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Duke of Pleasure

by Elizabeth Hoyt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Maiden Lane (11)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14116151,563 (3.87)3
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?… (more)
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English (15)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I loved the MCs in this one, and I'm one serious sucker for a dad. Especially the tough guy warm dad thing. I'm all for Alf's optimism despite her rough start in life, and the match with Hugh's caution. I don't have a whole lot to say about this, other than it was an enjoyable stories with likable characters and those Megs & Godrics that I love. This one, again, had some excellent supporting characters in Iris and Hugh's men.

And I kinda of think we need a Maiden Lane bracket for the heroes. I mean, c'mon. I have suspicions who would win, but you never know. I can pick my final four (so far, anyway) but beyond that? No idea.

I'm just talking nonsense because I don't know what to rate it. Ok, got it. 4 stars

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  samnreader | Jun 27, 2020 |
I read this for the Virgin square (heroine is one) for Romance bingo.

3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Hugh is the bastard son of the King but with the given title of Duke of Kyle, he finds himself existing in two worlds. Tasked with bringing down a secret society called The Lords of Chaos, he finds he'll need some help from an unexpected source.
Alf was born and bred in St. Giles and has masked her true identity as a woman since she was five years old. However, clashing with Hugh has brought desires and thoughts she never knew she could have.
To bring down The Lords of Chaos, Hugh and Alf are going to have to work together and become who they were meant to be all along.

Never let them see you cry, he'd said. Never show them your weakness.

If you've been a frequent Maiden Lane series reader, you'll remember Alf. We've had fleeting glimpses of her and how she has navigated and survived St. Giles. It's hard for me to get excited about the woman dressed as a man trope because of its past frequency but Alf's reasons weren't frivolous, done for comic relief, or scandal. Dressing as a boy was survival for Alf and Hoyt did a great job showing how this seemingly innocuous action emotionally shaped Alf; how it affected her thought processes and how it psychologically wore on her.

I've said it before but I miss how long romance books used to be and I think this particular story would have benefited greatly from a longer page count. The first 40% or so gave us a wonderful building up of Hugh and Alf; we got to know them separately. I cared about these characters and my anticipation for them to come together was only heightened because I had the solid foundation for how right their relationship was going to be. I miss this gradual weaving that seems to be left behind for instant lust and gratification.

Even though I was anxious to see them together, I was a little disappointed when it did happen. Not because I didn't feel they belonged together but because Hugh's love felt a bit instant. He doesn't know Alf is a woman until around the 40% mark and while he knew the Ghost of St. Giles was a woman and felt drawn to her, he didn't know it was Alf. I think he had 3 or 4 encounters with the Ghost, they are sexually attracted to one another but their conversations aren't lengthy or anything. It felt, to me, like a quick loving without knowing because Alf was basically unknown to him.

He admired her even as he feared for her.

I liked the bonus of Alf being the Ghost of St. Giles, even if I felt she didn't get to shine in the role as much as others. I would have liked to have seen more scenes with her and St. Godric. Hugh's support and belief in Alf as a competent being was one of his sexiest attributes and how it was obvious that he completely accepted Alf for who she was. Their star gazing scene was my favorite and I thought beautifully showcased the author's talent for creating two characters that felt so right for one another; even if I felt it was a bit rushed.

I like the villainous Lords of Chaos' storyline but they were somewhat regulated to naked men in animal masks here and I wanted a little more of their workings or stratagems. I hope there's more to their plot than occasional nighttime naked gatherings to unsuccessfully rape women. Don't misunderstand, I'm very glad they're unsuccessful, but there were rumblings about how they infect all of society, even the government; I'd like a new devious plot.

The ending felt a bit awkward to me with a misunderstanding you could see a mile away and a resolution that came super quick. The lack of building conversations between our leads before the love made it feel instant. I want to clarify though, that I felt this couple belonged together, I just wanted more scenes to prove and deepen what I was feeling.

I'll definitely be reading the next in the series because I liked Iris, the heroine of the next, right off the bat and am intrigued by the dark and scarred hero. Hoyt's talent in creating a world and characters can't be denied but I hope she's given more pages to really let them breathe and take off.
( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
Duke of Pleasure
4.5 Stars

Tasked by the King to unmask the Lords of Chaos, England's most malevolent secret society, Hugh Fitzroy, Duke of Kyle, enlists the aid of Alf, the cocky young street urchin capable of ferreting out the most elusive tidbits of information. However, will Kyle still trust Alf once he learns that she is not only the Ghost of St. Giles but female to boot? Can Alf become the woman Kyle needs to destroy the Lords once and for all?

Alf's character has been developing slowly, but steadily over the past few books, and, thankfully, her romance with Hugh more than lives up to expectations.

Those familiar with Maiden Lane will know that the series deals with the harsh realities of life in the slums of Georgian London including the mistreatment and abuse of children. Thus, readers sensitive to these issues may be disturbed by the plot revolving around the Lords and their despicable proclivities. Nevertheless, Hoyt handles the topic with aplomb and the story is both intense and satisfying.

Alf and Hugh's romance is delightful. She is such an endearing mix of strength and vulnerability with her street smarts alongside her desire for love, children and family. Hugh is charming albeit somewhat oblivious when it comes to women.

The secondary character are wonderful, especially Hugh's men whose dedication and loyalty are admirable, and Lady Jordon who it could have been easy to hate if she weren't such a lovely person.

Sadly, the next book, Duke of Desire is the final installment in Hoyt's adventures inMaiden Lane, and it will a bittersweet goodbye to a fantastic series.
( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
I liked this story, but didn't love it, and can't put my finger on why. Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favorite romance writers, and I am a particular fan of the Maiden Lane series. I loved that this story dealt frankly with class difference and limitations (Hoyt often does this, and it one of the things I like most about her books.) My best guess as to why I did not get sucked into the story is is that Alf's transition to living like a wealthy woman was so problem-free. She had lived her entire life in the guise of a boy urchin, and then poof she is a lady. Not just a female, but a paragon of feminine comportment as defined by no less than a Duke. I think we all know this is not that simple a journey. I am glad Hoyt dealt with Alf's fear of having to figure out how to make her way in the world as a female without working on her back, but I still felt like something was missing. Perhaps Hugh was not fleshed out enough? I am not certain. ( )
  Narshkite | Oct 10, 2017 |
One of the best of this series. While you can definitely read the books in this series as standalones (though why would you want to?), you really need to read this one before reading the final book in the series, DUKE OF DESIRE, which is due out 10/17/17. I have read and enjoyed each and every one of the books in this series but this may be my favorite. Hoyt again gives us Historical Romance at it's best with some mystery and humor mixed in to up the enjoyment. If you haven't started this series (I so envy you being able to binge it) or aren't caught up, get to work cause it's almost over and you won't want to miss the awesome ending book coming out in less than a month. ( )
  alterlisa | Sep 20, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Hoytprimary authorall editionscalculated
McNab, AshfordReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Audio, HachettePublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For my editor, Amy Pierpont, who is, quite possibly, The Best. ;-)
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Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, did not want to die tonight, for three very good reasons.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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?

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