Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane #11)
Forever / November 29, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital
Elizabeth Hoyt's Duke of Pleasure, the eleventh book in the Maiden Lane Series, might just be my favorite of the bunch. Why? Because our Ghost of St. Giles is none other than Alf. A young woman posing as an adolescent boy who by day delivers secrets and by night rids the streets of thugs.
When Hugh Fitzroy, Duke of Kyle, is charged with bringing down a secret society known as the Lords of Chaos, he’ll need Alf’s help. It’s a classic story of salvation, where the woman does the saving, and in return, might just save herself as well.
So many ingredients make this story phenomenal. First and foremost, the chemistry between our hero and heroine. It drives the narrative and we can’t get enough of their interactions. I can't get enough of the attraction between Alf as the Ghost of St. Giles—once Hugh realizes the Ghost is a woman—and then the attraction between Alf as a woman, living under Hugh’s protection as they weed out the Lords of Chaos.
So he did what he’d wanted to do since he’d first seen her tonight, there on the rooftops of St Giles: he bent and covered her mouth with his. Her lips were soft, so soft, and she tasted of wine and honey. He angled his head, drawing her slim body closer, sliding his tongue along her bottom lip until she opened her mouth beneath his. He dipped inside. Once. Twice. Slowly. A seduction. Because he could tell she wasn’t experienced in this. And then she caught his tongue with hers, meeting him as an equal, and a groan rumbled in his chest.
Egads, they sizzle together. And bonus, the plot thickens and my curiosity is on overdrive as I devour the pages in order to uncover the identities of the members of this evil secret club. Danger lurks and I’m biting my nails, as Alf bravely risks her life in order to obtain information on the Lords of Chaos.
She wiped her nose and her eyes. Besides. She and Kyle weren’t done yet—not by a long shot. They hadn’t brought down the Lords of Chaos. Of course she wasn’t sure that he would want to work with her anymore. But he needed her, he did.
...She wasn't a coward. She'd grown up in the dark woods of St Giles. Learned how to hide as a child. Learned how to fight and defend those weaker than she as an adult.
Now maybe it was time to let herself be vulnerable once more. If that wasn't courage, she didn't know what was.
And finally, the element of family. Alf, never having a family, finally experiences an all-encompassing love. Not just with the Duke, but also with his children. Not only do Alf and the children find love and safety in one another, so too, does Hugh. A man who thought himself unable to experience passion and love with the same woman, especially after his first marriage ended in a loveless estranged existence with his deceased first wife.
He strode down the hall to her room and threw open the door, bracing himself for the emptiness.
And then stood struck dumb by the sight that met his eyes.
She was there.
Alf lay curled in her bed, fine brown hair spread around her face on the pillow, and she wasn’t alone. His sons were snuggled close on either side of her…They lay so close to her there was no way she could move even in sleep, as if she were essential to their slumbers, essential to their life in some way.
Finally, Elizabeth Hoyt tantalizes and teases the reader in preparation for the twelfth book. I’m all a flutter and cannot wait for it to publish. The leads for book twelve (no spoilers) already dance a dangerous tango of intrigue. No doubt, Hoyt’s next book will captivate just as much as Duke of Pleasure did.
Team H&H also got to go behind-the-scenes for the cover shoot! Check out our coverage!
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt, available November 29, 2016:
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Tanya is a fanatic of all things romance, dabbles in Happily Ever Afters under the pen name of Lily Kay, and teaches sociology part-time. You can follow her on twitter @tamushamu, @AuthorLilyKay, or on facebook.com/Authorlilykay.