Review: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt

Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Greycourt #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: December 18th 2018
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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 recognizes Freya, masquerading among the party revelers, and realizes 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, he will have to earn Freya’s trust…by whatever means necessary.

I’ve been a fan of Elizabeth Hoyt’s after discovering her Maiden Lane series. Not every book was a hit, but there were enough that it felt bittersweet when the series came to an end. When she announced she’d be releasing a new series though, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Not the Duke’s Darling is the first in the Greycourt series, setting the stage for a new cast of characters. While I enjoyed the characters, I had a hard time connecting with the story and couldn’t fully love it as much as I hoped to.

The foundation of Freya and Christopher’s story starts fifteen years earlier, after a tragic event that tears apart friends and families. Christopher and his best friend, Freya’s brother Ran, become estranged for the next decade and a half, leaving him on one side and the de Morays on the other. Fast forward to the present, and Christopher is back from India to run his dukedom and Freya is a Wise Woman disguised as a chaperone. As a member of the secret order of Wise Women, Freya is not your typical woman. She’s fierce, with an intelligent mind and exceptional fighting skills. When they meet again for the first time in years, Christopher doesn’t recognize her, but Freya vows revenge on the man who wronged her brother.

Christopher and Freya have an explosive relationship. Their chemistry is off the charts, and not just because she wants revenge on him. Even though Christopher doesn’t recognize Freya at first, that doesn’t stop him from wanting her. Her wit and sharp tongue leave him desperate to be around her. There was a bit of a reversal in roles with these two, with the hero being all in with the heroine, and the heroine being more on the reluctant side, which I enjoyed. Freya’s prickliness gave her character depth, and I couldn’t help but be entertained as Christopher tore down her walls.

“Don’t change. Don’t ever change. I like your prickliness, your scowls, the way you argue with me so fiercely. I want a lioness, not a lamb.”

What didn’t work so well with me were the various subplots that the author tried to tie all together. It felt messy, trying to juggle the Wise Women order, Freya’s mission to save a duchess, Christopher’s late wife, his time in India, someone targeting Freya, the tragedy that happened years ago between three best friends, and even the POV of the next book’s heroine, whose story is being set up in this book. When there is so much going on, it’s hard to make everything as fully fleshed out as possible, which is mainly what made me hold back from enjoying the story.

Not the Duke’s Darling has its issues, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to continue with the series. I’m intrigued enough with the hero and heroine of the next book to want to pick it up, and hopefully it balances plotlines better.


lacey


Reading Order: Greycourt series

 

#1 ~ Not the Duke’s Darling: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ When a Rogue Meets His Match: PaperbackGoodreads (July 30, 2019)


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Blog Tour + Early Review, Top 5 List, Excerpt & Giveaway: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Desire, the final Maiden Lane book by Elizabeth Hoyt, is releasing tomorrow!
Check out my review, a Top 5 list, plus a fantastic giveaway below!

Top 5 Perks of Being a Duke

  1. Dukes outrank everyone else in the British aristocracy except royalty. Dukes (and actually other ranked aristocrats) can wear coronets (basically a crown without jewels) at specific occasions.
  2. Everyone calls you “Your Grace.”
  3. Lots and lots of money and land, including multiple castles and manors.
  4. Boatloads of titles. Dukes usually have several smaller titles as well.
  5. A duke does what a duke wants.

Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #12 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
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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 involes herself in his life—and bed. Soon he’s drawn to 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?

Buy Links:
Amazon • B&N • iBooks • Google Play • Kobo • IndieBound

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It’s always bittersweet for a series to end. To be honest, I hadn’t realized Duke of Desire was the final Maiden Lane novel until halfway through the book! Thankfully, I haven’t actually read every Maiden Lane book, so it’s not quite over for me yet, but for those who’ve caught up, it’s an exciting, action-packed finale to an incredible historical romance series.

When Iris Jordan attends the Duke of Kyle’s wedding to the love of his life, she has no idea that on her way home she’d be assaulted and kidnapped by the evil Lords of Chaos, who think mistakenly think she’s the Duke of Kyle’s bride. She’s about to be raped by them when one of the Lords saves her and takes her away… not that she knows he’s trying to save her. He’s just as masked – and naked – as the rest of them, so when she has the chance to save herself, she takes it – by shooting him. Oops?

Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, runs into a complication while on his revenge against the Lords of Chaos. He very nearly dies for the woman he’s trying to save, but luckily he survives and marries her to further protect her from the Lords. It’s a marriage of convenience, to say the least. But Iris is determined to make this marriage a real one, in bed and out of it. But Raphael has a dark, painful past that he doesn’t want Iris tainted with. Can Iris break down his walls and offer him the love and light that he very much wants to take?

I enjoyed Raphael and Iris’s story, though I do wish there could’ve been more romance. Duke of Desire felt more about Raphael’s quest to destroy the Lords of Chaos, and not enough on the love story. I admired these two characters, Iris for never giving up on her husband and Raphael for learning to overcome his past. Theirs is a sweet and slow romance – I only wish we could’ve gotten just as much romance as there was action. Still, the Lords drama will have you hooked and anxious to see how it all ends!

Though Duke of Desire is technically the final full-length novel in the Maiden Lane series, we still have two more novellas that will release before the year is up. I’m excited to see what Elizabeth Hoyt has in store for us, both Maiden Lane and non-Maiden Lane related!

4 hearts
lacey

Now here’s an excerpt from Duke of Desire! ❤

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Desperately she flung herself at the opposite seat and tugged it up. Thrust her hand in.

A pistol.

She cocked it, desperately praying that it was loaded.

She turned and aimed it at the door to the carriage just as the door swung open.

The Wolf loomed in the doorway—still nude—a lantern in one hand. She saw the eyes behind the mask flick to the pistol she held between her bound hands. He turned his head and said something in an incomprehensible language to someone outside.

Iris felt her breath sawing in and out of her chest.

He climbed into the carriage and closed the door, completely ignoring her and the pistol pointed at him. The Wolf hung the lantern on a hook and sat on the seat across from her.

Finally he glanced at her. “Put that down.”

His voice was calm. Quiet.

With just a hint of menace.

She backed into the opposite corner, as far away from him as possible, holding the pistol up. Level with his chest. Her heart was pounding so hard it nearly deafened her. “No.”

The carriage jolted into motion, making her stumble before she caught herself.

“T-tell them to stop the carriage,” she said, stuttering with terror despite her resolve. “Let me go now.”

“So that they can rape you to death out there?” He tilted his head to indicate the Lords. “No.”

“At the next village, then.”

“I think not.”

He reached for her and she knew she had no choice.

She shot him.

The blast blew him into the seat and threw her hands up and back, the pistol narrowly missing her nose.

Iris scrambled to her feet. The bullet was gone, but she could still use the pistol as a bludgeon.

The Wolf was sprawled across the seat, blood streaming from a gaping hole in his right shoulder. His mask had been knocked askew on his face.

She reached forward and snatched it off.

And then gasped.

The face that was revealed had once been as beautiful as an angel’s but was now horribly mutilated. A livid red scar ran from just below his hairline on the right side of his face, bisecting the eyebrow, somehow missing the eye itself but gouging a furrow into the lean cheek and catching the edge of his upper lip, making it twist. The scar ended in a missing divot of flesh in the line of the man’s severe jaw. He had inky black hair and, though they were closed now, Iris knew he had emotionless crystal-gray eyes.

She knew because she recognized him.

He was Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, and when she’d danced with him—once—three months ago at a ball, she’d thought he’d looked like Hades.

God of the underworld.

God of the dead.

She had no reason to change her opinion now.

Then he gasped, those frozen crystal eyes opened, and he glared at her. “You idiot woman. I’m trying to save you.”

Reading Order: Maiden Lane series

  
   
   
  

#1 ~ Wicked Intentions: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Notorious Pleasures: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Scandalous Desires: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Thief of Shadows: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Lord of Darkness: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ Duke of Midnight: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ Darling Beast: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ Dearest Rogue: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#9 ~ Sweetest Scoundrel: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#10 ~ Duke of Sin: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#10.5 ~ Once Upon a Moonlit Night: My Review • Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#11 ~ Duke of Pleasure: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#12 ~ Duke of Desire: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads (Oct. 17, 2017)
#12.5 ~ Once Upon a Maiden Lane: Ebook • Goodreads (Nov. 14, 2017)
#12.6 ~ Once Upon a Christmas Eve: EbookGoodreads (Dec. 5, 2017)

about the author button

Elizabeth HoytElizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Website • Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads

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Best Books of 2016!

