Author: Elizabeth Hoyt

Guest Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted December 4, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6) by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #12.6
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, Duke of Desire, Once Upon a Maiden Lane
Published by Forever, Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d'Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday—and Adam loves his grandmother, so he'll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they're forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he's ever met.

Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she'll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it's the one gift this mismatched pair can't wait to unwrap.

Adam Rutledge and his aged grandmother are traveling to an aunts house for Christmas when their carriage breaks down.  Adam heads to the first house they see and it ends up being the home of Godric St. John’s (Lord of Darkness – ML #5) mother and the family is all there for the holidays along with some friends.  They welcome Adam and his entourage and when they find out his grandmother is quite sick they welcome them for Christmas as well.

Sarah St. John has no desire to interact with Viscount d’Arque or any man who is considered a rake.  However, the more she sees and talks to Adam the more she sees that though he has a reputation he’s actually a good man underneath it all.  He’s soon melting the ice around her heart and a Christmas romance blooms.

This was a cute little novella.  I wish that it had been a full-length story, however, because I felt that I needed to know both Sarah and Adam much more in order to feel all the melty tingles that I should have been feeling.  Yes, the romance was good and of course Hoyt always writes a great story, but I wanted more in-depth info on the H/h!  As much as I liked Sarah and Adam together things were rushed at the end and that bothered me.  I also didn’t really get why Adam had to hate Christmas but I went with it. lol

Overall a quick, fun read and one I’d recommend.  I mean, it’s Elizabeth Hoyt so of course I recommend it! 🙂

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted November 22, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #12.5
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, Duke of Desire, Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6)
Published by Forever Yours
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 100
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancée, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna's long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth—to the rakishly handsome artistocrat himself.

Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He's drawn to her sharp mind, indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him—ladies simply don't dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can't help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry's world—or in his heart.

Mary Whitsun is a nursemaid to Lord and Lady Caire’s children (Wicked Intentions, Maiden Lane #1).  She was raised at the Home for Unfortunate Infants and Foundling Children and when old enough had moved on to employment.  She was happy where she was and on the day that our  book begins she just wants to spend her day off browsing the bookstore.  She is rudely interrupted when a man mistakes her for a woman by the name of Lady Joanna who might possibly be playing dress-up.

Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, was engaged at birth to the oldest of the Albright girls, Cecilia.  As infants Cecilia and her twin sister, Joanna, were abducted.  The older twin, Cecilia was never found but Joanna had been returned to her family.  Because Cecilia was believed dead, Joanna then became Henry’s betrothed.  Henry wanted to do the honorable thing and keep the engagement that his father arranged.  That said, he really didn’t want to marry Joanna.  He had grown up with her and truly thought of her more a sister than a fiancé. When Henry sees Mary he’s positive that she is the lost Albright twin and alerts the Albright family to her existence.

Mary is thrust into a life of money and privilege and she’s not sure she likes it.  She does seem to like Henry, however, and while he annoyed her upon their first meeting she soon finds that she’s falling in love with him.  Can a girl who was once an orphan be able to live and thrive in a new family as well as in society?

This was a short but sweet novella.  I loved Mary Whitsun.  She had strength and backbone and wasn’t afraid to tell off an aristocrat when it was called for.  I loved her!  I also admired her for not immediately falling into society and her family and all that money, but holding back to see what happened. It showed her intelligence, that’s for sure.

Henry was a bit of a charmer but underneath it all he was a good man and was trying to do the right thing by honoring his father’s contract with his friend who was an Earl.  He truly didn’t want to marry Joanna, however, so when he found the girl he believed to be Cecilia he was thrilled.  He was even happier when he realized that she wasn’t a woman who quietly did what everyone wanted.  She had spunk and personality and that drew her to him.  When all was revealed I was happy to see he stood up for himself to his father – it was a great moment.

Hoyt knows how to pull me into a story and keep me there.  I loved that this novella was about a child from the orphanage that we’d seen in several books in the Maiden Lane series as I thought it added even more interest to the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted October 16, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
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)
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 364
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

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

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted October 15, 2017 by Holly in Features | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

This is it, the last Maiden Lane book. I’m so sad to see the series ending. As part of the blog tour, we’re sharing an excerpt for our Sunday Spotlight this week. I can’t wait to read this book.

Sunday Spotlight: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth HoytDuke of Desire (Maiden Lane, #12) 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, Duke of Desire, Once Upon a Maiden Lane, Once Upon a Christmas Eve (Maiden Lane #12.6)
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 364
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

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?

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO
 

Excerpt

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.”


You guys! Ahhh!

Maiden Lane

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author


WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

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.

Enter the publisher sponsored giveaway as well! They’re giving away 10 copies of Duke of Desire!


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Retro Review: The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted June 28, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 15 Comments

Retro Review: The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Holly
The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Princes #3
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: September 1st 2007
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

WHEN THE DEVIL MEETS AN ANGELCountry bred Lucy Craddock-Hayes is content with her quiet life. Until the day she trips over an unconscious man - a naked unconscious man - and loses her innocence forever.
HE CAN TAKE HER TO HEAVENViscount Simon Iddesleigh was nearly beaten to death by his enemies. Now he's hell-bent on vengeance. But as Lucy nurses him back to health, her honesty startles his jaded sensibilities - even as it ignites a desire that threatens to consume them both.
OR TO HELLCharmed by Simon's sly wit, urbane manners, and even his red-heeled shoes, Lucy falls hard and fast for him. Yet as his honor keeps him from ravishing her, his revenge sends his attackers to her door. As Simon wages war on his foes, Lucy wages her own war for his soul using the only weapon she has - her love.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review was originally posted on October 9, 2007.

