The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy #1)

( 144 )

Overview

Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant man on horseback nearly crushes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits.

THERE COMES A TIME IN A LADY'S LIFE

The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior.

WHEN SHE MUST...

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The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy #1)

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Overview

Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant man on horseback nearly crushes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits.

THERE COMES A TIME IN A LADY'S LIFE

The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior.

WHEN SHE MUST DO THE UNTHINKABLE . . .

When Anna becomes the earl's secretary, it would seem that both their problems are solved. But when she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London, she sees red-and decides to assuage her desires . . .

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446618472
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Series: Princes Trilogy Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 392
  • Sales rank: 487,884
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, The Raven Prince. Elizabeth's books have finaled four times in Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award contest, have won two Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Awards, and were nominated for a third. All of her books have received Top Pick reviews from Romantic Times BookReviews magazine. Both Wicked Intentions and Notorious Pleasures received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly. Four of her books were voted into All About Romance's (AAR's) Top 100 Romances of All Time list and six were Desert Isle Keepers at AAR. Elizabeth's books have been translated into twelve languages.

Elizabeth lives in central Illinois with a bevy of untrained canines and a garden in constant need of weeding. You can write to her at Elizabeth@ElizabethHoyt.com or PO Box 17134, Urbana, IL 61803. Please visit her website, ElizabethHoyt.com, for contests, book excerpts, news, and Sidetracked Research Articles. You can also follow her on Twitter @ElizabethHoyt and find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethHoytBooks

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Read an Excerpt



The Raven Prince



By Elizabeth Hoyt


Warner Forever


Copyright © 2006

Elizabeth Hoyt

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-61847-0



Chapter One


Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived an impoverished
duke and his three daughters....
-from The Raven Prince

LITTLE BATTLEFORD, ENGLAND

MARCH, 1760

The combination of a horse galloping far too fast, a muddy lane with
a curve, and a lady pedestrian is never a good one. Even in the best
of circumstances, the odds of a positive outcome are depressingly
low. But add a dog-a very big dog-and, Anna Wren reflected, disaster
becomes inescapable.

The horse in question made a sudden sideways jump at the sight of
Anna in its path. The mastiff, jogging beside the horse, responded
by running under its nose, which, in turn, made the horse rear.
Saucer-sized hooves flailed the air. And inevitably, the enormous
rider on the horse's back came unseated. The man went down at her
feet like a hawk shot from the sky, if less gracefully. His long
limbs sprawled as he fell, he lost his crop and tricorn, and he
landed with a spectacular splash in a mud puddle. A wall of filthy
water sprang up to drench her.

Everyone, including the dog, paused.

Idiot, Anna thought, but that was not what she said. Respectable
widows of a certain age-one and thirty in two months-do not hurl
epithets, however apt, at gentlemen. No, indeed.

"I do hope you are not damaged by your fall," shesaid instead. "May
I assist you to rise?" She smiled through gritted teeth at the
sodden man.

He did not return her pleasantry. "What the hell were you doing in
the middle of the road, you silly woman?"

The man heaved himself out of the mud puddle to loom over her in
that irritating way gentlemen had of trying to look important when
they'd just been foolish. The dirty water beading on his pale,
pockmarked face made him an awful sight. Black eyelashes clumped
together lushly around obsidian eyes, but that hardly offset the
large nose and chin and the thin, bloodless lips.

"I am so sorry." Anna's smile did not falter. "I was walking home.
Naturally, had I known you would be needing the entire width of the
throughway-"

But apparently his question had been rhetorical. The man stomped
away, dismissing her and her explanation. He ignored his hat and
crop to stalk the horse, cursing it in a low, oddly soothing
monotone.

The dog sat down to watch the show.

The horse, a bony bay, had peculiar light patches on its coat that
gave it an unfortunate piebald appearance. It rolled its eyes at the
man and sidled a few steps away.

