The Raven Prince (Princes Trilogy) (英語) マスマーケット – 2006/11/1
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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 . . .
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.
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She is a lonely widow whose husband broke her heart by being with another woman before he died. He thought she was barren but he was just firing blanks with her, but had two bastards with another lady of standing. It's true that Anna would have been devastated with that fact, and the way she was portrayed was true to life. Devastated, lonely, barren in heart and soul until she meets the dark, broody hero who ignites life back into her. Of course she wouldn't want him to be with anyone else but her.
This book read like a Georgian social commentary at times, and it earned my respect that way. Men could be as vile, vulgar and crass as they want to be but women walked a thin line between propriety and shame. In a world where reputation is everything people will kill, maim, blackmail and lie to keep their secrets. Anna was a refreshing heroine who would claim honesty and wear her scarlet letter if she had to without endangering her love.
In a way it made Anna a sad little wren, who finally found a love she should not have. But she was no wilting wallflower either. I could respect her and I could understand her frustrations. If you get past the sillier parts of the plot, you realize she is a worthy heroine.
The hero was a little oversexed in my opinion. For a man his age, he should not be running around stiff as a rod whenever he thought of his little secretary. That was a little far fetched in my opinion and I ended up skipping some of the bedroom scenes thinking, "Yeah, yeah, I know you want her." The bedroom scenes were exciting and sizzling but really that's not what I liked about the story. The heroine then becomes a raging inferno of lust and it was hard to take her transformation from wren to hawk so suddenly. I have to say the writing style was hot and steamy and it's borderline porn for your brain. But porn doesn't have a plot, characters or even good acting, so this was still a few notches above.
When he finally realizes it's love for her, duty be damned, you realize that he might actually be the princess in the fairytale and she the cursed prince, I felt a degree of satisfaction. They had saved each other. And he stopped thinking with his penis (finally).
There are some really great secondary characters. Coral is a favorite of mine and has some of the best lines in the book. Oh and you have to love Jock, Edwards equally 'ugly" but no less loveable dog. All in all, this is a very satisfying love story, with some very hot love scenes. It has gone from being one I tossed aside in anger, to one of my all time favorites. I am enjoying Ms. Hoyts subsequent stories, but none quiet as much as this. Enjoy!
But because it was the first book in a series, I decided to continue with the next book, The Leopard Prince, which I absolutely loved. I am so glad that I continued because I continued reading all of Elizabeth Hoyt's books and have loved them.
While waiting for the next book in the Maiden Lane series, I decided to revisit this book. I'm so glad that I did. Once I was freed from my expectations, I really loved this book.
After reading several of Hoyt's books, I have come to really enjoy the dreamy, storybook qualities of her stories. The Raven Prince has more fairy tale qualities than other books. Not in the story elements so much as in the language and in the interior dialogue of the characters. This book is different.
It is the story of Edward, Earl of Swartingham, and Anna Wren, a widow and a commoner. Neither is particularly impressed with one another when they first meet. Both are also constricted by the roles that society has dictated for them. As expressed in the book "It's so much easier to simply do what people expect of you...It may be easier, but it isn't necessarily the right way."
Their love story is an internal journey...it's about them letting go of their expectations and reaching for what they each know that they want -- each other. Yes, there are some external conflicts, but the true beauty of the book is how the desire for love changes these characters.
Recommend...and if it doesn't suit you the first time...try again.