Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: #3 in the Maiden Lane series
Narrator: Ashford McNab
Run Time: 11hrs and 29 minutes
Producer: Hachette Audio
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
I’ve read many romances in the last decade and a bit, but for the life of me, I can’t remember if I have ever read anything by Elizabeth Hoyt. I think that I probably have, but I am blanking on what book and when…lol. So I was intrigued to read/listen to this book when I saw that it had been nominated for an audio award. And I love bad boys in my romance novels, especially pirates and the good/pious women. It also felt nice to go back to a more traditional historical romance, since it has been a while since I have read one that I truly enjoyed – most of the ones I have read recently were just ehhh. Overall, I liked the general plot and story-telling of the book. Even though it was book 3 in a series and I haven’t read the previous 2, I didn’t feel like I was too lost – although I am intrigued enough to want to go back and read/listen to the earlier books.
One of my favorite parts was the baby (Mary Darling) in the story. So often in romances in general, there are kids in the story, but they aren’t key to the storyline – they kind of get relegated to the background. Kind of like, oh, let’s add a kid because it will make the characters seem more likeable. But in this instance, Mary Darling was pivotal to the story. Without her, there wouldn’t have been a story and I wouldn’t have come to love Mickey and Silence like I did. She was the true heart of the story.
However, I did feel that the mystery about the Vicar of White-Chapel (the bad guy) felt forced – until the final reveal about who he was happened. I think I would have preferred to have his identity revealed earlier on and allowed for some more character development. As it was, it seemed a bit lacking.
I was pleasantly surprised by Ashford McNab’s narration – although I will have to admit that at first, I was expecting a male narrator (and I was kind of excited because there are few male narrators in the romance genre). So when this young sounding female voice came across my speakers, I was a bit taken aback. But I was soon sucked into her narration. I found her cadence as she was speaking nicely flowing – not too fast, nor too slow. I liked her Irish lilt that she was able to give Mickey O’Rourke and how I was able to distinguish between all the various characters in the book. I know that I’ll be looking for more books narrated by her in the future. I’d give the book a 3 and the narration a 4, so 3.5 overall.
In the ranking scheme of the other romance books nominated for the Audies – I would put this 2nd out of the 3 I have listened to – with The Witness (Nora Roberts) leading right now.