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
Received this book from netgally and the publisher in exchange for an honest review this has in no way affected my opinion
WICKED INTENTIONS has all the ingredients that usually work for me in a paperback romance. Relatively tormented hero, heroine with a secret in her past, a mystery to solve, interesting secondary characters from all walks of life, hot romantic interludes, moments of suspense, moments of tenderness, the necessary HEA. But I found myself not appreciating the H and h much. The hero, Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, has, we are to understand, shocking sexual proclivities and a tormented past which leaves him as an adult with a revulsion to human touch and an inability to form emotional attachments. This dislike for touch is also, I assume, what is responsible for his preferences during sex. The problem for me is I read the whole book and then rechecked it after reading and still couldn’t find much of a reason for it. I was expecting sexual abuse as a child or some other devastating trauma such as the hero was subjected to in Anna Campbell’s CAPTIVE OF SIN, but could find no real reason for his ‘touch’ problem, only for his emotional attachment issues. In addition, this problem with touch was a bit inconsistent and particular: I can touch you/You can’t touch me/Sometimes it’s OK, sometimes not.
Heroine Temperance (and the rest of the Makepeace family) also puzzled me. The family has a brewery (not financially sound at this time) run by an older brother and also a charitable home for orphans which Temperance and her brother Winter are in charge of. The family exudes the piousness of Quakers, especially Temperance and Winter. So what’s with the brewery in the family background? I believe Temperance denies being a Quaker but they behave in a very pious manner, with the reading of Psalms and prayers and good works and their whole way of being is inconsistent with a family that has been involved in the production of alcoholic beverages.
Next we have the puzzle of the deal between Temperance and Caire. She is familiar with the disreputable St. Giles neighborhood because her Foundling Home is located there. Caire needs a guide to the area as he searches for the murderer of his lover of 3 years. So she agrees to be his guide if in return he will escort her to ton engagements so that she can find a patron/sponsor for the Foundling Home, which is badly in need of funds. This sounds good on paper but in execution these two as a duo are extremely ineffectual and inefficient. Their outings together (whether to the slums or to the upper-class gatherings) serve to build up a sexual relationship but lead to little success in finding either murderers or patrons. Caire did his most productive search on his own and Temperance only found potential patrons through a plan she and Godric St. John, Caire’s friend, come up with, without Caire’s knowledge.
Speaking of Godric St. John reminds me that this book is full of secondary characters, some of whom are integral to the story, but some who are very incidental and seem to be there only to prepare us for future books. All are interesting, fortunately, especially those from the slums. And the ending of the book leaves us wanting to know more about poor Silence, Temperance’s sister, but it appears that Lady Hero Batten will be the heroine of the next book. I hope we find out more about Silence’s problems in that book, unless Ms Hoyt plans for Silence to have a book of her own.