THE SERPENT PRINCE by Elizabeth Hoyt

This historical romance is the conclusion of a trilogy set in Georgian-era England (mid-18th century for the layperson, which would be the colonial era in America), and it’s one of my favorite periods for romance. This was THE age of the androgynous hero–very virile and sexy men who minced about in powdered wigs, glittering brocades, and high-heeled shoes. Think of the Vampire Lestat when he was just getting started, in those wonderful early Anne Rice books. The fact that Lestat was an aristocrat in this particular era endows him through the centuries with that flamboyant vanity that we all love so much…or at least, that *I* love so much–in the character. Whether he’s a vampire or a mere mortal, there is something about an elegant, foppish but powerful man with lace at his throat and a snuffbox that makes me swoon!!

In this well-done tale, country-bred spinster Lucinda Craddock-Hayes is astonished to find a naked and battered man on her doorstep, and even more astonished when he turns out to be elegant rakehell viscount Simon Iddesleigh. Although his whirlwind courtship is swiftly followed by a marriage proposal, Lucy has the uneasy suspicion that Simon is lying about the reason behind his recent assault, and the unknown men who still stalk him. When Simon’s relentless scheme of vengeance against his brother’s killers is exposed, Lucy will need all her strength and resolve to ensure that Simon—and their love—survive the deadly game.

This was a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to Hoyt’s debut trilogy. A strong and virtuous heroine paired with an elegant but wounded aristocratic hero (sexy even when he minces about in red-heeled shoes, with Lestat-like dash!) make a highly appealing pair. I read this book while also reading Jayne Ann Krentz’s DANGEROUS MEN AND ADVENTUROUS WOMEN: ROMANCE WRITERS ON THE APPEAL OF THE ROMANCE, and found myself noticing how well Hoyt used the angel-saving-the-devil paradigm in this romance. Lucy “saves” Simon from himself in a highly convincing and moving manner.

If you’re a fan of historical romance, I can recommend with conviction treating yourself to Hoyt’s entire trilogy. Start with THE DRAGON PRINCE, which features a hero who reminded me in all the right ways of Mr. Rochester from JANE EYRE.


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I love Elizabeth Hoyt's books. This particular trilogy was very a enjoyable read, wasn't it ? Thanks for sharing.

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