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 have been waiting, waiting, waiting for this book since Silence completed her walk of shame in Notorious Pleasures, Book 2 of the Maiden Lane series. I knew there was more to Charming Mickey that what's presented at first glance, so I was doubly excited to learn more of the heart of gold he keeps under lock and key and that this book was completely worth the wait.
In response to threats from the Vicar of Whitechapel a/k/a Charlie O'Grady, Mickey brings Mary Darling to his palace in order to keep her safe. Silence believes the child would be safe with her and her brother Winter at the Home where Mary has lived her entire life. Mickey won't hear of it. Silence can tend to Mary -- that is why he put Mary into her care, after all -- but Silence and Mary must stay at his home. Mickey believes that with Silence in close proximity he'll be able to control her and ultimately get her out of his head.
He is 100% wrong.
If anything, their everyday interactions strengthen the siren's pull Mickey feels for Silence, and she is able to see a new side to the river pirate who scandalized her and her now-deceased husband. Theirs is a love affair simply brewing under the surface. When it boils over, sakes alive, it's scalding.
Start with Wicked Intentions and read the Maiden Lane series in its entirety. This is Ms. Hoyt's best work yet, and I don't expect to be disappointed come July and Winter Makepeace's book, Thief of Shadows.