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Duke of Desire

by Elizabeth Hoyt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Maiden Lane (12)

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10912182,984 (3.83)3
An instant USA Today bestseller! 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? Don't miss Elizabeth Hoyt's brand new Greycourt series beginning with Not the Duke's Darling, on sale in December 2018!… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I was around these parts when this came out so I wasn't expecting much. Here's the thing though. I LOVED this as the story of Raphael. In fact, I was surprised by how much I loved his character. But that/his conflicts didn't feel fully resolved. There's some shit that goes down when he attempts to leave in chapter 19, she refuses to let him, in the rain of course. Oh, ok, you're right I can't live without you and either street is torture, so I'll stay and let's fuck was basically the resolution? Whatever, it was compulsively readable as usual.

I kind of liked Iris, but even in the last book, she seems a little annoyingly good. I don't know, I didn't get her. Just gives Hugh up in book 11. I mean I get it, but she was so graceful and above it all. Like, fuck this shit, no one's that self-sacrificing. And if they are, are they so selfish as to keep pushing on painful things in order to "heal" someone you're lusting after and maybe care for. She just seems to lack consistency - or maybe in this case - depth.

That said, she clearly doesn't ruin this book for me. I will say this one felt far more dangerous and emotionally taxing than any of her others, which wasn't necessarily negative. ( )
  samnreader | Jun 27, 2020 |
Elizabeth Hoyt has done it again with another amazing Maiden Lane book. The characters are well written and you can feel their pain in her writing. Iris, Lady Jordan is a strong, independent widow willing to fight for her live and for what she wants. Raphael, the Duke of Dyemore is a scarred man - both inside and out. When circumstances throw them together and she is forced to marry him, their lives become even more dangerous.
Throughout most of this story, Emma is in the dark about her husband's past but when she begins to uncover the pain he has been through it only makes her love him more and gives her the strength to fight for him and his love.
I received an advanced copy of this book in return for an honest review. ( )
  ddeluna1 | Mar 19, 2020 |
***Full Review***

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.

Kidnapped and brought as an offering to the Lords of Chaos, Iris improbably finds herself rescued by the towering Wolf.
Now a man and ready to take on the insidious Lords of Chaos, Raphael, finds himself saving a woman he can't forget a shared waltz with.
Raphael's scars run deeper than just the surface but Iris is determined to show him he's worthy of love.
With the Lords of Chaos looming over them, Raphael and Iris will show that love is the greater strength.

The twelfth installment in the Maiden Lane series brings us to a resurgence of the Lords of Chaos. Previously thought snuffed out in the last book, a new Dionysius leader has emerged and stronger than ever. You actually wouldn't need to read any other books in the series, maybe just the previous one as you get an introduction to the Lords of Chaos. As this is placed in the Maiden Lane series, I was a little disappointed that we didn't get any previous characters to check up on; the Duke of Kyle from the previous book makes an appearance but that is all.

"You need to marry me."

If you read the previous book, you'll remember the Duke of Dyemore, Raphael, introduced as a hulking scarred beast who waltzes with Iris. Here he rescues her and in order to keep her safe from the Lords of Chaos, he marries her. Iris was a bit dull as heroine but with the focus so heavily on Raphael's past with the Lords of Chaos, she didn't get a fully rounded out story. We know she didn't have a loving marriage and she cares for Raphael, but I didn't feel why she cared for him so soon. Iris ended up being a ghost on the pages to me.

Raphael's childhood trauma dominated the story and was extremely heavy. Frankly, that's all it felt like his character was, I didn't learn anything else about him. His attraction to Iris seemed to be based on one waltz and because she seemed like a golden light to him. A lot of their relationship was Raphael wanting to keep Iris on some sort of pedestal, away from his defiling hands, but this also creates a blank spot of him never really knowing and connecting with her.

After a darkly adventurous start, the story took a bit of a slow turn. The first half was basically Iris wandering around Raphael's gloomy Abbey, trying to learn his servants’ names, and disregarding Raphael's warnings of danger. Iris' lack of understanding or listening to Raphael about the danger ended up making her feel pretty vacuous at times, too.

With the focus so much on childhood pain (childhood sexual abuse is discussed prominently here), it made it extremely hard to switch gears and follow along to a sex scene, no matter how it was handled. In fact, the whole heavier tone of this one had a very uneven feeling with the usual Hoyt naughty sexual scenes.

The romance was lacking for me here with Iris not showing up completely and Raphael dealing with extremely traumatizing pain. Their lack of romantic connection kept me from feeling them and the Lords of Chaos brought such a heavy disturbing emotional toll, this ended up not being a very fun read. Hoyt's atmospheric writing can't be denied but after following along with the Maiden Lane series for so long, I guess I was personally looking for a more uplifting, sigh, and smile ending. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
Iris is pretty sure she's about to die when she's kidnapped and dragged to the revels of the Lords of Chaos. But when one of the Lords surprises her by coming to her rescue, Iris finds herself under the protection of, and very shortly thereafter married to, Raphael, Duke of Dyemore. But can their marriage of convenience become something more and overcome the demons of Raphael's past?

I always enjoy Hoyt's romances and while this is no exception, it's also not amongst my favourites. While she very respectfully deals with the trauma from Raphael's past, I also got tired of his repetition of the same issues. Iris likewise had to go through the same arguments repeatedly making her feel less well-developed. However, the framing fairy tale Hoyt always uses as epigraphs for her books is lovely. If you're a completist, it's a fine addition to the Maiden Lane series, but not required reading in my books. ( )
  MickyFine | Oct 10, 2018 |
Duke of Desire
4 Stars

On the verge of being sacrificed to the Lords of Chaos, Lady Iris Jordan seizes the opportunity to escape and shoots one of her captors. Unfortunately, the scarred villain, Raphael de Chartres, Duke of Dyemore, is actually the hero of the piece, and now his plans to infiltrate and destroy the diabolical Lords is in jeopardy. Can Raphael and Iris overcome the demons, both internal and external, to find happiness together?

Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series is on the darker side of historical romance, and this final installment deals with some of the harshest and most difficult issues to read about. Nevertheless, Hoyt handles it all with care and sensitivity.

Iris is the perfect heroine for Raphael. Her courage and perseverance in the face of his dark cynicism and heartbreakingly tortured past are admirable. The slow build up of intimacy between them, and their inevitable steamy consummation make for an exceedingly enjoyable romance.

The Lords of Chaos mystery is, however, not as intense or suspenseful as in some of the other books. The identity of the villain is obvious from the start and the final confrontation is somewhat anti-climactic although I did appreciate Raphael going to Hugh for help when he needed it.

In sum, a lovely ending to the series although the lack of cameo appearances by previous couples is disappointing. Looking forward to Hoyt's next project. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
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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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This book is for you.

If you have read the eleven other books in the Maiden Lane series: Thank you for your faithfulness and for accompanying me on this odyssey through Georgian London. I hope you enjoyed the people, the sights and sounds, and above all, the passion.

If you have never read one of my books:
Oh, my dear. Sit back, have a cup of tea, and let me tell you a story...
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Considering how extremely dull her life had been up until this point, Iris Daniels, Lady Jordan had discovered a quite colorful way to die.
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