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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Early Review: The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 27th 2017
Links: EbookPaperback • HardcoverAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The one woman he will never forget…

Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has lived the last three years in self-imposed solitude, paying the price for a mistake he can never reverse and a love he lost forever. The dukedom does not wait, however, and Haven requires an heir, which means he must find himself a wife by summer’s end. There is only one problem—he already has one.

The one man she will never forgive…

After years in exile, Seraphina, Duchess of Haven, returns to London with a single goal—to reclaim the life she left and find happiness, unencumbered by the man who broke her heart. Haven offers her a deal; Sera can have her freedom, just as soon as she finds her replacement…which requires her to spend the summer in close quarters with the husband she does not want, but somehow cannot resist.

A love that neither can deny…

The duke has a single summer to woo his wife and convince her that, despite their broken past, he can give her forever, making every day

THE DAY OF THE DUCHESS

AAHHHHH I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK!!!!! This might honestly be my new all-time favorite book of Sarah MacLean’s (and if you know me, you know how much I loved One Good Earl Deserves a Lover). The angst had me in TEARS. I LOVED it. THIS is exactly the kind of book I want when I read a second chance romance (aka has a groveling hero who is unrelenting in his pursuit to win back the one and only love of his life). As soon as I finished The Day of the Duchess, I knew it would be one of the best books I’d read all year. I wholeheartedly loved every bit of this wonderful book, and I encourage all historical romance lovers and second chance romance lovers to read this book!

Home required more than river and rolling hills. Home required her. And so he would do this summer what he had done every moment he’d been away from London for the past two years and seven months, exactly. He would search for her.

For the past three years, Malcolm Bevingstoke, Duke of Haven, has been searching endlessly for his runaway wife. We experience the pain and agony he’s been going through the past few years missing his wife – the woman he loves and hates. Sarah MacLean writes his anguish so well – I could FEEL exactly how he was feeling, and it was literally hurting my heart. I love some good angst, and the author gives it to us in huge doses. Then, finally, Malcolm’s wife reappears back in London, demanding a divorce… and all he can think about is having her back in his life forever.

The only woman he’d ever loved. The only woman he’d ever hated.
The same, and somehow entirely different.

Here, Sarah MacLean intertwines Sera and Malcolm’s love stories that take place both in the past and the present. We get the background of how they met and fell in love… before everything fell apart, before Malcolm hated Sera, before Sera ran away. Their past is heartbreaking and full of pain – I nearly had tears in my eyes because I felt like I was experiencing every bit of their pain alongside them.

Love is not enough.
There had been a time when it would have been. When he had been all she’d ever wished for. All she’d ever needed. But he’d been too blind to see that everything she’d done had been for him. For their family. For their future. And by the time he’d understood, she’d already been fixed to the firmament.

And then, I ACTUALLY cried as Malcolm was trying to win back his wife and love of his life. His desperation to earn Sera’s forgiveness and love again had my heart hurting, but I loved every second of the hurt. His path toward redemption is a bit wonky – having Sera find a replacement wife for him, all the while trying to get her to love him again – but he is definitely not letting her go again, because he never stopped loving her. I love a good grovel, and Sarah MacLean gave me everything I never knew I wanted in a groveling hero. I honestly didn’t think Malcolm would be redeemable after what happened in The Rogue Not Taken, but all I can say after having read this is that Malcolm is 100% redeemed in my eyes and I absolutely loved him and Sera together.

“I shall have you. I shall love you. And I shall grow old in your arms.”

This is probably my all-time favorite redeeming love story. I’m such a sucker for second chance romances but they’re never done quite the way I want them to. Luckily, Sarah MacLean surpassed all my expectations in a second chance romance with this beautiful, powerful love story. Everyone needs to experience the wonder that is this book!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Scandal & Scoundrel series

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean 

#1 ~ The Rogue Not Taken: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Scot in the Dark: My Review • EbookPaperbackHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Day of the Duchess: EbookPaperback • HardcoverAudible • Goodreads (June 27, 2017)

The Scandal & Scoundrel series is a spinoff of The Rules of Scoundrels series. You don’t have to read The Rules of Scoundrels prior to Scandal & Scoundrel, but I highly recommend the series! Here is the reading order if you’d like to start it:

Reading Order: The Rules of Scoundrels series

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

#1 ~ A Rogue by Any Other Name: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads


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Blog Tour + Review & Giveaway: Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon!

Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Deadman’s Cross Trilogy #1
Publication Date: May 9th 2017
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#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon debuts a sweeping new epic saga sure to appeal to her millions of fans!

Deadmen tell their tales . . .