"That's right. Dance around like a virgin at the first squeeze of a
tit, you revolting lump of maggot-eaten hide," the man crooned to
the animal. "When I get hold of you, you misbegotten result of a
diseased camel humping a sway-backed ass, I'll wring your cretinous
neck, I will."

The horse swiveled its mismatched ears to better hear the caressing
baritone voice and took an uncertain step forward. Anna sympathized
with the animal. The ugly man's voice was like a feather run along
the sole of her foot: irritating and tantalizing at the same time.
She wondered if he sounded like that when he made love to a woman.
One would hope he changed the words.

The man got close enough to the bemused horse to catch its bridle.
He stood for a minute, murmuring obscenities; then he mounted the
animal in one lithe movement. His muscular thighs, indecently
revealed in wet buckskins, tightened about the horse's barrel as he
turned its nose.

He inclined his bare head at Anna. "Madam, good day." And without a
backward glance, he cantered off down the lane, the dog racing
beside him. In a moment, he was out of sight. In another, the sound
of hoofbeats had died.

Anna looked down.

Her basket lay in the puddle, its contents-her morning
shopping-spilled in the road. She must've dropped it when she dodged
the oncoming horse. Now, a half-dozen eggs oozed yellow yolks into
the muddy water, and a single herring eyed her balefully as if
blaming her for its undignified landing. She picked up the fish and
brushed it off. It, at least, could be saved. Her gray dress,
however, drooped pitifully, although the actual color wasn't much
different from the mud that caked it. She plucked at the skirts to
separate them from her legs before sighing and dropping them. She
scanned the road in both directions. The bare branches of the trees
overhead rattled in the wind. The little lane stood deserted.

Anna took a breath and said the forbidden word out loud in front of
God and her eternal soul: "Bastard!" She held her breath, waiting
for a thunderbolt or, more likely, a twinge of guilt to hit her.
Neither happened, which ought to have made her uneasy. After all,
ladies do not curse gentlemen, no matter what the provocation.

And she was, above all things, a respectable lady, wasn't she?

By the time she limped up the front walk to her cottage, Anna's
skirts were dried into a stiff mess. In summer, the exuberant
flowers that filled the tiny front garden made it cheerful, but at
this time of year, the garden was mostly mud. Before she could reach
it, the door opened. A small woman with dove-gray ringlets bobbing
at her temples peered around the jamb.

"Oh, there you are." The woman waved a gravy-smeared wooden spoon,
inadvertently flinging drops on her cheek. "Fanny and I have been
making mutton stew, and I do think her sauce is improved. Why, you
can hardly see the lumps." She leaned forward to whisper, "But we
are still working on dumpling making. I'm afraid they have a rather
unusual texture."

Anna smiled wearily at her mother-in-law. "I'm sure the stew will be
wonderful." She stepped inside the cramped hall and put the basket
down.

The other woman beamed, but then her nose wrinkled as Anna moved
past her. "Dear, there's a peculiar odor coming from . . ." She
trailed off and stared at the top of Anna's head. "Why are you
wearing wet leaves in your hat?"

Anna grimaced and reached up to feel. "I'm afraid I had a slight
mishap on the high road."

"A mishap?" Mother Wren dropped the spoon in her agitation. "Are you
hurt? Why, your gown looks as if you've wallowed in a pigsty."

"I'm quite all right; just a bit damp."

"Well, we must get you into dry clothes at once, dear. And your
hair-Fanny!" Mother Wren interrupted herself to call in the general
direction of the kitchen. "We'll have to wash it. Your hair, I mean.
Here, let me help you up the stairs. Fanny!"

A girl, all elbows, reddened hands, and topped by a mass of carroty
hair, sidled into the hall. "Wot?"

Mother Wren paused on the stairs behind Anna and leaned over the
rail. "How many times have I told you to say, 'Yes, ma'am'? You'll
never become a maid in a big house if you don't speak properly."

Fanny stood blinking up at the two women. Her mouth was slightly
ajar.

Mother Wren sighed. "Go put a pot of water on to heat. Miss Anna
will be washing her hair."

