#Review Not The Dukes Darling (The Greycourt Series #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt (@ElizabethHoyt) #TheGreycourtSeries #NotTheDukesDarling #Historical #Romance
‘Hoyt’s writing is almost too good to be true’ Lisa Kleypas
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt brings us the first book in her sexy and sensual Greycourt Series!
Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe – the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family – appears at the country house party she’s attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.
Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognises Freya, masquerading amongst the party revellers, and realises his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins. Sins he’d much rather forget. But she’s also fiery, bold, and sensuous – a temptation he can’t resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he’ll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya’s trust – by whatever means necessary.
I am a huge Elizabeth Hoyt fan and have been for years, I am always so excited whenever there is a new book of hers out. We all know that whenever a favourite author releases a completely new series you do wonder if it will be as good as the previous, whether it will enthral you as much as your favourite book did, unfortunately at times that doesn’t always happen. Even though this doesn’t have the same oomph and that much loved Hoyt magical touch that we have all come to know does seems to be a bit off, but I can happily say it does pack a punch and it is still a hugely enjoyable read, I was particularly fascinated by the ‘Wise Women’ part of the plot and I would love to see more of them in following books.
Freya de Moray; daughter and sister of a Duke she is now living her life under cover as a companion – for reasons that you will have to read the book to find out why. She is also apart of the very secret all woman group called the Wise Women, who are in all essence classed as witches (but not in the evil hags of Macbeth, these women are good) I love this part of the plot, the whole story surrounded them and the witch hunters is fascinating and a great addition to the story. Freya has a task that she can only achieve if she attends a house party, unfortunately at the same party the man she sees as the one who ruined her family’s life is also in attendance. And unfortunately for the devilishly handsome Duke of Harlowe, Freya holds a grudge. She’s reminds me of a raven in that respect!
Christopher Renshaw; Duke of Harlowe, after recently gaining the title and retuning from his mysterious jaunt in India is back, all he wants is to retreat to the safety of his home and never face society again, unfortunately there are some who have other idea’s. He soon finds himself blackmailed, his late wife’s memory and honour are on the line, but more than that secrets he has long held close to his heart could be revealed. Christopher is a proud, secretive man who will do anything in his power to protect all his loves. He has no choice but to attend a house party where he plans to finally put an end to those that are plotting against him. Which is where he finds himself entangled with the acid tongued, fiery and mysterious Freya Stewart, who he goes to head to head with on far more occasions then he would have liked and yet he can’t seem to keep away from her.
Christopher is supremely handsome – really he is an amazing man; he has been through his fair share of scandal and loss which has made him darker but I love that, he is protective, gentle, brooding, gruff, always respectful even when he being threatening, plus the love his shows his constant companion; Tess is beautiful. I fell completely in love with him, but he is also damaged, after his experiences in India – which are as mysterious as the man himself – he is now suffering with what we would now call PTSD. He is fragile and scared, Ms Hoyt has handled Christopher’s illness with the up-most care and sensitivity, it’s not pushed into the readers face at every turn, from the moment we meet Christopher there is a subtle undercurrent that makes you think; there is something about this man that makes my heart hurt and I want to give him a huge hug.
As I said at the start of the review, it is indeed missing a certain something, I can’t quite put my finger on what, but it doesn’t quite have that same magic what the likes of ‘Maiden Lane’ did. But it’s still a brilliant book and I can see it getting better and stronger as the series progresses, and I am looking forward to seeing where this series goes and getting to know more of the character’s that pop up in this one.
The characters are wonderfully drawn up, the chemistry between Christopher and Freya is fun and sexy they both have the best fiery and temperamental personalities that do clash in the best way, the bickering and bantering between them is high voltage, fun, snarky, tense, sexy as well as tender and gentle. They are both flawed creatures, but seeing them finally be able to open up and be themselves with another person who understands them. The plot is edge of your seat there is so much going on from blackmail, murder, witch hunts and family trauma. It’s witty, dark, fun and emotional, It will keep you glued from the moment Freya unceremoniously jumps into Christopher’s moving carriage right up to the very last satisfying page.
