Updated: Apr 16
We are taking you back in time to our favorite home for unfortunate children in London. Silence Hollingbrook once again finds herself face to face with "Charming" Mickey O'Connor. Unlike their last meeting, Mickey is not letting Silence out of his sight or out of his life. Can Silence actually find the man under the mask worth loving? Join us in the London criminal underworld as we read Scandalous Desires, Book 3 in Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane Series. **We are swapping River Pirate secrets for SPOILERS**
Grab your copy of the book we read today, Scandalous Desires by Elizabeth Hoyt!
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We include our synopses as a semi-transcription of the episode in our blog posts. You can learn more about how we compose these by reading this article. As a reminder though, our synopses are FULL of spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk :)
Silence Hollingbrook has found herself in the throne room of Charming Mickey O’Connor.
O’Connor has taken Mary Darling, Silence’s adopted daughter, as it turns out, she is his daughter and she is currently in danger.
He has angered The Vicar, whom we met in the last book, and fears that the man will target his daughter and Silence.
Because of these circumstances, Silence agrees to stay in O’Connor’s house until the threat has passed.
She is given a fine room for her and Mary, but Silence immediately chaffs at the rules that Mickey lays out.
She begins to challenge the great pirate king and while it angers Mickey, he is not going to throw her out. He’s been plotting to have Silence under his roof for awhile. Ever since she spent the night the previous year to save her husband.
Within a day of arriving, Silence is upsetting the careful order of the pirate lair. She refuses to come to dinner with everyone else. So Mickey says she will not be allowed food until she changes her mind.
He gets his own small victory when Winter Makepeace comes to “rescue” Silence and she refuses to leave with him.
Mickey is at this wits end trying to figure out how to break Silence. One of his men and Silence’s guard, Harry, suggests he go with kindness over high handedness.
Mickey takes his advance when he finds Silence has again disobeyed him by leaving her room and has proceeded to commandeer the kitchen to wash Lad, Harry’s dog who loves Mickey despite the fact he’s always throwing him out of the house.
Mickey proceeds to make Silence a cup of tea and they have a brief chat, with Silence learning a bit more about the pirate and convincing him to let her keep Lad.
After he walks her to her room he informs her that she will be moving rooms the next day because he and his men were followed and he wants to keep an even closer eye on her and Mary Darling.
In her short time there, Silence is learning more and more about the feared pirate Mickey O’Connor. He has a side of him that is kind but then he does shit like take a kiss from her in a very forceful way after Silence confronts him about how he messed with her life the year before.
She leaned close to him. “Something you will never have. Something you’re incapable of feeling. I pity you, Mickey O’Connor, for I may have lost my true love, but at least I had him for a time. You’ll never feel love.”
The next morning, Mickey O’Connor, the feared Pirate, comes to ask Silence for forgiveness. He gives her a peace offering and breakfast, while asking her nicely to join him for dinner.
She stared. Had Mickey O’Connor ever begged anyone in his entire life? He grinned, quick and rueful. “Oh, aye, the pigs’ll be flyin’ today, so I’ve heard.”
Silence does go to dinner with Mickey. While their dinner conversation helps soften Silence to Mickey, she really begins to feel the attraction when she find him singing to Mary Darling to help her sleep after she’s been feverish for a few days.
Silence learns about Mickey’s childhood and how his mother fell into the trap of an evil man, which left Mickey without a mother’s proper love and care to Silence’s eyes. She tells him forcefully that every child deserves a mother’s love and protection. In that moment Mickey finds why he is so attracted to Silence. It is because she is quote
A woman who was as fierce in her maternal love as he had been as a boy in his will to survive.
They share a kiss, a caring kiss, not a forceful one and both walk away a bit more aware of the other.
Their dealing with each other continue to be filled with this new awareness and Mickey, now Michael to Silence, makes a declaration to her
He licked at the tears on her cheeks, his lips brushing softly against her sensitive skin as he spoke, “ye’ve bewitched and bespelled me, my sweet Silence, didn’t ye know? I’ll agree that the sky is pink, that the moon is made o’ marzipan and sugared raisins, and that mermaids swim the muddy waters o’ the Thames, if ye’ll only stop weepin’. Me chest breaks apart and gapes wide open when I see tears in yer pretty eyes. Me lungs, me liver, and me heart cannot stand to be thus exposed.”
That night Michael takes Silence to the Opera and they have a lovely time. There is some sexy talk but overall it is just an evening of enjoyment.
That is shattered when they arrive back at the Palace and find it under attack. Fionnula, the maid who has been helping care for Mary Darling, has been killed by vitriol (think acid attack) to the face. She did manage to protect Mary who she shoved under the bed with Lad.
Everyone is horrified and Silence asks Michael why they would use vitriol. He tells her that he used the stuff to try and kill Charlie Grady, the Vicar of Whitechapel, who is behind all the threats to Silence and Mary.