The girl scurried into the kitchen, then popped her head back out.
"Yes, mum."

The top of the steep stairs opened onto a miniscule landing. To the
left was the elder woman's room; to the right, Anna's. She entered
her small room and went straight to the mirror hanging over the
dresser.

"I don't know what the town is coming to," her mother-in-law panted
behind her. "Were you splashed by a carriage? Some of these
mail-coach drivers are simply irresponsible. They think the entire
road is theirs alone."

"I couldn't agree with you more," Anna replied as she peered at her
reflection. A faded wreath of dried apple blossoms was draped over
the edge of the mirror, a memento from her wedding. "But it was a
single horseman in this case." Her hair was a rat's nest, and there
were still spots of mud on her forehead.

"Even worse, these gentlemen on horses," the older woman muttered.
"Why, I don't think they're able to control their animals, some of
them. Terribly dangerous. They're a menace to woman and child."

"Mmm." Anna took off her shawl, bumping her shin against a chair as
she moved. She glanced around the tiny room. This was where she and
Peter had spent all four years of their marriage. She hung her shawl
and hat on the hook where Peter's coat used to be. The chair where
he once piled his heavy law books now served as her bedside table.
Even his hairbrush with the few red hairs caught in its bristles had
long ago been packed away.

"At least you saved the herring." Mother Wren was still fretting.
"Although I don't think a dunking in mud will have improved its
flavor."

"No doubt," Anna replied absently. Her eyes returned to the wreath.
It was crumbling. No wonder, since she had been widowed six years.
Nasty thing. It would be better in the garden rubbish pile. She
tossed it aside to take down later.

"Here, dear, let me help you." Mother Wren began unhooking the dress
from the bottom. "We'll have to sponge this right away. There's
quite a bit of mud around the hem. Perhaps if I applied a new trim ..."
Her voice was muffled as she bent over. "Oh, that reminds me,
did you sell my lace to the milliner?"

Anna pushed the dress down and stepped out of it. "Yes, she quite
liked the lace. She said it was the finest she'd seen in a while."

"Well, I have been making lace for almost forty years." Mother Wren
tried to look modest. She cleared her throat. "How much did she give
you for it?"

Anna winced. "A shilling sixpence." She reached for a threadbare
wrap.

"But I worked five months on it," Mother Wren gasped.

"I know." Anna sighed and took down her hair. "And, as I said, the
milliner considered your work to be of the finest quality. It's just
that lace doesn't fetch very much."

"It does once she puts it on a bonnet or a dress," Mother Wren
muttered.

Anna grimaced sympathetically. She took a bathing cloth off a hook
under the eaves, and the two women descended the stairs in silence.

In the kitchen, Fanny hovered over a kettle of water. Bunches of
dried herbs hung from the black beams, scenting the air. The old
brick fireplace took up one whole wall. Opposite was a
curtain-framed window that overlooked the back garden. Lettuce
marched in a frilled chartreuse row down the tiny plot, and the
radishes and turnips had been ready for a week now.

Mother Wren set a chipped basin on the kitchen table. Worn smooth by
many years of daily scrubbing, the table took pride of place in the
middle of the room. At night they pushed it to the wall so that the
little maid could unroll a pallet in front of the fire.

Fanny brought the kettle of water. Anna bent over the basin, and
Mother Wren poured the water on her head. It was lukewarm.

Anna soaped her hair and took a deep breath. "I'm afraid we will
have to do something about our financial situation."

"Oh, don't say there will be more economies, dear," Mother Wren
moaned. "We've already given up fresh meat except for mutton on
Tuesdays and Thursdays. And it's been ages since either of us has
had a new gown."

Anna noticed that her mother-in-law didn't mention Fanny's upkeep.
Although the girl was supposedly their maid-cum-cook, in reality she
was a charitable impulse on both their parts. Fanny's only relative,
her grandfather, had died when she was ten. At the time, there'd
been talk in the village of sending the girl to a poorhouse, but
Anna had moved to intervene, and Fanny had been with them ever
since. Mother Wren had hopes of training her to work in a large
household, but so far her progress was slow.

