A LADY OF LIGHT
Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.
A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS
Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.
CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER . . . AND DESIRE
Much to Raphael’s irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he’s drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael’s past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael’s own demons?
Duke of Desire is the last full-length novel in the Maiden Lane series by Hoyt it is a shame that this series is ending, as Maiden Lane has always caught your attention and ignited your imagination whether that be the spectacular plots to the character’s it’s been a fun and sexy series that will not be forgotten and, one that will be read and re-read repeatedly. I have been really looking forward to Raphael’s story since we met him in the previous book and he is just as enticing and intriguing as I had imagined him to be.
Iris Daniels is kidnapped by the notorious Lords of Chaos which is an evil gang of powerful aristocrats who take absolute pleasure in sadistic rape of innocent women and children. They are the evilest bunch of people who I have come across in a book, and it is a testament to Hoyt’s writing skill that you can hate a bunch of people like you can these horrid men. They have taken Iris thinking that she is the new Duchess of Kyle, so they can have their wicked and evil way with her, on finding that they have the wrong women they want rid of her. So, after a bit of growling and scuffling between the Wolf and the Fox – you’ll understand once you’ve read it – the large, powerful Wolf wins and takes her off to – as they instruct – get rid of her.
The Wolf bent over his prey, both men panting, their naked bodies sweating. The snout of the Wolf mask pressed against the Fox’s vulnerable bent neck. “Don’t. Touch. What. Is. Mine.”…
….“Mine,” growled the Wolf…..
Things take an unexpected turn as Iris isn’t going to stand back and be raped and killed, she finds a gun and shoots her capture; the Wolf. Only for the Wolf turn to out to be the very man she had danced with a matter of months before, the man who very well could be the devil himself; the dark and dangerous Duke of Dyemore, Raphael de Chartes. What Iris doesn’t know is that Raphael is actual undercover trying to infiltrate the gang to destroy them and he isn’t going to hurt her.
With a seriously wounded Raphael and the blood thirsty club still hovering around in the shadows, Raphael knows that Iris still isn’t safe – she knows too much about them and that means she is a threat to them. The only way that Raphael can assure her safety is for her to be under his protection, to have the protection of his name. That means they must marry!
His voice was deep. Calm. Certain. “I would much prefer that you live with me. Always.”
“As would I.” Her smile widened in genuine happiness. Suddenly she felt much more sure of herself….
Let’s just say that neither of them are looking forward to what must be done, Raphael has serious issues that he really can’t have a woman – or wife around to witness or to get in the way as he gets closer and closer to self-destruct. Iris simply cannot believe that once again she is stuck in a loveless marriage, and with none other than one of the most feared and mysterious men in society.
It’s as Iris is taking care of him, as he battles to survive that she begins to see the man behind the mask and realises just how much he needs a woman and someone to love him, but can she? Can she really go on in this farce of a marriage without the prospect of the thing that she so desperately wants; children! Until the threat to both their lives has been dealt with, she just has to go on as she is, because as much as Raphael has done to protect her, it’s not long before the Lords turn up and find out that she is alive.
Can Raphael in his severely ill state protect her from, not the blood hungry club but from his own self-destruction? And will Iris be able to show Raphael that he is a good man and that they could be happy if he let her in to his heart.
I have always liked flawed heroes, they are far more interesting, and Raphael is just that. He comes across as being callous and harsh and a beast, but he isn’t any of those things he is a man in serious pain. He has been through so much, as a child he experienced things that no adult should, let alone an innocent child. That cruelty and abuse that he had to endure, has really taken its toll on him, it has created the man he is now.
….Dyemore was no beast. No Bluebeard. No fairy-tale nightmare. He was a man— a man in pain….
Raphael and Iris’ relationship is sweet and tender especially as they get to know one another, when she finds out about Raphael’s sad childhood, she becomes more and more drawn to him and their budding romance begins to blossom and form into solid thing. Yet, as much I really like them as individuals – and I really like Raphael he is a flawed and intriguing man who I instantly felt drawn to – I don’t feel the same buzz that I do from all the other Maiden Lane couple’s. The sexual chemistry and everything you would want from a couple who has been put into the position that Raphael and Iris is there, between them and yet for me at times I felt they didn’t work. As friends they are perfect, they each support the other when needed.
Hoyt has a knack of bring together the most different individuals, these are people who in any ordinary circumstances wouldn’t normally have even been in the same room as one another and yet in Maiden Lane everything goes. I have always liked how Hoyt brings the secondary characters to life and this is no different, for the real winner with this is the relationship Raphael has with his own Corsican guards. He treats them like the family he never really had, and the way they do his bidding without a single word of complaint shows how loyal and how much they think of him and that for me says a lot about the mysterious man.
As always with Hoyt’s book the plot is intricately woven with danger and romance, this is another real winner, Raphael is the glue that holds it together and I can highly recommend it.
This was an ARC copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.
Duke of Desire is out now and can be found at Amazon.