Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: Finale- Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12)

Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane #12)

by Elizabeth Hoyt 

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?
Themes: historical
Rating: 4.75 stars
Heat Rating:  
Holy cow what a way to end a series that has taken us all over Victorian England.  This series has recently taken an interesting turn, bringing in a secret society of evil, power-hungry aristocrats that are taking advantage of those that are “lesser” members of society. I have enjoyed this series from the very beginning and seeing it evolve into something so complex with so many little strings between characters from one story to the next has been a wild ride and one that I would take again in a heartbeat.  While I was sad to hear the series was ending this final tale was amazing enough to keep it from being too upsetting for me and I cannot wait to find out what series Elizabeth will come up with next. Lady Jordan finds herself in a terrifying situation with no hope of ever getting out of this jamb, until a sexy as hell member of the Lords of Chaos demands her for himself and whisks her away to his ancestral home.  When she sees who he really is, the even more terrifying truth comes to light, and Raphael is much more dangerous than society always imagined him to be.  Determined to keep her at a distance Raphael never imagines he will come to depend on her to keep him alive, essentially giving her the only chance at a successful escape.  Iris is faced with an impossible decision between death and marrying a man she is terrified of—not because of his physical presence or even the truth of his past, but because he brings out feelings in her that she never imagined she would feel for a man.  The passion between them soon leads to a marriage that could be something magical, if only Raphael would let go of his quest and find a way to be happy with the life they could build together.  Iris is a woman out of time to be sure, unwilling to submit to the men in her life, instead standing up for herself in all things, even when her fears and common sense tell her to run for her life.  I loved seeing her find a way to convince Raphael that they are meant to be together and becoming the true love of his life, more important than any quest for vengeance or suicide mission.  Raphael on the other hand was a truly damaged man, having lived through a trauma as a child that most of us, even in this time, are unable to understand or handle. His past haunts him every moment, except the time he is in Iris’s arms.  He was obviously a strong man, one that has found a way to live with his past, even if he never lets it go, but there were so many times that I wanted him to let go and allow the love that Iris wants to give him to heal him even the smallest bit.  I was amazed by the depth of these two characters and their story and a little bit surprised it got as heavy as it did here at the end, but the story was no less amazing and wonderful for the darkness woven throughout.  I am still sad to know this series is over and definitely plan to reread it someday, but for now the Maiden Lane family that has comes together throughout these stories will be left behind for another new adventure in the wonderful imagination of Ms. Hoyt and her amazing writing skill.  A series that grabs your soul and gives your heart a hard tug with each new couple falling in love has ended, but the best part of books is that the stories are always there for you to return to.

*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

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