Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane Series #9)

Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane Series #9)

4.5 21
by Elizabeth Hoyt
     
 

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SHE'S TAKING CHARGE

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.

HE'S RUNNING THE SHOW

Bawdy

Overview

SHE'S TAKING CHARGE

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.

HE'S RUNNING THE SHOW

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.

BUT LOVE CONQUERS ALL

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 . . .

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[T]his superbly executed historical romance is proof positive that this RITA Award-nominated author continues to write with undiminished force and flair. When it comes to incorporating a generous measure of dangerous intrigue and lush sensuality into a truly swoonworthy love story, Hoyt is unrivaled."—Booklist (starred review) on Dearest Rogue"

4 1/2 Stars! Hoyt takes an unlikely pair of characters and, through the magic of her storytelling, turns them into the perfect couple... [A] read to remember."—RT Book Reviews on Dearest Rogue"

Hoyt's exquisitely nuanced characters, vividly detailed setting, and seemingly effortless and elegant writing provide the splendid material from which she fashions yet another ravishingly romantic love story."—Booklist (starred review) on Darling Beast"

4 1/2 Stars! Top Pick! Darling Beast is wondrous, magical and joyous — a read to remember."—RT Book Reviews"

Richly drawn characters fill the pages of this emotionally charged mix of mystery and romance."—Publishers Weekly on Duke of Midnight"

4 1/2 Stars! Top Pick! There is enchantment in the Maiden Lane series, not just the fairy tales Hoyt infuses into the memorable romances, but the wonder of love combined with passion, unique plotlines and unforgettable characters."—RT Book Reviews on Duke of Midnight"

I adore the Maiden Lane series, and this fifth book is a very welcome addition to the series . . . [It's] sexy and sweet all at the same time . . . This can be read as a standalone, but I adore each book in this series and encourage you to start from the beginning."—USA Today's Happy Ever After Blog on Lord of Darkness"

Lord of Darkness is classic Elizabeth Hoyt, meaning it's unique, engaging, and leaves readers on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next book . . . an incredible addition to the fantastic Maiden Lane series. I Joyfully Recommend Godric and Megs's tale, for it's an amazing, well-crafted story with an intriguing plot and a lovely, touching romance that I want to enjoy again and again and again . . . simply enchanting!"—JoyfullyReviewed.com on Lord of Darkness

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455586363
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
11/24/2015
Series:
Maiden Lane Series , #9
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
74,258
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(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: Elizabeth@ElizabethHoyt.com.

You can learn more at:
ElizabethHoyt.com
Twitter @elizabethhoyt
Facebook.com/ElizabethHoytBooks

