The Serpent Prince

 
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Product Description

Country bred Lucy Craddock-Hayes is content with her quiet life. Until the day she trips over an unconscious man - a naked unconscious man - and loses her innocence forever.
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.
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.

Customer Reviews:

  • Enjoyable, worth reading
    Story had a great start and then the characters were engaging, clever, and interesting. I especially enjoyed the duels (I'm bloodthirsty probably) which created some tension in the story. Simon was nicely tortured and the way he dressed and made love, and also became a little suicidal toward the end, made him more interesting. The other two "Princes" were back briefly, which was appealing if you read the three books in order. Yes, some of the plots points fell short (too quick to marry, Lucy's inconsistent decision toward the end, resolution of the revenge problem). But, so what? I read all three in this series and was very pleased. The author writes well, has very cute, witty dialogue, fairly good character and plot, some imagination, and hot love scenes. That's pretty much all I need. Since it's getting harder and harder to find good, solid romances out there, I'm happy to rate this author at 4. Definitely worth reading, since we've got to read something....more info
  • A real vindictive but loving prince!
    Simon and Lucy are very different people. She is a gentle countryside captain's daughter. Simon is a sophisticated Viscount. However, as destiny dictates, their lives are definitely intertwined.

    Simon is left as dead near Lucy's house in the town of Maiden Hill. She takes him home and in spite of his father's contrary opinion, she takes care of him. Even belonging to the upper class, the Ton, with jaded and candid behaviour mainly towards women, Simon starts thinking Lucy is his guardian angel! As nothing good lasts forever, one day, some shots take the couple by surprise and Simon, after giving his protection to Lucy, is obliged to return to his Town House in London.

    Desperately, his worst nightmare returns, his obsession with the murderers of his brother. He must duel with all of them and win so he stays in peace being certain his brother's soul is definitely revenged. Apart from it, he cannot forget his angel, Lucy.

    This is a remarkable story, even though the couple faces very serious challenges, the friendship and mainly the passion unite them as Simon sensuously attracts Lucy to his arms promising everlasting bliss.

    High point: During the whole story, Simon tells Lucy a fairy tale whereas she draws the scenes, as it is Lucy's wish to turn it into a child's book! If you are fond of dramatic, violent, very sensual and even funny (in some moments...why not?) romance, read this book. You will enjoy it a lot as I did!:)...more info
  • Highly anticipated but found lacking
    Her first two books were wickedly delicious but this book failed to satisfy the 'particular' craving which she alone inspired with her earlier books.I keep on re-reading them but I am sure 'The serpent prince 'wont claim that honor....more info
  • Deliciously, Deliciously, DELICIOUSLY good
    I read and loved Hoyt's previous two novels this summer, and this third one eclipses them both. I loved every minute of this novel. Miss Craddock-Hayes is just the sort of heroine I like; smart, compassionate, and attractive (I did list those in order of importance). Simon isn't the kind of hero I usually empathize with, but there was just something about the way the characters were so realistically drawn, with a twist of humor, that made them incredibly appealing as a couple. Simon clearly adores Lucy, and always treated her as such. This dynamic is always a requirement for me, which is why I've never liked authors like Christina Dodd. Maybe it was the fact that Lucy so obviously needed someone to shake up her life that made Simon so appealing. I wanted him to give Lucy what she needed.

    And boy did he. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The sensuality in this book was the most wonderful that I've ever read. BUT, it never overwhelmed the real story, which of course is the relationship. This isn't the sort of romance that's heavy on the sex at the expense of believability and character development. What makes Hoyt such a standout is her ability to weave the elements of the romance genre together with such balance and so seamlessly, that you forget you're reading a romance novel. This takes real skill and intelligence. Moreover, her humor is unique in that it actually makes me laugh, and it's never too cutsey.

    This book is not for you if you're a prude. What I love about the romance genre and authors like Hoyt is their ability to portray women being sexual in a wonderfully healthy, expressive way. And, here comes a spoiler, the scene in which Simon stumbles on Lucy in the bath and then pleasures himself afterwards was incredibly HOT, and it operated only on a skillful portrayal of sexual tension; the characters never touch each other in one of the hottest scenes in the book.

    I would only ask that Ms. Hoyt keep writing historic romance for a good long time. She's a master of the genre, and brings significant changes to the genre. Bravo!...more info
  • I just did not care about the characters or the mystery !
    It takes a lot for me to not finish a book. I was almost done with the book and decided life is too short. I don't care enough about the characters to find out if they all live happy ever after.

    I like this author and will read her stuff again. ...more info
  • Book 3
    I loved The Raven Prince. Was ambivalent towards The Leopard Prince. And really did not like The Serpent Prince. The revenge plot completely eclipsed the romance. I had no idea whether Simon and Lucy were in love or just obsessed with each other. There was very little sexual tension and no hero-jealousy.

