Wealthy Lady Georgina Maitland doesn't want a husband, though she could use a good steward to run her estates. One look at Harry Pye, and Georgina knows she's not just dealing with a servant, but a man.
IS FALL IN LOVE....
Harry has known many aristocrats - including one particular nobleman who is his sworn enemy. But Harry has never met a beautiful lady so independent, uninhibited, and eager to be in his arms.
WITH HER SERVANT.
Still, it's impossible to conduct a discreet liaison when poisoned sheep, murdered villagers, and an enraged magistrate have the county in an uproar. The locals blame Harry for everything. Soon it's all Georgina can do to keep her head above water and Harry's out of the noose...without missing another night of love.
Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long-suffering husband.
Did I really finish two whole books on a work night? I'm officially the superhero of reading (and also, on an unrelated note, the superhero of not getting enough sleep tonight).
Man, when Elizabeth Hoyt is on her game, she is on her game. I've had several misses since reading the book that originally turned me onto this author, DUKE OF SIN, but reading THE LEOPARD PRINCE reminded me of why I got into her writing in the first place.
Lady Georgina doesn't need a husband because of her inheritance. She's been content to remain a virginal spinster all these years, doing as she pleases, cheerfully indulging in her eccentricity. All of that changes when she begins to notice her land steward, Harry Pye, in a decidedly un-business-like way.
Harry Pye is the strong, brooding, silent type, but he has a dark past that has to do with one of the local lords and a missing finger on one of his hands. That past begins to resurface when the sheep of local farmers begin to die - clearly poisoned by hemlock - and all of the townspeople begin to suspect that Harry Pye is the one responsible for all the killings.
The only one who believes he's innocent is Georgina. And as the attraction between them intensifies, class differences and the issue of complicity begin to arise. If Harry didn't kill the sheep, who did? How far will they go to frame him? And how far will she go to save him?
I was complaining recently about how Lisa Kleypas throws in half-assed murder subplots into her books. From what I can tell, Hoyt indulges in the same habit...but hers are actually really well done, and suit the tone of her books. The murders in this book match the dark narration style, as well as its serious tone. Class differences are a theme in THE LEOPARD PRINCE, which gets its name from a fairytale of the same name that is slowly told over the course of the story as an allegorical reflection of what is going on between Harry and George. Abuse of power is another theme, one that is seen all too plainly with the discussion of rape, abuse, neglect, and cruelty (although nothing too graphic).
Another thing that made this book for me is an excellent cast of secondary characters. Bennett was great, as was Will (I don't normally like child characters in romance novels, but he was great). All of George's siblings were hilarious, except for Violet, who didn't really win me over, not even at the end (although I no longer hated her by the end). Her servants made me laugh. I also liked how Hoyt took care to give the townspeople personalities. They weren't just a faceless mob. They were people trying to survive, which made their desperation and anger so much more terrifying when they turned on Harry and began baying for his blood.
Also, the sex scenes in this book - are great. There are a lot of them - a surprising amount actually, for a book that isn't being marketed as erotica - but they're all very well written and don't overtake the plot. I'd give this book a steam factor of 10/5. Harry's pretty kinky, actually. I was shocked!
If you're one of the people I "bullied" (read: assertively encouraged) to read DUKE OF SIN, and found yourself disappointed by some of this author's other efforts as I was, pick up THE LEOPARD PRINCE and have your faith in all that is Hoyt redeemed. I need the other books in this series, asap...
I don't know. The heroine is kind of stupid, and the hero is kind of crude. He's supposed to be just a low-born guy, so I guess they needed to prove that a lot. And, considering how much she cared about fashion and superficial B.S., I had a hard time believing them as a couple. It was more like he was a new toy that she wanted to play with, and she is used to getting what she wants.
She wants his stick all right..
The only thing that kept me reading was to find out who was killing the sheep. And, truly, if that Scooby Doo mystery was what kept me going, it was sad indeed.
Once again, Elizabeth Hoyt has given us unconventional characters in extraordinary circumstances, brought together in a truly lovely story.
Goats are dropping like flies all over Lord Silas Granville’s lands. Tempers are flaring, accusations being cast and Harry Pye is at the center of it all. He knows he’s being framed for the deaths and is determined to find out who the culprit is before Granville, who is also the Magistrate and long time enemy of the Pye family, can see him hanged. Harry is honorable, hard working, smart and sensible and everyone who knows him well knows he is not morally capable of the killings taking place, but money is influence and Silas Granville has plenty of both. And what does Harry have? Big problems.
Georgina Maitland, also known as George, is young, single and wealthy. She’s savvy, independent and definitely a free thinker. She is also Harry Pye’s employer. She’s got her eye on her low-of-birth land manager, and not because of the rumors. Indeed, she’s got a case of the hots for Harry—and I can’t say as I blame her!
I really enjoyed the suspenseful storyline, the interrogation of suspects, the study of evidence and the way the whole thing played out. One again we’re given wonderful secondary characters who don’t bog down the story but rather, enhance it. As it was with the first book, Ms. Hoyt has included a fairytale, The Leopard Prince, which ties in beautifully with our story, and was every bit as entertaining. The sexual tension was very well done – not too much, not too little – and the scenes themselves were deliciously hot!