"You've been very good about the economies we've made," Anna said
now as she worked the thin lather into her scalp. "But the
investments Peter left us aren't doing as well as they used to. Our
income has decreased steadily since he passed away."

"It's such a shame he left us so little to live on," Mother Wren
said.

Anna sighed. "He didn't mean to leave such a small sum. He was a
young man when the fever took him. I'm sure had he lived, he
would've built up the savings substantially."

In fact, Peter had improved their finances since his own father's
death shortly before their marriage. The older man had been a
solicitor, but several ill-advised investments had landed him deeply
in debt. After the wedding, Peter had sold the house he had grown up
in to pay off the debts and moved his new bride and widowed mother
into the much-smaller cottage. He had been working as a solicitor
when he'd become ill and died within the fortnight.

Leaving Anna to manage the little household on her own. "Rinse,
please."

A stream of chilly water poured over her nape and head. She felt to
make sure no soap remained, then squeezed the excess water from her
hair. She wrapped a cloth around her head and glanced up. "I think I
should find a position."

"Oh, dear, surely not that." Mother Wren plopped down on a kitchen
chair. "Ladies don't work."

Anna felt her mouth twitch. "Would you prefer I remain a lady and
let us both starve?"

Mother Wren hesitated. She appeared to actually debate the question.

"Don't answer that," Anna said. "It won't come to starvation anyway.
However, we do need to find a way to bring some income into the
household."

"Perhaps if I were to produce more lace. Or, or I could give up meat
entirely," her mother-in-law said a little wildly.

"I don't want you to have to do that. Besides, Father made sure I
had a good education."

Mother Wren brightened. "Your father was the best vicar Little
Battleford ever had, God rest his soul. He did let everyone know his
views on the education of children."

"Mmm." Anna took the cloth off her head and began combing out her
wet hair. "He made sure I learned to read and write and do figures.
I even have a little Latin and Greek. I thought I'd look tomorrow
for a position as a governess or companion."

"Old Mrs. Lester is almost blind. Surely her son-in-law would hire
you to read-" Mother Wren stopped.

Anna became aware at the same time of an acrid scent in the air.
"Fanny!"

The little maid, who had been watching the exchange between her
employers, yelped and ran to the pot of stew over the fire. Anna
groaned.

Another burned supper.

FELIX HOPPLE PAUSED before the Earl of Swartingham's library door to
take stock of his appearance. His wig, with two tight sausage curls
on either side, was freshly powdered in a becoming lavender shade.
His figure-quite svelte for a man of his years-was highlighted by a
puce waistcoat edged with vining yellow leaves. And his hose had
alternating green and orange stripes, handsome without being
ostentatious. His toilet was perfection itself. There was really no
reason for him to hesitate outside the door.

He sighed. The earl had a disconcerting tendency to growl. As estate
manager of Ravenhill Abbey, Felix had heard that worrisome growl
quite a bit in the last two weeks. It'd made him feel like one of
those unfortunate native gentlemen one read about in travelogues who
lived in the shadows of large, ominous volcanoes. The kind that
might erupt at any moment. Why Lord Swartingham had chosen to take
up residence at the Abbey after years of blissful absence, Felix
couldn't fathom, but he had the sinking feeling that the earl
intended to remain for a very, very long time.

The steward ran a hand down the front of his waistcoat. He reminded
himself that although the matter he was about to bring to the earl's
attention was not pleasant, it could in no way be construed as his
own fault. Thus prepared, he nodded and tapped at the library door.

There was a pause and then a deep, sure voice rasped, "Come."

The library stood on the west side of the manor house, and the
late-afternoon sun streamed through the large windows that took up
nearly the entire outside wall. One might think this would make the
library a sunny, welcoming room, but somehow the sunlight was
swallowed by the cavernous space soon after it entered, leaving most
of the room to the domain of the shadows. The ceiling-two stories
high-was wreathed in gloom.

