November 17, 2017 03:46 PM Posted by juliannadouglas
October was a near-perfect reading month for me. All but one of the five books and one novella I read last month rated five stars for me, which is virtually unheard of. I don’t know if I’ve ever come that close to having a clean sweep month before. While it was great for my reader morale, it, of course, made it rather difficult to decide which book to highlight as my Book of the Month. I finally settled on a book that is the final full-length story in a long-running historical romance series that I’ve loved from the start. In fact, I’m a little sad to see the series winding down after such a long run, but it’s been a great one. Not to mention, although there are a couple more novellas forthcoming, this book was a wonderful wrap-up to the main part of the series, sending it out on a high note, so I can’t really complain.
Scarred and brooding, Raphael is, without a doubt, one of the most tortured romance heroes I’ve ever read. His father was the former leader of a band of ne’er-do-well aristocrats known as the Lords of Chaos who are notorious for their perverted debauchery. Because of things that happened in his childhood involving the Lords, he has become their mortal enemy, trying to infiltrate their ranks to find out the identity of all their members, including the new leader, with the intent of taking them down once and for all, even if it means forfeiting his life to do so. Raphael’s already dangerous and difficult task is made even harder when the Lords kidnap an innocent woman and he finds it necessary to rescue her in the middle of one of their revels. However, the lady misunderstands his intentions and shoots him. Knowing the Lords expect him to kill her and fearing for her safety if he dies, the only plan he can come up with on short notice to protect her is to marry her. But Raphael never intended to marry anyone. He’s so psychologically damaged from his past that he believes the only way to be sure his father’s evil doesn’t perpetuate is if the family line ends with himself. But his new wife doesn’t make it easy to keep his vow.
Iris is a kind-hearted and intelligent widow who was kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity, but now that she’s seen too much, the Lords of Chaos intend to use her as their plaything and then kill her until Raphael steps in. Since he was trying not to blow his cover, he saved her in such a way that left her thinking he was still one of the bad guys, which is why she shot him. But once she realizes his true intentions, she puts all her skills to use trying to save his life. Although she always thought that if she remarried, it would only be for love, Iris sees the expediency in marry Raphael given her circumstances. Once bound to the man, though, she won’t allow him to hide in the darkness anymore. It may not be the marriage she would have chosen for herself, but she fully intends to do everything she can to turn it into a real marriage and to make it a good one. But between Raphael’s dark past and his seeming death wish, she has her work cut out for her.
I loved both Raphael and Iris, and thought they were perfect for each other. Her lightness and positivity balances out his darkness and pain. I love that Raphael gets to a point where he simply can’t resist Iris anymore even though he thinks he should. I also love that Iris never gives up on helping him heal from the past and on making a real life with him. It’s her love, loyalty, and tenacity that gradually wins over her dark, brooding duke. I adored these two together and thought their story was a fitting wrap-up to the main books of the Maiden Lane series. That’s why I’m naming Elizabeth Hoyt’s Duke of Desire as my October Book of the Month. If you enjoy darker historical romance filled with tenderness, angst, a touch of suspense, and plenty of steam, then you should definitely give this book a try. Keep reading to learn how you can win a copy for your own library.
A LADY OF LIGHT
CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER . . . AND DESIRE
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?
Warning: Sensitive readers should know that this book is a pretty dark read, containing references to child abuse and one fairly explicit depiction of one of the Lords of Chaos revels which is basically an orgy.
Read my complete review of Duke of Desire.
If you would like to win a copy of Duke of Desire 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 or B & N). 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). 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 U. S. Amazon's standard international shipping, but it may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive, and I may not have the capability of tracking the package.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tags: Elizabeth Hoyt