To catch evil, it takes evil. Enter Devyl Bane―an ancient dark warlord returned to the human realm as one of the most notorious pirates in the New World. A man of many secrets, Bane makes a pact with Thorn―an immortal charged with securing the worst creations the ancient gods ever released into our world. Those powers have been imprisoned for eons behind enchanted gates . . . gates that are beginning to buckle. At Thorn’s behest, Bane takes command of a crew of Deadmen and, together, they are humanity’s last hope to restore the gates and return the damned to their hell realms.

But things are never so simple. And one of Bane’s biggest problems is the ship they sail upon. For the Sea Witch isn’t just a vessel, she’s also a woman born of an ancient people he wronged and who in turn wronged him during a centuries long war between their two races―a woman who is also sister to their primary target. Now Marcelina, the Sea Witch, must choose. Either she remains loyal to her evil sister and almost extinct race against Bane and his cause, and watches humanity fall, or she puts faith in an enemy who has already betrayed her. Her people over the totality of humanity―let’s hope Bane can sway her favor.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Praise for DEADMEN WALKING: A Deadman’s Cross Novel

“Kenyon (Born of Legend) puts the lie to the old adage “Dead men tell no tales” in this jam-packed, appealing first book of her Deadman’s Cross historical fantasy series…this piratical tale is filled with swashbuckling, death, glory.” ―Publishers Weekly on Deamen Walking

“Kenyon’s writing is brisk, ironic and relentless imaginative.” ―Boston Globe

“Arguably the most in-demand and prolific authors in America these days.” ―Publishers Weekly

“[An] engaging read.” ―Entertainment Weekly

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This is the first of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s adult books that I’ve read. I’ve enjoyed her Chronicles of Nick series, but her Dark-Hunter series has been on my TBR forever. When I heard that she was coming out with a new series featuring pirates(!), I had to take a chance on it, mainly because I don’t have enough pirate books in my life. Deadmen Walking was interesting, to say the least. It has a lot of potential, and I can see how the series has the chance to get even better. As it is the first book in the trilogy, there is a lot of info-dumping, but besides that, if you’re in the mood for something epic and magical and action-packed, I’d definitely recommend this one!

Starting Deadmen Walking, I was honestly a little confused about who the main characters were. We’re introduced to Cameron Jack, a woman disguised as a man who is trying to find her missing brother. Her only hope is in Devyl Bane, a powerful, notorious pirate. Little does she know, but Devyl is captain of a crew of cursed men – Deadmen. The Deadmen are creatures brought back from their deaths by Lucifer’s son and given the chance to redeem their souls by being the gatekeepers that protect humanity from ancient monsters.

It turns out that our main couple is Devyl and Marcelina (Mara) the Sea Witch, who is Devyl’s ex-wife’s sister. The two of them have a twisted, dark, bloody past, but with the close proximity that comes with saving the world together, there is bound to be some chemistry between them. But the romance is just a small part to the overall action and adventure.

There is a lot going on in this first installment of the Deadman’s Cross Trilogy. The author sets up much of the world-building to prepare for the rest of the series, so I have a feeling it can only get better from here. I also realized while reading this that it has plenty of connections to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s other series – those connections went over my head, of course, but fans of the author will probably enjoy all the cameos that are in this book. If you love SK and are familiar with her work, then you should definitely check this new series out! And if you love fantasy, action, and a hint of romance, I’d say you should give this a try.


lacey

Reading Order: Deadman’s Cross Trilogy

#1 ~ Deadmen Walking: EbookHardcover • AudibleGoodreads

about the author button

New York Times and International Bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, is a regular at the #1 spot. With legions of fans known as Menyons (thousands of whom proudly sport tattoos from her series and who travel from all over the world to attend her appearances), her books are always snatched up as soon as they appear on store shelves. Since 2003, she had placed more than 75 novels on the New York Times list in all formats including manga and graphic novels. Her current series are: Dark-Hunter, Chronicles of Nick, Lords of Avalon and The League, and her books are available in over 100 countries where eager fans impatiently wait for the next release. Her Chronicles of Nick and Dark-Hunter series are soon to be major motion pictures while Dark-Hunter, Lords of Avalon and The League are being developed for television. Join her and her Menyons online at her website and Facebook.

Website • Twitter • Goodreads • Facebook • Pinterest • Youtube

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3 Copies of Deadmen Walking: A Deadman’s Cross Novel and Poster by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Must be 13+ to Enter. International Giveaway

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

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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)

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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ARC Review: A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean
Series: Scandal & Scoundrel #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Lonesome Lily turned Scandalous Siren

Miss Lillian Hargrove has lived much of her life alone in a gilded cage, longing for love and companionship. When an artist offers her pretty promises and begs her to pose for a scandalous portrait, Lily doesn’t hesitate . . . until the lying libertine leaves her in disgrace. With the painting now public, Lily has no choice but to turn to the one man who might save her from ruin.

