt never gave his character meaningful ways to redeem himself.
Hero is a strong woman, yet is so ready to do as she is told by her brother that no matter how much she might love Griffin or have sex with him, she is still willing (albeit reluctantly) to marry his brother. Well, that's what a Duke's daughter and sister is supposed to do! That had such a big ick factor for me.