Very recommended for those who love a historical romance with a touch of suspense.
This was a ARC copy via the authors PA, thank you Elizabeth and Mel.
Not The Dukes Darling is available now and can be purchased from Amazon.
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.
The winner of a copy of Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt is…
Congratulations Sharlene, we will be in contact with you very soon.
I have been a huge Elizabeth Hoyt fan for many years, and I was over the moon when Elizabeth decided to take part in my A Chat With segment of Chick’s Rogues and Scandals, unfortunately due to schedules over lapping and various work commitments this Interview got pushed back from It’s original posting time slot in 2016. So here it is, my exclusive interview with bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt plus a very special giveaway.
New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical romance, including reader favorite, The Raven Prince. Elizabeth was born in New Orleans but grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. Elizabeth has a BA in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and, as a result of having no clue what to do with her life thereafter, a career history as a barista, a (terrible) sales clerk, a Wisconsin Revenue Service data entry slave, and an archeological field work grunt. Fortunately, Elizabeth married relatively young and produced two children who kept her busy until her mid-thirties. At about this time, when, Elizabeth’s mother hinted that perhaps Elizabeth should get a Real Job. Sadly, Elizabeth was so delusional she thought writing a romance novel might qualify as a Real Job. But! Five years later, to everyone’s surprise, she actually sold that romance novel – The raven prince – and began a rather successful career as a Romance Novelist. This was most fortunate since Elizabeth is singularly unqualified to do anything else but Make Up Stories. Since then Elizabeth has written over twenty books to critical acclaim including three contemporaries under the pen name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the ever faithful Mr. Hoyt.
Reading Chick : Hi Elizabeth, Welcome to Chicks Rogues and Scandals, Thank you for taking the time to a chat with me today. Book ten the Maiden Lane Series, Duke of Sin is incredible; the way you turned Valentine around from the evil, notorious blackmailer to the more human and very likable rake is amazing, my question is; how did you manage to turn around such a character?
Elizabeth : Thank you! I tried to give a lot of background to Val’s story so that the reader can understand why he is the way he is. That, I think, goes a long way to helping make a character more sympathetic.
Reading Chick : I have said in previous reviews on my blog that my favorite character in Maiden Lane is “Charmin” Mickey O’Connor, do you have a favorite character? and if so who?
Elizabeth : Val—just because he was a lot of fun to write. 😉
Reading Chick : I am so pleased that the Ghost of St.Giles is going to make an appearance in your next book; Duke of Pleasure, are we going to be seeing more of the Ghost in future work?
Elizabeth : Well certainly in Duke of Pleasure! But after that book I think I’ll be retiring the Ghost.
Reading Chick : There is such a wide range of characters in your books from the mild-mannered Winter to the Villainous Valentine, which sort’s of character’s do you enjoy writing most?
Elizabeth : I enjoy them all. 😉 Val was actually one of the easiest characters to write—the over-the-top characters often do flow more easily than the subtler ones. But I like writing a wide variety of characters. It keeps me fresh and interested as a writer and hopefully it keeps my readers equally interested.
Reading Chick : The Lords of Chaos, are horrendous! Where did the idea for them come from?
Elizabeth : Current events. There have been several cases lately in the news here and in the UK of pedophiles in positions of power who have banded together to prey on victims. I simply took the old idea of a Hellfire Club and made it several degrees more horrific.
Reading Chick : Lazarus; Lord Caire is such intriguing character and now that we know that Bridget is his half-sister are we going to see how their new relationship grows?
Elizabeth : I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that in the upcoming books, but I hope I can at least do a bonus epilogue on my website. Several readers have said they’d like one. 😉
Reading Chick : One of the things that I love about the Maiden Lane series, is that the lead characters are from all different sides of society, from the highest aristocracy to the most humble servants. My question is how do you decide who is going to make a starring role and who is going to be an interesting extra?
