August 5, 2016 07:03 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
My favorite book from my June reading was, once again, the latest book in one of my all-time favorite series. This time, though, it’s a masterfully written historical romance that’s filled with complex characters, especially the hero, as well as dastardly villains of whom the hero can sometimes be one. Because of this, I wasn’t certain if I could come to fall for him in the way I want to every time I read a romance, so I went into the story with a little trepidation about whether he might do nasty things I couldn’t stomach, along with a healthy dose of skepticism as to whether he could be convincingly redeemed. Even though I’m now keenly aware that not all readers agree with me, I, personally, was very pleased with how everything turned out and that I did indeed fall for the hero despite his villainous actions. That for me is the mark of a very, very good author.
As I said, Val is an extremely complex hero. He admittedly has very little sense of right or wrong, does whatever he pleases whenever he pleases, and generally makes a nuisance of himself by blackmailing everyone in sight. He’s also not above seducing, kidnapping, and even murder to get to what he wants. He does, however, have enough of a conscience to draw the line at raping women or molesting little boys and girls like his father and his evil cronies did. He also, years before, saved his own sister from a terrible fate at great personal risk and has taken care of her ever since. But despite all his bad actions, when we start to learn of the horrific childhood that Val had, I couldn’t help but be sympathetic toward him. His father bullied and abused him, teaching him that love meant weakness and that he would have to kill whatever he loved, so in a way his father also taught him to be bad. Also, I think Val used his villainy to gain power over others, so they couldn’t ever have power over him like his father did. All this is also why the heroine’s morality intrigues him so much. It’s like that little boy who was never taught right and wrong still lives on inside him and she must help him to understand the difference.
Bridget went to work for Val as his housekeeper to find blackmail information he was holding on both her mother and another aristocratic lady. She didn’t, however, expect to fall in love with her employer, who she viewed as nothing but a spoiled troublemaker with no conscience. But when Val comes out of hiding and she starts to get to know the real man, she sees glimmers of goodness within him. She believes that she can nurture that part of him and show him there’s a different path he can take that doesn’t involve hurting people. In much the same way a mother sometimes has to punish her errant offspring, Bridget must sometimes make tough choices to make Val see the error of his ways, even if it means losing the man she’s come to love. I admired her for occasionally besting him at his own game, which earned her his respect, as well as being perceptive enough to see that he did have some goodness left in him and loving him enough to help him become a better man.
This book has so much going for it. In addition to an intriguing and multifaceted cast that are expertly rendered, the romance is heartfelt and emotional. The loves scenes are very steamy and sensual. The mini-fairy tale that accompanies it perfectly mirrors the main story. There’s even an adorable little dog, which as an animal lover, I very much appreciated. Everything was virtually perfect. That’s why I'm naming Elizabeth Hoyt's Duke of Sin as my June Book of the Month. If you enjoy historical romance with a bad boy hero, a kind heroine who is his perfect foil, and steamy love scenes that will make you melt then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
A MAN OF SIN
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 . . .
Read my complete review of Duke of Sin.
If you would like to win a copy of Duke of Sin to see how wonderful it is for yourself, just enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. One lucky winner will receive their choice of an eBook or print copy of the book. If the winner chooses an eBook, I will gift it to them via the eBook retailer of their choice (Amazon, B & N, or AllRomance). If the winner chooses a print copy, I will have it mailed directly to them via Amazon. Good luck!
International Entrants: You are welcome to enter my contest, but please note that not all eBooks are available in all countries due to copyright restrictions. If this is the case, Amazon does offer an option to trade for a gift card (I'm not sure about B & N or AllRomance). If you choose print, I can mail it to you via the Amazon website that services your country, pending availability and cost. Otherwise I will mail it to you via Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I won't have the capability of tracking the package.
Tags: Elizabeth Hoyt