Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane Series #3)

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River pirate "Charming" Mickey O'Connor has lifted himself from the depths of the slums to be the king of St. Giles. Anything he wants he gets-with one exception. Silence Hollingbrook has been haunting his dreams ever since she spent a single night in his bed.


Once Silence was willing to sacrifice anything to save the man she loved. Now a widow, she's ...

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Scandalous Desires (Maiden Lane Series #3)

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River pirate "Charming" Mickey O'Connor has lifted himself from the depths of the slums to be the king of St. Giles. Anything he wants he gets-with one exception. Silence Hollingbrook has been haunting his dreams ever since she spent a single night in his bed.


Once Silence was willing to sacrifice anything to save the man she loved. Now a widow, she's finally found peace when Charming Mickey comes storming back into her life with an offer she can't refuse. But this time she won't be the only one paying the price for his sins.


When his past comes back to torment him, Mickey must keep Silence safe from a merciless enemy, while wrestling with the delicious hold this widow has on his heart. And in the face of mounting danger, both will have to surrender to something even more terrifying . . . true love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hoyt’s third Maiden Lane novel (after February 2011’s Notorious Pleasures) is historical romance at its best. In 18th-century London, widow Silence Hollingbrook helps her brother run the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children. Silence has bonded with young Mary Darling, the illegitimate daughter of notorious pirate Mickey O’Connor. When Mick’s enemies threaten Mary, he takes her back into his home; Silence, knowing her reputation has already been tarnished by her previous association with Mick, insists on accompanying the child. Hoyt slowly reveals the man behind the pirate, one who buried his ability to love so he could rise above the slums of St. Giles. Silence and Mick share their deepest secrets, creating a mutual trust that is tested as a mysterious enemy threatens them both. Series fans will be enthralled, while new readers will find this emotionally charged installment stands very well alone. (Nov.)
-Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
"There's an enchantment to Hoyt's stories that makes you believe in the magic of love."
Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine
There's an enchantment to Hoyt's stories that makes you believe in the magic of love.
-Julianne MacLean
"Elizabeth Hoyt writes with flair, sophistication, and unstoppable passion."
From the Publisher
"Bestseller Hoyt brings steamy this engaging series launch... enhanced by earthy, richly detailed characterizations and deft historical touches."—Publishers Weekly (starred review on Wicked Intentions)

"There's an enchantment to Hoyt's stories that makes you believe in the magic of love."—-Romantic Times BOOKreviews Magazine

"Elizabeth Hoyt writes with flair, sophistication, and unstoppable passion."—-Julianne MacLean, author of PORTRAIT OF A LOVER

"Hoyt is firmly in control of her craft with engaging characters, gripping plot and clever dialogue."—-Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446558938
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/18/2011
  • Series: Maiden Lane Series, #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 238,038
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

The winters in Minnesota have been known to be long and cold and Elizabeth is always thrilled to receive reader mail. You can write to her at: P.O. Box 19495, Minneapolis, MN 55419 or email her at:

You can learn more at:
Twitter @elizabethhoyt

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 111 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 112 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    one of the year's best historical tales

    1738 widow Silence Hollingbrook and her brother manage the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children in the St. Giles slims of London. She adores all the children, but especially loves Mary Darling, abandoned as an infant.

    River pirate Mickey O'Connor left his newborn daughter with Silence whom he met when they shared the greatest night of his life that ruined hers almost a year ago. He felt his little darling was better off with Silence in order to keep her safe from his ruthless rivals. However, an unknown amoral adversary learns the truth as to who sired little Mary and plan to snatch her as leverage. Instead Mickey kidnaps his daughter forcing Silence to enter the abode of the man she loves.

    The third Maiden Lane Georgian romance (see Wicked Intentions and Notorious Pleasures) is one of the year's best historical tales. With a strong deep cast, the fast-paced story line is filled with passion and pathos. The pirate and the do-gooder fall in love, but each recognizing no hope for a future, let alone together; as danger from several sides mount they never lose sight of protecting their little darling.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Scandalous Desi

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

    Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Book Three of the Maiden Lane series
    Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
    Publication Date: October 24, 2011
    Rating: 4 stars
    Source: Publisher - won a giveaway

    ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies in a woman's heart?

    Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind—and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back . . . and he's asking for her help.

    "Charming" Mickey O'Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London's criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he's never been able to forget the naive captain's wife who came to him for help—and spent one memorable night in his bed . . . talking. 