    The sex scenes were steamy but I was a bit turned off by them since the hero is described ad nauseum as wearing red-heeled shoes, wigs, ornaments, and having delicate wrists. Granted this is a Georgian period, however, a mention or two would have been sufficient. I prefer my heroes a bit more masculine.

    Lucy's character was very one-dimensional so I had a problem connecting with her. For my part I couldn't find much to love about either of the characters and would rather have seen Rosalyn or Christian's story.

    ...more info
  • disappointed in this book
    I order this book right away because her other two books were so good, but this one was a disappointment compared to the her others....more info
  • The best yet!
    I just read this, and liked it the best of all the "Prince" books. Unlike in many historicals, the dueling scenes here are as violent and disturbing as they must have been live. The characters were very different from each other, but I found their connection and the ultimate redemption convincing. This one made me cry. Good work, Elizabeth!...more info
  • Did we even read the same book? Very lukewarm and disappointing romance
    I must admit I'm baffled by the good reviews. I ordered the Serpent Prince because I loved the Raven Prince and the Leopard Prince. This was not up to her usual standard. It was MUCH less steamy than the 2 predecessors and the Simon character wasn't very well developed IMHO. I didn't buy him as the tortured hero and the ending was too quickly and conveniently wrapped up.

    I never got the feeling that the H & H got to know each other well enough to really be in love in this book.

    Very weak effort from Elizabeth Hoyt, in my opinion. I hope she isn't losing her touch!...more info
  • what happened?
    what happend with your style?
    It was very annoying book!
    first of all, what kind of a lady would offer to 'carry' a dead man home?? I wouldnt even dare to touch one, not to mention carrying one. and im sure ladys then were much more gentle then I am now.
    second, I had a problem with her attitude towards her father. she was ashamed of him. He didnt deserve that!
    Third, the hero kept talking infront of the lady about his trips to bordellos. whats up with that? I understand if men between themselves discuss it, but not infront of a young woman. and when she wore red high heel boots, he said sincerely :"wow! you look like a hooker!" Really heartwarming compliment!
    and just when I thought we may get a secondary love bond between both of their friends and that may save the book, bang!
    horrible!
    I usually value books and don't through them away, but this went straight to my garbage bag!
    wish I would get my money back tho!...more info
  • Magical and Sensual Historical
    Elizabeth Hoyt has improved with each release in her Fairy Tale Prince Series. It has become difficult to determine which one is the favorite, so it has to be the one you are currently reading! Her unique style of having an actual fairy tale being told by one of the characters while the real fairy tale-like storyline is developing, is extremely creative, leaving readers glued to the pages, once again reading another Prince series book that is interesting, sensual, and difficult to put down. These are not light stories with flighty characters, but complicated storylines containing characters that are imperfect and sensual, with moral character.

    In The Serpent Prince a beautiful country girl Lucy Craddock-Hayes leads a quiet life helping others, wondering if love will ever come her way, when she happens upon Viscount Simon Iddesleigh, naked, unconscious, and near death on the side of the road. Lucy rescues Simon to recuperate in the home of her cranky old sea captain of a father with loyal servants who are old sea salts, just as cranky as their captain, whose antics, along with the rakeful Simon when he awakens, will keep the reader smiling. When he awakes he has immediate lust for the beautiful country mouse. Lucy, who has always led a perfect country life of decorum, is surprised by her sensual desire for Simon. But Simon has deep, dark secrets of vengeance underneath his sexy smile and beautiful body. Evil that already killed one he loved and may endanger those he has now come to love. Will the beautiful Lucy's sweet goodness be enough to transcend the evil in handsome Simon's life so he can truly love? Only one way to find out...read this third book in the series!

    The Prince Series is a romance series fans will want to collect and read over and over again. A pure delight. Readers anxiously awaited this release and they will continue to look forward to the next Hoyt Historical Romance!
    ...more info
  • excellent Georgian romance
    In 1760 near her home in Maiden Hill, England Lucy Craddock-Hayes finds the battered Viscount Simon Iddelsleigh nearly dead; in fact she thought he was dead initially. She has him brought into her home where she nurses him back to health. As he recovers, Simon teases his savior with his sweet talk; Lucy already attracted to her guest, savors his gentle seductive words, but pretends otherwise.

    When Simon learns that his nurse is an artist, he hires her to illustrate the fairy tale The Serpent Prince and the Goat Girl. As they fall in love, his enemy learns he still lives so the killer plans to finish the job using Lucy as a pawn because this villain knows Simon will never rest until he avenges the death of his brother.

    The third Elizabeth Hoyt princely Georgian romance (see RAVEN PRINCE and LEOPARD PRINCE) is an excellent historical tale. The action-packed story line is moved forward by the antics of the nurse and her patient as he charms her while he heals. As they fall in love, Simon knows he is not good enough for the kind loving Lucy as his quest must come before his desires. Elizabeth Hoyt provides an entertaining character driven eighteenth century romance.

