When I realized it was time to start thinking about what book I would read for this months DIK Challenge I was extremely excited to see The Serpent Prince on Katie Reus’s list as I had just gotten it from the library and was planning on reading it anyway! I love it when things work out that way.
When the devil meets an angel...
Country bred Lucy Craddock-Hayes is content with her quiet life. Until the day she trips over an unconscious man—a naked unconscious—and loses her innocence forever.
he can take her to heaven...
Viscount Simon Iddesleigh was nearly beaten to death by his enemies. Now he’s hell-bent on vengeance. But as Lucy nurses him back to health, her honesty startles his jaded sensibilities—even as it ignites a desire that threatens to consume them both.
or to hell.
Charmed by Simon’s sly wit, urbane manners, and even his red-heeled shoes, Lucy falls hard and fast for him. Yet as his honor keeps him from ravishing her, his revenge sends his attackers to her door. As Simon wages war on his foes, Lucy wages her own war for his soul using the only weapon she has—her love…
Lucy finds Simon Iddesleigh beaten and stabbed in a ditch far from his home in London. Against her father’s wishes she nurses Simon back to health at their home in Kent. While recuperating from his injuries Simon finds himself falling in love with Lucy but knows he can’t be with her because his life, and his soul, are too dark for one so bright and shining as Lucy.
Lucy is stunned when Simon comes to Kent to ask her to marry him but she can’t possibly deny him. She cares deeply for Simon as well and is thrilled that this wonderful man loves her. Simon whisks Lucy off to London and places her with his sister-in-law and niece to live until the wedding. But as the weeks move on, both before and after the marriage, Lucy discovers a part of Simon that he tried to keep secret – the revenge that he is seeking for the murder of his brother and the reputation ruining of his sister-in-law. She knows what he is doing is wrong but the reasons make so much sense to her she really is in a quandary. She knows he should stop but can’t get him to listen to reason. How can she stop him before he gets himself killed?
I have to say I had very mixed feelings about this book. While it’s written very well and in the same great style as I’ve gotten used to with Hoyt’s books, I found myself having a roller coaster of emotions over the characters and their personalities.
Lucy – When she first found Simon in the ditch and while she was nursing him she seemed like a very strong woman and I was really looking forward to getting to know her better. But during what I feel was the second part of the book – the part she goes to London – she almost felt like a secondary character and I didn't get to know her as I wished. Sure, she was in the book and played a role but I really didn’t see her strength after that. Her fortitude with Simon, definitely, but she almost fell by the wayside…was almost in Simon’s shadow in the book.
Simon – Oh boy, where do I start? I really liked Simon...to a point. I loved that he wasn’t a big buff guy but was still a man none-the-less. He was certain of his strength, vitality and well, manliness, even though he had a kind of metrosexual vibe goin on. He definitely liked to look good and did the silver coat, red-heeled shoes, and powdered wig with absolutely no hesitation. I loved that about him. But it was all just a costume to hide the man inside. Who was that man? Simon didn’t even know. His mother had painted him as the “bad” son to his brother’s “good” and he decided to take that ball and run with it. But that’s not really who he was. When he decided to avenge his bother’s murderers he hated doing what he did but it didn’t stop him. That really had me stopping and thinking as I read because it’s a rare person who can kill someone and not be tainted for life by it. Lucy helped him through in the end, which was great but I’d love to see a Lucy and Simon in 5 years and see how it’s effected their lives.
Then there was Lucy and Simon together - so sweet when he was at her house in the country. Even though his witty banter was a cover up you could tell that he could be such a dear person and he truly loved Lucy. But the love walked a fine line in my book from healthy to obsessive. I think that shows the intricacies of Hoyt’s writing that she can take you to that point in their relationship and still pull you back so that it’s all ok in the end.
Some may look at my thoughts here and think that I didn’t like the book but I did- I thought it was very good. Would I re-read it? Probably not, but you never know. There may be one day I’ll be thinking about Simon and Lucy and think – maybe I read them wrong…and feel the need to look them up and see if my thoughts change. For now I’ll let Simon and Lucy go live their lives in peace.
Rating: 4 out of 5