The earl sat behind a massive, baroque desk that would've dwarfed a
smaller man. Nearby, a fire attempted to be cheerful and failed
dismally. A gigantic, brindled dog sprawled before the hearth as if
dead. Felix winced. The dog was a mongrel mix that included a good
deal of mastiff and perhaps some wolfhound. The result was an ugly,
mean-looking canine he tried hard to avoid.

He cleared his throat. "If I could have a moment, my lord?"

Lord Swartingham glanced up from the paper in his hand. "What is it
now, Hopple? Come in, come in, man. Sit down while I finish this.
I'll give you my attention in a minute."

(Continues...)





Excerpted from The Raven Prince
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Copyright © 2006 by Elizabeth Hoyt.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits.

WHEN SHE MUST DO THE UNTHINKABLE

The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior.

AND FIND EMPLOYMENT.

When Anna becomes the earl's secretary, it would seem that both their problems are solved. Then she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London for his "manly" needs. Well! Anna sees red-and decides to assuage her "womanly" desires - with the earl as her unknowing lover.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 144 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(76)

4 Star

(48)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 144 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Best of the Three

    I liked this one best of the three Prince books. The story was good fast paced and orginial, as these go. But what I liked most about it was that the fairy tale within the book was written out separately at the beginning of the chapters, like Elizabeht Hoyt's Four Soldier's book are, instead of being enmeshed in the story. They serve as indicator of what the chapter is going to be about, but if you get anxious to finish the fairy tale you can go from chapter to chapter and read it. When it in the story that's hard to do besides having the story rushed as it was in the Serpent Prince.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2007

    Definately Add This One To Your List!

    Excellent book! I have been reading historical romances for over 20 years now. Authors and styles come and go. I am always looking for the next great read and this one was a keeper! So many titles, covers and reviews seem good and then disappoint in person. This one stands up to the test. I especially like when an author does NOT make the hero and heroine perfect looking and having the perfect titles, homes, friends and valuables. These two had some good things but, by no means it all. They were two oddities just looking for each other but, didn't realize it until later. I liked that Anna seemed the simple, plain 30 somethng widower but, inside she was warm, smart, sexy and beautiful - but, only to one choosing to look deeper at her. In turn, Edward was scarred from disease and hurts in life and he too needed to be seen from the inside out before his warmth, charm and tenderness shown through. Loved the author choosing those routes instead of the usual perfect Earl and breathtaking Duke's daughter or something similar. The friendship that formed between the two as they worked on manuscripts was interesting. The passion and attraction that built as time went on was wonderfully drawn out. The intimacy that came by the middle of the book was hot and very sexy to imagine. Although I agree with one reviewer that I don't care for authors using the 'f' word, 'c' word or 'p' word in romance novels - this one was solid enough that I could over-look it without much difficulty. Plus, she did not use these words so often you would cringe knowing it was coming again. Would I choose other words - sure but, this book and story was good enough that it really didn't turn you off as some books do (like true erotic romance novels do). This was truely a historical romance with some seriously hot loving thrown in but, it was story appropriate if you get my meaning. If you are looking for a new and strong author who shines in the historical romance area then by all means give Elizabeth Hoyt a try and The Raven Prince. I plan on buying her newest book coming out in April 07' and will keep her on my future buying list. Hope she writes fast - I think she has people waiting for more great stories. I know I am. Happy reading!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2006

    A Delightful Historical Romance with a Fairy Tale Twist!

