Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt
Published by Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (July 17, 2010)
Genre: Romance, Historical, BDSM
Length: 401 pages
Wicked Intentions is the fourth romance novel I've read. All of the ones I've read have been part of a series. Wicked Intentions is the first book in the Maiden Lane series and it does suffer from first-book-in-a-series-itis almost all of the characters who are the hero in other books are introduced in this one. That showed by how much the author talked about Temperance’s two other brothers, Concord and Asa, and how much time they were given in the story even though their presence had no bearing on the plot at all, and the same thing goes for her sister Silence who has her own subplot which is actually just the prequel to her own book.
Outside of all the extra stuff that was shoved into the plot of this book, the plot itself was pretty good. Lord Caire is searching for a murderer in St. Giles where Temperance and her brother Winter run an orphange. Lord Caire enlists Temperance for her help in navigating St. Giles and in return he will help her find a patron for the orphanage since the previous patron had passed away. Lord Caire has a reputation for strange sexual proclivities that have given him quite a reputation. Temperance is a widow who thinks of herself as evil for having any kind of sexual appetite. And that's where this book lost steam for me. Lord Caire is this character that's been built up as some kind of sociopathic sexual deviant who just likes to toy with women without any regard for their hearts. We know that because it's stated by every character the talks to Temperance about Lord Caire and it's kind of played out by the way he talks to her in the first few scenes but not really. The reasoning given for why he's this way is also not fully realized. He makes some vague remarks about having a too stern father who let his younger sister die due to a recurring illness when she was five and also to a strict dance teacher but somehow those two vague memories morphed into him not being able to experience touch without it causing him pain. I don't fully buy that especially for the time period. Surely, he wasn't the only one who had a detached father and strict tutors that was kind of par for the course with 18th century nobility. Temperance reasoning for her “sexual deviancy” (ie wanting to have sex with her husband more that once a day) is even weaker. There's the vaguest mentions that her husband thought sex should be for child producing purposes only and she wanted to have sex just because she liked it, but nothing is played out. I have no idea if her husband ever said anything negative to her about her sexual appetite. So when they both come to accept who they are and why they are the way they are it kind of falls flat because you don't really know what they were all upset about in the first place. I wanted to like this story more. It had a lot of good things in it. The scenes between Temperance and Lord Caire were fun to read and they had a good back and forth, but I felt like the story overall was unfocused it was trying to set up to much and too many characters that it couldn't give the attention the main plot and characters deserved.