The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Princes Trilogy #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Dates Read: March 29 – April, 27, 2019
Synopsis: There comes a time in a woman’s life when she must do the unthinkable – and find employment. For the widowed Anna Wren, that means taking a job as female secretary for the Earl of Swartingham.
Secretaries are always male – never female – as Anna well knows but the real downfall of her career is the realization that she is falling in love with Edward de Raaf – the Earl. But when she realizes that he is going to visit a brothel in London to take care of his ‘manly’ desires, Anna sees red – and decides to take advantage of the opportunity to also take care of her ‘womanly’ desires – with the Earl as her unknowing lover.
But the Earl has another reason for going to London. He is formalising his betrothal and trying (with little success) to forget about a secretary that has no right being female. Unhandsome, he knows that no woman wants him.
Except for the mysterious lady with whom he spent two unforgettable nights at Aphrodite’s Grotto, the most scandalous brothel in London. But when Anna’s plan is revealed, a bit of blackmail is thrown into the mix, a proposal is rejected and even the Earl himself will be unprepared for the intrigues that ensnare them. (from Goodreads)
I read this for the Dungeon challenge for Romanceopoly: Read a book on UTC’s or PLB’s Book Boyfriends List.
Normally I love Hoyt’s writing, but this one just kept dragging on and sometimes bored me. And the sex scenes! In general, I don’t mind them — in fact, I encourage them — but there were way too many in this book. I found myself skimming and even entirely skipping some.
Both Anna and Edward annoyed me. While I like that Anna had some agency and had sex when she wanted and with whom she wanted, she also deceived him to do so. Edward was full of self-loathing for his smallpox scars and mentioned them all the time. He assumed people judged and pitied him based solely on his scars. Some of that could be survivor’s guilt, but to me those scars are something to be proud of because you survived. They’re badges of honor. My biggest problem with these two is the noble idiocy. Sometimes I can get behind it, but not in this case. I would have preferred to read about the prostitutes instead of this couple.
Hoyt can definitely pull you into a setting and period, but the other factors of this story that I disliked brought this aspect down for me.
Interest Level: 2/5
The more I read this book, the less I enjoyed it. It got to the point where I was so far in that I didn’t want to waste the effort I’d already put into reading it by quitting.
Total: 9/20 = 45% F
Favorite Quote: “If we never have children, I will be disappointed, but if I never have you, I will be devastated.” (Loc 4315)