Tag: Elizabeth Hoyt

Guest Review: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted September 3, 2019 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Greycourt #1
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 468
Add It: Goodreads
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three-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe, the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family, appears at the country house party she's attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading amongst the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins—sins he'd much rather forget. But she's also fiery, bold, and sensuous—a temptation he can't resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he'll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya's trust-by whatever means necessary.

Features a bonus novella from New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes!

Freya de Moray is a member of the Wise Women. A lot of people think of these wise women as witches, but they’re not. Of course there is a group of witch hunters which are called Dunkelders and they chase down wise women. Of course.

Let me just stop right there and tell you that the whole wise women/dunkelder thing completely turned me off. This is an Elizabeth Hoyt book so I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, but this whole secret society and people who think they’re witches, it just doesn’t work.

So Freya is going to a house party to go after someone who she thinks is responsible for her brothers downfall and in the meantime looking into the disappearance of a woman from the house next-door. Of course this isn’t going to work out well for her because we have to have angst, right? 🤦‍♀️  Freya ends up getting herself in a bind, as was expected. Of course the “hero” of the story has to save her. I really would have liked it if Freya could have saved herself. If this is what a wise woman looks like, I don’t want to see a stupid one.

Then we have the hero who is being blackmailed by someone at the house party because his dead wife wrote some letters which he doesn’t want anyone to see.   Could we add just one more plot point to the story, please? Despite that wild point, I really liked the hero.  He truly fell so deeply in love with Freya and she was just like, “meh.”  I mean, she eventually comes around and falls in love with him, but I just wasn’t feeling it from her at all.

In this story Hoyt was so invested in Freya and the wise women as well as the dunkelders, kidnappers, and murderers, not to mention witches, that the romance was nearly nonexistent.  Romance is one of the things that Hoyt excels at, and that’s one of the reasons why I read her books.  Unfortunately I have no desire whatsoever to read the next book in the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Review: Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted April 16, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Duke of Sin by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Holly
Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10) by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #10
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)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 338
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four-stars
Series Rating: 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 . . .

I was looking for an audiobook this week and decided on Duke of Sin. Confession: I read the first few Maiden Lane books, fell into a historical slump, and haven’t read one since. If I’d met Valentine, Duke of Montgomery before, I don’t recall. Nor do I remember any of the secondary characters in this book. So I feel safe in saying this can be read as a standalone. I didn’t feel lost at all. I do think I might have had stronger feelings for him had I read the previous books, however.

Val is definitely a Villain. He blackmails, murders, lies, schemes…and yet, I couldn’t hate him. From the very beginning he drew me in and made me want to know more about him. As the novel progresses and we learn more about his childhood and the events that shaped him into the man he is, my heart completely melted. It helped that Bridget is his perfect match. Though he’s a duke and she’s his housekeeper, there’s no doubt to the reader they’re on equal footing. He may have standing in society, but she has the moral high ground.

All in all this was a lovely read. I was shocked, entertained and delighted in turn. I remember Hoyt being a wonderful storyteller. Duke of Sin proves my memory was correct.

4.25 out of 5

Maiden Lane

four-stars


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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, Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10)
Publisher: Forever, Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: December 5th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
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three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-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), Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10)
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 100
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: 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), Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, #10)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 17th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 364
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: 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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