Monday, November 23, 2015

REVIEW: "Sweetest Scoundrel" by Elizabeth Hoyt


Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane, #9)
(Maiden Lane #9)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Historical Romance -- Georgian England

Grand Central Publishing -- Published on November 24, 2015
eARC, 352 pages
Read in November 2015
Received from Netgalley

RATING: 4.5 STARS

THEMES/TROPES
Artist Heroine, Tormented Heroine, Animals, Enemies to Lovers

SUMMARY
SHE'S TAKING CHARGE

Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother's investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London's premier pleasure garden, Harte's Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can't be controlled.

HE'S RUNNING THE SHOW

Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn't have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden's larger-than-life owner, he's already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He's not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around . . . no matter how enticing she is.

BUT LOVE CONQUERS ALL

In spite of her lack of theatrical experience—and her fiery clashes with Asa—Eve is determined to turn Harte's Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There's no denying the smoldering fire between them—and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all.


FIRST LINE
"It took an extreme provocation to rouse Eve Dinwoody."

MY THOUGHTS
I received a free copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sweetest Scoundrel is another successful romance in Hoyt's super popular Maiden Lane series.  I have been devouring these books since the beginning and I am happy that they continue to be of the highest quality.  I am also left wanting more which is always a good sign.

Eve Dinwoody is the illegitimate half-sister of the notorious Duke of Montgomery and she helps him by protecting his business interests in London including the renovation of the Harte's Folly pleasure garden.  Things get complicated when Eve meets Asa Makepeace, the grumpy, but sexy owner of the garden.  Now, she is forced to deal with a man that both enrages and intrigues her while trying to make sure the garden is a success for her brother.

Both Eve and Asa were complex, well-developed characters that I enjoyed reading about.  Eve has major trauma in her past which has caused her to become terrified of men and also avoid social situations if possible.  But, despite her issues, she is very strong emotionally and much braver than she ever gave herself credit for.  Asa comes from a lower class background and is supremely proud of the work he was able to do after being disinherited by his very conservative father.  He is crass and powerful, but he hides a gentle heart that wakes up when he is around Eve.  I just loved the way that the inner workings of their personalities were revealed throughout the story.

I love the "enemies to lovers" trope, mostly due to the high probability of entertaining banter in those types of stories.  And I was not disappointed with repartee in Sweetest Scoundrel.  Eve and Asa begin battling from the moment that they meet and their interactions slowly turn into something much more sensual than any of them thought would happen.  There was a nice balance of drama and humor in their romance that I thought worked well for their character arcs.  And, since this is an Elizabeth Hoyt novel, there is plenty of sexy moments with my personal favorite being the one in the carriage. ;)

I was able to engross myself in Sweetest Scoundrel from beginning to end.  All the characters were strong from the main couple to the theatre workers to the recurring Maiden Lane inhabitants that pop in and out.  The subplot of figuring out who was sabotaging the folly's renovations was interesting and suspenseful yet didn't take away from the romance.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the scenes with the housekeeper Bridget Crumb who, I believe, will have some type of connection with the Duke of Montgomery in the next book.

I highly recommend this book...well, this entire series.  The 1730s England setting is fascinating as Hoyt explores both the lives of all classes, wealthy and impoverished.  The characters are always a bit unorthodox, but their stories never fail to make me swoon with happiness.  Can't wait to read Duke of Sin next year!

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Wicked Intentions
2. Notorious Pleasures
3. Scandalous Desires
4. Thief of Shadows
5. Lord of Darkness
6. Duke of Midnight
7. Darling Beast
8. Dearest Rogue
9.  Sweetest Scoundrel
10. Duke of Sin (Coming 2016)
11. Duke of Pleasure (Coming 2016)
12. Duke of Desire (Coming 2017)

LEARN MORE
Goodreads -- Author Website

WHERE TO GET IT
Amazon -- B&N -- BAM -- Book Depository -- Kobo -- Google Play -- All Romance -- Audible

2 comments:

  1. I've never read this series before. Or anything by this author. Something about the blurb turns me off though. I think it's the whole "prude" thing. But I'm so so so glad you loved it! Enemy to lovers is such a fun trope, that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oooo enemies to lovers, you say? That's one of my favorites! Well, Hoyt is regardless but what a fun trope for her. Can't believe I had to pass this one for review. Must catch up!

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