2016 Book #111 – The Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

51bydxjcvql-_sx305_bo1204203200_Title: The Duke of Pleasure
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Date finished: 11/23/16
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: November 29, 2016
Pages in book: 336
Stand alone or series: #11 in the Maiden Lane series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

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?

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story (finally!) of Alf. Alf has been a supporting character for a good portion of this series, when we’re first introduced to her character its as the young boy who is an information collector/seller in St. Giles. Alf was abandoned at a young age and so in order to protect herself, she’s disguised herself as a young boy for a very long time. She’s also recently started training to replace the most recent Ghost of St. Giles, since all the other ones we’ve learned of have settled down and retired and started families. So Alf takes on a new job as an informant for the Duke of Kyle, who she seems to have a bit of a crush on. And when the Duke of Kyle (Hugh) discovers that Alf is not only a girl, but also the Ghost of St. Giles who kissed him so passionately recently. And when Hugh realizes that he needs Alf’s help on an upcoming reconnaissance mission at a ball, he asks her to uncover the woman she really is deep down. As Hugh sees more of the facets that make up Alf though, he can’t resist falling in love with her.
Overall I really liked this book a lot. It was a bit unusual since the heroine starts out the story attracted to the hero but the hero thinks she’s a boy. And Alf is from the streets and it shows not only in her language but also in her thought process and her personality. I think that was one of the things I ended liking most about this book though was Alf and how full of life she was. And it was really great to read her story after hearing so much about her in the other books in the series. Readers be warned there are some steamy scenes in this book, this one definitely is a sexy read! But there was also some great character development and some really deep emotions in this book. Alf’s character develops from a cocky lad to a young lady in love (who is also still cocky). And I think the book had a great overall message, that sometimes you need to put your faith in love and have hope.

The bottom line: I really enjoyed this one, this probably ended up being one of my favorite books in the series. This was definitely an unconventional story though, Alf isn’t your classic romance heroine but she was entirely refreshing and fun. This was a great read and I would definitely recommend.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #2 – Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

darlingbeast

Title: Darling Beast
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Date finished: 1/7/15
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Pages in book: 321
Stand alone or series: Series – Maiden Lane #7

Blurb from the cover:

A MAN CONDEMNED . . .
Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown’s soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he’s quickly driven to distraction . . .
A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .
London’s premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she’s forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren’t the only inhabitants-a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there’s more to this man than meets the eye.
OUT OF ASH, DESIRE FLARES
Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he’s forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free.

My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “book with antonyms in the title” check box (darling and beast). I have read the other books in the Maiden Lane series, though none are yet discussed on this blog (hopefully that will be fixed in the future). I think that this is an excellent series, though I have trouble keeping the previous characters straight sometimes. Luckily, Hoyt has included a series of family trees to demonstrate the connections in the novels of the series.
I very much enjoyed this novel, there were a good amount of interesting plot twists and I was interested in the story throughout the novel. One piece of this novel specifically that I found very interesting was that at one point Lily is writing a farce (play) that her brother intends to sell to pay off his debts. I couldn’t find the exact words again but she describes a farce as a bunch of a bunch of plot twists each happening one after the other so much so that the whole idea of the play feels exaggerated and improbably. At the point in the novel when many of the characters were gathered together at the house party, I couldn’t help but notice that the events were happening much as Lily described a farce to be. I just found that interesting.

The bottom line:
  I would definitely recommend this book both as part of the series and also based on the merits of the book itself.

Author website
: http://www.elizabethhoyt.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Darling-Beast-Maiden-Lane-Elizabeth/dp/1455586307/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1420719107&sr=8-1