So why not 5 stars? Well, everything was going along great, having all of the makings of a 5 star read right up to near the end when things took a wrong turn and I was left wondering, what just happened? I don’t want to give away too much so I’ll only say that all through the book Harry was steady, consistent, reliable, dependable. And so was George—until she made a decision that was so far out in left field that I wondered if I was reading the same book, or if George had been kidnapped and replaced with some flighty little chit from another historical romance novel. And wow, I just don’t do well when that happens! I mean, I know it’s just a book, but I had become totally invested in the characters and with the stroke of a pen I went from cheering them on, hoping for their happily ever after, to fervently hoping Harry would decide that maybe she wasn’t the woman for him after all. I mean, I could have accepted her action wholeheartedly had that been in keeping with her character, but as I said, right up until that moment she’d been savvy, dependable, intelligent, stable, grounded… and then, she simply was not. That aside, this was truly a wonderful read and I’m looking forward to not only wrapping up this trilogy with a read of The Serpent Prince but I can’t wait to dive into Elizabeth Hoyt’s The Legend of the Four Soldiers series.
So, I've decided to upgrade the rating of this book from 4 to 4.5 (round to 5) stars on the 4th read (I think this might be my 4th read, tho it's been a long time since I read it last).
What I liked about it:
The Mistress-Servant scenario I'm a sucker for a powerful woman and a man who doesn't seem to have much power but who is still powerfully male despite his circumstances. The Hero Harry is one such man. He's portrayed as average height, not terribly grabbing of attention, everything brown and unremarkable, but from the first page, he captured the Heroine's attention, which I love.
The chemistry I like the fact that Harry and George (Georgina) have this sizzling awareness right off the bat. I like the humor and the fact that George goes after what she wants, but Harry is certainly no pushover. Their love scenes are pretty darn steamy! Which I would always expect from EH.
What I didn't like so much:
The cover model for the Hero. What I can see of him does not make me swoon in the least. He reminds me of the Frankenstein monster actor that I saw in a recent TV series. Definitely not helping me fantasize about a drool-worthy Harry! Maybe it's just me. But the guy in these covers need to appeal please! The woman I could care less about as long as she's not dominating the whole scene (which she kind of is here). I wouldn't have bought this book for the cover, that's for sure. Good thing it didn't have this cover when I first got it from the library.
Some of the plot seemed to sort of drag along I felt like George and Harry, each of them, couldn't quite make up their mind a little too much. I hate waffling. Some doubt is fine, even if it's prolonged, as long as it's consistent. But waffling back and forth and back and forth turns me off. I felt like there was too much of that going on, and it takes a major stresser to get the Heroine back to the Hero, which I would have preferred her to make a firm choice on her own without the drama.
Anway, I'm nitpicking. I do like this couple quite a bit. Prob my fav in the Prince series by Hoyt.
FULL REVIEW NOW POSTED "I'm yours to do with as you wish, my lady."
YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND, SEPTEMBER 1760 Harry Pye is Lady Georgina (George) Maitland's land steward. Admittedly, the hero seems to be pretty average at first sight. Average height, rather lean, brown hair and he wore brown clothes, as if to camouflage himself. Our hero seems to be cold and stoic, too. But despite his being rather average, he's got stunningly beautiful green eyes, and if you look a little bit closer, you'll recognize that Harry is not plain at all. My oh my, he is rather deliciously hawt! Since a few weeks someone is poisoning sheep with some kind of weed, and many people seem to be under the impression that Harry is the culprit.
Even though our heroine is sexually inexperienced George is a rather wanton woman; curious and oh so ready to discover some serious TLC. This scene was pretty hilarious.
"What does he want me to say?" George paced to the window. " 'I want you naked, Harry Pye?' Surely it's usually done with more finesse than that? And why demand my intentions? I can't imagine most affairs de coeur begin on such a lawyerly note. I'm surprised he didn't ask for them in writing: 'I, Lady Georgina Maitland, do request Mr. Harry Pye to make very fine love to me.' Really!" There was silence behind her. George winced. Now she'd shocked Tiggle. Could this day get any-- The maid started laughing.
Harry is not a kind man, a gentleman, and he'd lost what little honor he'd ever had long ago. Yet he is calling George "my lady". He really showed her his respect. Loved it! Oh, Harry, please purr "my lady" into my ear any time you want to. *dreamy sigh*
Being the owner of multiple estates requires a few good qualities. And Lady Georgina is used to being in control and making demands. After some pondering George truly knows what she wants and she is quite demanding.
"Yes. I…I want you to kiss me like you did before. I want to see you naked. I want to be naked for you. I want…"<…>Harry's chuckle puffed against her wet ear. "You want many things, my lady." "Mmm." George swallowed as another thought occurred to her. "And I want you to stop calling me my lady." "But you order me about so masterfully." His teeth closed on her earlobe.
Darn, towards the end of the story Harry's lady highly annoyed me. Yes, I blame you, Georgina. It's your fault that I did not round up to 5 stars. I think once or even twice you were running off to London and before your HEA you seriously considered No, my dear, this is not gonna happen. It's not gonna happen because Harry will save you from doing something absolutely stupid! Poor Harry spent the last terror-stricken, heart-stopping, god-awful hour riding hell for leather across London to save you! Grrrrr….
"Excuse me, but I believe you have my lady," one of them said in a quiet, deep voice that sent veritable chills down George's spine.