2016 has been one crazy year, and I can barely believe it’s already over. I don’t know if it’s just me, but time is seriously flying by so fast. It’s already been a year since the last time I made the “Best Books of 2015” post – which means it’s been another year filled with incredible books! And I apparently read over 300 of them 😂 So here are my top 16 reads of 2016 (in no particular order, except for the first), books I highly recommend everyone read if they haven’t already. These are the unforgettable books, the ones that have stuck in my head and stayed in my heart. What have been your favorite reads of the year?


1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

THE HATING GAME!!! It was a tough decision, but my absolute top favorite read of 2016 is The Hating Game. I was SO impressed with this debut novel – it was everything I wanted in a romance and more. It’s funny, romantic, adorable, sexy, and did I mention funny? This is probably the book that has made me laugh the most I’ve ever laughed while reading. It’s an enemies-to-lovers office romance that is H I L A R I O U S. It was a pure joy to read this novel, and I’m dying to see what else Sally Thorne has in store for us. P.S. JOSH TEMPLEMAN IS EVERYTHING!!!

“I hope it’s not too forward of me to say, but your eyes are incredible, Lucy. I die when you blink.”


2. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me & Wait for It by Mariana Zapata

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata 

TWoWaM: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Wait for It: EbookPaperbackGoodreads

OBVIOUSLY I had to include Mariana Zapata, my new favorite author ever. Winnie is a close second to The Hating Game (though neither have been able to surpass the ultimate fav, Kulti). This is sports romance at its finest, so if you love anything in that genre, especially football romances, Winnie is your thing. And, if you’re a fan of the fake marriage trope, READ THIS! Aiden is the perfect grumpy hero and Vanessa is such a relatable, genuine heroine. Mariana Zapata never ceases to amaze me with her stories, and Winnie was a total winner in my book.

Like football and art, like anything that anyone in the world has ever wanted, love was a dream. And just like a dream, there were no assurances behind it. It didn’t grow on its own. It didn’t blossom without food to feed it.
It was the greatest in its subtleties.
It was the strongest in its selflessness.
And it could be forever with someone who wasn’t afraid to never give up on the possibilities it presents.

And then there’s Wait for It – which only cemented Mariana Zapata as a favorite author of mine and the queen of slow burn. It was beautiful, heart-wrenching, and everything in between. I loved all of the characters, especially the kids. I honestly don’t know what to say about Wait for It besides the fact that it was an unforgettable read I loved so damn much and that everyone needs to read it.

There was a lot of things about love that you could only learn after you’d faced the real kind. The best kind wasn’t this soft, sweet thing of hearts and picnics. It wasn’t flowery and divine. Real love was gritty. The real kind of love never quit. Someone who loved you would do what’s best for you; they’d stand up for you and sacrifice. Someone who loved you would face any inconvenience willingly. You didn’t know what love was until someone was willing to give up what they loved the most for you. But it was also never letting them make that choice, either.


3. Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Unbreak My Heart is probably my most reread book of 2016. This book is the literal definition of angst, and it was one of the few books this year to make me cry. I don’t even have the words to describe the tumultuous emotions the author wrung out of me while reading this. It was an experience, to say the least, and one everyone has to try. You’ll probably hate the hero (like me, lol) but even so, it was totally worth the read.

It had always been Kate. My hands shook as the truth seeped into my pores. It had been her since I was just a stupid kid.


4. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

EbookHardcoverPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Rhysand aka THE LOVE OF MY LIFE! This book destroyed me in the best way possible. I honestly don’t know why I ever held back on reading the ACOTAR series, but I’m so glad I finally succumbed because it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This series alone is the reason why I’ve gotten back in YA fantasy, and even into NA fantasy. The writing, world-building, and characters is beyond fantastic. But now I’m DYING for the third book!