    When his bastard baby girl was dumped in his lap—her mother having died—Mickey couldn't resist the Machiavellian urge to leave the baby on Silence's doorstep. The baby would be hidden from his enemies and he'd also bind Silence to him by her love for his daughter.

    What I Liked:

    Oh my gosh. This book... I loved it so much. It is different from the other Maiden Lane books, and I love that. Mickey and Silence - ah! I love the pair of them so much.

    I love this book for so many reasons, but one of the biggest ones is the progression of Mickey and Silence's relationship. As with every Maiden Lane book, there is some intense chemistry, and yet, by the end of the book, the two protagonists truly love each other. This book is no different in that aspect, but there is more. 

    Silence and Mickey do not originally lust after each other (at least, Silence does not). In the beginning, Silence is infuriated with Mickey, because he took Mary Darling from her (Mary Darling is the small child that Silence has been taking care of - introduced in Book Two). Mickey and Silence have previously met before - in Book One - and those circumstances were life-changing for Silence (read Book One and Book Two for more).

    So, in the beginning, Silence wants nothing to do with Mickey. She agrees to stay with him only so she can stay with Mary Darling. Mickey, on the other hand, subtly notices her as a woman, but no real attraction sprouts from either of them until the book continues.

    My point is, the chemistry starts NOT at the beginning, it builds and builds, and I believe that this allows Silence and Mickey to have less of a physical relationship, and more of an intellectual or friend-like relationship. It's around 80% of the book that the first love scene occurs, and by then, both characters unknowingly love each other (well, Silence knows she loves him; Mickey doesn't acknowledge it and won't admit anything).

    Mickey's background story is truly heartbreaking. It makes him less of a roguish pirate with a black heart, and more of a human being. Don't get me wrong, I still love his pirate nature, but I love his gentler side as well. Especially when he finally warms up to his daughter! So sweet.

    The ending to this story is different than the endings of Book Five, Book One, and Book Two (I can't say anything for Book Four yet). The circumstances of the climax are very different, and therefore, the ending is different. I'm said to see a certain part of Mickey disappear, but I am thrilled with the ending nonetheless. Don't get me wrong - it's a happy ending. It's just different from the usual happy ending.

    Did I mention that Mickey is Irish, and Hoyt incorporates his accent into the dialogue? It's hilarious and endearing. And did I mention that unlike high-society gentleman, Mickey walks around bare-backed? YUP. 

    What I Did Not Like:

    I didn't have many problems with this book. Towards the end, like, the last 30%, was a bit crammed and rushed, and I didn't like that Silence kept distancing herself from Mickey. But again, happy ending. Everything (for the most part) worked itself out.

    Would I Recommend It:

    YES! Go get this one. I love it so much, and I have already re-read it several times since I first read it. It's that good!


    4 stars. This one might be my favorite of the series. I have one more to read - Book Four, Thief of Shadows, but I really, really liked this one. And Book Five. And Book One. They're all so good!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Can love ever be considered an excess you do not need?

    Silence Hollingbrook had made a pact with the devil and she knows she is going to regret it. Now this particular devil happens to be in an exquisite package known as "Charming" Mickey O'Connor, but the devil he most certainly is. Silence needs protection Mickey's daughter, Mary Darling and the only way to secure that is by moving into his palace. Yes, Silence is going to enter the pirate's den of inequity but only to keep the baby safe. She will do anything; even sell her soul to Mickey, again.

    Mickey has no idea why he feels this pull toward Silence but he must have her and whatever means he must use to secure that including his daughter is on the table. He is a pirate, thief, and marauder who loves the taste of victory and will keep what he values safe from those that want to take it away. The enemy is nipping at Mickey's heels and someone is tipping them off to his every move and especially the areas of personal vulnerability. Mickey has no idea why someone working for him would do this but when discovers who it is misery and pain will rain down upon them. Mickey has known poverty, despair, and complete isolation and nothing will ever take him back to where he came from. The life he has built albeit not legal is fulfilling and what he does not own, well he can just steal from someone else.

    Silence has way of winning over Mickey's staff, controlling everyone's behavior including his dog. The more time she spends in Mickey's house, the more dangerous he becomes to her as Silence is finding it hard to resist the descent man she sees hiding inside Mickey. He pursues her as if a love struck boy and wants her to obey him but will do anything she asks just for her to notice him. When Silence turns her anger into affection Mickey becomes more than infatuated with her, he is obsessed with her loving him.

