Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane #3) – book review

Scandalous Desires
By Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Book #3 in the Maiden Lane series
Number of Pages: 417
Historical Romance
Ages 16 and up
CW: dub-con, past rape, child abuse,
hanging, kidnapping, violence
Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies in a woman’s heart?

Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind–and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back…and he’s asking for her help.

“Charming” Mickey O’Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London’s criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he’s never been able to forget the naive captain’s wife who came to him for help and spent one memorable night in his bed…talking.

When his bastard baby girl was dumped in his lap–her mother having died–Mickey couldn’t resist the Machiavellian urge to leave the baby on Silence’s doorstep. The baby would be hidden from his enemies and he’d also bind Silence to him by her love for his daughter.

I know this is only the third book of this series, but I’ve been waiting for Silence’s story since the first book. What happened between her and Mickey back then has kept me hoping for a faceoff between these two.

Mickey started out as a much bigger jerk than I expected, even after what happened previously. I thought this story would start with the reader finding out he has a heart of gold and his pirating ways were an act. Well, Mickey does have a heart of gold. But it takes a lot of chipping away to get to it. Every time I would soften toward him, he’d get his ego up and piss me off again.

My heart broke for Silence over and over again while she had to be the strong one over and over again. Didn’t she do that enough already? Silence has a fortitude not many can claim. She may be innocent about many things in life, but she keeps her moral compass even as her innocence is stripped away.

These two are perfect for each other. Mickey helps Silence see that she deserves to be with someone who will love her even through the fights and disagreements. She shouldn’t be expected to be perfect and should be loved for who she is, flaws and all. Silence helps Mickey see that he is enough, great riches or no money at all, he is enough.

It was a joy to see Mickey’s crew rally around Silence even while being afraid of the repercussions. Yet they are (for the most part) very loyal to Mickey. He may think of himself as “the big bad”, but he cares for his crew and considers them family.

The cherry on the sundae of this book is finding out the identity of the Ghost of St. Giles. I’m sure readers of this series have their guesses. If you’re like me, your guess may have changed now and again. The dramatic end of this book will let you know if you were right.

There were some new characters introduced and some new possible matches on the horizon. While it didn’t take up much of this story, I loved the interplay between Winter and Lady Beckinhall and hope they will end up a match.

4 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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