by Elizabeth Hoyt
WELL, MS. HOYT, we meet at last. I finally get why my historical junkie friends (you know who you are) praise this author to the heavens. Admittedly, I really didn’t enjoy the Sweetest Scoundrel at first, but like a good bottle of red wine, it needed time to age before it developed into a most delicious treat.
Eve Dinwoody is certainly not your typical historical beauty. She is too stiff, too prim, and has a nose that’s too long. At least this is what Asa Makepeace, the owner of London's premier pleasure garden, Harte's Folly, thinks of her when she takes control of his finances. The harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charms.
It’s quite refreshing to read a love story that doesn’t begin with instant attraction, which is exactly the case with Eve and Asa. Eve finds Asa to be an infuriating scoundrel whom she constantly butts head with. And, Asa has no time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. But when near-death accidents begin occurring at Harte's Folly, Eve and Asa will have to learn to play nice in order to catch the killer. But, can they?
I enjoyed Asa from the start. He’s perfectly insufferable. However, I had to be patient with Eve. I wasn’t quite sure I liked her at first but the more I got to know her, the more I warmed up to her rigid and prudent personality. She’s not your typical charismatic romantic lead. There’s very little flirtatious bantering, which was a little disappointing. Her naiveté and reticence toward men would have made for a frustrating read, except somehow Ms. Hoyt makes it work because Eve also exhibits a bold and daring side.
I will definitely continue The Maiden Lane series because Ms. Hoyt has thoroughly piqued my interest with Eve’s brother—Val, the Duke of Montgomery. He’s a bit wicked (but in a good way), and he’s up to nothing good that I think will be really good.
I received this title from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you, especially to the author and publisher, for giving me an opportunity to review this title.
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