The Leopard Prince is another winner and wonderfully penned by Elizabeth Hoyt. Wow, this woman delivers in spades! Again. You can expect great and witty dialogues and wonderfully fleshed out characters. The Leopard Prince provides steamy, passionate and sensual sex/love scenes as well. DEE-lish! I can't say this enough but Ms. Hoyt sure knows how to write super hot and sensual love scenes! The story is a bit on the darker side--it's not a very fluffy read but I didn't mind at all. I think that the touch of suspense enhanced the plot pretty nicely. It was an emotional read and so often it comes down to trust. Yes, George annoyed me at times--when she was running off to London. And I think she should have trusted Harry more but I forgave her. I truly adored George for her kindness and openness. She never gave Harry the feeling that he was not good enough for her, and she always accepted him the way he was. In some way Georgina held the key to Harry's heart and to his very soul. And at a certain point of the story, Harry knew suddenly that he would do anything for his lady. Lie. Steal. Kill. Even relinquish his pride.
These two made a fine couple and they deserved their HEA!
This is the best kind of comfort read right now. A lady who pursues her love interest and acts as sexual instigator, a hero who is a land steward refusing to be used. Pages upon pages of sexual tension and mystery plot tension. Then pages upon pages of Hoyt-level hot sex. It's got that magic and sparkle from an overly practical and completely lovable heroine, George, and her equally broody and grounded hero, Harry. Their family dynamics were charming and touching.
Sex positive. Sex. Positive. Heart-warming and hot. Typical Hoyt, and one I will return to. Not a 5 for reasons I can't quite explain but definitely worth a read if you're a fan of Hoyt.
This should have been a five star. It was soooo close. Until the last 20%.
Basically the heroine does something TSTL at the end and we have to wallow in that manufactured nonsense for the rest of the book. Then the ending comes abruptly, we have a sweet little reconciliation and it's over. No epilogue or nuthin'. Boo!
Harry Pye and Georgina "George" Maitland are a nice, unique couple. He's her land steward and she's the sister of an earl who's aunt left her everything she owned. So she's got more than one estate and mountains of money. Harry grew up the son of the gamekeeper of the neighboring estate and there's all kinds of disturbing and awful history there. She's quirky, and he's quiet. Good stuff.
They can't help their attraction for one another and eventually they fall into bed where they belong. And door, and desk and ... you get the idea.
Someone has been poisoning the sheep from the Granville estate -- the crazy, evil neighbor with a very bad history with Harry -- and they're all pointing the finger at our hero. He's got to try to prove himself innocent while the lord of the estate hates him enough to demand his arrest regardless of evidence. Lotta stress.
It was so good for so long. That's what makes it a four star. So good. I had a very hard time putting it down.
But the moment Georgina makes her idiot move and then compounds it against all advice, she lost me. I decided Harry could never trust her not to be stupid and he should find someone else. The whole reason this Big Mis didn't work at all is because the entire book we've been shown a George who is intuitive, smart, and not at all prone to overreacting.
This is why the whole ending was completely manufactured and inorganic. It was an effort, it seems, to bring de Raaf (The Raven Prince) and Iddesleigh (The Serpent Prince) into the story and it was heavy-handed at best. It really made me mad.
I guess I'm not in a tolerant mood these days, but a writer who's better simply should be better than to make something up, throwing character development to the wind, just to maneuver everyone to that place. It can be done with more finesse. In fact, if the first 80% of the book hadn't been so good, the shoddy ending wouldn't have been so annoying. Not that I want Hoyt to start being shoddy from page one, but let's at least try to live up to our abilities, shall we?
I just love unconventional heroes! And I just love relationships which are doomed to fail from the beginning, but they still manage to survive and to thrive.
Harry Pye is a nobody. He is a commoner, not titled, a simple Land Steward, loves his loneliness and just tries to do his job as good as possible. But he is also such a powerful man. Strong, independent, respectful and proud. He doesn't like begging. He doesn't want to have more than he has.
Lady George is of high class, economically independent, passed age of marriage (28 years old). And she simply does not care about anybody's opinion.
Somehow these two people are so attracted to each other and there is nothing that can stop this tide of passion. Not even Harry's reluctance. Lady George will be the one that mostly pursues Harry despite the fact that she is new in lovemaking and she has no clue what she is doing. Still Harry will rise above his humble position in society and will be her knight in shiny armour in the end.
Two really well-crafted characters who develop and unfold throughout the novel and a very powerful love story. Definitely my favourite one in the series.
As always, Elizbeath Hoyt never fails to amuse you.
I love how she named her heroine “George”. That itself was amusing. And I loved the chemistry between George and Harry while the coach broke down and they had to stay in an abandoned hut to avoid storm. I think this book reflects on Hoyt’s feminism since our heroine is apparently a very unusual and eccentric lady for her era. I really enjoy how she managed her properties and how brave she is when she needed to stand up for Harry. She was one hell of a fierce and independent lady.
Not really a very big fan of Harry though. He was ok. He is caring in his own way but I feel like he’s not very considerate. I did love the fact that he seemed to be unable to leave George even when his life was in danger. I guess that redeemed for some of his occasional crudeness.
A bit longer than first novel with less smut. However, this still was a very good and satisfying read. I’m happy how things turned out for Harry and George in the end.