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Sweetest Scoundrel (Maiden Lane Series #9) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to confess that I am in love with the Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt. I look forward to each new book in the series and this one does not disappoint. In this book, Eve Dinwoody, sister to the Duke of Montgomery, had been left to watch over his investment in Harte's Folly and garden and theater complex that was burned down in a previous book. Mr Harte (aka Asa Makepeace), the owner of the Folly has been spending too much money without any accountability and Eve intends to get the spending under control. Their first meeting is disastrous. He insults her plain looks and she is overwhemed by his size and maleness. Nevertheless, Eve comes to the gardens to look over the accounts and a strange friendship/ love affair begins. Eve had a horrific experience in her past that has left her with a fear of dogs and being touched by men. This first comes to light when a stray dog finds it was in to the office she now shares with Asa. She is almost paralyzed by the trauma. It happens again when Asa kisses her. He realizes that there is something strange happening with her. While the relationship is building between them, various accidents start happening at the theater. It is apparent that someone is trying to sabotage the Folly and keep it from opening. In addition to all of that Eve helps Asa rebuild the broken relationships with his family while he helps her become reacquainted with the women sponsors of the Home for Unfortunate Foundlings and Infants. Eve has been avoiding them since her brother blackmailed one and tried to have another kidnapped. By book 9 this story is filled with memorable characters that the reader has come to know and love but someone picking up this book standalone would also enjoy reading it. This is a totally delightful read and it is always good to have a story where the characters aren't the most beautiful or rich or important people of the ton.
NookBookLady More than 1 year ago
Eve Dinwoody, sister to the Duke of Montgomery, is protecting his investment in Hart's Folly, London's premier pleasure garden and theater. She confronts owner, Asa Makepeace at his lodgings and he isn't prepared for a buttoned up spinster to challenge him. Eve demands to be involved in the rebuilding of Hart's Folly and the clashes begin. With the clashes starts a desire between Asa and Eve. Can Asa help Eve overcome her traumatic past? I loved the dynamic between Asa and Eve. He didn't set out to be her hero, but he ended up saving her and himself in the process. I loved how bad boy Asa tore down the prim and proper wall surrounding Eva and made her feel. Seeing her transformation and heal was wonderful. I loved he little snippets of the Duke and his housekeeper. I can't wait for that novel! I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank You.
EWright16 More than 1 year ago
I still have goosebumps after reading this story. Just wonderful. Asa Makepeace has been disowned by his father, estranged from his family, and had his beloved pleasure gardens burned to the ground. The last thing he needs is his financial backer's plain, spinster half-sister sticking her overlarge nose in his business. Eve Dinwoody is in hiding. Traumatic events in her past have led her to isolate herself and care for her brother's business affairs and lose herself in her art. The last thing *she* needs is a large, masculine, volatile theater manager making things difficult. There is not one thing about this book I didn't love. Asa and Eve are such wonderful, rich characters. There are several mysteries in this story. There is also humor, drama, and the most breathtaking romance I have read in a long time. This one is going to stay with me. Also, this was the first book I have read in this rather lengthy series. I was not at all at a disadvantage, it hold up very well as a stand-alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series. They just keep getting better. Nice teaser for the next book too. I like that the looks and ages of the h/h are always different and not always perfect. I think Asa might be my favorite main guy other than the #@#* pirate.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't out it down. Loved Asa and Eve!
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
Through nine books now, veteran writer Elizabeth Hoyt has created an entertaining, glamorous, and gritty world in her Maiden Lane series set in the St. Giles neighborhood of Georgian era London. Though the books need not be read in order, I feel it adds to the richness of the story as many past heroes and heroines are mentioned or make cameo appearances. Readers first met Eve Dinwoody, the illegitimate daughter of a duke, in Dearest Rogue. Eve is the younger sister to Val, the outrageous and immature Duke of Montgomery. Val is a mysterious and enigmatic man who blackmails people for sport. And Eve is the only person who fiercely loves him despite his faults since he saved her from a childhood tragedy and also because he feeds and shelters her. Eve is very smart and serious. She manages the books for her brother’s many investments and interests while he frequently travels. That’s how she meets Asa Makepeace, the owner and manager of Harte’s Folly, a struggling and magical theater garden in London. It’s her job to make sure that money is being spent efficiently and effectively and she clashes with the blatantly virile and shocking Asa. Mr. Harte sprawled across her dainty settee like a Viking marauder in a pillaged Christian church. At first, Asa finds Eve shrewish and uptight but she very quickly intrigues him with her contradictory nature of both discipline and her vulnerability