From Beverly Romance Books
The Raven Prince
  The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
by Elizabeth Hoyt

A Delightful Historical Romance with a Fairy Tale Twist!

We are not all what we seem, is one of the themes that pervades this story, as well as the delightful introductions to each chapter of the real fairy tale The Raven Prince, that make this story a delight and a book difficult to put down. Edward De Raff, the fifth Earl of Swartingham is a large, pox-marked man, and is the lone survivor of the horrible smallpox disease that took his entire family in his youth. He returns to his home estate plagued with memories of them and a past marriage that ended in the death of his wife in childbirth; a wife who died unable to love him because of his scars. He plans to remarry the young, quiet, Lady Gerard, who continues to tell him (while always looking down at her hands) that the scars do not matter. But this man is also known for a temper and now has a more difficult situation because he is in need of a secretary; one that will stay with him long enough to complete his manuscript.

Anna Wren has lived in Little Battleford her entire life. A beautiful widow of good moral standing in the community, she has been living for the past six years with her mother-in-law and a young woman in need the two women took in. She has been hurting financially and emotionally, as when her husband passed, he not only left her to live with a financial burden, but with sad memories of a childless and unfaithful marriage. She is thinking through her situation and how she is to continue feeding her little family, when the Earl charges through town on his horse and nearly runs her over and unseats himself. As he rages out of the mud puddle he has fallen into, Anna sees this famous temper for herself, but also finds that she is intrigued by this large man. She soon learns the Earl's steward is looking for a secretary and asks for the position. Mr. Hopple is desperate and he hires Anna.

When Anna arrives at the estate to begin her job it is the Earl's turn to be intrigued. He finds her beautiful and intelligent and soon finds himself overwhelmed by lust for her. He travels to London to visit a famous brothel, Aphrodite's Grotto to work off his lust and temptation for Anna. Anna is drawn to the Earl as well and becomes angry that he would lust for her and then turn to another woman. She wants to disguise and mask herself and request the Earl as her guest at Aphrodite's Grotto. At one time Anna rescued a prostitute, Pearl, from the side of the road, after she was beaten and left for dead. Anna turns to Pearl for help, as Pearl knows the owner of Aphrodite's Grotto. Edward and Anna meet for two nights of passion so intense that they are both haunted with the sensual pleasure afterward. Soon Edward finds out it was Anna he met with and once his anger subsides, he makes the decision to end the arranged marriage to Lady Gerard and marry Anna. Anna feels she is not good enough for Edward, especially because she feels she is childless, and the chase, continued lust, passion and love build to a delightful ending.

The Raven Prince is truly a beautiful story with characters that are real and unforgettable. The love scenes are beautifully written. It is a story that makes you believe that true love conquers all. Elizabeth Hoyt is one of those authors that will not be able to write fast enough for her fans.

Publisher: Warner (November 2006)
Reviewed by Beverly, Beverly Romance Books
Beverly Romance Book Reviews

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