    Harriet Klausner
    ...more info
  • five stars - great
    i waited for her new book and was not disappointed from the first page to the last. The story was very different from her 2 previous books, which only adds to her appeal as a great and diverse writer. I loved both main characters from the start, and agree with the previous reviewer, the only regret was that it ended. Yes it was dark and violent, but what a story! It will stay with you for a long time. I can only finish by saying, I know a winner when I dont'skim the book ahead because I am so engrossed in the story that I want it to go on. Only sorry it took me one day to read and I cannot wait for her next story. Wow!...more info
  • Dark, literate and compelling
    Beaten, stabbed, stripped bare and left for dead in the English countryside, Viscount Simon Iddesleigh luckily is found by Miss Lucy Craddock-Hayes, who takes him home and nurses him back to health. Lucy, whose widowed father is a retired naval officer, leads a quiet, pleasant, and useful country life and expects she will marry the local vicar. Simon leads a not-so-quiet rather frivolous town life, and beneath it all is a tormented man trapped in a deadly and gruesome game of revenge. Despite their obvious differences - maybe because of them - Lucy and Simon `click' almost instantly, as if they have known each other all of their lives. She feels alive for the first time ever, and he has never felt so content. He puts off leaving for London and cocoon's himself in Lucy's protective world. But Simon's enemies are at large, and inevitably violence follows. He must leave Lucy soon - for her own good. But is life ever that simple? For his world is a living hell, and now he has tasted heaven.

    Hoyt is a one-of-a-kind romance author whose three books to date have all been thought provoking and well done - but this one is by far the darkest. Maybe just a tad too dark in the second half, which cuts a little into the romance...but overall still a good read. I love the first half, with Simon so clever and mysterious and irresistibly charming. The scene of his return is priceless. Lucy truly cannot help but fall for him. But Simon loses his charm when he returns to London, and the first half's joy is replaced by unrelenting gloom. It nonetheless remains a compelling story, and I particularly like how the enemy is fleshed out and given a human face, and how Simon's quest for justice is not seen through rose-colored glasses.

    Lucy is a treasure throughout - eager, honest, perceptive and wise - and so very much alive. The perfect foil for a man bent on his own destruction. Hoyt makes wonderful use of symbolism throughout and - like Lucy - does not pussyfoot around the tough issues. Somewhat edgy overall, with Simon a little worse for the wear as the story progresses, but a true step above the typical romance.
    ...more info
  • My second favorite Prince book
    Lucinda Craddock-Hayes is stunned when she finds a naked, half-dead man in a ditch. Surprised, Lucy takes him back to her home to nurse the poor man back to health, despite the disapproval of her father and her servants. When he wakes up, Lucy learns that the man in question is Viscount Simon Iddesleigh. While he recuperates in her home, Lucy and Simon forge a bond. Simon is full of sarcastic charm and teasing gallantry, while Lucy is more straightforward and down to earth. Something draws the two together, though and they fall in love.

    The Serpent Prince is set against the backdrop of Regency England, but takes a decidedly darker turn than the previous Prince books. Simon is a man bent on revenge, and no amount of love or hope for the future will set him from his course. Lucy, on the other hand, is a simple country girl who honestly believes that love conquers all. She can't believe that the man she loves would kill men on the "field of honor" without a hint of remorse or a second thought. Her sweet nature and calm disposition provide a perfect foil for Simon's self-deprecating humor and vengeance-destroyed mind.

    This book isn't like other romance novels, and not like the previous Prince books at all, so I can understand how some people might not like it. I found myself enthralled by Simon's wit, by his dandyish tendencies, and his seduction of a simple country girl. I found Lucy to be a breath of fresh air when heroines are so often too dumb to live in historical romances. If you like your plots a bit darker, your heroes a bit more flamboyant, and your heroines more reserved, you'll find a place in your heart for The Serpent Prince. Otherwise, check out the first book in the series, The Raven Prince, which is much more along the lines of a typical historical romance....more info
  • Disappointing
    I was really let down with this book. I expected so musch more. I liked the chemistry between Lucy and Simon, but I really think the story could have been developed a lot better. So much was left undone. I'll definately thin twice before getting anymore of Eh's books....more info
  • SUPER SLOW START - BUT IT REDEEMED ITSELF!
    I DON'T GET IT? It pains me to write this... truly it does!! I dived into this book with great anticipation because of all the rave reviews online. I love Hoyt's sexy prose and fresh writing style. I loved the Raven Prince. What happened here?