in her fear of dogs and of touch. The juxtaposition of the two–her iron core and her delicate exterior–was oddly fascinating. Eve is also desperately lonely. She has no friends save her loyal servants. So when Asa literally crowds himself into her life, filling her small world with light, love, and addictive passion, she is overwhelmed, curious and, for the first time, dares to dream of a different future for herself. Above all, Eve realizes this is not a way to live, in constant fear and hiding. If there was one thing Asa Makepeace knew how to do it was seduce a female. Even one with a poker up her arse. Asa has long been estranged from his large, religious, and mostly conservative family–many whose stories have been told in previous Maiden Lane novels. Eve helps Asa to heal the rift and he helps her come out of her shell of reserve and trepidation. The scenes with Asa’s many lively siblings add color, humor, and humanity to an already lovely romance. Eve is drawn to Asa and wants to experience all the passion he has to offer a woman. Their love scenes are playful, sexy, and daring. He tempts her and makes her want things she never thought she would ever have. It was lovely to be wanted. The relationship between Eve and her servants, especially Jean-Marie, her Creole bodyguard, is touching and vivid. Ms. Hoyt brings all her characters to life and, as in all the books in the Maiden Lane series, there are hints of another book in the glimpses into the mysterious Bridget Crumb, the very young and efficient housekeeper to the Duke of Montgomery, as she takes charge of the absent man’s London townhouse. A big, bold, and beautiful love story. This review first appeared on Romantic Historical Reviews.
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
Asa Makepeace is a volatile and crude male protagonist, but he is also fiercely passionate and patient. Eve Dinewoody is not a typical heroine, she is quite plain looking and Asa doesn't find her attractive at all, but her personality and strength draw him in unlike beautiful looks. I enjoyed their story, how they sparred together, worked well together, and how Eve stood up to him. I enjoyed watching Asa win Eve's trust and help her with the scars from her past. Her traumatic past is definitely an obstacle and when she finally reveals the truth to Asa, it explains a lot about how Eve conducted herself in the beginning. The plot was fun, their love story beautiful, and the conflicts moved the story along well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DebDiem More than 1 year ago
Sweetest Scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt is a fantastic read. This well written book has it all. Drama, suspense, action, humor and sizzlin' hot sex abound in this historical romance. I love the characters in this book. Opposites attract in Eve and Asa's story, with wild times added, it makes a splendid read. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more from Elizabeth Hoyt in the future. Sweetest Scoundrel is book 9 in the Maiden Lane Series but can be read as a stand alone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I won a copy of this book from Night Owl Reviews.
MADreaderMD More than 1 year ago
I've always been interested in the mysterious Asa Makepeace (aka Mr. Harte), and I knew there was more to Eve Dinwoody than met the eye. They are thrown together because Eve is managing her brother, the Duke of Montgomery's, interests while he is out of the country, and Harte's Folly happens to be one of those investments. The sparks soon fly between the no-nonsense, efficient Eve and the bawdy, disorganized Asa. The mystery of what is going on at the theater also adds to the tension. This is an unusual romance because the initial encounters between Eve and Asa are mostly visual. Without even touching each other, the two engage in an erotic courtship. When each finally overcomes their fears, the bond they share is emotional and healing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eve Dinwoody has always preferred to live a quiet life. She is the sister of the Duke of Dinwoody and handles some of his investments. As a matter of fact, she has just come to visit Mr. Harte of Harte’s Folly, a pleasure garden. It appears that the theater is losing money and as the Duke has been a big investor, he has now decided to cut off the funds. The owner of the Folly is a man who calls himself Mr. Harte but who is actually Asa Makepeace. He inherited the Folly many years ago from a Mr. Harte so Asa adopted that name and has worked very hard to keep the Folly going. Unfortunately, there have been some accidents that has put the theater in the red. When Eve meets Asa, he begs for her to not cut off the funds. After listening to his reasons, she agrees to continue some funds, however, she will be the one to take over the bookkeeping for the Folly. In addition, she requests that he sit for her as she likes to paint and is interested in painting him. He agrees to her conditions. Shocked at his sloppy way of keeping up with expenses, Eve dives right into make heads or tails of the mess. As we get to know Eve, we find she has a Frenchman who is devoted to seeing that she is safe. It appears that she some phobias which Asa picks up on and makes him realize that there is a vulnerable woman underneath her stern outer appearance. What appears to be an accident at the theater is found to be deliberate and Asa realizes someone is out to sabotage his Folly. Eve and Asa spend more time together and this togetherness results in their attraction which leads to passion. I found this book to way too erotic for my tastes which is the reason for me giving it three stars.
KatinkaB More than 1 year ago
