wicked intentions is the first book in elizabeth hoyt's maiden lane series. as of now there are 9 novels, with the 10th (duke of sin) publishing on tuesday, may 31st. i had read her previous series, the legend of the four soldiers, and liked the books a lot. so i'm not sure why i didn't read wicked intentions until now. i remember reading the excerpt, but i'm 85% positive i hadn't read the whole book. amazon reassures me that it has no record of me buying the book previously and i did go through a phase where i needed a break from historical romances, which probably explains why i hadn't picked up this series until now.
anyway, netgalley offered this book as a "read now" option, likely to drum up interest in the latest release. and guess what, the marketing worked! now i want to read the rest of the series, including the latest novel. wicked intentions takes place in the 18th century england, in the st. giles area of london, which during that time period was one of the poorest sectors of london and was riddled with crime and depravity. because this novel is the first of a series, a lot of time is spent not only establishing the area of st. giles known as maiden lane, but also a lot of groundwork is laid in getting to know secondary characters that will no doubt end up with starring roles in later novels. for the most part this is done somewhat organically, but the time spent establishing certain events that befall other characters takes away time from our two leads. both of whom have somewhat tortured backstories.
i do wonder if some of lord caire's back story was left out after editing? there are hints that he suffered some severe abuse, but the worst that is revealed is that he suffered extreme neglect. There is a hint that perhaps one of his early caregivers abused him, but it's never overtly stated in the manuscript and so remains a mystery even by the end of the novel. but wanting to know more about your characters isn't the worst thing in the world. it's certainly something that will keep me coming back for more in this series. temperance and lazarus are well matched, even up to their ridiculous names.
**i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/forever/grand central publishing in exchange for my honest review.