    I am in two minds how I should rate this book. I found myself persevering, put the book down three times, only to persevere some more and FINALLY when Simon proposes to Lucy on Chapter 10... 177 pages into the book - it started getting interesting. The booked draaaaaaged on for the first ten chapters and he characters were devoid of any emotional connection. Yes, great dialogues, witty repartee, sharp quips here and there - Simon is the full on 17th Century lordling, complete with red high heel shoes and fresh powdered wigs.. full of prose and affectation and no action. If I heard one more witty remark regarding the weather or directed to Lucy's father, I was going to scream!!! I came to realize that the repartee was Simon's way of deflecting and keeping the world at bay others from knowing the "real" Simon. I know that Simon was trying to find out who nearly killed him and so on and so forth... still the first part of the book and second seemed to have been written by two different writers.

    YET, I guess all the perseverance paid off. The story from that point on became passionate and heartfelt. Hoyt's descriptions of the sexual scenes are direct and raw. For those of you that are easily offended and need "rosy" and mild descriptions - don't even bother come near here! It is refreshing to have sex described the way it really happens and sexual conversations be actually sexual. It never bordered on pornographic but it had a very fresh Erotic tone and quality, which it is part of Hoyt's writing style. The almost maniacal obsession in which Simon has to avenge his brother's death is finally brought in check, with his heart thawing by Lucy's tender care, love and sweet innocent nature.

    If you can get through the first 10 Chapters and skim around the witty, flowery dialogue, and impersonal scenes, then this is a great book.
    ...more info
  • VERY Disappointed in this book
    I had such expectations from this novel. I have read "Raven Prince" and "Leopard Prince" And couldn't wait for Serpent Price to be released!
    I could barely make it through the book. The plot dragged, the characters did not hold my interest. About half way through , I felt I was waisting my time. It was an extreme let down!...more info
  • Historical Romance at Its Best! (A Grade)
    Elizabeth Hoyt is an amazing writer and with this book, she shows her talent in so many ways. There is a bit of a mystery with the hero is beaten and left for dead because he is trying to get revenge on those that did his older brother in. Small town miss, Lucy the heroine finds Simon almost dead on the side of the road and that is where the story picks up.
    This is about two people finding each other. They are soul mates. Simon is the real reason to read this engaging tale. He says he is soulless and evil, but he is not. He is a so-called rake, but that is just a lie, a disguise from the hurt he feels. He doesn't know who he is or where his life is going. All he cares about is getting revenge against those who killed his brother. But when he meets Lucy, he feels complete and whole. He can live again because of her.
    Lucy is a very appealing character and is Simon's equal in every way. The conversations they share are witty and very well written. And the sex scene are so emotional, very erotic and in a word- amazing.
    For 2007 this must be one of the best historical romances for this year. This is Hoyt's third book and she hasn't disappointed yet!
    After I finished reading, I wanted to give Simon a big hug!

    Katiebabs

    The Raven Prince (Warner Forever)
    The Leopard Prince (Warner Forever)...more info
  • Original, Dark and Lyrical Historical Romance
    "The Serpent Prince" is the third and final installment in a trilogy that has impressed me with its originality and strong characters. Elizabeth Hoyt proves in this novel that she's very talented, and also not afraid to take risks. The action and suspense never let up, but the truly impressive thing is that the sensuality and romance are never given the backseat, either. "The Serpent Prince" pulls you in from the first page and then takes you on a real journey with the characters-- a journey that is sometimes surprisingly dark, almost always unpredictable, and ultimately, very rewarding.

    This novel features Simon Iddlesleigh, who readers will remember as the witty viscount in the first two books of the series. In his own book, however, Simon is a troubled man out for revenge against his brother, Ethan, who was killed after an investment plan went sour. The revenge plot is a romance staple, but it's to Hoyt's credit that in this book it feels fresh and new, largely because the author dares to take things a step further and have Simon actually enact bloody, violent actions that we read about in vivid detail.

    The book opens with Lucy, a young country miss, stumbling upon the naked, bleeding Simon. Lucy is determined to nurse Simon back to health, and once she does, the two are quickly intrigued by one another. Lucy is very straightforward, and senses in Simon a soul that needs healing, while Simon struggles with how effectively Lucy disarms him and makes him crave real intimacy. Like all the books in this series, this one has very sexy love scenes and big romantic moments; I especially liked the way Lucy and Simon came together physically only after Simon was forced to let down his emotional guard.

    The main conflict concerns Simon's need for revenge and Lucy's fear for both his life and his soul. Everything reaches a bloody and involving climax that feels neither cliched nor completely tidy. It's a fitting end to a book that challenges some romance conventions while still delivering a happy ending.