Elizabeth : Usually I’ve decided that a character will be a hero or heroine before I introduce them in the series, but once in a while a character pops up who is so interesting I can’t resist giving them their own book. That’s the case with Alf—she’ll be the heroine of Duke of Pleasure out this November 29th.
Reading Chick : Valentine is such a flamboyant and charismatic character, pairing him up with Bridget was a stroke or pure genius, where did the idea to put these two together come from?
Elizabeth : I try to find characters that will challenge each other. Val is very strong and very sure of himself so he needed an equally strong heroine. But Bridget also had to be morally upright to counter his moral ambiguity—she tests him and everything he thinks he stands for.
Reading Chick : Finally! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to chat with me. I have just one more little question. I see so much more to Bridget’s and Valentine’s story then where Duke of Sin finished, as you have done with the other couples in the series are we going to occasionally get a glimpse of how these two are doing?
Elizabeth : Weeelll I have been thinking about doing a freebie Christmas special soon. 😉
Thank you so much Elizabeth, it’s been a pleasure having you chat with me.
If you want to connect with Elizabeth just follow the links below.
This Giveaway is Now Closed!
Chick’s Rogues and Scandals are in participation with Elizabeth’s team and we are giving away a copy of Duke of Pleasure to one, very Lucky winner. To be in for a chance to win just leave a comment. That’s it! Simple 💜
IN THE ARMS OF DANGER
Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king’s secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley—and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.
IN THE HEAT OF DESIRE
Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she’s the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation.
ONE KISS WILL CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER
When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be—before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?
Closing date is midnight 21st March, The winner will be chosen at random, Winners name will be posted in a special celebratory post shortly after the closing date. The giveaway is open internationally so everyone is welcome. Good luck!
In The Arms Of Danger…
Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the King’s secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley – and rescued by an unlikely alley: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.
In The Heat Of Desire…
Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she’s the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation.
One Kiss Will Change their Lives For Ever…
When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realises that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be – before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?
We start the newest episode of the fabulous Maiden Lane Series with our hero being ambushed by assassins in a dark and dangerous London alley, Hugh is out numbered and fighting for his very life when his rescuer, literally drops out of the blue in the form of the notorious Ghost of St. Giles – but there is something very different about this Ghost and that is that this Ghost is a woman.
Hugh is intrigued by the Ghost and by the woman who wears the mask, who is she? and what has made her choose the life as the Ghost? Hugh knows that he can’t lose his head over who the fascinating woman is as he has got a serious job to do. Hugh has been charged with bringing down the evil and sadistic Lords of Chaos; an underground secret society made up of powerful men who think nothing of rape, murder and child abuse. Hugh has got to use every bit of cunning and intelligence he possesses to bring an end to this nefarious group, he knows that wrong false move and he and those that he loves could be in very serious danger. So he employs the St. Giles street urchin and trader of information – Alf.
Alf has lived her entire life on the street’s, she has made her life in trading secrets and information and she has done it all in the alias of a boy. She knows that becoming attached to and relying on a single person could get her killed so she tries to detach herself from her feelings and get’s on with the job. By day dressed as an urchin, by night dressed as the Ghost. There is just one thing that Alf didn’t count on. Hugh Fitzroy; Duke of Kyle!
Hugh and Alf start working side by side to gain the knowledge they need to bring down the Lords of Chaos, but he soon realises who and what Alf is and before either know it they have both fallen head over heels for one and other, but can there ever be a happy ending for the roguish Duke and the young girl who dresses as a boy?
Hugh looked at the Ghost, “Let him go.” The Ghost lifted her sword and the tough was running away almost before she cleared his neck.
Hugh watched her sheathe her swords. He touched his finger to her chin, feeling soft skin, and tipped up her face. He couldn’t tell the color of her eyes in the dark and behind the ugly half mask, but he saw the glint of moonlight in their depths.
