Friday, June 10, 2016

3.5 stars-- Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane #10) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Hoyt never disappoints when it comes to bringing a dark, edgy and unique romance to the pages. It might not always be your particular flavor but it's still intriguing and pulls you along in it's grasp from start to finish.

So the quick of it is that The Duke of Montgomery is pretty much a blackmailer. And his new housekeeper? Well she's there for one simple find the papers he's holding over the head of someone close to her. Alas, she gets caught and so begins a very strange game of cat and mouse as they try to figure out why the other is so dang appealing--and each keep their secrets...secret.

Okay. So. Yeah. The Duke. This guy. Villainous hero....heroic villain. Eeeeeh. Totally a toss up. lol Dude is in need of some hardcore therapy. He's so not gonna be the hero for everyone. Honestly he wasn't quite the hero for me. He's seriously broken from a horrific childhood and I felt badly for him but as a He's flamboyant and extravagant and outrageous and while he does do some things right now and again he's pretty selfish, wild, lazy and unruly in a way that leans more towards insane than cheeky. Ha! And Bridget was his opposite in so many ways. She's a hard worker who loved order and having something to do and her job as a housekeeper.
"Do you know that this morning Mehmed suggested I amputate my foreskin?"

"I...what?" She would've stopped and stared at him again, but they'd reached a door to the inside and he was pulling her along.

"Amputate my foreskin," he repeated loudly just as they passed a carpenter working on the stairs. Val, naturally, didn't seem to notice the man, but Bridget felt herself flush and the carpenter dropped his hammer. "You do know what a foreskin is?" he asked kindly as they mounted the stairs. "It's the---"

"I know what a foreskin is," she hissed. "Why are you so loud?"

"I'm a duke?" He shrugged. "Why should I lower my voice? It's a lovely voice, resonant and mellow. I should think everyone would like to hear it."

"Oh, for--"
Now the two of them. Their romance truly proved there is someone for everyone out there. And they were good together. She stood her ground and didn't let his crazy get to her. Actually seemed to understand his particular brand of exasperating nutjob. And sometimes she'd wear off on him...a wee little bit. They had some nice heat and the sexy bits were indeed sexy. Whew, yeah!

There was lots of excitement when it came to secrets and blackmail and threats from unknown forces. It kept things interesting and more than once had me raising an eyebrow and going Oo!

All in all, while this wasn't my favoritest of favorites from the series it was still a compelling read that entertained and intrigued. If you enjoy characters that aren't quite typical....give these two a try.

Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.

Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery's household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.

Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can't resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets-and neither may be as nefarious-or as innocent-as they appear . . .

*covers link to Amazon

“I was told you had need of me, Your Grace,” she reminded him, folding her hands at her waist to hide the trembling that had begun again. She’d been in demand before this position. Duchesses and lionesses of society had wanted her.

“So practical,” he mused, tilting his golden head back to gaze, presumably, at the gaudy sky-blue velvet canopy of his bed. She’d always thought it rather vulgar, actually. “I suppose that would be considered a good thing in a housekeeper.”

“It’s generally considered so, Your Grace.”

“And yet, I find it somewhat…”—he raised his naked arm straight up above his head and twirled his hand as he thought—“irksome.”

“I am sorry, Your Grace,” Bridget said as pleasantly as she could, which, sadly, was not very.

“Oh, don’t be,” the duke murmured silkily. “One can’t help one’s nature, no matter how irritating it is to others.”

His azure eyes suddenly dropped to pin her, hard and merciless, and she lost her breath as she fell into his predator’s stare. It was like looking into the eyes of something inhuman, almost otherworldly. Her chest ached as she stared at him, the air still locked within her, but at the same time the place between her legs ached as well.

Then she inhaled, filling her lungs with sweet air, as he watched her still, his eyes half-lidded, and she felt an odd exhilaration, as if a gauntlet had been thrown down. As if they were adversaries, equal on the field.

Which was completely ridiculous.

Possibly she shouldn’t have indulged in that third cup of tea this morning.

“I wonder whom you work for, Mrs. Crumb?” he whispered.

“Why, for you, Your Grace,” she replied, holding his gaze.

He snorted.

She felt a bead of perspiration trail down her spine.

He strode, nude, to his desk, and, bending over it, afforded her a quite scandalous view of his muscular bottom. He seemed to have a dark mark of some kind on the left cheek. Good God, it looked like a tattoo. What—? “Why, Mrs. Crumb,” he drawled, and she snapped her gaze belatedly up to find that he’d turned back to her—damn it! “Were you ogling my arse?”

She opened her mouth and then wasn’t sure, exactly, what to say. Was he about to dismiss her or not? “I…I—”

“Ye-es?” He took one long stride toward her.

She was suddenly, overwhelmingly aware of what she’d until now successfully ignored: He. Was. Nude.

His shoulders were wide, his chest highlighted by pale-pink nipples drawn tight, with but a few curling golden hairs between. His torso narrowed in a perfect V to a slim waist and a shallow belly button. A thin line of slightly darker hair led to his genitals.

During his supposed absence Bridget had had plenty of time to study the life-size nude portrait of the duke hanging next to his bed. She’d long thought the dimensions of his manhood exaggerated.

They were not.

She hastily glanced up to find him standing far too close to her, a wicked smile playing about his mouth.

“Oh, Mrs. Crumb, such a look,” he murmured, his voice a deep purr, his bare chest brushing against her snowy white apron. “Why, I don’t know whether to guard my bollocks…”—his gaze dropped to her mouth—“or to kiss you.”

Challenges: Pick Your Genre (historical) | Pervy Girl | Goodreads

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