Review: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

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Well, not only is today my birthday but it is also a great day because I’m reviewing Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt. She’s one of my favorite writers so I am super excited to be participating in this blog tour.

Lady Iris Jordan has been kidnapped and is about to be raped and then murdered. Then, one of the Lords of Chaos steps in and claims her. Unfortunately this doesn’t make Iris feel any safer. When she finds a gun in the carriage she has been forced into, she shoots her captor. Unfortunately, she quickly learns that her captor is also trying to save her. Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has absconded with Iris to get her to safety. Unfortunately, he is now the person in peril after being shot. Before he succumbs to the pain, he marries Iris.

Iris is shocked by how quickly her life has gone off the rails. After being kidnapped four days ago, she now finds herself newly married to a man she does not know anything about. Iris had always hoped to remarry but she wanted to remarry for affection and perhaps, the possibility of children. She had no desire to marry for safety from the Lords of Chaos. Unfortunately, that is now her situation and she is going to make the best of it. As she nurses Raphael back to health, Iris gains respect and admiration for her new husband. Perhaps their union can be the type of marriage she has always dreamed of?

If you have been following Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, you’ll be sad to discover that Duke of Desire is the final book in the series. It is the culmination of the Lords of Chaos storyline that has plagued several characters in previous books. The Lords of Chaos are awful and in this book, you get to see just how awful they have been from the very beginning. Their debauchery knows no bounds. It is worth mentioning that Raphael has been sexually abused. It may seem obvious, but if this is a trigger for anyone, it is worth knowing.

Raphael has had a rather awful life. He carries the weight of his father’s evilness and Raphael will do everything he can to end the Lords of Chaos, even if it means that it ends his own life. Iris is the small corner of happiness and light in his life. He will protect her with everything in his being. It is obvious that he fell for her very hard from the moment he saw her (before the meeting with the Lords of Chaos).

Iris does not long for a grandiose life. She wants a companion to love, a dog to sit with her while she reads, and a child. She is sure she can have that with Raphael if only the stubborn man would realize that he doesn’t have to sacrifice their future because of his father’s past deeds. There is a lot of sadness in this book and a lot of darkness given the group Raphael is fighting. But there is also hope and love in a way only Elizabeth Hoyt can do.

Duke of Desire is a darkly romantic historical romance. I always hesitate to recommend books that need to be read in series order but I think in this case, it is important to have the full back story on the Lords of Chaos and just why Raphael and Iris are fighting so hard to rid them from the world. It sounds dramatic but this is a truly evil group of men.

Duke of Desire flew by way too fast as I read it. I was deeply absorbed in Raphael and Iris’s journey from strangers to lovers. Elizabeth Hoyt is wildly successful yet again in making this marriage of convenience a full blown passionate love affair of the heart.

Duke of Desire is available now. Don’t miss out!

 

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DUKE OF DESIRE by Elizabeth Hoyt (October 17, 2017; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market; The Maiden Lane Series #12)

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 involes herself in his life—and bed. Soon he’s drawn to 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?

 

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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.”

About the Author:

Elizabeth Hoyt 2017Elizabeth 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.

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