Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt (Review + more)


Elizabeth Hoyt

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing | Forever
Series: The Maiden Lane Series #12
Pub Date: October 17, 2017


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 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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Oh my, but I loved this book! Angst-ridden, complex, passionate, fast-paced, DUKE OF DESIRE was everything I hoped it would be and more. Brilliant characterization, expert storytelling, and rich, descriptive setting details, all worked in tandem to bring this beautiful historical romance to life. Darker in tone than the previous Maiden Lane books, DUKE OF DESIRE is the story of Raphael  de Chartres, Duke of Dyemore, and Lady Iris Jordan, a woman who was kidnapped by the vile Lords of Chaos and agrees to marry the Duke in order to protect both their lives.

Raphael and Iris are flawed, complicated, and intriguing characters. They’re strong for different reasons and each have burdens they carry with them, though Raphael has far more than Iris in this book. The story is compelling, involved, and filled with action, mystery, romance, and a little bit of suspense. All in all, DUKE OF DESIRE is a dynamite read, and one I enjoyed immensely.

If you’re looking for a fantastic new historical romance to read, pick up a copy of DUKE OF DESIRE. It is the final full-length book in the Maiden Lane series, but I wouldn’t let that deter you from reading it in the least. It’s a terrific book that I believe is fully capable of standing on it’s own. In fact, it might just be my favorite of them all. I love angst, and complicated characters and storylines, and this one has all of that and then some.

Be still my angst-loving heart.


5 Stars

Book Excerpt


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.”

The Maiden Lane Series

Book 1: Wicked Intentions
Book 2: Notorious Pleasures
Book 3: Scandalous Desires
Book 4: Thief of Shadows
Book 5: Lord of Darkness
Book 6: Duke of Midnight
Book 7: Darling Beast
Book 8: Dearest Rogue
Book 9: Sweetest Scoundrel
Book 10: Duke of Sin
Book 11: Duke of Pleasure
Book 12: Duke of Desire


Elizabeth 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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