I forgot one thing when I told you about the end of the fairy tale." Her almost husband smiled down at her and asked gravely, "What was that, my lady?" "And they lived happily ever after." "So they did," Harry whispered back, and kissed her.
Another fabulous story. Very very different from the first. Loved it.
Harry Pye is THE. MAN. if I do say so meselfff. So, I've only just kind of realized that in almost all the HR novels I've read, the men are rich peers by inheritance, like dukes, earls, viscounts, etc. etc. We rarely do see a working man of the middle class persuasion, or even a self made man in the upper class. I mean of course those books exist, BUT the majority of Historical Romance in Georgian, Regency, Edwardian or Victorian era is about 90% surrounding privileged peers in the London ton. And of course, I've never read a book with lower class people at all, except the few where someone was born in the lower class and elevates to the upper class somehow.
This book however, was incredibly unique and DELICIOUS because the hero was so classy and all tall dark and handsome like. He is a normal, middle class lad steward. In the previous book he was portrayed as a mysterious, mostly shy man and I actually was not looking forward to his book because I decided he would be boring. Little did I know that one should most certainly NOT judge a book by its cover. But alas, I never learn.
Harry doesn't speak much. He is a man of little words, but quality over quantity, I say because after getting an in on Mr. Pye's private thoughts I've decided he's the most un-boring character I've met in a while. He is all about self control and the poker face. He doesn't show how much Georgiana distracts him or how attracted to her he is. It was so much fun seeing his walls come down brick by brick, and how she would test his control.
Their chemistry was OFF THE CHARTS
Georgiana or George, is one of my fave types of heroines. I absolutely adore heroines like her, who are eccentric in their personalities. She was such an oddball, who talked A LOT, but it wasn't annoying. She is very smart, but just has the tendency to have no filter and honestly I'm all for it. Harry knew from meeting her that she wasn't a dumb or Her and Harry's relationship was very balanced out because they simply recognized one another's personalities.
The difference between classes, mixed with the malicious plot line was perfect. This book was also quite humorous, so I honestly loved it. Their sexual tension was a conflagration. FROM THE BEGINNING. Honestly, the way Harry would brood and simmer in his silent attraction to her was quite nicceee.
I don't wanna spoil much but I really loved this book! You don't have to read any of the other books in the series to read this one either, can be read as a standalone. But, it was my fave of the entire series
After I finally got around to reading your first book, “The Raven Prince,” I was hooked on your writing. I knew I had to have this book, “The Serpent Prince”. Well, now that I’ve finished this one I’m starting to panic. Only one book left. “Gah!”
I’m happy to say that I find Harry and George’s story more realistic than the first book. In the mid eighteenth century, I find it easier to believe that a lower class man and an upperclass woman could wed and find happiness than perhaps in, say, a Regency set novel.
One thing that stuck me immediately is how the way George acts seemed “right.” The way she would show up at Harry’s cottage and just waltz in, pick up his possesions, question him, kept him waiting when he first applied for steward’s job — all seem like something an upperclass woman would do, unthinkingly — she’s the employer and he’s the servant.
The sex scenes were hot and I love that Harry thinks George is beautiful just as she is. And thank you for not trying to pretty up Harry’s mother. The vindictive shrew in me rejoiced that old Granville suffered before he finally headed off to hell.
The identification of the sheep poisoner was a bit of a let-down since trying to incriminate Harry with carvings seems a little beyond Janie’s mental capabilities.
But overall, I was almost as happy with your second book as I was with the first and am psyched for “The Serpent Prince". Now I must go hold the book in my hands and happy dance a bit :: HAPPY DANCE ::
Overall Opinion: This was cute, but not quite as good as I had hoped. I was interested in the storyline of two people from different social classes falling in love, and that aspect was great (and any recommendations would be appreciated 😏)! I just wanted more depth with the main characters and more romantic development. There was just a lot going on with the outside drama that I think took away from those things. The ending was frustrating as well. I didn’t hate it or anything, I just didn’t like it as much as I’d hoped. It was just okay.
Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is George (Georgina) and Harry’s story. George was left a fortune and some land when her aunt passed away, and Harry is her land manager. The more time they spend together, the more George sees Harry as a man to admire. They cross the class line and start an affair. There is someone poisoning sheep, a murderer, and some big past drama that they have to deal with…and they get a HEA ending.
Point Of View (POV): This alternated between focusing mainly on George and Harry in 3rd person narrative. There were a few sections focused on side characters.
Overall Pace of Story: Alright until the abrupt ending. I never skimmed and I thought it flowed well otherwise.
Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings.
H (Hero) rating: 3 stars. Harry. He was alright. He felt a little bland because we don’t get deep into his character.
h (heroine) rating: 3.5 stars. George (Georgina). I liked her, but I feel like we didn’t get all that deep into her character either.
Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed
Heat level: Good. They have some good tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story.
Descriptive sex: Yes
OW (Other Woman)/OM (Other Man) drama: No
Sex scene with OW or OM: No
Cheating: Not between mcs
Possible Triggers: Yes
Closure: This ends abruptly with what I would call a HEA even though it wasn’t nearly enough closure for me
Safety: This one should be Safe for most safety gang readers
The Leopard Prince was almost perfect. Ms. Elizabeth Hoyt's writing is one of the best I've ever encountered, and she definitely did not disappoint with this book. The way she weaved words together was just amazing. Every sentence commanded my attention; every word made me feel.