“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. “To the stars who listen—and the dreams that are answered.”


5. The Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz

The Saint by Tiffany Reisz The Angel by Tiffany Reisz The Prince by Tiffany Reisz The Mistress by Tiffany Reisz

The Siren: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Angel: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Prince: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
The Mistress: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

If there’s one series that has messed with my mind completely and I wouldn’t change a thing, it’s the Original Sinners series. Tiffany Reisz changed my entire outlook on BDSM and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Y’all, these books are unforgettable masterpieces, so beautifully yet simply written I bow down to TR. If you’re not afraid to step out of your comfort zone, I highly recommend reading this series (and yeah, I know I’m totally late to the game with these books, but I’m just glad I finally read this). Nora is my all-time favorite heroine – I kinda wanna be her when I grow up.

“I know people think erotica is just a romance novel with rougher sex. It’s not. If it’s a subgenre of anything, it’s horror.”
“Horror? Really?”
“Romance is sex plus love. Erotica is sex plus fear.”


6. The Player by Kresley Cole

The Player by Kresley Cole

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

The Master was one of the best books I’d read in 2015, so to say my expectations were high for The Player would have been an understatement. But thankfully, Kresley Cole didn’t disappoint and I got another alpha, heroine-obsessed Russian billionaire hero to fall head over heels for. The con artist heroine couldn’t have been more different than the hero, but together they were explosive. This was such an addicting read – if you were a fan of The Master, trust me, you’ll love The Player.

“Imagine a pitch-black room with a single candle lit in the center,” he said, his voice gone low. “The room is the world. You are the candle.”
A shaky breath escaped my lips. “How can you be so sure about me?”
He leveled his spellbinding gaze on my face. “When you’ve been in the dark as long as I have, moy ángel, there is no mistaking the light.”


7. My American Duchess by Eloisa James

My Review • Ebook • Hardcover • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

This is one of my all-time FAVORITE historical romances ever! It was my first Eloisa James book but judging by how much I loved it, it for sure won’t be my last. The duke hero is beyond perfection – the way he adores his American duchess made me swoon madly. And the heroine herself is so quirky and adorable (I totally fell for her myself). If you love historical romance (and even if you don’t – I’ve made a lot of non-HR readers read this book), you absolutely must read My American Duchess!

“You are my American duchess,” Trent said gruffly, his finger tracing the shape of her cheek. “You pour milk into tea at the wrong time, but you do everything else the right way. I love the way you speak. And I love what you say. I’ve never met another woman who is as fascinating.”


8. Beast in Shining Armor by Cassandra Gannon

Ebook • Goodreads

A friend on Twitter rec’d this book to me, and I’m beyond glad she did. The A Kinda Fairy Tale series a humorous twist on fairy tales, and Beast in Shining Armor focuses specifically on Beauty and the Beast. This book is stinkin’ hilarious – it’s up there as one of the top books that have made me laugh the hardest. The hero is just so sardonic and sarcastic, and the stuff that happens is the laugh-out-loud kind of ridiculous that I love. Also, the hero is a “Bad” prince who’s been in love with the heroine since kindergarten, but they’ve also been enemies since kindergarten (long story) and she’s currently usurped his throne yet he’s trying to win her heart. Swoon, right!?

“I have longed for you my whole life. There is nothing in this world or any other that I want more than to be with you, Belle.”


9. Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

This is one of those books that made me so HAPPY while I was reading. It was charming, hilarious, sexy, and utterly heartwarming – and it’s about farmers! Apple farmers!! Ugh, I loved this book so much, especially Griffin. He is so adorable and all big, sexy, protective, and caring. He and Audrey made such a cute couple. And hello, do you see that cover!? You need this book for that alone (but I promise, the inside is just as good as the outside 😉 )

Whether it was convenient or not, Audrey and I just fit. We’d always been good together. It’s just that I’d never allowed myself to imagine a future where we shared everything. A bed. A home.
A name.
Hell. That got me panting. I wanted everything. There was nobody else who got under my skin like she had. To think of her as mine seemed like an impossible luxury.
It’s the only luxury I’ve ever been greedy for.