SWEETEST SCOUNDREL is a vibrant, fast-paced entry in Elizabeth Hoyt’s romantic and suspenseful Maiden Lane series. Eve and Asa are perfect together, and tawny Asa’s sweet, fierce protectiveness is all kinds of sexy. Eve and Asa meet at Harte’s Folly, which Asa owns and Eve’s brother, Valentine, the Duke of Montgomery, has invested in. Since Val has left Eve in charge of his investment, she wants to make sure that Val will get his money back and Asa isn’t wasting her brother’s money. However, Harte’s Folly is still rebuilding from a fire, and it seems someone is trying to sabotage the theater and Asa’s efforts to make it profitable again. When they first meet, Asa sees Eve as plain, too thin, and an aloof, regal aristocratic. However, as time passes and they get to know each other, he begins to see her true beauty and desires to know her and protect her. It’s obvious by her paralyzing fear of men and reticence to leave the house without her bodyguard that something happened to her. Her combined strength and vulnerability touch Asa’s heart. Their bickering underscores their sexual tension and genuine respect for each other. Asa patiently and gradually earns her trust, and his protectiveness and caring for her develop into real feelings. Their courtship is a kind of delicate thing, contrasting Asa’s violent instincts and their intense desires, and balances their distinct personalities–Asa is expressive, while Eve is reserved. She is traumatized and has buried her memories, but her unique attraction for Asa motivates her to heal from her past and grow into a sexually empowered woman. Asa and Eve bring unique gifts to their relationship; their love brings Eve back to life and Asa a renewed sense of home and belonging. The novel also introduces the secretive Bridget Crumb, the Duke of Montgomery’s new housekeeper, and provides a little insight into Val’s questionable activities and mysterious schemes. My favorite recurring character, Alf, reprises her role as the enterprising, street smart urchin girl in hiding, an informant of sorts to these powerful aristocrats. And the new band of villains mentioned in this novel could lead to additional story and character arcs in future books. I also liked that Eve’s bodyguard, Jean-Marie, wasn’t treated like a servant but was a free person, and that he told his story in his own words. I was glad that Jean-Marie didn’t remain indebted to Val and relieved that Val wasn’t glorified as his savior. Val isn’t known for his altruism but for manipulating people to get what he wants. It’s how Eve loves Val and how Val rescued Eve that humanizes him and makes him so interesting and an antihero worth redeeming. I can’t wait for Val’s story next and to see if and how he redeems himself. One of the themes I love most about this series is the power of love bridging and healing the gap between the lower and upper classes. So, I’m very much looking forward for Alf to get her happy ending. That girl definitely needs to be rewarded for helping out these wealthy aristocrats! The ending was a little abrupt, and the epilogue was unexpected and a bit perplexing, unless the reader is completely invested in the allegorical bits at the start of each chapter. As in most of Hoyt’s historical romances, the sex scenes are a little edgy for the genre, but don’t cross over into erotica. Asa was somewhat unrefined, but that was a large part of his sex appeal. He brought Eve out of her shell, and she grew to trust him. *I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Content warning: This book references instances of child molestation, PTSD, and violence against women and children. Historical footnote: Though of African descent, Jean-Marie was given a French name because he was a slave in the French West Indies, on the island of Saint-Domingue. Saint-Domingue was a French colony from 1659 to 1804, and eventually became the Dominican Republic: “As of 1778, the French were importing approximately 13,000 Africans for enslavement to the French West Indies” (Source: Wikipedia)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the setting of this book, Harte's Folly, a magical theater being renovated. The heroine Eve is a haunted spinster who was put in charge of the accounting. Asa Makepeace is the wastrel rougue manager who finds his heart again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hoyt just gets better and better . Great story and the sea scenes are very hot. Can't wait for the next one
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
This is book 9 in the Maiden Lane series. Eve Dinwoody is monitoring the financing of the reopening of Harte's Folly for her brother. When she meets the owner of the pleasure garden for the first time, she is less than impressed. She soon finds herself butting heads with the infuriating man and to her surprise, wildly attracted to him. Asa Makepeace doesn't need another person to deal with while trying to re-open Harte's Folly, especially an interfering aristocratic woman. But the more time he spends with Eve, finds Asa trying to deny the attraction between the two of them. Can this unlikely pair make a go of it? I've not really like Asa throughout this series, so I was wondering how Hoyt would change my mind about him when his story came around because you've got to like the hero of the story!! She definitely made me see Asa in a different light than what was previously shown in the series. I ended up really liking him. I think his interactions with Eve brought out the true Asa that was hidden behind a hurt young man (not to get into too many details, don't want to ruin the story for you!). I loved Eve too. She was a generally a timid person, but when she butted heads with Asa I think that the real her truly came out. She had a job to do and wasn't going to let anyone or anything get in her way. Of course, if you've read the previous stories in the series, you know that the opening of the pleasure gardens is not going to go smoothly…nothing about the project has. Which of course means many problems to solve along the way. The next book in the series, Duke of Sin, is about Eve's brother the Duke of Montgomery. He is not really a very nice guy….Hoyt has a lot of work to do to convience me that he deserves his HEA, but I know I won't be disappointed!!! Thanks go out to Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