“Who are you,” he whispered, that strange wildness still in his veins.
She didn’t answer.
So he did what he had wanted to do since he’d first seen her tonight, there on the rooftop of St. Giles; he bent and covered her mouth with his. Her lips were soft, so soft and she tasted of wine and honey….
Anyone who has read my reviews will know how much I am in love with “Charming” Mickey O’Connor from Scandalous Desires, but even I will admit that Hugh Fitzroy has worked his roguish charm on me. He is sinfully handsome, charming and commanding – I see him as a mixture of Heathcliffe and a Musketeer. He is a complicated man with the world on his broad shoulders, he is terribly scarred from his previous unhappy marriage and he is full of guilt over abandoning his young sons to go to war. He is actually a very vulnerable man beneath all that aristocratic arrogance and military honour and It is that side of him that really appeals to me. He isn’t your stereotypical aristocrat, being son of the King and an actress he has the rare insight into both lives, he understands the working class and he does try to help when he can and because of his royal blood he has the means to do just that.
As soon as you meet Alf you know instantly that there is something really special about this woman, she is an outstanding character. She is brave, clever and so independent she’s not one to stand on her laurels she says what she thinks and does what she wants, if she sees some sort of injustice she will go out of her way to try to correct it. The relationship between her and Hugh is steamy right from the first page, the atmosphere just crackles when ever they are both in the same scene, you just know what ever they go through that this pair is going to go far – that is when they finally allow them selves to be happy.
He felt as if he’d been knifed in the gut.
Her gaze were on his as she descended the stairs slowly, her gaze wild and shy and so very brave. He held out his hand as she slippered foot touched the marble hallway.
She placed her hand in his.
“Well?” Iris whispered next to him. “Will she do? Is she adequate to your needs, my dear Hugh?”
He kept his gaze on Alf’s as he raised her hand to his lip’s, he saw her eye’s widen as he murmured, “She’s perfect.”
This really is perfection, but then again I expected no less from Elizabeth Hoyt. Duke of Pleasure is fast paced, witty and sexy, the characters are mesmerizing and lovable. This is yet again, another hit and proof that this series is cut above the rest. There is so much to keep you hooked the new characters that Hoyt keeps introducing keeps it fresh and addictive, you never know where you are heading and who is going to turn up and sweep you off your feet next
I am personally looking forward to the next installment; Duke of Desire, there is something very dark and exotic and intriguing about Raphael de Chartes, Duke of Dyemore and I think that we are going to be in for another thrilling adventure with him.
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….
We are nearly into 2017, so for the first time I am holding my own Top Books of the Year, but with my own twist. I have five Categories Best Hero, Heroine, Plot, Series and Book of the Year. This isn’t an oficial chart it’s just my opinions on what I have read this year, I would love to know what your favorite books have been and equally what you are looking forward to reading in the new year, so let’s begin. . .
Best Hero :
Rhys Winterborne, Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas.
A ruthless tycoon. . .
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better . . .
A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable . . . the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with . . .
Marrying Mr. Winterborne
This is exactly what I have come to expect from the very talented Ms Kleypas, Rhys is the best hero I have come across for a very long time and I love the fact that his isn’t aristocracy, he is a blunt, rough around the edges hard-working man who has pulled hisself out of the gutter and become a successful self-made man. he isn’t afraid of hard work and he appreciates what life is like to be below the bread line and that for me is very refreshing, I do love a good down to earth, ordinary hero who we can all relate to and with Rhys we have just that. and he is just so damn gorgeous to boot. ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals
Best Heroine :
Amelia Mansfield, The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide by Virginia Heath.
Choosing a wife is not a task that should be undertaken lightly.
Bennett Montague, sixteenth Duke of Aveley, is seeking the perfect bride. He’s narrowed his search to five worthy “Potential”…until the arrival of his aunts companion unravels his carefully laid plan’s.