    If you liked the other books in this series, as I did, I think you'll enjoy this one. Some readers may be turned off by the gore, and the fact that there's not a crystal clear compromise between Lucy's morality and Simon's desperate need to avenge his brother, but lovers of historical romance with a darker side are sure to find much to enjoy here. ...more info
  • One of the grittiest, darkest revenge plots in romance
    With THE RAVEN PRINCE's (****) Edward de Raaf, THE LEOPARD PRINCE's (****) Harry Pye and finally THE SERPENT PRINCE's Simon Iddesleigh, Elizabeth Hoyt's heroes evince some of the most unconventional yet compelling guy-characterizations I've ever read in this genre. These are believable, passionate guys in love; not just rich, handsome, pining cartoon pimps to service the virgin heroine. Definitely one of the better virgin-heroine-saving-the-tortured-soul routines I've read in romance, THE SERPENT PRINCE paints the wounded story of Viscount Simon Iddesleigh's quest for revenge. Originally introduced in THE RAVEN PRINCE, we know Simon is an expert swordsman, and an accomplished duelist. Although I generally don't go for the virgin-heroine-rescuing-the-tortured-soul routines, that's not what I didn't like about THE SERPENT PRINCE. Thankfully, there were no ultimatums here and no emasculating the hero at the end like so many tortured-soul-revenge stories in romance. In fact, this was the darkest, most believable tortured soul/revenge stories I've read in romance, and better than Madeline Hunter's THE SEDUCER (**). Unlike Hoyt's prior two novels however, THE SERPENT PRINCE was mostly a *yawn* for 250-275 pages in this 362-page paperback. I also thought the settings and prose declined from THE LEOPARD PRINCE, but the disappointingly boring plotting and pacing may have contributed to the weak prose and settings.

    I liked the characters, and again their interaction and passion is mutually giving which I always enjoy in Hoyt's stories. Hoyt isn't afraid to let her heroines grab their heroes by the balls, so-to-speak. Unfortunately, THE SERPENT PRINCE's profligate, handsome hero and virginal, sweet heroine dutifully mimics romance genre's strictures for the h/h (more so than Hoyt's characters from prior novels). Other than the h/h, I also liked one of our antagonists, Sir Rupert Fletcher. His characterization was unique, and although I didn't agree with him, I found myself understanding him. He is the perfect gray character, and I do like ruthless realists.

    Since we don't learn the complete background behind Simon's plight for revenge until 275 pages into this novel, it was difficult to get behind his revenge. The book describes a convincing tale of a man who truly loses a part of his soul with each duel and each kill. We desperately wanted to see Simon drop the revenge for his heroine Lucy even though Lucy didn't lay down any such ultimatums so like other romances. Once we learn the full import of Simon's revenge, we finally begin to understand his demons, his rage, and his helplessness. But by this point, it's late in the novel, and we're rooting for him to give it up. Thankfully, love doesn't handicap Simon like so many other romance novels, and actually empowers him to redouble his efforts.

    Like Hoyt's prior two novels, THE SERPENT PRINCE is very sensual. She never disappoints in that department.

    Again, one of the most grittiest, realistic revenge stories I've read in this genre. I thought the background behind Simon's reasons for his revenge should have been revealed much earlier. Between Foley's DEVIL TAKES A BRIDE (***), Hunter's THE SEDUCER (**) and Hoyt's THE SERPENT PRINCE, all dealing with the hero's tortured plight for revenge, this is one of the better ones. Certainly better than Medeiros' awful THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST (*) which emasculates its hero....more info
  • I too was disappointed...
    Having really enjoyed "The Raven Prince", I was looking foward to reading Simon's story. I already liked the character, and was anticipating a great read. What is upsetting is that I feel this could really have been a wonderful story. I liked many things about it: the duels and revenge scenario, the character of Simon. However, I agree with many other reviews that the story didn't seem to really come together. I wasn't that fond of Lucy,who was supposed to be intelligent...hmmm. And the sex scenes were lacking intimacy; and it seemed most of the book did regarding these two. It felt as if Ms. Hoyt could have written a very good book if she'd planned a longer novel; maybe let us get to know both main characters better,and let them have more interaction than in the bedroom. Don't take me wrong, we all read these to include the wonderous sex scenes. But I just didn't feel the love there, or many other areas either. Wish she could write a "do over." Sigh....more info
  • Hot, Sexy and oh so purefect.
    This was the final book in the "Prince" series. By Hoyt. And it certainly was the steamiest! Wow. This book is very hot. Simon, and Lucy a very mismatched couple who take deep desire in each others company and touches. But Simon has a dark side as well. Its a very good story, about a mans flaws, and his love of a woman. And the woman's love of him. A story that asks, can True love really conquer all?...more info
  • Wow!! What a Delectible Old Fashioned Romance!!
    The golden oldies age of romance included books that were so richly written and had such over-the-top characters that you were simply swept away by the imaginative grandeur of it all. I remember books like "Flowers in the Storm" that took place all over the emotional map. This novel features fascinating characters that, although quite extravagant, stay true to themselves throughout the entire novel. This is a wonderful, juicy guilty pleasure of a novel. I can't wait to turn around and read it all over again. Bravo!! ...more info
  • Historical Romance at its finest
    The Serpent Prince is a darkly beautiful, morally questionable and erotically charged "must-be-read" novel. Simon and Lucy have a love that seems so hauntingly raw, you won't know if you are envious or if you want to kiss it and make it better.

