Book: The Raven Prince
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
I was looking for a book with a hero that wasn't the everyday, run of the mill, handsome type. A blogging buddy of mine, Jace, recommended The Raven Prince to me. Thanks Jace, I really enjoyed the book and Edward.
Anna, is a widow and has been for six years. Her husband wasn't the most faithful man while alive, and cheated on her. Where this act would lead most heroines into an endless pit of self pity, Anna has persevered. When the funds of her household become low she seeks employment with the Earl of Swarthingham, a man who is known for his short temper.
Anna gets the job as the Earl's secretary and finds herself attracted to the brooding Earl. Edward is not particularly attractive, having smallpox scars on his face and an overly large nose, but Anna wants him just the same and she is starting to sense that The Earl wants her too.
Edward knows that he is not a even tempered man. He has scared off his share of male secretary's in the past but for some reason the little wisp of a widow is unable to be thwarted by his temperamental actions. He becomes intrigued by Anna. She is not like any of the other females or males he knows, for that matter; she listens to him, is unafraid of him, and if he's not mistaken, she actually likes him.
Edward does not feel like he is able to act on his feelings toward Anna. She is a Lady and he does not want to compromise her position as a gentlewoman by sleeping with her. Edward decides to take his lusty feelings for Anna and go to London, to a brothel, and get out some pent up energy. Upon finding this out Anna is outraged. Not only won't the Earl act on his feelings for her but he is going away to act on them with someone else!
With the help of a prostitute that Anna has inadvertently befriended, a plan is put into motion. Anna sets out to London where she will seduce Edward, while posing as a harlot. Edward and Anna engage is anonymous sex (very hot encounters) and even though Anna is glad that she was able to spend that time with Edward, she is unsettled because he didn't know it was her. But at the same time she is afraid for him to find out. What will he think of her if he does?
After Edward's encounter with the prostitute he is even more conflicted. His feelings for Anna haven't changed, he still wants her as much as ever, but now he also wants the "prostitute" that he spent two very naughty nights with. Not to mention that he is engaged to be married to yet another woman. What is an Earl to do when he finds out that his anonymous sex was not so anonymous?
I can not express how refreshing it was to read a story where the woman "scorned" was not overly cautious of men. Where she didn't shrink like a wallflower and think that she was unattractive because of what her husband did. A Heroine that actually pursued the man of their desire. Going so far as to costume themselves as a harlot, just so that she could sleep with the man she was falling for. I was so surprised that Hoyt went there, pleasantly, of course.
Let me not forget Edward, he was just the type of hero I wanted to read about. It was easy to see how his past had shaped the man he had become. He wasn't very trustful of women and thought that a woman who wanted to be with a man as ugly as him was either lying or got some type of thrill out of bedding a pockmarked man. It took him a while to realize that Anna saw past his rough exterior and simply loved him.
This was a very good read. It was a little slow to start, but it was more than made up for as the story progressed. Grade A-