    We are not all what we seem, is one of the themes that pervades this story, as well as the delightful introductions to each chapter of the real fairy tale The Raven Prince, that make this story a delight and a book difficult to put down. Edward De Raff, the fifth Earl of Swartingham is a large, pox-marked man, and is the lone survivor of the horrible smallpox disease that took his entire family in his youth. He returns to his home estate plagued with memories of them and a past marriage that ended in the death of his wife in childbirth a wife who died unable to love him because of his scars. He plans to remarry the young, quiet, Lady Gerard, who continues to tell him (while always looking down at her hands) that the scars do not matter. But this man is also known for a temper and now has a more difficult situation because he is in need of a secretary one that will stay with him long enough to complete his manuscript. Anna Wren has lived in Little Battleford her entire life. A beautiful widow of good moral standing in the community, she has been living for the past six years with her mother-in-law and a young woman in need the two women took in. She has been hurting financially and emotionally, as when her husband passed, he not only left her to live with a financial burden, but with sad memories of a childless and unfaithful marriage. She is thinking through her situation and how she is to continue feeding her little family, when the Earl charges through town on his horse and nearly runs her over and unseats himself. As he rages out of the mud puddle he has fallen into, Anna sees this famous temper for herself, but also finds that she is intrigued by this large man. She soon learns the Earl's steward is looking for a secretary and asks for the position. Mr. Hopple is desperate and he hires Anna. When Anna arrives at the estate to begin her job it is the Earl's turn to be intrigued. He finds her beautiful and intelligent and soon finds himself overwhelmed by lust for her. He travels to London to visit a famous brothel, Aphrodite's Grotto to work off his lust and temptation for Anna. Anna is drawn to the Earl as well and becomes angry that he would lust for her and then turn to another woman. She wants to disguise and mask herself and request the Earl as her guest at Aphrodite's Grotto. At one time Anna rescued a prostitute, Pearl, from the side of the road, after she was beaten and left for dead. Anna turns to Pearl for help, as Pearl knows the owner of Aphrodite's Grotto. Edward and Anna meet for two nights of passion so intense that they are both haunted with the sensual pleasure afterward. Soon Edward finds out it was Anna he met with and once his anger subsides, he makes the decision to end the arranged marriage to Lady Gerard and marry Anna. Anna feels she is not good enough for Edward, especially because she feels she is childless, and the chase, continued lust, passion and love build to a delightful ending. The Raven Prince is truly a beautiful story with characters that are real and unforgettable. The love scenes are beautifully written. It is a story that makes you believe that true love conquers all. Elizabeth Hoyt is one of those authors that will not be able to write fast enough for her fans.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2006

    A Little Too Crude For Me

    I guess I just don't like objectifying, misogynistic language when it comes to describing the female anatomy. Sorry, but I never 'felt' the romance. Seems like the relationship between these two people was all about faceless, soulless, purely physical sex, and the language Ms. Hoyt uses, whether it's correct or not for the period, was too off-putting for me to enjoy this. If you like erotica or porn, maybe this is for you, but there's nothing tender or loving or deep about this relationship. I was actually kind of grossed out. The 'f' word, the 'c' word and the 'p' word just make me think of women-haters and rapists, not lovers.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A charming and delightful romance

    In 1760 the Earl de Raaf, Edward, returns home for the first time in two decades he has avoided this place he loved as a child because the deaths of his beloved family members made Ravenhill haunted. Still he knows it is time to move on.------------ Widow Anna Wren needs employment to support her mother-in-law, their ¿servant¿ and herself. She learns from Edward¿s estate manager Felix Hopple that he needs a new secretary as none stay very long out of fear of his bark. She applies and accepts the job though a female is normally considered unsuited. As she performs her duties exemplary, Anna falls in love with her employer, but he seems not to notice her except as his drudge. Instead he turns to Aphrodite¿s Grotto for his pleasure Anna vows to make him take notice that she is a woman in love even if it means meeting him at the brothel he seems to frequent.------------------ THE RAVEN PRINCE is a terrific Georgian romance starring a fascinating heroine who defies the era to bring bread on the table for her and the two females who depend on her. Edward is interesting also as his childhood tragedy still traumatizes his thinking until he falls in love with his secretary. Readers will enjoy their brothel courting.-------------- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Hoyt Does It Again!