Highland Devil turned Halfhearted Duke

The Duke of Warnick loathes all things English, none more so than the aristocracy. It does not matter that the imposing Scotsman has inherited one of the most venerable dukedoms in Britain—he wants nothing to do with it, especially when he discovers that the unwanted title comes with a troublesome ward, one who is far too old and far too beautiful to be his problem.

Tartan Comes to Town

Warnick arrives in London with a single goal: get the chit married and see her become someone else’s problem, then return to a normal, quiet life in Scotland. It’s the perfect plan, until Lily declares she’ll only marry for love . . . and the Scot finds that there is one thing in England he likes far too much . . .

Sarah MacLean is probably my favorite historical romance author. I fell in love with her Rules of Scoundrels series and have been enjoying her spinoff, the Scandal & Scoundrel series. A Scot in the Dark is the second in the spinoff series, featuring an England-hating Scottish Duke and his new, scandalized ward. Their story is an emotional, angst-filled romance with a hero who believes he doesn’t deserve to be with the woman he loves. If you loved The Rogue Not Taken, then you will definitely love A Scot in the Dark!

Lily Hargrove has been alone all her life and dreams of finding love and a place to belong. She thinks she’s found that with a rising artist, but he ends up using her and betraying her in the end. Her reputation on the bridge of ruin, she’s reminded of just why she wants to leave London and never look back, but she needs the help of the Duke responsible for her to do so. Except when said Duke finds out about his scandalized ward, he makes plans to marry her off and be done with her.

“You forget yourself,” he said. “As my ward, your things are my things.”
Her gaze flew to his. “You beast.”
His lips pressed into a long straight line. “And you, the most beautiful woman in London,” he said, as though being beautiful was the most ugly thing she could be. “We make a fine match, Lovely Lily.”

The Scottish Duke of Warnick, Alec Stuart hates everything about London and its aristocracy, the same aristocracy that looked down on his when he was younger and caters to him now that he’s a Duke. He’s especially annoyed to find out he has a ward and has to go into the dreaded city to fix her reputation. But Lily turns out to be so much different than he expected and he finds himself unable to resist being around her and growing feelings for her. But he knows that she’s in a different league in him, not just in looks, but that she also deserves someone who will love and cherish her like she deserves, because that man can’t be him.

More. He’d thought he’d known what wanting felt like. What longing meant. And then he’d met Lillian Hargrove, and he’d realized the truth—that everything for which he’d ever hungered was nothing compared to her. There was nothing he would not pay. Nothing he would not do for another taste of her.
And that he was unworthy of her.

I really enjoyed the banter between Lily and Alec! I have to say it might be my favorite part of this book. To say these two don’t get along would be an understatement, which makes for some entertaining conversations between them. Plus, the underlying chemistry they have made the banter all the more fun. What did annoy me, though, was the back-and-forth between Alec’s feelings for Lily. He kept saying he didn’t deserve her but would take her for his own anyway, would go hot and cold so often it was a little frustrating. This ended up making the romance a little slower than I would’ve liked, but I could definitely feel the angst and emotional upheaval the characters were feeling themselves.

“I am yours, my love, body and soul. When I am old, I do not wish to think of you. I wish to be with you. I wish to love you.”

Despite the annoyances, Lily and Alec’s story was touching, romantic, and their love was definitely hard-earned. It had similar vibes to The Rogue Not Taken, so if you enjoyed that story, you will most likely enjoy this one too! Right now, I’m dying for the next Scandal & Scoundrel book – I love a good second chance romance, and The Day of the Duchess seems like there will be plenty of groveling too. I’m really hoping Sarah MacLean doesn’t disappoint (not that she ever does)!


lacey

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


Reading Order: Scandal & Scoundrel series

The Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

#1 ~ The Rogue Not Taken: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ A Scot in the Dark: EbookPaperbackHardcover • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Day of the Duchess: EbookPaperback • Goodreads (June 27, 2017)

The Scandal & Scoundrel series is a spinoff of The Rules of Scoundrels series. You don’t have to read The Rules of Scoundrels prior to Scandal & Scoundrel, but I highly recommend the series! Here is the reading order if you’d like to start it:

Reading Order: The Rules of Scoundrels series

A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean

#1 ~ A Rogue by Any Other Name: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ One Good Earl Deserves a Lover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads


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