There is a brief moment where Silence kisses Michael but that is cut short when her brothers and brother-in-law appear to take Silence away with them.
Based on the events of the evening Michael tells Silence to go with them to get her out of London. He does tell the brothers that his enemy is the Vicar of Whitechapel so they must be on their guard.
After making plans to strike against the Vicar, Michael leaves London to go after Silence.
A week later, Silence finds Michael outside her brother-in-laws house and agrees to leave with him.
A week after that, she finds herself at Windward House, the home of Mr. Michael Rivers, shipbuilder.
It turns out that Michael has been building a life outside of pirating for himself for the last five years. He has invested in shipbuilding business that actually brings in about the same amount of money as his pirating.
He is convinced Silence is going to ask about why he continues his pirating ways, but is surprised when she asks about why he threw vitriol at Charlie Grady.
Michael tells her that he did it in order to protect himself from being whored out for money to buy grain for Grady’s gin operation. He tells her his mother never forgave him because the man he has scared, was in fact his father. So Charming Mickey O’Connor, river pirate, is the son of the Vicar of Whitechapel.
The night Silence cannot stop thinking of these revelations. She decides to go to Michael’s room to ask a couple more questions.
Once she’s there, Michael asks if she’s planning to stay. Silence tells him yes. He double checks with her, not wanting her to regret her decisions. Silence however, has always found her courage with Michael.
We have encounter number one, which continues to show us the softer side of Charming Mickey.
This is followed closely by encounter number two.
The next morning we get encounter number three. Silence is now trying to reckon exactly what being Michael’s woman means. He has not mentioned marriage or even her being his mistress. She’s falling more him more and more and is not sure what a future will look like.
Their morning is interrupted by Harry who has caught the spy that has been in Michael’s camp.
Michael decides to take his traitor to London himself and put him on a ship to teach him a lesson. He’s still reeling from the betrayal and how he wants to keep his sinful side from Silence when she enters. She wants to know what is going on and pulls more of his past from him. Michael decides it’s a great time to show her oral sex, so we have encounter number 4.
That evening Michael does go to dinner with Silence before going to London. Silence, who had admitted her feelings towards Michael, wants to know what role she has in his life. Will she be a wife or a mistress? Why is it so important he remains a Pirate?
Michael had never envisioned their life beyond where they were now. And does not understand why that is not good enough for Silence.
“It that what this is? A test?” He felt the anger rise in him again, seeking a victim even if she might be innocent of any outrage against him. “Perhaps it is,” she said slowly. “I need to know that I’m more to you than a woman in your bed, Michael.” “Ye know full well yer more than that,” he growled in outrage. “What d’ye want from me?” “Truth,” she whispered, powerful in her softness. “Honesty. Friendship. And perhaps love.”
Michael knows he done fucked up but he does not alter his plans to escort the traitor to his ship. Before he goes though, he gifts Silence with a dagger and shows her how best to use it and protect herself.
Once he leaves, Silence decides that she can no longer stay at Windward. She cannot stay with Michael if he insists on being a pirate.
She travels back to London and Michael upon seeing that she has left him, sends men to guard her and goes on his own downward spiral, which ultimately ends up with him being captured by soldiers and charged with piracy thanks to Charlie Grady.
Silence learns that Michael has been arrested and is due to be hanged, so she finds a way to see him at Newgate.
Michael has been making plans for his escape and thinking about Silence. He realizes that she could be pregnant and that having a bastard would be hard on her and he never wants her to be in pain.
As soon as Silence arrives at the prison, Michael bribes the guards to send for the prison chaplain and marries Silence.
“Come here,” he whispered and pulled her into his warm arms. He leaned his forehead against hers. “I’m sorry, so sorry, I made a mess o’ things at Windward House. I should’ve known ye and the babe were all I need—all I’ll ever need. The money, the piratin’ they were jus’ shields I was holdin’ on to, fearful-like. ’Twasn’t me best decision, love.” “Oh, Michael.” She closed her eyes, willing the tears back, for his honest admission made her love him even more.
They have their “wedding night” and encounter 6 immediately after.
The day of his hanging dawns and Michael is prepared with an escape plan and the knowledge that Silence is his wife and knows he loves her.
Then things get really crazy. Charlie Grady ambushes Silence as Michael is being led away, so he tells the guards with her to send all his men after her and to tell Winter Makepeace.
Michael makes it all the way to the gallows and is dropped but then the rope is cut down by none other than the Ghost of St.Giles, who then proceeds to distract the soldiers in the crowd as Michale makes his way to Silence.
When he arrives, it turns out he was not needed after all. Silence had bided her time and as soon as Charlie Grady got close enough, she stabbed him in the back, killing Michael’s father and greatest enemy.
All's well that ends well. Because Charming Mickey is even more of a wanted man, it’s best that he dies. Therefore Michael Rivers and his new wife live happily ever after.