    I've read every novel by Elizabeth Hoyt and this is definitely one of my favorites. It is fast-paced. The characters are hilarious and Hoyt's voice is flawless as she spins their tale. Great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

    The raven prience

    The best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Great series

    Great series

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    Great read

    Always love the confident and strong-willed female characters

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  • Posted February 21, 2013

    My first book by this author. Loved it sorry to see it end. Will

    My first book by this author. Loved it sorry to see it end. Will certainly read more of her books.

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  • Posted January 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by SUZANNE & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    Reviewed by SUZANNE & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    This was a fantastic book, it is superbly written and really stands out from the crowd of other historical romances with its unique characters and lovely romance. ~ Under the Covers

    Impoverished widow Mrs Anna Wren needs to find a job if she doesn’t wish to starve to death, luckily Edward de Raaf, Earl of Swartingham needs a new secretary as he has managed to scare of the latest one with his quick and extremely loud temper. Anna isn’t so easily frightened away and as their friendship grows, so does their desire.

    For my first read of 2013 I decided to start with a series that I know I love, so I chose the Princes Trilogy, its mixture of romance, passion and humour always has me completed absorbed in its’ pages.

    What first caught my eye about this book was the hero, Edward, he isn’t your typical historical hero, he is ugly and pock marked with a foul temper and doesn’t hesitate to bellow at people and throw any nearby ornaments. Yet somehow I found myself as drawn to him as Anna was, you forget his ugliness as the book goes on as you see the warm and caring man beneath who only wants to rebuild his home and start building a family to fill it. Anna was his perfect match, unafraid of his fearsome temper and appearance she was feisty and brave enough to come out of the role that society had cast for her and do what she needed to, be it find a job, help someone in need or go after the man she was falling in love with.

    The romance between the pair grew steadily through the book as their friendship develops. I really enjoyed this deepening of their affections rather the insta-love, it made the connection between the two characters seem much abiding and deeply rooted as their love grows organically through the book. I also like how the romance in the book correlated with the telling of the fairy tale at the beginning of each chapter. The fairy tale was a brilliant touch, penned by Edwards sister, it added an extra dimension to the book and I found myself looking forward to the new chapters so I could see what would happen next in the tale.

    This was a fantastic book, it is superbly written and really stands out from the crowd of other historical romances with its unique characters and lovely romance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    Loved it

    I loved this novel so much. My only complaint is that it was over too soon, i wish it had been a bit longer. I miss the charecters!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    Lovely

    Lovely story. As all of her books miss oyt has don it aain....a lovely story indeed

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  • Posted September 12, 2012

    Enjoyable and entertaining.

    Enjoyable and entertaining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Brontes Revisited?

    Story seems a combination of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2012

    Great Book

    I rarely give 4 or 5 stars because a book has to have everything in a genre for me to rate it high. I gave the book 4 stars because it started really slow. It had great detail but it moved too slow, I rolled my eyes like get flowing. But once it got started the action, romance, love, mystery and hot and I do mean hot intimacy all came together for a thrilling book. I loved this book immensely, I read other comments about the language and it didn't bother me. I was so involved with the story and the plot that the language was minor. The book had such vivid details and depth. Edward and Anna's romance was sweet, endearing and both characters evolved. I will be reading this book again and again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Great series

    Great start to a great series.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommend

    Good story, good plot, good character development. Typical historical romance. Nice read for the beach or a rainy day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    A well-written book with well-developed characters

    I do understand that when one reads books in the romance genre, one is sure to encounter archetypes rather than characters, but it gets old pretty quick. I was thrilled to read this book and discover a slew of well-written, well-developed characters who behaved in real ways. There is really only one character who is a trifle one-dimensional, and she's a very minor character. I found the sensuality to be a wee bit racier than I generally prefer, but it wasn't jarring. Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance, wants a book that is slightly more driven by character development than by plot (not to say that the book has a weak plot, but the plot seems to exist more at the whim of the characters than the other way round... for example, the characters are thrown together because they are drawn to one another rather than because they are both running away from a murderous villain), and is comfortable with more than a few quite detailed sex scenes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Excellent

    Excellent read, my first by this author, definitely not my last. Highly recommend.

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