Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Review: Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane #11)

Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane #11)

by Elizabeth Hoyt

Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome. Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king's secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley—and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.
Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent. Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she's the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation.
When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be—before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?
Themes: Historical
Rating: 4.5  stars
Heat Rating: 
 This wonderful series is coming closer and closer to the end and the Ghost of St. Giles might just be retiring once and for all.  I have been a fan of this series for a long time now and as each new couple find love the world of these interwoven and beyond interesting individuals grows and grows.  Alf has been an interest of mine for the last few stories, a strong young woman living her life as a boy in order to stand alone and independent in a time and world when a woman alone was almost unheard of.  The Duke of Kyle has been pulled into this small world by an assignment to uncover the people responsible for the disgusting secret society hiding inside the highest level of society. When he pulls Alf back into his life he never imagines just how much his life will change; Hugh is instantly draw to this spirited and Independent woman, whether as the Ghost of St Giles, the young man that deals in secrets, or as the sensual woman he is learning she truly is.  I enjoyed seeing Alf find her footing with Hugh and his sons and of course finding a way to use her skills as the Ghost in order to bring his assignment to an end.  She is the kind of woman that is long before her time, doing whatever it takes to keep herself safe in a world against her, but she always manages to come out on the other side safely.  Hugh has no idea how he will keep a woman like Alf without having to clip her wings, and when he encourages her to change in order to fulfill his need for an accomplice, he even begins to understand that he loves her just the way she is.  Hugh himself was definitely a man at his wits end.  He has no idea how to relate to the children he dearly loves, he can’t find a way to bring an evil society to an end, and he is determined to bring Alf into his life permanently.  I loved Hugh, even as I wondered how he would be able to overcome his prejudices and truly gives his heart to Alf. Together these two are a perfect team, overcoming danger and thwarting crimes together.  In the end Alf has to accept that she doesn't have to be either the Ghost or a woman, but instead needs to find a way to be both and live a full live with Hugh.  This story was packed with fun, emotional tension, and sensuality and seeing Alf come into her own and take Hugh into her heart was amazing.  While I am sad to see this series end after the next story, I can definitely say it has been a crazy wonderful ride from the very beginning and we have met some fabulously intriguing characters.  I am looking forward to the final story and then of course whatever Elizabeth might come up with next.  If you missed the Maiden Lane Experience you need to go back to number one and read through all of the series in order to fully appreciate the literary magic that marks an Elizabeth Hoyt novel. 
*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

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