10. Into the Blue by Chanel Cleeton

My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads

This is the PERFECT second chance romance/military romance! I’m usually picky about both tropes, but Into the Blue hit all the right buttons for me. There’s some good angst, good grovel, and the hero is desperate to win back the only woman he’s ever loved. I love this series SO much – if you’re ever in the mood for some good military romances, the Wild Aces series is a must read!

You couldn’t fake what we had. Couldn’t duplicate it. We were so fucking lucky to have found each other once, and even as I’d always suspected it, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that letting her go was the biggest mistake of my life.
Now I needed to fix it.


11. Fast Connection by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads

Fast Connection surprised me in the best way, because I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about one of the heroes. He was a total dick in the first book, but he was completely redeemed in this one. The romance gave me all the squishy feels – I felt so much for Dominic and Luke. The authors write seamlessly well together and the characters blew me away. The silver fox and his adorable (former) player made me laugh and swoon. I totally need more Megtino books!

“He’s completely complicated. And lost. And frustrating. But we do something for each other.” I intertwined my fingers. “We fit. We need each other.”


12. Next to Never by Penelope Douglas

Ebook • Goodreads

I know this book doesn’t come out until 2017 but I read it this month so I’m counting it! And it’s only a few weeks away from release 😉 Reading this novella made me realize how much I’ve missed the Fall Away characters. Next to Never was the perfect way to introduce the second generation of characters while still rewarding fans of the Fall Away series with cameos of the original characters. Honestly, there’s so much to love about this novella – Quinn, Lucas, Jared (aka my love) but now I’m dying for more!


13. Managed by Kristen Callihan

My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

This book was so much better than I expected, especially after the okay first VIP book, but Kristen Callihan upped the ante in Managed. I loved the endearing characters, the sweet romance, the delicious chemistry, everything! Sophie is a sweetheart of a heroine, and uptight, closed-off Gabriel has definitely met his match in her. This was the perfect opposites-attract read, and there’s the added bonus of sexy rock stars to make things more fun 😉

“I’ve lived my whole life denying myself what I truly want. And yet I cannot turn from you. Haven’t you realized it yet? I am yours. I will always be yours, whether I touch you or not.”


14. The Fallen World series by Laura Thalassa

  

#1: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#3: EbookPaperbackGoodreads

I got SUPER into NA fantasy this year, which I’m so happy about. I need more books in this genre! Laura Thalassa had been on my tbr for a while and I finally got to her Fallen World series, which I pretty much read back-to-back, non-stop. I was utterly addicted to the post-apocalyptic world the author created, with the hero as a villain and the heroine who hates him, sent to marry him for peace. The story is unlike any other that I’ve read – it’s dark and violent, but such a gripping read! I also highly recommend Laura’s newest book Rhapsodic, which is another fantastic NA fantasy romance!

Once upon a time we were innocent, and then we were not.


15. Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

Has there been a Penny Reid book that I haven’t enjoyed? She always writes such smart, adorable romances. Grin and Beard It charmed the pants off me – it’s a sweet, slow-burn romance between a Latina celebrity actress and park ranger Jethro Winston. Jethro has no idea who she is and some mad flirting and banter ensues. This was such a fun, light-hearted read with adorable MCs.

Pleasing her—my woman—cherishing her, loving her had no comparison. Satisfaction, desire, fulfillment were woefully inadequate words. So responsive. So incredible. So . . . mine.


16. Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

Elizabeth Hoyt is becoming one of my favorite historical romance authors! I’ve only read a few of her Maiden Lane books, but I love the series so much already. Duke of Sin is the best I’ve read so far – it has the perfect anti-hero duke who falls for his tough, proper housekeeper. The story is wicked, funny, sexy, complex… the MCs are able to match each other intellectually, which made for some fun reading.

“This is who I am, Séraphine. Naked, with blade and blood. I am vengeance. I am hate. I am sin personified. Never mistake me for the hero of this tale, for I am not and shall never be. I am the villain.”


