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The Raven Prince    by Elizabeth Hoyt order for
Raven Prince
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by Kim Atchue-Cusella

In 1760, Anna Wren is a widowed woman who lives with her mother-in-law. Needing to keep them afloat when they fall upon hard times, she takes a job as secretary to Edward de Raaf, Earl of Swartingham.

Edward lost his entire family to smallpox many years before. Though unhappy to discover his new secretary is a woman, she is doing well so he keeps her. As time goes on, he feels tenderness towards her and tries to make her happy by allowing her to borrow books. They have lengthy conversations.

Anna is pleasantly surprised that Edward is not the ogre everyone made him out to be - he seems sweet and thoughtful. But when she finds out that he frequents a brothel in London, she is slightly disgusted with him. Having desires of her own, Anna enlists the help of a friend to set up a meeting between her (disguised) and Edward at the brothel. Edward is enchanted with this woman, who takes his mind off Anna, and arranges another meeting. Though this is risky, Anna agrees - but will she be found out and lose Edward forever?

The Raven Prince is a spectacular book that you won't want to end. Anna is a delightful character with a bit of fire in her, and Edward is a sensitive man underneath his gruffness. They have both been hurt by their pasts and need to work out their feelings before they can let go and be together. Elizabeth Hoyt created a wonderful story that brings two people together slowly, but with a climactic finish.

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