Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Elizabeth Hoyt - Sweetest Scoundrel

Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother's investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London's premier pleasure garden, Harte's Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can't be controlled.
Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn't have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden's larger-than-life owner, he's already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He's not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around . . . no matter how enticing she is.
In spite of her lack of theatrical experience—and her fiery clashes with Asa—Eve is determined to turn Harte's Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There's no denying the smoldering fire between them—and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all

Comment: This is the 9th installment in the amazing Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt and I must say the only reason why I don't devour them al in a row is so that I can have some left for longer and I can savor them for a longer period of time.

In this installment we have the story of Asa Makepeace, one of the brothers of the heroine from book #1 and other protagonists through the series. The heroine is Eve Dinwoody, a woman introduced very recently in the series but that readers recognize as the half-sister of one of the antagonists.
These two people couldn't be more different in temperament, in the way they see life and how to behave but they discover common ground and start to fall in love. But can they let go of fears from their pasts and give in to this new person who seems to become more and more important?

I probably repeat myself a lot when it comes to the things I say about this series and the aspects I like in these novels. But in reality, the stories are incredible and my favorite detail is as present here as I hoped for. I'm talking about the family bonds being obvious and the way characters interact between them, it's so amazing to see them part of each other's lives, as is realistic in people who would be close to one another.

The romance wasn't as romantic as I would immediately expect, since Eve had some issues to deal with and Asa isn't the most conventional of people. However, their bond felt real and of course we got to see that somehow developing because there are steps in between their interactions which lead us to believe things are changing between them in a slow pace.
It was also interesting to see how some complicated subjects were addressed in this story.
Part of this perception comes from the author's talent to let us appreciate each detail as it unfolds. I still think that Asa and Eve reach a certain intimate agreement in a slightly unrealistic manner but the romance needs to be a little fantast like, isn't that what we would want in a way, too?

The plot revolves around the improvement of Harte's Folly, a theater and pleasure garden in London. We don't have that much detail about this and I can see the goal wouldn't be so, but it would still be nice to have more scenes where the construction of this would matter and not have only scenes about it to justify some plot advance or such.

This isn't a perfect story but I admit it was easy to read, it was addictive to want to know what would happen next and of course, the HEA is sweet.
I won't go more into it, since this is a pure romance and that is certainly the focus.
We also had some clues about the next main couple and, as always, I have to say I'm curious about that story!
Grade: 8/10

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