Reviewed by Heather C
Title: Duke of Pleasure
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #11
Hero/Heroine: Hugh Fitzroy/Alf
Genre: MF Historical Romance
Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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?
I discovered Elizabeth Hoyt’s writing a few years ago when I read The Princes Trilogy after someone recommended the steamy Georgian Era historical romance series to me. I wanted to also try the Maiden Lane series, but I was too overwhelmed once I saw how many books there were. Then a few months ago I came across the blurb for Duke of Pleasure and wanted to read it SO badly, I didn’t care that it happened to be the eleventh book of the series! I took a gamble, crossed my fingers, and hoped I wouldn’t be too lost in the series arc to follow along.
Why did the blurb catch my attention? Well, the cross-dressing heroine with multiple secret identities…of course! Twenty-one year old Alf has lived more of her life as a boy than she has a girl. She spends her days as the spying and information gathering boy on the streets. And at night, she is the masked Ghost of St. Giles, taking out criminals one bad guy at a time with her swords and knives.
One night as the Ghost, Alf saves the life of Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, and he accidentally discovers the Ghost is really a woman!! The next morning, the “boy” Alf is hired by Hugh to uncover the identity of his attackers. When Alf’s life becomes threatened, guilt has Hugh welcoming Alf into his home to keep under his protection. How long before Hugh discovers Alf’s true sex and identity? And who is the REAL Alf anyway?
First of all, I had absolutely no difficulties starting with this book deep into the series. Yes, I kept questioning to myself, “Oh, is this character important to the series? Does he have his own book already?” Nope, I did not go reading the blurbs of the other books to find out, because a now whole heartedly plan to start the series from the beginning!
Second, I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!! Hence the 5 star rating. I was hooked from the very first scene where Alf rescues Hugh…and THE KISS! I just had to know what would happen next, and if real life wouldn’t have gotten in the way, I just know I would have read this book straight through without ever stopping…if only…
Third, Hugh and Alf were crazy hot together and the sexual tension between them…oh my goodness…I can’t even… It was soooooo freakin’ intense! Alf was innocent and naughty all at the same time. And Hugh was extremely encouraging. There was that one scene…in the mews…yeah, you just have to read that one for yourself.
Fourth, there was a mystery. But who cares about the mystery because there was Hugh and Alf getting dirty in the mud!
Fifth, I loved, loved, LOVED the subplot with Hugh and his children. Kit and Peter were adorable and the scenes between them and Alf were truly heartwarming.
Sixth, for a few pages I was worried there would be an annoying love triangle with Hugh’s best friend Iris. Fortunately, it quickly became obvious that Hugh and Iris were only ever meant to be friends. Of course, it took a bit longer for Hugh to finally realize it, but it’s mostly a non-issue. I LOVE Iris!
Next, looks like it will be Iris’s story told in Duke of Desire. It’s not scheduled for release until August 2017 (booooooo), but I’ve already pre-ordered it with my fingers crossed I can get my hands on an ARC for review.
Overall Impression: It Was Amazing
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*