    A few people will have a very hard time reading this maybe even more than a few. It is as violent as it is passionate; with two characters I did not want to leave and had a hard time forgetting. It will leave you on a complete book high and the only complaint I had was it ended.

    Well there were a few other minor issues but nothing that threw me from the story or lowered my grade. Even if you don't close the book loving it, it is worth the journey. ...more info
  • One star would just be too low
    I really liked Simon when I read The Leopard Prince. I thought him dashing and mysterious. This story and I couldn't wait until he got his own story. Unfortunately, The Serpent Prince didn't do him justice (or Elizabeth Hoyt (for that matter). This book failed to capture my attention. It was a big let down. ...more info
  • A ten hanky read, very powerful.
    You've probably guessed by now that Viscount Simon Iddesleigh, languid and seemingly laid-back, he of the frothy lace at his wrists and the shockingly lethal hand with a sword, is a tormented, still-waters-run-deep hero. Yes. As the layers are slowly peeled back there's even more to his soul-deep torment than you expect. When the story opens, plucky country lass Lucy Craddock-Hayes finds Simon in a ditch, completely naked and beaten to an inch of his life. Of course she hauls him home and nurses him back to health (against the torrid protests of her servant and sea-dog father). The conversations these two have are rapier-sharp to-and-fro-ing. Brilliantly funny to read, gorgeous wit. This is a man who's all too easy for Lucy to fall in love with - as opposed to the country vicar who's been courting her for three long boring years. Then Lucy realizes that Simon carries a shocking burden of revenge for his beloved brother Ethan's death, one Simon must continue, even if it means his own violent, bloody end. (The swordplay in the book will convince you, once and for all, how excruciating it really is to die by the blade.) Once his enemies learn that Simon's still alive, they come looking for him. He knows too much. The absolute and beautiful redemption Lucy gives to the anguished Simon is profound and terribly moving. Who knew his nightmarish depths, from the previous books? Of course there's swooningly thrilling cameos from Edward de Raaf (The Raven Prince) and Harry Pye (The Leopard Prince), totally ooh. Wound through the story is the fairy tale about the goat girl and the Serpent Prince, fabricated by Simon to fascinate Lucy, his `angel'. Lucy suspects he's making it up and it's all about him, so she promptly changes the dreadful ending to suit Simon - and her. A ten hanky read, very powerful. ...more info
  • Elizabeth Hoyt does it again!
    This was the last book in Elizabeth Hoyt's Prince Trilogy. This book is the fourth book I have read by her, and she is quickly become one of my very favorite authors. She can tell a darn good story that has some humor and intensity, with a hero and heroine that are believable. And she has done it again with Simon and Lucy's story. I loved Simon. He was never serious and joked about everything... until he met Lucy. **He was honest with his feelings, as was Lucy, something that's not done in all stories, since so many are based on misunderstandings and internal conflict.** Anyways, Lucy could see right through with him and he lost it when she told him that she felt like she had known him forever after knowing him for a couple of days. What I sincerely enjoyed about The Serpent Prince was that we went along a cute little journey while Simon and Lucy got to know each other. This was a superb story, and Elizabeth Hoyt can't crank books out quick enough for this reader. If you have not read any of her books, you are really missing out!...more info
  • Awesome!
    This was a great historical romance! This is the first book I've read by this author but I am online buying her other books right now! I really liked the romantic leads and the storyline was very well done....more info
  • My favorite of the three
    The Serpent Prince was my favorite of Elizabeth Hoyt's book so far. I wasn't wild about Anna in the first one, really didn't like George in the second, but I have to say, I loved Lucy. She has become one of my favorite romance novel heroines. I have felt for a long time that authors put a lot of time into their heroes but the heroines always seem to come up a little short. Not in this case. Lucy was a well-developed character with a lot of intelligence and spunk, but she never grated on my nerves as some "spunky" heroines do. Another reviewer mentioned why Lucy, as a lady, would take the "dead" man she found home. I think she did it precisely because she was a different kind of woman than would be found in London. Her difference was what made her special.
    While I do not like fops either, I don't feel that Simon was all that foppish. I didn't like the continuous references to the red-heeled pumps either, but I could overlook that because he was so well-rounded. That was just part of his personality. I felt he was all man and wickedly masculine. His horrible need for revenge colored his actions and maybe he will not feel the need for all the do-dads after he has some peace in his life.
    Elizabeth Hoyt's books are not typical romance novels. Her style of writing is a joy. I thought the little quips between Simon and Lucy after she rescues him were wonderful. I would read one, laugh, and then read it again. And I truly enjoyed the fairy tale of The Serpent Prince. I especially liked when Lucy illustrated it, she changed it to suit her taste.
    The Serpent Prince is the only one of Hoyt's books that will be a keeper for me. The other ones were read, but I didn't feel that I would get them out and read them again. I think I will revisit Lucy and Simon again in the future....more info
  • Not quite as good as the first two
    This book definitely kept my attention, which is saying something. However, it didn't have that certain magic like the first 2 books by this author. She is still a great writer and I have great hopes for any further books she puts out there....more info
  • The Serpent Prince
    When country miss, Lucy Craddock-Hayes, finds a severely injured nude man, she has no choice but to bring him home and nurse him back to health. The nude man turns out to be Viscount Simon Iddesleigh. Simon's enemies did not intend to beat him nearly to death, they meant to kill him.