    Despite the danger surrounding them, Mickey and Silence will fight friend and foe to prove they are destined to be together.

    Elizabeth Hoyt knows how to deliver quality, enchanting historical romance with every book. She sets the scenario for two people to battle it out and together winning the war of love.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:


    Loved this wonderful story. Loved all characters except for one

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 20, 2011

    Loved It!

    Elizabeth Hoyt is one of the few authors that I have read every book she has written, and am continually mesmorized by the way she can manipulate and create exciting plots. I loved the tension and the growing love story between Silence and Mickey. I thought that Ms. Hoyt captured the dialect of a Pirate King very accurately, which just added to the enjoyment of the story. The only thing that I would fault is that three-quarters of the way through the story, we seemed to have stopped mentioning Mary Darling very much: She who was the impetus of much of the action, was marginalized in the last quarter to focus more intently on the romance between the two main characters. I understand this worked to further the plot, but it seemed a bit too abrupt. That said, it really didn't diminish my enjoyment of the novel. I also was excited with how the stage was set for the next book in the series. I have to say, the big reveal at the end of the story about the Ghost of St. Giles wasn't exactly a surprise (it is something I suspected since the first book), but I am excited that we are going to get to see more about that angle. I hope Mickey and Silence make an appearence in that story as well - they are among my favorite couples of the Maiden Lane Series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2014

    Maiden Lane, a Georgian era series by Elizabeth Hoyt, is written

    Maiden Lane, a Georgian era series by Elizabeth Hoyt, is written in an almost fairy tale style. But it’s not light as Eloisa James’ Fairy Tales series. It is serious, rather dark, and very romantic.
    Indeed, a short passage from an original fairy tale, Clever John, precedes each chapter, perfectly mirroring the events of this romance. I would say it’s more of a morality tale where true love conquers all struggles.
    Several months earlier, Silence Hollingbrook was publicly humiliated after spending one night in river pirate Charming Mickey O’Connor’s decadent palace of vice and sin. She was there to plead mercy for her beloved husband, William, who was accused of stealing cargo from one of Mickey’s ships. To spare him, Silence agreed to Mickey’s terms that she stay one night with him and risk her honor…but nothing happened. He merely fed her a delicious and extravagant meal and then let her be. After that fateful night, no one believed her version of the truth, William never looked at her the same way again, and her pristine reputation was shattered forever.
    Since then, William has died at sea leaving Silence a lonely and heartbroken widow until an infant was abandoned on her doorstep. She began helping her older siblings more with their charitable endeavor, The Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children, managing the Home in the dangerous London St. Giles neighborhood and, in doing so, found some meaning, purpose, and peace in her life once again.
    The child, christened Mary Darling, was cared for by Silence for almost a year until she was kidnapped. During this time, Silence had also received mysterious gifts, including a lock of black hair that matched Mary Darling’s…and Mickey O’Connor’s. At the beginning of Scandalous Desires, Silence bravely marches back to Mickey’s palace, suspicious that he has the child and demands her back.
    Mickey O’Connor is a ruthless and dangerous man who has many enemies. An Irishman raised in St. Giles in poverty, he has known hunger and abuse. But he’s also handsome and charming and Silence agrees to move into his palace to care for Mickey’s daughter because he promises she may keep the child once he ensures their safety.
    Of course, Silence’s family is shocked and outraged because, not only will it ruin and harm their beloved sister’s reputation even more, it will also shame the Home and its ability to get rich and aristocratic donors to contribute to its continued operation and success.
    Soon after she moves in, Silence charms Mickey’s loyal servants, a loveable ragtag group who dine together at one massive table. They smuggle food to her when she refuses to bow to Mickey’s command to join them and are kind to her. This creates some wonderfully funny and almost sweet moments as Silence upends Mickey’s tightly controlled and rigid life. We especially get to know Bert and Harry, Mickey’s most loyal guards.
    “Silence disliked him, disobeyed him, argued with him, and was all but starting a rebellion amongst his people, and still he indulged her.” (p.131)
    Silence is a strong woman who stands up for justice and she defends those she loves with her life. She represents all that is good, pure, and beautiful in the world to Mickey. It is something he desperately wants in his life but is also something he fears is just too good to be true. As she weaves her way into his life, he slowly lets his guard down and allows her to come to know him, sharing in his darkest secrets and his innermost fears. He is also drawn to her fierce maternal instincts in her love for his daughter, Mary Darling, a child he is ambivalent about until Silence’s goodness helps him realize what Mary means to him. Silence’s beauty and compassion remind him of his beloved mother, with whom he had a complicated and ambivalent relationship.
    Silence sees and empathizes with Mickey’s painful and horrific childhood, much as Verity Ashton does with Justin Kinmurrie in Anna Campbell’s Claiming the Courtesan. As she gets to know him, she falls in love with the man she sees inside the cunning pirate facade.
    This is a Georgian era romance, set in 1738 and the gritty and perilous streets of St. Giles are a stark contrast to the elegant and inviting atmosphere of Windward House, Mickey’s safe haven in the country where he is merely Michael Rivers, a shipbuilder. The descriptions of this house are some of the best parts of the book; it’s comforting, it’s home, and it’s where Michael gathers all the beautiful things in his life and keeps them safe, including eventually, Silence and Mary.
    The ending is a tension-filled and on-edge experience with excitement and danger counting down the pages. There are also some hints of a future love story for Silence’s serious brother, Winter, and a rich, beautiful, and playful patroness, Lady Isabel Beckinall.
    And who is the infamous and mysterious Ghost of St. Giles? It’s a mysterious minor subplot that runs through the entire Maiden Lane series and we have hints to his identity in this story. Or do we?  He is a sort of Batman figure, dressed as a harlequin, that appears throughout the book, rescuing the poor people of St. Giles from danger and injustice.
    A passionate and romantic story told with wonderful pacing and emotion. This is a strong and wonderfully written series, but it is best read in order for character development and time and plot progression. 
    This review first appeared on Romantic Historical Reviews.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2014