def618 More than 1 year ago
I love the Maiden Lane series. While this is not my favorite of the series, it is a very good book and I enjoyed it. Elizabeth Hoyt is an excellent author and her books are hard to put down. The heroine, Eve, is the illegitimate half-sister of the Duke of Montgomery. She is shy, doesn't like to be touched, afraid of dogs and intelligent. She also looks after her brother's business interests, including the rebuilding of the pleasure garden, Harte's Folly. Harte's Folly is owned by commoner Asa Makepeace, whose siblings we've met earlier in the series. He doesn't like Eve's interference in his theater, but something draws him to her. But someone doesn't want the theater reopened and is sabotaging the work on it to the point of causing injuries and death. Asa and Eve bond together to discover the culprit, falling in love as they do. No more plot info from me. I try never to spoil a book. I definitely recommend this one! If you like the cover, the stepback is better, and the book more so!
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
SWEETEST SCOUNDREL is the ninth installment in Elizabeth Hoyt’s MAIDEN LANE historical, romance series. This is Harte’s Folly owner Asa Makepeace, and Eve Dinwoody’s storyline. SWEETEST SCOUNDREL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Some of the previous storyline characters and couples play secondary and supporting roles. Each chapter begins with a short excerpt from The Lion and The Dove that expertly parallels the events of SWEETEST SCOUNDREL. Told from several third person points of view SWEETEST SCOUNDREL continues to focus on the rebuilding of London’s premier pleasure garden, Harte’s Folly. As the opening date draws closer Asa Makepeace finds himself in a financial predicament when his ‘benefactor’, the Duke of Montgomery, has suddenly decided to cease any further funding. Enter Eve Dinwoody, the Duke’s sister and the woman who handles all of the Duke’s business and the real reason Asa is about to lose his financial backing. What ensues is Asa’s seduction of Eve Dinwoody, in the hopes of re-negotiating her financial withdrawal. Meanwhile, Harte’s Folly becomes the target of chaos and destruction when one catastrophe after another befalls the reconstruction-catastrophes that are no accidents. Eve Dinwoody is a prim and proper lady who lacks the physical beauty to which most men are attracted, but for Eve, the thought of any man’s touch, other than her brother or bodyguard, makes her physically and emotionally ill. Eve has a secret, one that she can barely remember, but one that will manifest itself, in the coming weeks. Asa is a bit of a scoundrel, with a reputation for the ladies and a flamboyant lifestyle that doesn’t involve prudish women. Asa is a man who has been exiled from his family and we learn a little bit about his background and how he came into possession of the once-famous gardens. Asa is determined to bring Harte’s Folly back to its’ original glory, and to do so he needs the financial backing of the scandalized Duke of Montgomery aka Val. While the Duke is reported to be out of the country, Eve is in control of the Duke’s money. The relationship between Asa and Eve is slow to build. Eve is an inexperienced woman who is tormented by demons from her past. Asa becomes all too aware that something dark controls the woman with whom he is falling in love, and our hero must slowly rebuild Eve’s trust and confidence. The $ex scenes are erotic, seductive and educational-especially when Eve naively wants to explore the differences between a man and woman-there is plenty of voyeuristic adventures for our leading couple. SWEETEST SCOUNDREL has a large ensemble cast of characters. The secondary and supporting players include all of Asa’s extended family; Eve’s personal bodyguard Jean-Marie and his wife Tess; the Duke’s mysterious housekeeper Bridget Crumb, and by way of mention, the Duke himself. We are also reintroduced to Alf-the young street urchin who is more aware than most about what is happening in and around London; Mr. Macleish, Mr. Vogel as well as Apollo and Lily Greaves (Darling Beast #7); and the Ladies’ Syndicate. A number of the singers and dancers at Harte’s Folly including Polly Potts and Violetta play a small role throughout. The requisite evil is haunting and disturbing. SWEETEST SCOUNDREL is an entertaining, fairytale-esque storyline with a little bit of mystery, suspense and romance. The world building continues to focus on Harte’s Folly-for those readers hoping for another look at
Lashea677 More than 1 year ago
A good heroine should be strong-willed and not afraid to stand her ground. She should be able to stand side by side with the hero and not be overshadowed. Elizabeth Hoyt took these factors into consideration while writing Sweetest Scoundrel. Asa was a large part of the story. He and Eve complemented each other well. Sweetest Scoundrel would not have worked as well without these two characters leading the pack. I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Like a symphony, Sweetest Scoundrel's Eve and Asa were perfectly in tune. Their chemistry, antagonism and personalities hit the right note in every way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not Ms. Hoyt's best work.