    Simon finds Lucy refreshingly pure. Lucy finds Simon handsome and witty. Attraction between the two blossoms into passion, but Simon's need for revenge may destroy them all.

    The Serpent Prince is almost lyrical. I was mesmerized by Elizabeth Hoyt's expressive writing. Full of wit, sensuality and poignancy, The Serpent Prince is entrancing and not to be missed!


    Annmarie
    Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
    ...more info
  • Amazing in the Genre
    I'm a writer who also loves romance novels of all kinds and usually the two facts don't go together--i have to suspend any real critique of the writing in order to enjoy the romance. That was not true in Elizabeth Hoyt's The Serpent Prince. I very much enjoyed her previous two books, but this one was set apart by the complexity of both the plot and characterization. For once there was genuine conflict between the hero and heroine and they were both truly flawed while being human and lovable. I know this is something that some readers didn't like about the book, but i enjoyed it immensely. I agree that the relationship between the two was sometimes not developed but i think Hoyt did it on purpose. Men and women of that era really did know little about each other when they married. I think Hoyt kept the two characters apart a lot so that it made sense that they didn't understand each other. So often in romances i think if they'd just have one decent conversation, their entire conflict would be over. Not so in The Serpent Prince. The villain is genuinely villainish and a reader can see both character's point of view. At least i did. Enjoy. Can't wait for the next fairy tale in Elizabeth Hoyt's capable hands....more info
  • "NIce and Hot"
    EH is one of my favorite authors. And once again I'm quite pleased. This is a good read. The hero and heroine are quite likable. Pretty good plot. Great love match. Various emotional, hot, and saucy sex seens. Quite enjoyable....more info
  • I loved it...
    Maybe it's because I haven't read the previous two books? I don't know, but I read the blurb on the back about Lucy's quiet country life being disturbed by her encountering a stabbed, beaten, naked man on the Lane to her home and I was immediately intrigued. There's a mystery here--and I LIKE mysteries!!! Perhaps that's it?

    I thought Lucy was a strong character. She is mature and confident. She immediately feels compassion for a dead man dumped along the road--and when she learns he is still alive, she calmly insists on getting him the proper care, despite a quirky man servant and a cranky, blustering, but loving father.

    Simon is the more difficult character... but one has to love his cool at finding himself waking, injured in a strange bed in an unknown place when he was last in London walking along the street, before being jumped by three men.

    He falls in love with his "angel"--and I don't see why the love at first sight isn't reasonable, here. Lucy is a calm and loving anchor in Simon's troubled and chaotic world. Simon is the hope of love and passion that Lucy doesn't have in her ordered country life, where she has been slowly courted by the vicar who is so passionate he's taken three or four years and hasn't yet asked for her hand. That Lucy quickly realizes she can't settle for the vicar, even as she knows Simon's world isn't her own, is a mark of her sense and her sensibility. Simon, too, knows his world isn't her world--not because she's a simple country miss (as Lucy sometimes fears) but because the attack upon him is part of the current darkness of his life--one of revenge and death, leaving little room for love and goodness.

    Convalescing, Simon gradually tells Lucy the tale of the Serpent Prince, ostensibly so Lucy, talented with her drawing and painting, can illustrate it as a gift for Simon's young niece. I think the tale fits their character and the story perfectly. He is revealing his thoughts of unworthiness and his road of sacrifice, even the sacrifice of his love. It's beautiful and moving, and rather than just imposing a superficial frame of reference for the romance, deepens it.

    Now, perhaps Hoyt has handled this even better in her earlier two books, I don't know, but I do know I liked it all well enough here!

    Historically--yes, the details were very light, but the elements of Georgian style Simon's life reveals is fine enough: his red-heeled shoes, his close-cropped hair under his wigs, his duels and fencing, the brothels and gaming hells and coffee houses...

    But I am predisposed towards Georgian romances... and men whose witty tongue and sartorial excellence hide their inner, far more sensitive soul. I found it all profoundly romantic and I couldn't put the book down.

    Now, perhaps I am in for an even better experience when I read the other books? What's so bad about that? ...more info
  • Fabulous.. Great Read!
    Love this author! I picked up another one of her books out of curiosity and I am so glad I did!The character development is wonderful! I truly fell in love with the main characters, and the situations they were in.