And of course, there were the characters. They were so brilliantly created, every one of them. From George and Harry up to the last of George's brothers, I loved them all (except the villain, of course). Hell, even Will, the orphaned kid managed to be endearing in my eyes. And believe me, that's rare. I don't usually end up liking all the characters in the story. In fact, I think this is the only time I've ever done so, and I think Ms. Hoyt's skills can be credited for that.
Oh, speaking of the writer's skills, can I just say that she writes the best love scenes? Normally, I'd be put off by the copious--ha! copious--amount of sex in the story, but she made it seem so natural, so normal that I felt convinced that they were necessary. I could really feel the sexual tension between George and Harry, and the pages of my book all but combusted whenever they made love.
SERIOUSLY. HOT DAMN.
The book was so good. It was almost perfect.
It was the ending that really sealed this as a 3 star novel. I didn't like the fact that Harry never fully redeemed himself. He pushed George away too much and did too little to get her back. He just had to show up, sex her up and that was it. Hell, when he did confess his love for her it was in an "absent manner" as George noted. I wanted him to grovel more. I wanted him to realise why George did what she did. He never understood, you see. Even until the end, he didn't understand why. That was evident when he asked George her reason for leaving him, and he didn't even bother to hear her out! He just kissed her and sexed her up.
In a church, I might add. He tupped her in a church. WTF. I'm sorry, I'm all for outdoor/unconventional sex, but SERIOUSLY? SEX IN A CHURCH??? THAT FEELS WRONG IN SO MANY LEVELS.
Sigh. And could it kill to add a proper HEA to the story? I couldn't believe my eyes when the book ended with that scene. It felt too rushed, damn it. I think we deserved to see Harry and George with their baby, or something. This was exactly how I felt when I read Ms. Hoyt's The Ice Princess. That didn't have a proper HEA too. I'm hoping this isn't a recurring flaw in her books. Crossing my fingers.
Μετά από το συγκλονιστικό βιβλίο ο πρίγκιπας κοράκι είχα μεγάλες προσδοκίες από το συγκεκριμένο και όσο περνούσαν οι σελίδες η απογοήτευση μου μεγάλωνε.Δεν μου άρεσε καθόλου,πολύ κατώτερο από το πρώτο βιβλίο της σειράς.Δεν κυλούσε με τίποτα.Επίσης το αστυνομικό μυστήριο που επιχείρησε να προσθέσει η συγγραφέας δεν ήταν και το πιο ιντριγκαδόρικο,ενδιαφέρον ή πετυχημένο.
Re-read on 7th of Nov 2022: I am standing by my original rating, which is three stars. Lovely writing, and the love scenes are smokin' hot. Unfortunately, the story lags in certain places. Harry's an excellent character, but I don't think Georgina is worthy of Harry. She's bland and doesn't have much personality besides loving/lusting Harry. The wedding scene at the chapel by the end of the book is funny, although it doesn't do much to recommend Georgina to me. __________________________________________ I feel somehow let down with this book after the awesomeness of the first book in this series The Raven Prince. I didn't feel connected with any of the characters (especially the heroine). I feel that the characters weren't as fleshed out as they ought to be. And I agree with some of the reviewers - the mystery is more compelling than the romance, and that is problematic since this book is touted as a romance novel. And the TSTL bit at the end by George (the heroine), yeah, I want to crack her head too. I feel that bit is unnecessary and only shows how immature George is despite her mature years. However, the writing is sublime. Harry, the hero is also such a good guy and a strong character despite his terrible experiences. Hence, I'm awarding 3 stars to this book.
There is no way that I can review the book well enough that would relay how much I loved this book. But I shall give it a try. I fell in love with Harry, just like Georgina. How could I not? Harry and His Lady made the cutest couple and the love scenes were hot as well.
I liked Harry for being just a regular guy. He wasn't very tall or hulking. He was just a simple man with sexy green eyes. A working man trying to do his job. He also didn't take any crap off anybody. He might have been his Lady's land steward, but if he took her orders it was because he wanted to and it pleased him to do so.
If you haven't read this book, download or run to you local UBS and pick it up today...right now! :-) You don't have to read the first one to read this one, as it pretty much stood on its own. I knew it was a fairy tale and in the end I had that big smile on my face because I just finished one great book! If I could have given it 6 stars I would have.
3.5 Bence tam çerezlik bir historicaldi,dili çok akıcı hikaye,karakterler güzeldi(kadın karakterimiz baya disliydi sevdim) hızla okudum yinede birşeyler eksik gibiydi bilmiyorum ya da her şey çok çabuk olduğu için böyle hissettim.
I'm not the biggest fan of Elizabeth Hoyt but I did really enjoy The Leopard Prince. The chemistry between Henry and Georgina was electric. The mystery was enough to intrigue me but not take over the story which seems to happen in other books. The secondary characters were well rounded, all of them had a distinct voice that added to the story. Elizabeth Hoyt really knows how to write a villain. He was truly a vile person. My only reason for a 4 star rating is the sex scenes, I'm all for the sexy time but it was over done. Less is more in this case. Overall an enjoyable story and Moira Quirk did a fantastic job as narrator.
