Wednesday, November 16, 2011
The widowed Silence Hollingbrook has a scandalous past with river pirate Mickey O'Connor since she went to him a year ago after he stole her husband's cargo. Even though he did not touch her it left her reputation in ruins and her marriage was never the same and after her husband's death she comforts herself with the orphanage her family runs in St. Giles and Mary Darling, an infant left on her doorstep. Mick has never forgotten the innocence of the beautiful and loyal young woman who begged for his help and so when he needed a safe place for his young daughter he immediately thought of Silence. When Mary's hiding space is compromised Mick takes her back and Silence refuses to leave the child she has quickly become attached to even if it means being forced to move into a pirate's palace. Mary is determined to keep her pride even while doing something that could ruin her and, if discovered, could ruin the foundling home and her siblings.
Mick knows that Silence is too good for him and that he is only bringing her into danger and exposing her to the Vicar of Whitechapel, the notorious gin runner who Mick knows from personal experience has no care for anyone save himself, who would do anything to bring Mick down. Life in his palace is far from Silence's normal way of life; guards on every corner, rich and plentiful food, gold and silver accents, and luxurious furniture and rooms. Upon closer inspection she discovers that Mick is attempting to make up for a childhood spent in abject poverty and she realizes that there are secrets, very dark secrets, in his past, that he is attempting to hide from her but will help her understand all of his actions. Silence's family and friends encourage her to leave Mick, but she knows that there is good inside of him and she wants to bring it out and make him into a better man. When the Vicar makes his move it places Silence in danger and Mick must do all he can to save her and his child, but when everything has settled he has to decide if he can ever be a man who is worthy of love from the woman he loves.
This book starts out immediately where the previous books int he series left off and pretty much jumps right in with the assumption that the reader knows what happened. I enjoyed this because I did know and would not have liked to have pages of catch up when I did not need it but I imagine it would be confusing for some readers. Mick certainly did not come across as a good guy, or as hero material, in previous books as his actions could have destroyed Silence's husband and did end up ruining her reputation and her relationship with those closest to her. It was apparent that there would need to be a major overhaul of his character to make him worthy of love from our heroine and I felt like Hoyt fell short in this. Mick got his jollies by killing people and ruining people just because he could and while he did have a horrific childhood, I felt like this was no even close to a decent excuse for most of his actions. I understood that he was redeemed through his love for Silence but I wanted to know what happened to the other people whose lives he had destroyed.
Silence was loyal, caring, and sweet so she was basically the complete opposite of Mick and her character was obviously meant to show that a good woman could transform even the most wicked of men through said goodness. While I admired her determination to first see to her husband's well being and then to see Mary Darling, I did not understand her feelings for Mick. I wanted him to suffer for what he put her through and it felt like he did not make up for what he had done. Their relationship was difficult to understand and their forced proximity made me wonder if there feelings were just based on her exclusion from her family and friends. They did interact with each other a lot and they had time to get to know each other but I was still just waiting for some reason to find Mick worthy of Silence. There was some sex between them, but not very much and it was not as hot and steamy as I'm used to from Hoyt. The plot involving the Vicar was engrossing and reasonably introduced and carried throughout the book and blended well with everything.
Rating: Great writing as usual and an interesting story but I could not get over Mick and his unlikability even while enjoying Silence and the side plot.