Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway - - Duke of Desire

Duke of Desire
By Elizabeth Hoyt
Maiden Lane Series - Book 12
Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Reviewed by PJ

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.

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.

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 twelfth and final full-length book in Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series and, in my opinion, one of her best. As fans of this series would expect, this is not a light and fluffy tale. Raphael is one of Hoyt's most tortured heroes and one of my favorites. His backstory is complex, compelling, and heartbreaking. When he and Iris meet, he is a broken man with nothing to give, save his name and his protection. He is filled with rage, shame, and a cold determination to bring an end to the debauched evil of the Lords of Chaos once and for all.  

It will take a very strong woman, with equal determination, to break through the shell of ice that has hardened around Raphael's heart and soul in the past nineteen years. A woman of goodness and light, with the intelligence, the sensitivity, the tenacity, and the heart to not give up in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Fortunately, Hoyt has created just such a woman in the character of Iris. Consider Raphael's thoughts on the night they marry:

"She was...different from other women in some way he still was unable to understand. She was more pure, more bright, more golden. She called to him on an animal level. Her song had seeped into his veins, his lungs, and his liver until he could no longer divide her from his marrow."  

There are many beautifully written passages in this book. Hoyt breathes life into these complex characters, creating a harrowing story with danger around every corner, a heart-wrenching emotional journey that affected me at a visceral level, and a hard-won triumph of love over evil that filled me with hope and joy. This is a story that is going to stay with me for a long time. 


Have you been reading Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series?

Do you have a favorite book or couple from the series?

DUKE OF DESIRE- Short Excerpt

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.”

IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2uw1hpD

Elizabeth 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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  1. Another favorite author - thanks!

  2. I love her books, and this series. What a shame that its come to an end. I've been waiting for this to come out.

    1. Diane, this is the last full-length book in the series but Hoyt has two more Maiden Lane novellas scheduled. The first one, Once Upon a Maiden Lane is scheduled for release in November. It's the story of Mary Whitsun from the St. Giles orphanage. I'm so glad she's getting a story!

    2. Oh PJ, that's wonderful news about Mary Whitsun getting her own story. I will have to look on Amazon for this. Do you know who the other Novella is about?

  3. It's on my Kindle. Now I just have to find time to read it. With a couple of exceptions, I have really enjoyed this series, but I am eager to see what Ms. Hoyt does next.

    1. Overall, I've enjoyed the series too, Janga but my favorites have come toward the end. I think the last five books represent some of Hoyt's best writing.

  4. I have been collecting the books, but have yet to get started. I get overwhelmed when there are so many in the series, but now that I know this is the end, I hope to get started soon! Wonderful review, PJ!

  5. Having read most of the books in this series, I would love to win this one. Ms Hoyt is one of my favorite authors. She writes books I really want to read.

    1. I've been a fan since her debut, Annette. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does next.

  6. I've read all of this series - not sure which is favorite since it's been a while since I started reading the series ... may have to re-read to decide.

    1. I really loved this one, Di. Other favorites include Dearest Rogue, Sweetest Scoundrel, and Duke of Pleasure.

  7. I love her writing. Have read the Maiden Lane series from the beginning. I also would choose Dearest Rogue PJ. I'm also happy that Mary is getting her own story. Finally. Can't wait to read Duke of Desire.

    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com