Reviewed for THC Reviews "4.5 stars" With The Leopard Prince, Elizabeth Hoyt has authored another solid story in the Princes Trilogy, and has once again, shown her talent for creating unusual characters in a unique situation, as well as an ability to write a good mystery. Ms. Hoyt continues her “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” theme with two rather ordinary characters. Georgina is described as a plain woman who is certainly no beauty. She is a bit too tall for a woman, has untamable curly red hair, and is a firmly on the shelf spinster, although she has the good fortune of being not only a titled lady but also a land-owning, independent woman of means thanks to an inheritance from a feminist-type aunt. Harry seems to be fairly unexceptional too. He has striking green eyes, but aside from that, he is never characterized as being gorgeous or fawned over by the ladies. He's missing a finger, and he's not even particularly tall. He's just plain Harry, and a common land steward to boot, so not someone that most people, especially an aristocrat, would even take notice of. Yet George does and thinks that he's quite handsome, and Harry can't seem to help but think she is beautiful as well. I loved the “opposite sides of the track” theme too, except in this case, it was a sort of reverse Cinderella story, a real rarity in romance, and one that I appreciated even more because the author never did anything to make Harry a more palatable match. Harry and George just were what they were, and had to work things out in spite of their class differences. The mystery of the sheep poisonings was very well done too, with lots of twists and turns. I went back and forth between several different potential culprits, and as the field narrowed, I finally did guess correctly, but not until very close to the reveal. Overall, The Leopard Prince was a very well-rounded story that sucked me in right from the first few pages, and kept me engrossed throughout, making it very difficult to put down at times.
Regardless of their differing social stations, I thought that Harry and George were perfect for each other. Harry is a very reserved man, but George has a pretty good knack for reading him in spite of his quietness and frequently guarded expressions. “Still waters run deep” is a phrase that seems to fit Harry well. He may be good at hiding his true feelings, but when he lets them be known, he is an incredibly passionate man. George is a woman with a fun sense of humor. She sometimes acts like a ninny, because it wasn't fashionable for a woman to be intelligent. When she's playing dumb though, she often says some funny and endearing things. George also talks a lot, which is in stark contrast to Harry's reticent nature, but she manages to draw him out enough for them to get to know each other on far more than just a superficial level. I thoroughly enjoyed the “dance” that Harry and George perform with him asking her what she wants and her at first, not quite knowing, and them when she figures it out, being a bit coy. These interactions as a whole built an absolutely exquisite sexual tension between them. George learned very quickly though that she needed to just be brave and tell Harry what she wanted, and once she did, the fireworks went off in a big way. Ms. Hoyt definitely knows how to write beautifully sensual love scenes in which the characters give of themselves in equal measure, creating some breathtaking love play. I was particularly impressed with the intimacy of one scene where Harry and George simply lie there after making love and share their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it's the little things that really count. To sum it up, I just loved how George saw Harry as not merely a servant or a poor man, but a man worthy of her love, and I loved how Harry saw George as beautiful even though she's plain.
The Leopard Prince has a pretty large cast of secondary characters. George has three brothers and one sister. At first it seemed that her sister, Violet, was going to be a troublemaker, but I figured out pretty quickly what her problem was. Other than Violet's one slip, George's siblings were surprisingly supportive of her and her relationship with Harry. Everything was out in the open and handled with honesty. Harry has some very complex family relationships which I can't say much about without giving things away, but suffice it to say that the ones who mattered the most were equally supportive of him. There was the evil Lord Granville who has a vendetta against Harry, and Granville's spineless son who would do almost anything to gain his father's approval but sadly receives nothing but loathing in return. A number of villagers, tenants, and servants also play a part as either confidants or purveyors of information on the sheep killings. Last but certainly not least, Edward (The Raven Prince) and Simon (The Serpent Prince) put in an appearance to assist their friend, Harry, in his hour of need. I'm still left wondering about their seemingly unlikely alliance and whether there might be more to it than a simple bonding over a shared passion for agriculture. Now that I'm starting to get a feel for Elizabeth Hoyt's writing style and how she has a tendency to reveal things later rather than sooner, I sense that there could be something else that she hasn't yet shared about these three men.
There were a couple of other things of note which I really enjoyed about The Leopard Prince. First, it seems that Elizabeth Hoyt has an affinity for fairy tales, as do I, so I loved her inclusion of another one, also titled The Leopard Prince, in this book. George relates it to Harry in snippets throughout the story. It was rather humorous how Harry was always so incredulous about things that happened in the tale. I thought that Ms. Hoyt writing it this way was rather ingenious, because on the one hand, it may have been Harry just being a typical man who doesn't believe in such nonsense. On the other hand, it was pretty far-fetched sometimes, making it seem like George was just making it up as she went along, although she swore she wasn't. The other thing that I thought Ms. Hoyt did a good job with was bringing out all the angst, uncertainly and difficulties that would have been inherent in a servant/employer romance. In such a situation in that era, it would be natural for others to think that Harry was either after her money or merely her paid stud, but I liked that George never once thought that he was a gold-digger and more importantly, she never wavered in her belief of his innocence when he was accused of terrible crimes. It was equally understandable that Harry might feel rather emasculated to be married to a woman who had full control of the purse-strings, but even though the gesture was initially misunderstood, George went to great lengths to show her trust in Harry which was quite romantic.
