I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
This is one of those books that I misjudged before reading, and thankfully I was mistaken.
Notorious Pleasures is about two unlikely lovers coming together despite all odds against them. I originally shunned the idea of reading a book centered on the love development between notorious rake Griffin Remmington (Lord Reading) and Lady Hero Batten (sister of Duke Wakefield), solely because Lady Hero was engaged to none other than the Marquis of Mandeville (Thomas), who is Griffin's brother!!!
I actually started the series with book #3, followed by #4, and #5, then went down to #1 and finally #2.
The reason I put this book off was because, first of all, how can you sympathize with such blatant cheaters?--Well, that was my original thought. Yet, Elizabeth Hoyt unravels a story that is not cut out of the same cookie-cutter. And, after understanding the characters you just have to throw away any previous misconceptions you formed, at least that was my experience. I found myself quickly rooting for the love between Griffin and Hero.
There are many issues with Thomas's character. He is one of those political figures who overrides the desires and wants of his own heart to pursue what he believes will be better suited for his political and social life. That might sound self-sacrificing and noble, but when he couldn't keep his eyes off of his previous mistress Lady Tate (who he is still in love with), especially in the company of Lady Hero (his fiancé), I was like, "OH NO YOU DIDN'T!!" lol. Worse yet, Thomas planned on continuing a relationship with Lady Tate once settled in his marriage. Thomas is a man who insists on imposing a world with a set of rules that only benefit him. And, I say that because even Lady Tate, an older widow, had the decency to reject Thomas's offer to be his kept woman after his marriage to Lady Hero. I thought that depicted Lady Tate in a positive light, despite the circumstances. Ultimately, it works out for Thomas and Lady Tate and he finally comes to his senses about his love match--social norms be dammed.
I wanted to mention that there is a lot of exposure of the Duke of Wakefield, Lady Hero's brother who is the hero in Book #6. That man is wound up too tightly!!! He is such a stiff-neck & I'm glad he is going to get humbled & melted in his book. It's inevitable for such a staunch & hard character. (Secretly, I hope he suffers a bit in love because he just needs some breaking...& then healing... :-)
Another character I found really appealing was Griffin and Thomas's mother. She is such a perceptive, warm and caring woman. That was a nice change from some of the aristocratic mothers of her era.
As for the love between Griffin and Hero, it's the best kind. There is repulsion before there is conflict, followed by anger, tender moments, and then the realization of love. I don't think you can have true passion without some anger, and the angst between these characters is suitable to their situations.
Griffin is a great hero because underneath the facade of indifference, he is a hard-worker who sacrificed the completion of this education in order to resolve his family's financial predicament. His father's death left the family in dire, financial straights. So while Thomas maintains the appearance of the responsible man of his family, Griffin actually is the person who is good with finances and takes his family out of their economic crisis.
Now about the heroine, Lady Hero, her name is suited for her character. In the 1st book, Wicked Intentions, Temperance had the burden of finding a sponsor or donor to maintain the orphanage (the name is too long). In this book, Lady Hero takes on that burden and makes sure that the displaced children in St. Giles have a home to live in and are taken care of. I felt compassion for Lady Hero because initially she was a victim of her time period. The Duke of Wakefield set up her marriage to Thomas and pushed Lady Hero until the very end to marry him (even after Thomas hit Lady Hero). Lady Hero is no dummy though, she was aware of the issues with Thomas (his eyeing Lady Tate & lack of interest in her, and empty incessant flattery etc.) and I'm so glad her independent spirit pushed through to put her own desires before that of her brother and society.
Just as in every Elizabeth Hoyt novel, there are many conflicts and dilemmas that require strong solutions. The proportion of the dilemmas correlate to the strong and almost traumatic resolutions. When you fall in love with your brother's fiancé, there is bound to be an explosive breaking away....and, that is just one of the problems among many that needed to be addressed in order for a blissful happiness to come to pass for the couple. E.H. very cunningly and entertainingly tied up all lose ends as is her craft. Great book!!!!
P.S. -- Narrator is fabulous as always!
IT IS DEFINITELY ONE OF MY FAVORITES!!
I just cant seem to put them down. Hoyt does an excellant job of keeping you into the story
This was another great book in the series. As the sex is as hot as the first book, there was quite a bit of it this time with a little less story as the first. Still a great book but would like a little more story. I hope the third book is more like the first. It was definatly worth the credits. The narrtor does an excellent job.
"I wear a fez now, fez's are cool"
This book was my least favorite of the Maiden Lane series. I am not sure what it was about it that didn't interest me or at least didn't keep me listening to it without wanting to skip parts or put it down for other endeavors.
I was not a huge fan of Hero, she seemed a bit perfect yet too willing to set aside that perfection for Griffin, I didn't see the attraction or feel any chemistry between them.
I didn't particularly like the side characters with the exception of Patience and Winter (who is by far one of my all time favorite heroes - he is swoon worthy.)
There was nothing out right terrible about this book other than I am not a fan of love stories that involve cheating even if the match is arranged. Maybe it was that Hero was not that engaging or I was not interested in Griffin's chosen profession and it's side story.
It has taken me several months to listen to this book, the other 3 of the series I have listened to twice at least and loved every minute of them, but this one is very easily skipped even if part of it gives insight into Patience's story.
I wouldn't waste a credit on this. The rest of the series is much better and Elizabeth Hoyt tells a good story with flawed characters.
Ashford MacNab needs to narrate more books in my opinion. She does a fantastic job.
This 2nd book in the maiden lane series is very different than first with some similar concepts, but no wild tying episodes... :)
Very good, sexy, with well written, well rounded characters. Elizabeth Hoyt is an author with incredIble talent. Highly recommend. So far, I like this as much or more than the first.
And Ashford Mcnab has gotten her voice! She is wonderful.
Looking forward to reading more by this author and narrator.
I would change the progression of Hero's character; she had no substance, very boring.
For me, this book got good towards the end. Has not been my favorite because i felt as if the first part of the story was dragging on. However, I throughly enjoyed Griffin Remmingtons, Lord Readings character.
I love her voice for all the characters; she brings the characters to life.
The listening time was good. It was sufficient to find details on the plot.
I was going to stop listening after the first 2 hours because Hero was so gray. I continued to listen for Griffin Remington, Lord Readings character; exciting, seductive, dangerous, and everything a woman could want in a man. I throughly enjoyed book 3, and wook like to see the female characters with more to them, rather than just looking pretty with pouty red lips.
This is the first book by Elizabeth Hoyt that I could not finish. I didn't like Hero and therefore didn't care what happened to her.
yes, just because I felt like it was a great listen and a great story
My Brother's lady =p