    A tall gal walked onto the shore, dropping her dgger into the sand. She plopped down, taking off her red bandanna and leather jacket. She pulled an apple fom her shirt pocket, tossing it up and catching it. She took a bite, her ponytail swinging in the wind.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Worth the read

    The concept of falling for the person who through the series was really the bad guy- done beautifully. My only frustration was withthe ending seeming too simple but overall a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2013

    Not up to her standard of the 1&2 of Maiden Lane Series .The

    Not up to her standard of the 1&2 of Maiden Lane Series .The lead lady
     asked the most ridiculous questions of the hero (?)considering her back
     ground  with children at the shelter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Not her best

    I generally love Lisa Kleypas, both in her historicals and her contemporary novels. But this novel felt dashed off and flat -- like her publisher insisted she do a 50 Shades-themed book, complete with both an unlikeable jerk of a hero and sex scenes all about control. What's so wrongheaded about this is that Kleypas already wrote with plenty of heat, and without sacrificing story and characterization the way this book does.

    Here's hoping her next book is a return to form.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Charming Mickey!!!

    I adore a pirate, and apparently so does Miss Silence. Great story of redemption.

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  • Posted December 20, 2012

    My only complaint...I wanted more!

    Loved the storyline. The rather eccentric and dark Hero. The wonderfully strong yet vulnerable heroine. I only wish there were more hot scenes between the two. Hoyt is great creating wonderful sexual tension between them just would have liked to see that "boil over" more! Loved it!

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    more from this reviewer


    SCANDALOUS DESIRES by Eliazabeth Hoyt is an another amazing historical romance set in 1738 England. It is the 3rd book in the "Maiden Lane" series,but can be read as a stand alone. See, "Wicked Intentions" and "Notorious Pleasures". "Scandalous Desires" is the story of River pirate Mickey O'Connor "Charming" and the lovely Silence Hollingbrook. I have enjoyed each of the other two of this series,but I think at this point "Scandalous Desires" is my favorite. It is fast paced,action packed,with surprises,danger,romance,sweet sensuality,and finding true love. While Charming Mickey is considered the king of St. Giles,Silence is a widow,and loves the little girl left on her doorstop. So she will do what she has to to stay with her,even if it means living in a house of sin with Charming Mickey. Someone else has another idea,they wan Charming Mickey dead,along with his little girl and Silence. Both Charming Mickey and Silence must come to terms with their attraction and surrender not only to their lust but to their love.Silence's family may not like where she is heading but they would not deny her love. A wonderful addition to the "Maiden Lane" series. I so enjoy this author's stories and can hardly wait for the next in the "Maiden Lane" installment. Received for an honest review from the publisher. Details can be founda t Grand Central Publishing and My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews.

