A Man Of Sin. . .
Devastatingly Handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.
A Woman Of Honour. . .
Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery’s household to search for the incriminating evidence – and uncovers something far more dangerous.
A Secret that Threatens To Destroy The Both. . .
Astonished by the deceptively prim – and surprising witty – domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can’t resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realise that they both have secrets – and neither may be as nefarious – or as innocent – as they appear. . .
I wrote this review a while ago and I am ashamed to say that because of other commitments I just haven’t had the chance to post it, but as the saying goe’s all good things come to those who wait – I have been so looking forward to finding out what Hoyt would do with the sinful, vain and sadistic Valentine Napier. He was an intriguing character from the first time we met him, and you did wonder if Hoyt could redeem such a bad boy.
Bridget Crumb has taken the role as Housekeeper in the household of sinful, egotistical and sadistic Valentine Napier, she has only take on the role for one reason and one reason only – to find the what the dastardly Duke has on her mother, to stop his blackmailing scheme and get out to get on with her life. Simple! The Duke is presently out of the country after being banished from society so she has nothing to worry about, she can snoop around all she wishes. . .or can she? One night she is searching the Duke rooms and out of nowhere he hears a sadistic voice asking her what she is doing and lo and behold there in the same room is the Duke himself. He is back – but did he leave in the first place.
Valentine as reasons of his own to why he never left the country and that is what he can get and who he can blackmail and our Val has his eyes set very firmly on one thing – A Wife! But Montgomery doesn’t believe in going about things the regular way, courting and so forth. No! he fully intends to blackmail and manipulate his way to what he wants and he wants the most sought after heiress in the country and he will do anything to get her. The only problem is his prim, proper and irritatingly fascinating housekeeper, keeps butting in to his affairs and trying to find his secrets.
They are both stuck in a rut they both want to know the others secret and yet they have both got so much to hide, but they soon learn that as more and more of their personal lives and personal secrets is revealed that they both could be in very serious danger – not just by what is revealed but in danger of their feelings for each other.
She’d well and truly provoked him this time. She’d lost him a wife for the second time – first by preventing his blackmailing Miss Royale and now by actually freeing the heiress. It was almost as if Serephine had something against the matrimonial state. Bust worse – much, much worse – she’d run away herself.
That was unpardonable, unforgivable, unjustifiable.
Hit him, shame him, spit at him – anything but turn her back on him. She couldn’t simply quit their game. That, that was not allowed.
And when he’d realized that she was out there on the stormy might, more alone save an aristocratic lady and a goddamned pony. . .
He growled beneath hi s breath.
She stilled against him, like a rabbit under a hound’s jaws, her heart beating rapidly, and he was glad. She ought to be afraid of him. he was a very bad man and she was completely under his power. He could do anything to her.
Anything at all, really.
Time she learned that.
I do have to say – What a bad boy! What you thought of Val from previous encounters with him is nothing compared to getting to know him as a person. He is every bit as vain, nefarious and in some ways down right evil as we thought him to be, but that does tend to draw you towards him like moth’s to flame but once you get to know the real Valentine, and to understand him, his rakish and evil ways become more understandable in certain contexts and we begin to understand this flawed and in some ways very vulnerable and fragile man. It is not surprising at that the prim and proper Bridget falls for him.
It all starts off like a mad game between Bridget and Valentine, each always trying to out smart and out man the other, but when you are playing a game of cat and mouse with the worlds most manipulative man then you have got to have your wit’s about you and that is exactly what Bridget has.
Hoyt really has really done a great job with Bridget, she is just perfect for the volatile Valentine, she has a head on her shoulders, she is brave, intelligent with just as sharp of mind and with that can so easily match the Dukes. From the first page I was engrossed in their fiery, explosive and very, very erotic relationship and as we would come to expect from Montgomery – the most vile and sadistic man in London – when he is seducing Bridget it get’s very, very hot. But we also get to see his serious and more human side especially where Bridget is concerned, he is fiercely protective of her and true to Montgomery form quite possessive too. You see Val going to the end of the earth for her, diving headfirst into the debauched and darkest sphears for her.
It is pure brilliance on Hoyts part as she takes a man like Valentine Napier and makes him go the full circle, from the man we all thought him to be, to the man that we never knew he could be. I have never been shy about saying that my whole time favorite Maiden Lane character is Charming Mickey, but even I must bow down to the magnificent Valentine.
“But you can, Valentine.” She touched a finger to his cheek and then showed it to him.
Her finger was wet. His eyes were wet.
She smiled at him, his burning Seraphine, and it was as if the night sky were ablaze. “You love me”
“I love you,” he said in wonder, and felt his chest fill with warmth. ” I love you.”
“And I love you,” she whispered, her hands cupping his face.
So he kissed her until she was limp and pliable and very hot against him, and then he purred into her ear, ” Does that mean you’ll become my duchess, darling Bridget Crumb?”
And when she sighed back, ” Oh, yes, Val,” he picked her up and carried her off to have his wicked, wicked way with her.
What makes the Maiden Lane series so good, is not only the fabulous characters but also the wonderful stories and Duke of Sin is no different, this has all the makings of a Hoyt great. There is blackmail, murder, kidnap, assassination attempts and a secret gang of debauched aristocratic lunatic’s hiding in the shadows – in fact there is more mystery then an episode of Ms Marple – but it all add’s up to a brilliant read
This is such a brilliant addition to the Maiden Lane. This series just keep’s getting better and better when we start wailing that the end is nigh Hoyt throws another fabulous character at us, and branch of the Maiden Lane story opens up for us to devour in one sitting.
Duke of sin is definitely up there with my all time favorites, it is intelligently written, witty and so sexy with the most debauched but yet lovable man who I have come across in a long time. This isn’t a mear five-star book, in my view this is off the chart.
So Good and well worth the wait as always with A Maiden Lane Novel, it is always much recommended and it just gets better just one last thing to say – Roll on Kyle….