Having fought for everything she has, Amelia Mansfield is incensed by Bennett’s wife-selection method’s. But as she’s forced to spend time in his company, she begin’s to see another side to Bennett – and that man is infinitely more tantalizing and enticing…
Amelia, is the best heroine that I have come across for, ages, talk about rag’s to riches fairytale, well Cinderella has nothing on this girl. She know’s what’s it like to be not just on the bread line but miles below it, she is a tough cookie and from what she has had to go through in her short life so far it is not surprising, she went to hell and back and yet she still managers to be so sweet and lovely. but she doe’s have her flaws too she is so untrusting of the aristocracy, especially titled men, but that insecurity makes you warm to her the more, I just love the way she bring’s out the real Bennett, she shows him life from another perspective; something that he has never done in his life and because of her he does come in to his own ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.
Best Plot :
No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah McLean
A rogue ruined. . .
He is the Killer Duke, accused of murdering Mara Lowe on the eve of her wedding. With no memory of that fateful night. Temple has reigned over the darkest of London’s corners for twelve years, wealthy and powerful, but beyond redemption. Until one night, Mara resurfaces, offering the one thing he’s dreamed of. . .absolution.
A Lady returned. . .
Mara planned never to come back, but when her brother falls deep into dept at Temples exclusive casino, she has no choice but to offer Temple a trade: she will return to society and reveal the truth. . .that he is no killer.
A scandal revealed. . .
But the lady – and her past – are more than they seem. It will take every bit of Temple’s strength to resist the pull of this mysterious, maddening woman who seems willing to risk everything. . .even for true love.
Twelve years earlier the young William Harrow, heir to the Dukedom met a tantalizing and beautiful girl, a girl with magical odd eyes, he fell in love with her there and then. The next day he woke in his to be step mothers bed, with no memory and in a pool of blood and he was accused of murdering her. After fleeing to London he was rescued by an elusive person named Chase who ran a gambling hell called The Fallen Angel, where he changed from suspected murderer to the towering Temple. Now all those years later Mara Lowe the very women that he was supposed to have murdered turns up, completely and utterly alive and wanting help from the very man who was accused of murdering her all those years ago. ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.
Best Series :
Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt
There was really no other choice for this category, Maiden Lane is by far the best Series out there, Elizabeth Hoyt just keeps spittting out book after book which contain the most amazing plots and charactand. This is one series that I will never tire off.
The Maiden Lane Series is just breathtaking no matter which book or character is your favorite, no matter what a person usually read this series has something for all Historical Romance reader’s and by far the best thing that Elizabeth Hoyt has done, I can’t wait for the next one. . . ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.
Book of the Year :
The Saxon Outlaws Revenge by Elisabeth Hobbes.
This was by far the most difficult decision I had to make, I have read so many brilliant books this year, but this in particular did stick with me. The entirety of this book is just perfection.
At the mercy of her enemy!
Abducted by Saxon outlaws, Constance Arnaud comes face to face with Aelric, a Saxon boy she once loved. He’s now her enemy, but Constance must reach out to this rebel and persuade him to save her life as she once saved his. . .
Aelric is determined to seek vengeance on the Normans who destroyed his family. Believing Constance deserted him, he can never trust her again. Yet, as they are thrown together and their longing for each other reignites, will Aelric discover that love is stronger than revenge?
My goodness how much do I like this? I haven’t read a Historical Romance from this period before, for some reason I just never thought about trying a Medieval Romance, how wrong I was. This is just so unbelievably good. The story is incredible Constance and Aelric are on opposites sides Constance is a Norman and Aelric a Saxon, both are supposed to hate each other and yet deep down they are soul mates. This reminds me so much of Tristan and Isolde, which is one of the most romantic stories ever, two love bird’s stuck in the centre of two warring clan’s, separated by who and what they are. ~ Chicks Rogues and Scandals.