Title: Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane Series, book #10)
Genre: Historical Romance/ Georgian
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Publisher: Grand Central, May 31, 2016
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
A MAN OF SIN
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.
A WOMAN OF HONOR
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.
A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY THEM BOTH
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 . . .
This is book #10 in the Maiden Lane Series and it is a standalone novel and you could start here but for an especially satisfying treat why not start with the beginning of the series. Still, if you are so inclined this book will get your blood pumping for whatever Ms. Hoyt can bring to life and you will not be lost if you read this one first.
Bridget Crumb is the bastard daughter of an aristocratic lady. She is aware of her station in life and she owes whatever success she has received to her birth mother who has helped her to find a suitable position. Therefore she is anxious to help her birth mother by retrieving evidence from Val’s house that he is using to blackmail the lady. But in her efforts she also discovers other evidence of his blackmailing and she is also determined to help that person also. But she sees in Val what she considers hints of humanity and is attracted to him
Valentine Napier is a criminal. He is a blackmailer, murderer and thoroughly dissolute example of a human being. Hoyt does a remarkable job of delving into the whys and wherefores of his psyche, what has led him to be this devastation of a man. He is also handsome and can be charming and these are some of the reasons Bridget finds him so compelling.
I didn’t find Val totally redeemed in this book. That is the usual outcome in Historical Romances. There is no great epiphany on his part even though Bridget falls in love with him and tries to become his conscience. For this Hoyt is to be lauded. She has given us a truly unlikable character who has some soft spots, he is not ALL bad and evil. It is harder to understand Bridget who is the moral compass in this story and yet she persists when indicators show she should step out of the picture.
That this story arouses emotion, is full of desperate moments and superbly developed characters is reason to read and enjoy. That it is also unique to the genre is reason enough to give it 5 stars. To miss out on this book, or even this series is to truly be missing a milestone in Historical Romance.
For more on the Maiden Lane Series: