Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #12
Also in this series: Wicked Intentions, Wicked Intentions, Lord of Darkness, Darling Beast, Dearest Rogue, Sweetest Scoundrel, Duke of Sin, Once Upon a Moonlit Night (Maiden Lane #10.5), Duke of Pleasure, Once Upon a Maiden Lane, Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6), Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
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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 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?
Lady Iris Jordan is a widow who is on her way back from a friend’s wedding when she is kidnapped by a group called the Lords of Chaos. They kidnapped her because they thought that she had just married the Duke of Kyle and they wanted to use, abuse and then murder her to get back at him for trying to break their group up. Unfortunately for them, she didn’t. Luckily she is saved by the Duke of Dyemore as he claims her for himself. He promises the Lords of Chaos that she’ll be dead by morning just so he can get her away. Not knowing that he’s there to save her Iris takes it upon herself to shoot him.
Despite being shot, Raphael, the Duke of Dyemore, insists on marrying Iris to save her from the Lords. He knows that once they find out that he didn’t kill her that they’ll come after them both. Iris isn’t too willing but knows that it has to happen. She ends up spending her wedding night and more than a few nights after that nursing her new husband back to health. Unfortunately the Lords find out she isn’t dead and come after them both.
While Iris and Raphael are hiding out she learns more about her husband. She knows that his father was the leader of the Lords of Chaos until his death. He manages to tell her about what a perverted, sick man his father was and what he had done to Raphael before he was whisked away to Corsica by his aunt in order to save him. Iris starts to fall in love with her broken husband but wants a child. He refuses to continue his tainted bloodline. Raphael’s determined to bring the Lords of Chaos down from the inside out and will stop at nothing to do so. He just didn’t plan for his life or his feelings to change so much once Iris was in his life.
I’ve always enjoyed Hoyt’s writing and this book was another great read. The subject matter was a bit dark and I wish it had been a bit lighter for the last book in the series but it was still good.
Raphael had been molested by his father one night when he was 12. Luckily his aunt took him away to Corsica and kept him from becoming his father. Raphael, however, had been forever changed by that one night and it had directed the course of his life. He never planned on getting married and didn’t actually plan on being a true husband to Iris once he did marry. Things and feelings shift and this happened with Raphael. I was so happy that he finally had a change of heart. I do wish that it hadn’t happened so quickly, however. One minute he was saying, more or less, “I’m outta here” and the next he was all, “I love you!” It was still sweet and lovely but definitely rushed.
Iris was a great heroine and I liked her a lot. She had been through a loveless marriage and though she didn’t really know Raphael she was resolute in having a good and decent marriage with him. One where he didn’t ignore her as her first husband did. She did a lovely job of bringing him out of the dark and I enjoyed reading how she did it.
I’m so sad that the Maiden Lane series has come to an end. It was truly one of my favorite historical romance series and I will miss it greatly. Though this wasn’t my favorite book in the series it was still a great one and definitely one I recommend.
Rating: 4 out of 5