    RATING: 4.5


    REVIEWED BY: AprilR,My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    not bad

    The best of the series so far

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2012


    AMAZING !!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Ok Book

    This book was ok it wasn't great but not bad either. But those names yish......i mean winter, silence and mickey......names were very odd.

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  • Posted January 30, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommended escape for historical romance fans!

    Reviewed by Tamera Lawrence for Readers Favorite

    Kind hearted, Silence Hollingbrook runs a home for infants and foundlings. When tiny Mary Darling is left on her doorstep, Silence falls in love with the babe. But to Silence’s horror, Mary Darling is taken by none other than the notorious King pirate, Mickey O’ Connor. It was by choice that Mickey chose Silence to take care of his child. For the couple once shared a night together – a night of ifs. Silence begs for Mary’s return, considering herself the only mother the babe has known. But Mickey refuses Silence’s pleas, aiming to protect his daughter from imminent danger. Mickey forces Silence to choose between her freedom and living with him and be with Mary. With nowhere else to turn to, Silence steps into the wolf’s lair and in doing so finds herself caught up in a battle of wills that soon turns into scandalous desires.

    Elizabeth Hoyt has written a beautiful historical love story. The scenes are vibrant, well-written and imaginative. Mickey and Silence are likable characters, each with their own unique temperaments that only flourished as the book progressed. The flowery prose is not overdone. The romance scenes are steamy, hot. Mickey is a perfect rogue with his outward rebellions but with the added reward of his heart of gold.

    Elizabeth is a wonderful, talented author. I look forward to reading more books by this creative author. "Scandalous Desires" is a Highly recommended escape for historical romance fans!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Rave Exciting

    Gripping story line . Vibrante charactors. A definate must read..

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  • Posted October 23, 2011


    This is an excellent book! Probably the best romance i've read all year. Hoyt writes excellent stories. I have a little crush on Mickey Oconnor. Its a must read!!!!!!!

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wanted: My own river pirate

    ***original review posted at Romancing Rakes*** Mickey O'Connor is a homewrecking river pirate with a gasp worthy secret. Silence Hollingbrook is totally devoted to Mary Darling, left on her doorstep for safekeeping, and her work at the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children until "Charming" Mickey charges back into her life. Silence hasn't forgiven Mickey for breaking up her marriage. Mickey's enemy, the Vicar of Whitechapel, is out to get those associated with him, meaning his daughter Mary Darling and Silence. Mickey kidnaps Mary Darling and tells Silence the only way she can be with Mary is to stay at his palace. Since that night with Silence, he can't forget her and seems to have developed a slight obsession with her. He wants to possess her body and soul but is unwilling to give anything in return except endless nights of pleasure in his bed. Silence agrees to stay with Mickey but tries to assert her independence by going against everything he wants her to do, starting with not going down to supper with him and his men. Mickey tries to starve her so she will come down for supper but his crew turns against him and smuggle food to Silence. As the days go on, Silence begins to see a different side of Mickey. He's not just the ruthless river pirate but also a broken boy, forced to grow up at a young age without the love of his mother. Silence soon realizes that Charming Mickey has a hold on her. She sees him softening towards Mary Darling and thinks that there may be a future for them. A real future, if only he'll give up his pirating and make money legally. Mickey can't due to his fear of losing it all. He's worked so hard to build his empire, from a poverty stricken boy to a man who has more than what he knows to do with. The Vicar of Whitechapel is closing in and Mickey must make a decision that could change all their lives. There's just so much more I want to say but I don't want to spoil it for you. So many things revealed, I thought I was going to die of shock. *sigh* River pirates FTW! Gah! I am totally floored. Utterly stunned. In typical Elizabeth Hoyt fashion, this book gripped me from the first page until the last. Another fantastic read. My love for Elizabeth Hoyt knows no bounds and this book has made me fall in love with her latest series a little more, in a non-Edward Cullen creepy kind of way. The third book in the series and one step closer to the reveal of the Ghost of St. Giles. Once again, Ms. Hoyt has ensnared, captivated and enthralled me, weaving a wonderful story of love, heartbreak, redemption and forgiveness encased in a fast paced, adrenaline pumping, heart thumping, gut wrenching, tear inducing, gasp worthy plot twists of a read. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series thanks to the titillating morsel of an excerpt at the end of the book. Is it Summer 2012 yet??? ***review copy provided by Brianne Beers of Grand Central Publishing***

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