Duke of Desire

Elizabeth Hoyt
Duke of Desire
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Grand Central Publishing
Release Date
October 2017
Book 12 of Maiden Lane
Historical Romance


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.


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.


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?

Book Review by BJ (reviewer)
Oct 11, 2017   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
23 people found the following review helpful
4 "The Light to His Dark" Stars!

Lovers of Beauty and the Beast styled romances will be the most intrigued by DUKE OF DESIRE. Building on this theme, Ms. Hoyt delivers another installment of the beloved Maiden Lane Series featuring a scarred hero who has become bitter and a recluse due to a terrible past at the hands of the man who should have loved him the most (his father). Fortunately though the hero does come back to life, not just with a kiss but with the perseverance of the love that the heroine shines upon him. For those of you who have been following the series, you will also be thrilled to know that DUKE OF DESIRE shares some light on the long-running Lords of Chaos plot and who the Dionysus (the leader of the wicked group) actually is.

One word of caution though. For those for whom child/domestic abuse is a trigger, this may not be a book for you. Please note that the plot of this story has some very emotional and traumatic events--though thankfully they are not described in detail (mostly alluded to and eventually revealed in a limited number of words).

Lady Iris Jordan finds herself in the most dire of circumstances when she is kidnapped by the Lords of Chaos and strewn up to be violated and sacrificed. For those that read the prior book in the series, Duke of Pleasure, Iris was long believed to be the intended wife of the Duke of Kyle (the hero of that book). The Lords of Chaos, believing that she had actually married the Duke of Kyle (rather than Alf, the true heroine of the Duke of Pleasure), kidnap Iris shortly after the wedding (which she attended as a guest) with the intent of exacting their revenge on the Duke of Kyle through Iris.

Fortunately for Iris, Raphael, the Duke of Dyemore, has infiltrated the ranks of the Lords of Chaos with the intention of taking them down for their debauchery and depraved ways (something which as the son of the former Dionysus he is unfortunately intimately familiar with). Having previously seen Iris at a ball and her having caught his eye though, he determines to blow his cover by saving her instead. An act which he performs and then immediately feels guilt over. No woman could possibly ever really want him given his past and genes. Never mind his physical state which was marred by horrible scars.

Can there possibly be a happily ever after under the circumstances? Moreover, will Raphael be able to keep Iris safe from the Lord of Chaos long term? Indeed will he be safe given how strong and influential this underground group is?

All in all, I enjoyed the DUKE OF DESIRE, though perhaps not as much as some of the other books in this series. I think this may have been because the plot was somewhat predictable. Nonetheless, I'm a huge fan of the underdog, and loved rooting for both Raphael and Iris. Moreover, after his sad past, it was so satisfying to see such a strong determined woman finally shed some light and help Raphael experience joy for the first time after thinking himself beyond hope.

Additionally, as this is the last book in the series, I'm sad to see the Maiden Lane series end! This has been a favorite series of mine for years. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing this great series, I highly recommend that you do!
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January 22, 2018 11:24 AM ( EST )