Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Book #1 in the Princes series
Release Date: November 1st 2006
Publisher: Warner Forever
Number of pages: 392 pages
Source: Paperback copy purchased by reviewer
Purchasing Info: Goodreads, Author's Website, Amazon, Kindle
Grade: 5 stars
Goodreads appetizer: There comes a time in a lady's life...
Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits.
When she must do the unthinkable...
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.
And find employment.
When Anna becomes the earl's secretary, it would seem that both their problems are solved. Then she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London for his "manly" needs. Well! Anna sees red—and decides to assuage her "womanly" desires...with the earl as her unknowing lover.
My Thoughts: The Raven Prince is the first book I read by Elizabeth Hoyt and given how much I enjoyed this one, it certainly won't be the last! This book was absolutely amazing and it reminded me exactly why I love this much the Historical Romance genre!
Elizabeth Hoyt delivers a fresh, sensual and intriguing story in a way one rarely encounters nowadays. She has such a strong voice and she manages to take her readers along for an erotic journey during the Georgian era in London and what a journey that is! I enjoyed every single step of the way!
From the incredible characters to the unique way the romance between the main couple unfolded I loved every single page of this book!
I'll start with the plot. I'm going to be honest and say that by reading the summary I wasn't really sold. But I bought this book nevertheless because many of my friends suggested it to me and they couldn't be more right in their suggestion! The Raven Prince is purely a delight to read. Even if as far as stories go there's not too much drama in it (and that is one of the reasons I found this book refreshing!), and the actual plot is pretty much what the blurb indicates, I found myself not only enjoying this book immensely but also not being able to put it down for a moment. And let's face it, with not much drama or any big twists in the plot that is a miracle for me.
The other thing I found really refreshing is the way the whole romantic plot unfolded. This story isn't your typical one with the shy and timid virgin who somehow manages to sweep off his feet the most roguish man of the area and live happily ever after with him (not that I have anything against those stories :P ). Far from it. This is the story of two people, perfect in their imperfection whose constant companion until they meet each other are the scars of their pasts. This is a story where the woman is the one who manages to actually seduce against his will the hero. She's the one who just by giving herself completely and going against what the society dictates manages to capture the heart of a man that has only met rejection and loneliness in his life. Anna and Edward are as far from perfect as one could get. They are real people. With weaknesses. With faults. But who together manage to create the perfect couple.
Let's face it, both Anna and Edward are the kind of characters that authors usually don't get to choose for their leading couple. Edward isn't beautiful. Both his body and face are scared. And nowhere in the book he is described as handsome beyond measure even with his scars. He's just a man. A man whose character is far from ideal. He's got a bad temper. He shouts. He breaks things. So no, Edward is far from your average hero in any romance. But for Anna he's gorgeous. In her eyes, his scars are never visible. His temper is just something that sparkles her need to argue with him and feel alive. While Anna too is far from your typical heroine. She doesn't agree with the strict society rules that dictate that men can do as they please while women should just be prim and proper, never acknowledging their sensuality or needs. And she isn't afraid to speak her mind and act accordingly. She's a respectable woman even if she doesn't follow every rule. And especially when her character comes in contrast with that of another woman in this story, who even if everyone thinks as the perfect image of a perfect lady, she's far from it. If nothing else, Anna shows in this story how our dignity is illustrated by our actions and not by what others think of us.
Verdict: The Raven Prince was just incredible. Written in a sexual yet sweet way, Elizabeth Hoyt is an author whose books I'm gonna devour from now on! A must read!