Sybil forced me into reading this book. She swore it was the best thing since If His Kiss is Wicked, and talked me into buying it. There was some drama with Amazon over this book which may prompt me to write them a letter.

I ended up buying it in eBook format. I think it started out kind of slow, but once I got past the first couple of chapters, I fell right into it.

Lucy Craddock-Hayes is out for her morning walk and stumbles upon what she believes is a dead body..a dead naked body. As it turns out, he isn’t dead at all. He’s one Viscount Simon Iddesleigh and he’s been beaten to a pulp and left for dead.

Lucy takes him home and begins nursing him back to health. She’s very surprised to learn his identity and even more surprised to find that she likes him. He’s witty and sarcastic, but she sees depth in him and it intrigues her.

Eventually Simon is well enough to leave, but hesitates until he and Lucy are shot at. To keep Lucy safe, he heads back to London to do what he was doing before he ended up nearly dead in the country…avenge the death of his brother.

But he finds he can’t stay away from Lucy, and after a short period of time he returns to the country to ask for her hand in marriage. She immediately accepts. But once married and settled in London, the danger surrounding Simon begins to escalate and Lucy fears she’ll never be able to save him from his biggest threat…himself.

I’m honestly not sure how to review this book. There are so many things I want to touch on I’m not sure where to start or how to properly express my thoughts.

I think I’ll just make a list and go from there.

Simon

What an amazingly deep character. On the surface he has a devil-may-care attitude, but he showed so much more depth than I expected. He truly was tormented by the death of his brother and committed to his quest for revenge on those responsible. Each death was a stain on his soul.

The thing is, Simon wasn’t your typical Alpha hero. He was actually described as more Beta than anything, though I didn’t think of him as such. For example, he wore red heeled shoes and wigs and ruffles. Honestly, I think EH did a fabulous job representing the times. Too often we see men in nothing but breeches and boots, when that wasn’t in keeping with the style of that era. But despite his heeled shoes and wigs, I felt he was…manly. Although he put up the front of being reckless and one of the lazy ton, his character was deeper than that.

Watching his inner struggles and seeing his obvious care for Lucy was fabulous. I was well and truly emotionally invested in his journey. Although he knows he should let her go, he can’t. After one duel, before they’re married, he comes home wounded and bleeding. Lucy tries to get him into bed and he begs her to stay with him.

“Severe angel.” He finally opened his eyes, frost gray and intense. “Promise me. Promise me on your mother’s memory that you won’t leave me if I give you back your wings.”
She blinked and thought about it, but in the end there was really no other answer. “I promise you.”
He leaned closer until she could see the shards of ice in his eyes. “Say it.”
“I promise on my mother’s memory,” she whispered, “that I won’t leave you.”
“Oh, God.”
She didn’t know whether it was a curse or a prayer, but his mouth came down on hers hard.

….Lucy looked down at herself. Thee was a bloody hand print on the bodice of her dress.

Though Lucy becomes more important to him than anything else, he can’t give up his quest for vengeance. He struggles to do what’s right, although he isn’t sure what that is….Lucy’s idea of right is to stop killing, but he knows he needs to avenge his brother.

Lucy

I loved this heroine. She was rather unconventional for a historical heroine. Her childhood was a good one, so she didn’t suffer many of the issues so many others do. She wasn’t afraid of love or commitment, didn’t fear men and had a rather bright outlook on life that wasn’t at all annoying.

I don’t think there was much growth on Lucy’s part throughout the book, but I wasn’t disappointed by that. To be honest, her character was perfect as it was. Her personal conflict came from caring about Simon too much to watch him destroy himself, and that was her main focus. Could she truly love a man who was so violent? Who killed others in cold blood?

She sees the different sides of him, mainly with the help of Simon’s niece, whom he calls Pocket. She struggles to reconcile the cold-blooded killer with the simple, caring man.

Lucy stilled, imagining Simon comforting this little girl at his brother’s graveside, putting aside his own grief to explain in childish terms that her father wouldn’t suffocate in the ground. What a tender act. And what was she to do with this new side to Simon? It would be so much easier if he was simply a man who killed, someone who was callous and uncaring. But he wasn’t. He was a loving uncle, a man who tended roses all by himself in a glass cathedral. A man who acted like he needed her and made her promise never to leave him.
Never to leave him…

I truly enjoyed this book. It turned out to be much darker than I expected, which was a welcome surprise. As it turns out, there was a conspiracy involved in the murder plot, and Simon won’t rest until he’s tracked down every responsible party and killed them.

What Simon hasn’t realized – or doesn’t care to realize – is the toll this has taken on his soul. When he meets Lucy he’s fascinated by her innocence and light. But he knows he’s beyond redemption and that she’s not for him, so he does his best to resist her. And even after he decides he can’t live without her he hates himself for tainting her with his darkness, and yet he can’t seem to set her free.

Although the main focus of the book is on Simon and Lucy’s relationship, the secondary story of Simon’s quest for revenge is..amazing. Seeing Lucy fight for him, and seeing Simon fight for what he feels is right, is what truly made this story. I didn’t doubt for a moment that Lucy and Simon cared for each other, but I wasn’t at all sure love would be enough.

The ending of the book was just…amazing. I think I even cried a bit. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you’re interested, Sybil and Meljean Brook had a discussion about it here in the comments section.

You can also read Lawson’s review here. She did a better job than me of outlining the story and finer points of the characters, IMO.

Despite a few flaws I found with the story (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I’m referring to..and if you haven’t, read it to find out) I have to give this:

5 out of 5

five-stars


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