The Raven Prince, Elizabeth Hoyt's first novel, was originally published in 2006, so I feel like I'm a little late to the party. Plus, it's a romance novel. A very steamy romance novel. No really, I'm blushing a little bit as I type this. The chemistry between the main characters is intense, and things do eventually get rather graphic, after quite a lot of longing glances.
There's also some delightful banter, and some creative profanity, as the two misfits stumble their way towards Happily Ever After. Mrs. Anna Wren is an incredibly proper and respectable widow, whose finances are becoming increasingly desperate. Edward de Raaf, the Earl of Swartingham, is the explosive, pockmarked, long absent lord of Ravenhill Abbey. His unexpected return has the Little Battleford gossips whispering, and they only get louder when Anna takes a position as Swartingham's secretary, an unheard of career for a woman in 1760.
Add in a vividly drawn cast of supporting characters, a fast-paced plot that manages to be clever instead of contrived, and fun nods to other favorites, and it's easy to see how I found myself up until 3 a.m. so that I could finish this book in one sitting. A book that opens with a variation on the meeting of the scene where Jane meets Rochester in Jane Eyre was bound to be one I either loved or hated. I'm happy to say that The Raven Prince charmed me completely, and it's taking all my will power not to go on an immediate Elizabeth Hoyt reading binge.
~Sarah, Adult Services