Overall, The Leopard Prince came very close to perfection for me, but there were two small things that kept it from a perfect 5-stars. One was how Harry and George kept running away from each other because of their differing social statuses. I had no problem with giving each of them a pass the first two times, because they were both filled with self-doubt and doubts about whether they could ever make their relationship work publicly. However, when George did it a third time, I got a little frustrated with her. I thought that she should have stayed and communicated with Harry about their troubles instead of leaving him, especially given the circumstances. I was also a little disappointed that there wasn't a more solid plan for dealing with their differences, merely an acquiescence on both their parts, but all's well that ends well I suppose. George's actions did give Harry the opportunity to show just how much he loved her, giving a satisfying HEA ending. The other bothersome thing was that I didn't feel the author gave a good enough explanation of why Harry ended up as the scapegoat in the poisonings, nor why Lord Granville hated him so much. The reasoning ended up being little more than vague, hazy notions that I thought could have been better clarified, but ultimately, neither of these things detracted too much from my enjoyment of the novel. All in all, The Leopard Prince was another engaging story from Elizabeth Hoyt that has earned a spot on my keeper shelf right next to its predecessor, The Raven Prince, and with two winners in a row, Ms. Hoyt now has a spot on my favorite authors list as well. I'm greatly looking forward to the final book in the Princes Trilogy, The Serpent Prince.
Note: The depictions of the love scenes in The Leopard Prince are on par with most hotter mainstream romances, but some readers may be offended by a few explicit words which I rarely see used outside the erotic sub-genre.
I'm actually giving this 4.5 stars, but unusually, am rounding up rather than down. Why? Two words. Harry. Pye.
This book has been on my TBR pile for quite some time, so when I saw that one of the prompts for the AAR Days of the Week Reading Challenge was to read a book in which the hero or heroine is a landowner, a farmer, a gardener, a botanist, or a book that has the words "garden" or "flower" in its title, or the book is set in the country side, I immediately added the book to my list.
There are many historical romances which feature a central couple of unequal status or fortune. Dukes, Earls and Marquesses fall in love with governesses and companions all the time, but it is less usual to find the inequality working the other way, and have a wealthy, titled heroine falling for a commoner and working man. But that’s the premise here, and Ms Hoyt explores the double standard – held to an extent by the protagonists themselves as well as by wider society - in a way which feels quite realistic.
Lady Georgina (known as “George”) Maitland is the daughter of an earl who has spent most of her twenty-eight years in the thick of London society. Unusually for the time, she owns property in her own right, having recently been bequeathed an estate – Woldsly Manor - in Yorkshire, and when the book opens, is travelling there in the company of her land steward of six months, Mr Harry Pye.
Soon after their arrival, they discover that all is not well, both on the Woldsly estate and others in the locality. Large numbers of sheep are being poisoned – and the local squire and magistrate, Silas Granville, who has a long-standing grudge against Harry, insists that he is responsible.
Georgina, who is quite capable of making her own judgement as to the character of her steward, does not believe this for an instant, which rather surprises Harry. He’s well aware of the fact that the upper classes are far more likely to take the word of one of their own than to take the part of a servant – something which is borne out by his own experience.
But George is not your average aristocrat. She’s independent – both of mind and financially – clever and a bit of a free-thinker, and isn’t prepared to let an innocent man be wrongly accused. She is also strongly attracted to Harry (who may be described as unremarkable, but who is seriously HOT), as is he to her – but the huge difference in their stations presents something of an obstacle.
Harry is very much his own man. The son of a gamekeeper, he spent time in the poorhouse before leaving when he was old enough and, because of his good instinct for land management rose quickly to become a land steward at a young age. He’s intelligent, hard-working, honourable and blessed with a good dose of common sense. He might not be a gentleman by birth, but he is frequently shown to advantage when contrasted against Granville and his eldest son, who are indolent, greedy and selfish, the worst kind of landowner and surely, the type of man least deserving of the label of “gentleman”.
George and Harry are in the grip of a lust like they’ve never before experienced – but George knows that she will have to make the first move. The problem is, she has no idea how to go about it and Harry isn’t going to make it easy for her. He’s a proud man, and even though he wants George desperately, he also isn’t prepared to be taken up as a bit of rough on the side and discarded when his lady has sated her curiosity.
I thoroughly enjoyed the way the relationship between Harry and George developed. Their growing awareness of each other, their deepening attraction – and the eventual and combustible consummation were all very well written, and Elizabeth Hoyt certainly delivers in the combustible department! The build-up of sexual tension between the pair is very skilfully done and the sex scenes are deliciously earthy and hot. I think the book’s being set in the mid 18th century and away from London made a romance between the pair more believable than if it had been set in the more obsessively “proper” 19th century among the hotbed of London society.
The suspense plot is well handled, too, with plenty of twists, turns and the odd red herring; and there is a strong cast of secondary characters, not least of which are Granville’s two sons, whose characteristics and actions do much to illuminate the extremely unpleasant character of their father.
Up until the last 15 or 20 percent of the book, I was convinced it was going to be a 5 star read – until George does something so completely out of character that it left me scratching my head. It didn’t ruin the book, but it did draw out the ending unnecessarily and made no sense, so I had to knock off half a star.
Other than that, however, this is a wonderful book, and Harry is one swoonworthy hero. I hope to be able to get to the other two books in the series soon.