I hope everyone has a fantastic New Year’s and an even better 2017!

lacey


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Launch Day Blitz + ARC Review: Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

duke-of-pleasure-blitz

Happy Release Day to Elizabeth Hoyt – Duke of Pleasure is live! I seriously loved this book – check out my review below! Plus, a special announcement…

WICKED INTENTIONS is now FREE for a limited time!

The ebook edition of WICKED INTENTIONS, the first book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s bestselling Maiden Lane series will be FREE from November 28 through December 12!  This is a great opportunity to introduce friends to the series! On December 13 the price returns to $5.99.

Amazon • B&N • iBooks • Google Play • Kobo

Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #11 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: November 29th 2016
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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?

Buy Links:
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I totally adore the Maiden Lane series, even though I’ve only read the latest three and a half books (I swear I will catch up on the past books one day!). I still consider this series a historical romance favorite of mine, and with each installment I read, the more I love it. Duke of Pleasure is the eleventh and second-to-last book of the series, which makes me bittersweet because I’m not ready for it to be over! But even though I’m sad that it’s almost the end, I still highly enjoyed Alf and Hugh’s story. Elizabeth Hoyt swept me away with a romance full of passion and adventure. If you’re a fan of the series, you definitely need to get on reading this latest Maiden Lane book!

In Duke of Sin, we were given a glimpse at Hugh’s story, and we also found out the stunning revelation that Alf is actually a woman disguised as a teenage boy. So to say I was intrigued and had high expectations would be an understatement, and luckily, I wasn’t disappointed. While Alf pretends to be a teenage boy to protect herself, she is also the new Ghost of St. Giles, a being meant to protect the defenseless in her city. Alf is a fascinating character, for sure, and the more I read of her, the more I loved her and wanted to know more of her.

Hugh is a widowed father who is struggling to help his two young sons deal with the death of their mother. Hugh didn’t love his wife, but she was a good mother, and her absence has made the gap between him and his children grow even wider. He loves Kit and Peter more than anything, but underneath his stoicism, he’s hurting for his children. So when the opportunity to take his mind off the pain for just a little while comes along in the form of a street urchin named Alf, he seizes it. And when he discovers Alf’s true gender and that she’s the Ghost of St. Giles that he can’t stop thinking about, all bets are off and Hugh takes what he wants… which is the fierce, independent, mischievous Alf.

She thought like him, but she was his opposite: female to his male.
Dangerous, yet soft.
Intelligent and erotic at the same time.
His match, this urchin from St. Giles.

I loved all the characters in this book, and how each one contributed to the story. Alf and Hugh’s heartfelt romance that was full of longing had my heart aching for them. Hugh’s sons are absolute delights – at first, full of hurt over their mother, but once Alf enters the picture, they start to open up. Then there’s Hugh’s late wife’s best friend. I was a bit confused when her POV was included in the novel, but she plays somewhat of a big role in Duke of Pleasure – and she’ll play an even bigger, more important role as the heroine in the next and final book!

If you couldn’t tell, Duke of Pleasure is another fantastic installment to this wonderful series I’ve come to love so much. There’s always something so magical in the books I’ve read from Elizabeth Hoyt – I fall head over heels for the characters and the romance, while the plot puts a fun twist to everything. If you love historical romance and you haven’t experienced the Maiden Lane series, I highly recommend it! Although you should probably read in order, unlike me 😉

He laid his forehead against hers. “I do love you, hear and soul and body, Alf, my imp. I love you now and forever, and I will trust and I will hope in your dreams and hope.”
“That’s all we need, really,” she whispered.

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: Maiden Lane series

 
   
  
   

#1 ~ Wicked Intentions: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Notorious Pleasures: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Scandalous Desires: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Thief of Shadows: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ Lord of Darkness: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ Duke of Midnight: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ Darling Beast: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ Dearest Rogue: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#9 ~ Sweetest Scoundrel: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#10 ~ Duke of Sin: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#10.5 ~ Once Upon a Moonlit Night: My Review • Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#11 ~ Duke of Pleasure: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#11.5 ~ Once Upon a Christmas Eve: EbookGoodreads (Oct. 17, 2017)
#12 ~ Duke of Desire: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (Aug. 29, 2017)

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Elizabeth HoytElizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

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Top Ten Tuesday {21}: Top Ten Underrated Books

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s theme is…

Top Ten Underrated Books:
Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads


My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads

  1. Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen ~ Bittersweet is one of my FAVORITE book of the year!!! I have so much love for this sweet, funny, endearing romance. It’s somewhat of a second chance romance since the MCs hooked up back in college, but now, years later, they meet again and sparks fly. Oh, and Griffin is now a hot as hell farmer! I recommend this one to everyone who loves unique contemporary romances.

