New Release (Audiobook) Review: SWEETEST SCOUNDREL by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane #9)

Sweetest Scoundrel
by Elizabeth Hoyt

Synopsis:

SHE’S TAKING CHARGE

Prim, proper, and thrifty, Eve Dinwoody is all business when it comes to protecting her brother’s investment. But when she agrees to control the purse strings of London’s premier pleasure garden, Harte’s Folly, she finds herself butting heads with an infuriating scoundrel who can’t be controlled.

HE’S RUNNING THE SHOW

Bawdy and bold, Asa Makepeace doesn’t have time for a penny-pinching prude like Eve. As the garden’s larger-than-life owner, he’s already dealing with self-centered sopranos and temperamental tenors. He’s not about to let an aristocratic woman boss him around . . . no matter how enticing she is.

BUT LOVE CONQUERS ALL

In spite of her lack of theatrical experience—and her fiery clashes with Asa—Eve is determined to turn Harte’s Folly into a smashing success. But the harder she tries to manage the stubborn rake, the harder it is to ignore his seductive charm and raw magnetism. There’s no denying the smoldering fire between them—and trying to put it out would be the greatest folly of all.

Review:

Sweetest Scoundrel was an excellent example of the enemies to lovers troupe–so well done! Their initial meeting–and the next few–are nothing but antagonism, but since they have no choice but to work together, they’re forced to try and get along. Their attraction is a slow buildup, but once it’s there, it turns explosive. And absolutely delicious.

Eve and Asa were a fabulous couple. At the outset, he’s so focused on his theater–it’s his entire life, and he doesn’t see a problem with that. He’s willing to try and work with Eve for the sake of Harte’s Folly…everything is for Harte’s Folly…but oh so slowly concern for Eve starts to work its way into his priorities, until finally, finally she becomes number one. It seemed like it would never happen, though, for a while there.

Eve’s resigned herself to living a half life–the bastard daughter of a Duke, she’s not only used to not being first to anyone ever, but she also dealt with some pretty horrific events in her childhood. Big brother Val came to her rescue in a big way, and he’s still looking out for her now. Or is he just keeping her perpetually in the same place? Asa helps to bring her out of herself, and gives her the push she needs to overcome her biggest fears.

Well, Asa and Henry the mangy mastiff help her to overcome her fears. With some extra help from Dove. 🙂

I just love this series–book nine, and it’s still going strong! We’ve been waiting forever for Asa Makepeace’s story, it seems like…and yay! it was totally worth the wait. We also get a glimpse into the current lives of the rest of the Makepeace family, which is great if you’ve been reading the series from the beginning (but if you haven’t, don’t worry, you won’t feel left out. The family dynamic is still enjoyable to read, even if you have no clue who those people are.) I think I might have missed book 8, however (Dearest Rogue)–or maybe I just read too many books between now and then? Is that even possible? Surely not…but either way, I have zero memory of the heinous thing that Eve’s brother did in that book that was referenced several times in this one…it wasn’t a huge deal, but it was troubling (for my confidence in my memory–not at all a reflection on the book itself, I assure you). I do have my fingers crossed that Val will be a future hero–surely he’s hero worthy, deep down, despite his apparent despicableness toward everyone but his sister?

Narrator Ashford McNab does another stellar job at narration–she’s done more than half of the series so far, and I’ve really enjoyed her reading style.

Bring on book 10–I’m ready! (Though I’ll take a quick look at number 8, either a full-read or a refresher read in the meantime.)

Rating: 4 stars / A-

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