Tag: Elizabeth Hoyt

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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Guest Review: Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted November 30, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #11
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
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: November 29th 2016
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

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?

Alf is a woman who has always had to take care of herself.  She’s been living on the streets of St. Giles her whole life and it was easier to pass herself off as a boy than it was to be a girl.  She’s an information collector by day and by night she’s the notorious Ghost of St. Giles.  Though she loves what she does but now that she’s 21 years old she’s also started to think about being a woman and having a family.  She knows it will never be possible for her but that doesn’t stop her from longing for it all.

The Duke of Kyle is enthralled with the Ghost of St. Giles.  She helped him when he was attacked and then proceeded to kiss him.  He finds himself highly intrigued.  He hires Alf to get information about why he was attacked not knowing that she’s the Ghost.  When Alf is hurt he has her stay in his house – not knowing he’s a she.  Alf gets close with his sons and when he finds out that Alf is a woman he can’t seem to keep his mind off of her.  When she learns to dress and act like a proper woman for a job Hugh can’t keep his eyes off of her either.  The chemistry between Hugh and Alf is off the charts but neither one knows how they can make a relationship work. Hugh had been greatly hurt by his wife and didn’t trust his own judgement.  Alf living as a street urchin makes her think that she could never be with a duke.

I have to start by saying I’ve loved Alf since she first came on the page.  Even when I thought she was just a small boy my heart went out to her.  I was extremely happy when I saw that she was getting her own book and it was definitely one worth ready.

Hugh was the perfect guy for Alf.  He had been working for the King (his father) and had been living a life of danger before his wife died and he came home to take care of his children.  Part of his attraction to Alf was her love of intrigue but also her fearlessness.  She wasn’t afraid to take care of those in need and he loved that about her.  He was a good man and loved her whether she was in men’s clothing and being a street urchin or in a dress being a woman.  He could accept all parts of her and that is what makes a good romance, imho.

I have to say that I also really loved the addition of Hugh’s children, Peter and Kit.  Kit was pissed off at his father as he hadn’t been around (Hugh’s wife took many lovers and Hugh left the country).  Hugh was trying to make up for that and show his kids the love he had for them.  It was a very touching part of the story and I was happy that Hoyt included them/it.

Overall I really liked the book and can’t wait for the next one.  I read the excerpt for the next book and I can tell you I’m on pins and needles already.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Once Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted July 6, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Once Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Once Upon a Moonlit Night by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #10.5
Also in this series: Wicked Intentions, Wicked Intentions, Lord of Darkness, Darling Beast, Dearest Rogue, Sweetest Scoundrel, Duke of Sin, Duke of Pleasure
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: July 5th 2016
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Hippolyta Royle is running for her life. Pursued by hounds on a cold rainy night, the heiress flags down a passing carriage and throws herself at the mercy of the coach's occupant. Whoever this handsome traveler may be, he is her only hope to escape a terrible fate. But should he agree to escort her to safety, he's in for much more than he bargained for . . .

At first Matthew Mortimer doesn't believe Hippolyta's story, that she's a fabulously wealthy heiress who's been kidnapped. He assumes she's a beggar, an actress, or worse. But once his new travel companion washes the mud from her surprisingly lovely face, and they share a breathtaking kiss, there is no turning back . . .

Hippolyta Royle is the richest heiress in London and had been kidnapped in the previous book.  She was set free and was running for her life when she found a road and stopped a carriage.  Of course after climbing hill and dale to escape she was an absolute mess and extremely filthy.  She had mud all over her, was soaking wet and smelled horrible.  Luckily the man inside the carriage was nice enough to take her to the next village.

Matthew Mortimer, the new Earl of Paxton, was traveling to London from Edinburgh.  He assumes this bedraggled mess of a woman is a beggar maid or even a prostitute but he doesn’t really want to leave her on the side of the road.  He agrees to take her to the next village but that ends up being hours and hours away.  While the two get to know each other they have their disagreements but after spending two days together Matthew knows that this is the woman for him – no matter who she is.

Such a sweet, charming novella.  I love the Maiden Lane series and was so happy that Hippolyta got her HEA.  Matthew was a bit of a pain to start with but he made me laugh.  I loved how he supported Hippolyta no matter what and that showed the power of his love for her.

We had the extra joy of Tommy Teapot in this novella – a mongoose.  He was a little stinker but a cute and loveable addition to the story.

At the end we got a very small taste of the next full novel, Duke of Pleasure, and I can honestly say I just can’t wait to read it!

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Blog Tour: Duke of Sin Launch Day Blitz

Posted May 31, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 0 Comments

DUKE-OF-SIN-Launch-Day-Blitz

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt is the tenth installment in the Maiden Lane series and it promises to be another fantastic addition to the series and we’re happy to be featuring this book on the blog today because IT’S OUT! If you’re curious about this book, look no further. We’ve got the deets down below so check it out for yourself!

9781455539093_Hoyt_DukeofSin_MM
Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
Maiden Lane #10
Releases on May 31, 2016 by Grand Central Publishing

A MAN OF SIN

Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.

A WOMAN OF HONOR

Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery’s household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.

A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY THEM BOTH

Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can’t resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets-and neither may be as nefarious-or as innocent-as they appear . . .

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE || iBOOKS || KOBO

Excerpt

“I was told you had need of me, Your Grace,” she reminded him, folding her hands at her waist to hide the trembling that had begun again. She’d been in demand before this position. Duchesses and lionesses of society had wanted her.