    Simon and Lucy have great duality, and believable thoughts and actions. I wished this book would have continued, as I did with The Raven Prince. It was fun to See De Raaf cameoed in this exciting romantic novel!...more info
  • Great Expectations -- What happened???
    The last time I read a book about a foppish Englishman and enjoyed it I was in Jr. High and the book was The Scarlet Pimpernel. Usually I find such characters shallow and boring. Thus I found myself absolutely SHOCKED to be reading - and loving - the first half of this book. I wanted the characters to fall in love, I wanted them to declare themselves somehow, I wanted it to go on and on... Until we found ourselves in London, and the revenge subplot began to take over. I kept reading and reading, wondering where these delightful people had gone. Where was the suggestive banter? Where were the clashes of class, taste, and expectations? Where had the book I was reading gone?
    I don't remember ever reading a book that felt so abruptly different - as if two completely separate manuscripts had been mixed up at the printers. The second half could have been about any two boring, predictable characters who persist in keeping secrets and behaving like idiots with each other. It had none of the fun or life of the first section. I read it all, hoping to find those two delightful people hidden in it somewhere, but they never showed up again.The characters had no spark, no uniqueness. They behaved in totally predictable ways, moving through a plot so hackneyed it could have been from any ordinary novel, the kind you read once and wish you hadn't wasted your time on. I don't know when I have been so disappointed by a book! The Serpent Prince started out a five and ended up a mundane, generic waste of time. Two very disappointed stars....more info
  • Variable
    This book took me a while to plough through and I nearly gave up halfway. Not that it's badly written - it isn't, apart from some dodgy Americanisms inserting themselves into England of the 1700s - but the pacing seemed rather off for the first half. However the second half picked up considerably and the novel became much more enjoyable.

    Lucy Craddock-Hayes is having yet another normal day in her life in a village when she comes across a naked dead man lying by the side of the road. She discovers fairly quickly that he isn't dead and has him taken to her home where she tends him. As soon as the man regains consciousness she learns that he is Viscount Iddesleigh and he's a witty and charming man. Lucy's father is suspicious of the viscount but he and Lucy spend time together amicably before he leaves in a hurry, his life having been threatened again, and Lucy indirectly. It seems that Simon, Viscount Iddesleigh, has been on some kind of personal revenge mission against the people who are responsible for his brother Ethan's death and that these people may be striking back. The second half of the book takes place in London where we discover the ringleader behind the death of Ethan and the more recent attacks on Simon. There is far more action with duels, intrigues and Lucy's rather static role as Simon chases round London, beset by his demons and the memory of his dead brother.

    I was never entirely sure of the characters of either Lucy or Simon. Somehow they always seemed a little indistinct and Simon's motives in marrying Lucy weren't always clear. What was it about her that attracted him so much apart from her plain speaking? However in the second part of the book I found Simon far more believable - although also seeming rather different than his character in the first half - a man tortured by the death of his brother and by his revenge, fearing that he is evil and yet feeling that in honour he has to continue his avenging mission. Lucy's occasional vacillations about whether she can live with Simon or not are annoying but overall this book is a good read once the story really gets going.

    Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book, www.curledup.com. ? Helen Hancox 2007...more info
  • A Sexy Historical
    Lucy Craddock-Hayes is content in her quiet country life. She lives with her father, sketches in her spare time and every week goes riding with the vicar in the hopes that he will finally propose. Lucy is happy with her life...that is until the Viscount Simon Iddesleigh comes into it; he is opening new doors for Lucy.

    Simon's life is consumed with avenging his brother's death; he won't rest until this task is finished. When he is rescued by Lucy, she introduces him to the softer, quieter side of life. Soon both Simon and Lucy are seeking a life different from the one they are currently living.

    While I liked this story tremendously, I didn't love it like the previous two books in the series, The Raven Prince (Warner Forever)and The Leopard Prince (Warner Forever). I thought Ms. Hoyt concentrated a little too much on the sex and the revenge part of the story, missing out on developing the relationship between the two characters more. Despite that minor flaw, she still managed to write a thoroughly compelling read with loveable characters.

    As in the previous two books there is a secondary story told throughout; a fairy tale quality story complete with princes, magic and the granting of wishes. This was a fantastic story and I am anxiously looking forward to her next book.

    ...more info
  • Wow
    I pre-ordered this on the strength of Ms Hoyt's other two books. I truly enjoyed the other two, but oh-my-gosh, nothing prepared me for this one! I wasn't all that fascinated with Simon in the other books, he seemed a little bit too much. But, in the SERPENT PRINCE, as soon as Simon woke from his beating and started bantering with Lucy I quickly changed my mind about him.

    If you enjoy dark heroes with a sharp sense of humor, this is the book for you....more info

 

 
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