 
Beast in Shining Armor: EbookGoodreads
Ghost Walk: EbookGoodreads

  1. Beast in Shining Armor/Ghost Walk by Cassandra Gannon ~ Cassandra Gannon is a new-to-me author this year, and she’s probably the best author recommendation I’ve ever received, because I’m OBSESSED with her books now. She’s not that well-known, which is a shame because her books are AMAZING!! They’re hilarious paranormal romances with obsessed alpha heroes that I can’t get enough of. Beast in Shining Armor is a sweet, sexy Beauty and the Beast retelling, and Ghost Walk has a ghost hero and a time-traveling heroine determined to clear the hero’s wronged name. If you love PNRs, you NEED to give these books a try!!


My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

  1. Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn ~ This is one of the few books this year to make me ugly cry! It’s got angst on top of angst, and I absolutely loved it. The heroine falls for her dead best friend’s husband – wrong, but it feels so, so right between them. It’s not an easy read, but if you give it a try, it will so be worth it in the end.

 
#1 ~ Fly With Me: My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Into the Blue: My Review • EbookPaperbackGoodreads

  1. The Wild Aces series by Chanel Cleeton ~ This is one of my favorite military romance series – the writing is wonderful, the heroes are swoon-worthy and head-over-heels for the heroines, and the heroines are tough, independent, and kickass. Into the Blue just released today FYI, and it’s an amaaazing second chance romance!


My Review • EbookPaperback • Goodreads

  1. Crashed Out (Made in Jersey #1) by Tessa Bailey ~ This is one of the HOTTEST books I’ve read from Tessa Bailey, which is saying something. It’s got an older heroine and younger rock star hero – and holy hell, was it fun to read about the hero winning over the reluctant heroine. Crashed Out is one of my faves from Tessa – the rest of the series is fantastic as well!


My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

  1. Addicted (Outlaws #2) by Elle Kennedy ~ Who doesn’t love friends-to-lovers, right!? Well, this one is set in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world, and best friends Lennox and Jamie are badass mofos who’ve had each others’ backs since they were kids. I really, really enjoyed this one – and it’s crazy hot too. If you want a friends-to-lovers erotica, this one’s a must read.


My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads

  1. Playing with Fire (Hot in Chicago #2) by Kate Meader ~ A firefighter heroine and a Chicago mayor she hates – this is the perfect enemies-to-lovers romance that I absolutely loved reading. It’s hot, the chemistry is on fire, and Eli’s got a dirty-talking mouth that will make you blush like crazy.

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne
My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads

  1. Cuff Me (New York’s Finest #3) Lauren Layne ~ Lauren Layne is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors, and Cuff Me is without doubt my favorite of all her books. It’s a friends-to-lovers romance years in the making between homicide detective partners Vincent and Jill. Vincent is a gruff, grumbly hero and Jill is sweet and adorable – it’s opposites attract at its finest.


My Review • Ebook • AudibleGoodreads

  1. The Billionaire’s Favorite Mistake (Billionaires and Bridesmaids #4) by Jessica Clare ~ I’m a sucker for billionaire romances, and Jessica Clare never fails to deliver fun and sexy ones. This one’s a new favorite, with an accidental pregnancy and a groveling hero – it’s SO much fun to read!


My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads

  1. Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane #10) by Elizabeth Hoyt ~ If you love anti-heroes, this one’s a must read. I read it perfectly well as a standalone – it’s wicked, funny, sexy, and one of the best historical romances I’ve ever read. A not-so-good duke who falls for his prim and proper housekeeper – what’s not to love!?

What underrated books do you love?

lacey


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