“So practical,” he mused, tilting his golden head back to gaze, presumably, at the gaudy sky-blue velvet canopy of his bed. She’d always thought it rather vulgar, actually. “I suppose that would be considered a good thing in a housekeeper.”

“It’s generally considered so, Your Grace.”

“And yet, I find it somewhat…”—he raised his naked arm straight up above his head and twirled his hand as he thought—“irksome.”

“I am sorry, Your Grace,” Bridget said as pleasantly as she could, which, sadly, was not very.

“Oh, don’t be,” the duke murmured silkily. “One can’t help one’s nature, no matter how irritating it is to others.”

His azure eyes suddenly dropped to pin her, hard and merciless, and she lost her breath as she fell into his predator’s stare. It was like looking into the eyes of something inhuman, almost otherworldly. Her chest ached as she stared at him, the air still locked within her, but at the same time the place between her legs ached as well.

Then she inhaled, filling her lungs with sweet air, as he watched her still, his eyes half-lidded, and she felt an odd exhilaration, as if a gauntlet had been thrown down. As if they were adversaries, equal on the field.

Which was completely ridiculous.

Possibly she shouldn’t have indulged in that third cup of tea this morning.

“I wonder whom you work for, Mrs. Crumb?” he whispered.

“Why, for you, Your Grace,” she replied, holding his gaze.

He snorted.

She felt a bead of perspiration trail down her spine.

He strode, nude, to his desk, and, bending over it, afforded her a quite scandalous view of his muscular bottom. He seemed to have a dark mark of some kind on the left cheek. Good God, it looked like a tattoo. What—? “Why, Mrs. Crumb,” he drawled, and she snapped her gaze belatedly up to find that he’d turned back to her—damn it! “Were you ogling my arse?”

She opened her mouth and then wasn’t sure, exactly, what to say. Was he about to dismiss her or not? “I…I—”

“Ye-es?” He took one long stride toward her.

She was suddenly, overwhelmingly aware of what she’d until now successfully ignored: He. Was. Nude.

His shoulders were wide, his chest highlighted by pale-pink nipples drawn tight, with but a few curling golden hairs between. His torso narrowed in a perfect V to a slim waist and a shallow belly button. A thin line of slightly darker hair led to his genitals.

During his supposed absence Bridget had had plenty of time to study the life-size nude portrait of the duke hanging next to his bed. She’d long thought the dimensions of his manhood exaggerated.

They were not.

She hastily glanced up to find him standing far too close to her, a wicked smile playing about his mouth.

“Oh, Mrs. Crumb, such a look,” he murmured, his voice a deep purr, his bare chest brushing against her snowy white apron. “Why, I don’t know whether to guard my bollocks…”—his gaze dropped to her mouth—“or to kiss you.”

Maiden Lane Series

Wicked Intentions
Notorious Pleasures
Scandalous Desires
Thief of Shadows
Lord of Darkness
Duke of Midnight
Darling Beast
Dearest Rogue
Sweetest Scoundrel
Duke of Sin

About the Author

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.

WEBSITE || FACEBOOK || TWITTER


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Guest Review: Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted May 31, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Duke of Sin by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #10
Also in this series: Wicked Intentions, Wicked Intentions, Lord of Darkness, Darling Beast, Dearest Rogue, Sweetest Scoundrel, Once Upon a Moonlit Night, Duke of Pleasure
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: May 31st 2016
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A MAN OF SIN

Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.

A WOMAN OF HONOR

Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery's household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.

A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY THEM BOTH

Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can't resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets-and neither may be as nefarious-or as innocent-as they appear . . .

Val, the Duke of Montgomery, is a pretty bad guy who seems unredeemable until he meets Bridget. Bridget is his housekeeper and he’s incredibly intrigued by her. He starts to demand her presence more and more and he’s fascinated by the things she tells him about scruples but he almost can’t get his head around it.

Bridget is at the duke’s house under false pretenses. Yes, she’s a housekeeper, and a very good one at that, but she is there to help out her birth mother – to find some letters that Val has that he can blackmail her with. Bridget’s scared of losing her position but she’s also intrigued by the duke. He seems, to the world, an evil man but Bridget sees more in him and is willing to risk her job and her feelings to keep him on the straight and narrow.

This was an interesting story. It definitely wasn’t your typical romance as it involved a man that for the most part almost seemed sociopathic but wasn’t. I truly loved that Elizabeth Hoyt put these two people together because it really is the only way that it would have worked for them. If Val had been an ordinary duke it would have never worked out for the two of them, that’s for sure.

Bridget in this book was a housekeeper but her mother was the daughter of a viscount. She has compassion streaming through her pores and while she loved her position she always wondered about why her mother hadn’t kept her (she knew she was a bastard but still). I loved that she saw Val for the despot he was. She couldn’t understand what he did or why he did it but she still gave it her all to teach him right from wrong.

Val was a piece of work. For a while I truly didn’t think the man could be redeemed. Even when he started his relationship with Bridget he was still working his schemes and I wasn’t sure where the story was going. I thought that the way that Hoyt brought about their ultimate HEA had me believing it was possible but Bridget still had her work cut out for her.

While this certainly wasn’t my favorite book in the series it was a good one. I liked that they slowly fell in love and it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that it would all end well; I liked that Bridget wasn’t a raving beauty but was an ordinary looking woman; I liked that the author didn’t try to make me believe that Val had been completely rehabilitated by the end of the book. These elements along with the romance involved made this worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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