George + Harry + their relationship = amazing!!, but mystery subplot could have used some work (4.5 stars)
Another absolutely lovely book by Elizabeth Hoyt! At the time I'm writing this review, I've read all three in the Princes trilogy and have to say that my ranking in terms of preference follows their order in the series.
The Leopard Prince was close on the heels of The Raven Prince (5 stars), but the biggest complaint I have with this book was the mystery subplot. Had it been simpler, it could have been pulled off and done what it needed to do for the story and the plot, but with all the twists and turns it ended up feeling contrived, convoluted, and pretty icky.
I had no idea how I would feel about our heroine "George," afraid that she was going to be a bold and brassy beautiful society darling ... and that's not my favorite type of heroine. However, I ended up absolutely LOVING her and she is firmly on my Best Romance Heroines Ever shelf, which pairs her perfectly with Harry Pye, who made it onto my Best Romance Heroes Ever shelf. And as always, Hoyt also gives us terrific secondary characters that add wonderfully to the book.
The stars of this story were definitely the hero, the heroine, and their romance. I love how it developed, the conversations between them, the awkwardness and nervousness, followed by passion and love, followed by vulnerability and uncertainty, followed by HEA (of course!). The push and pull at the beginning as they carefully tiptoe around this growing attraction that should *not* exist between them is absolutely endearing and lovely to read. From the beginning, they are just so sweet to one another! First in their thoughts, then in little actions or words that catches the other off guard, then in what they say and do in defense of the other, and - well the whole thing is extremely sigh-worthy!
George and Harry were so great with one another and while some authors might have let the her slip into haughtiness due to the class difference, Hoyt pulls it off masterfully while still keeping her aware of the very real difficulties their difference in station creates. There aren't many books that have such a wide class difference and even those that do, it's usually the hero who is the lord and the heroine who is the lowly-whatever, so total props to Hoyt for not only writing it this way, but for doing it so well. Even nowadays, there are strains on the relationship when the woman makes more than the man, but in the late 1700s, having the daughter of an earl with a land steward? Would have been that much worse! However, I thought it was dealt with well and added to the believability of their relationship, since it made both of them feel vulnerable and have to deal with those vulnerabilities.
Bottom Line Absolutely *lovely* couple (two of my favorite romance leads) in an absolutely lovely romance book - with the trademark wonderful secondary characters that Hoyt always write so well. Had the mystery been done a little differently, would definitely have gotten five stars!
Princes Trilogy Book 1 - The Raven Prince - Edward de Raaf, Earl of Swartingham (5 stars) Book 2 - The Leopard Prince - Harry Pye (4.5 stars) Book 3 - The Serpent Prince - Simon Matthew Raphael Iddesleigh, Viscount of Iddesleigh (3.5 stars)
This story held my interest but didn't quite captivate me, though became more enjoyable as I read on. There were aspects of it I really liked: the lowborn/ highborn tension-building HOT slow-burn romance, the everyman sexy AF H with a purpose and integrity, the amusing and witty banter, the detailed character development, the country setting, the charming & sweet leopard fairy tale woven throughout. I liked the h overall, though it took me a little while to get into her character, who I felt was both really unique and a bit wishy-washy. The who-done-it mystery aspect may have overshadowed the romance for me. I would still recommend this one, which I liked but didn't love. I was still recovering from my Raven Prince book hangover as I adored that one. I feel it was generally a good story, beautifully written, just didn't quite resonate with me. Looking forward to the next one in the trilogy.
The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt, Moira Quirk (Narrator) is a 2013 Hachette Audio publication (first published 2007). This is second of three standalone historical romances in the Princes Series. The audio version was great; Moira Quirk voiced male and female characters well with the right emotions.
Lady Georgina “George” Maitland – eight and twenty years, single, wealthy, independent – falls for Harry Pye, the land steward of her Yorkshire estate – a honest commoner who managed to work his way up from meager beginnings.
But Harry was being framed by someone killing sheep on Sir Silas’ holdings and going through a lot of trouble to make him the prime suspect. Silas was a crude, vicious man who had caused problems for Harry, Harry’s parents, and everyone in the villages.
These two storylines were interwoven with a sprinkling of “The Leopard Prince” fairy tale told by George to Harry with the tale concluding near the end of the book.
Harry and George shared chemistry via sensuous encounters as they sneaked around for their assignations. Harry, for all his properness on the outside, showed George his vigorous, red-blooded maleness inside. And George practically swooned anytime she was near him.
This was not the kind of match that would be approved of; their social differences would make it near impossible for them to be together. So, their wavering about publicly claiming their relationship was understandable. However, the back and forth became a drag on the plot after a while.
The mystery subplot was interesting and added to my overall enjoyment of the book. Harry and others investigate and interview villagers to make sense of the evidence. What they uncovered was more personal to Harry than just who was responsible for the crimes. I thought this part of the storyline was written well. The suspense and the revelations were well-timed.
Nearing the end of the book, George did something that created drama and angst, but for me, it seemed totally out of character for her. George was known for her intelligence, independence, and savvy thinking. She did not let people tell her what to think or do. And then she just acted like, well, a ninny. But maybe I’m being too picky.
This was my first book by this author, and I want to try a couple books from the author’s Maiden Lane Series.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romantic suspense with sensual sexual descriptions and occasional dirty talk.