Maiden Lane #10
31st May 2016
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.
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.
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.
Oh gosh! Valentine Napier is one of those characters that you love to hate in a series. When you know he’s going to get his own book you want that villainous character to remain villainous, because this is why you fell in love with that character but, you also want that villainous character to be redeemed because he’s such a great character but you don’t want him to turn into a goody, goody and lose all those villainous quantities that you fell in love with and well that’s exactly what you get with Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt.
Elizabeth Hoyt has written a truly brilliant read with Duke of Sin! Prior to reading Duke of Sin I had only read Dearest Rogue and Sweetest Scoundrel so I knew enough about Val to know he was a great villainous character and to know there was more to him than met the eye because he does love his sister but he’s still an unscrupulous rake who was up to no good.
To make Val a redeemable character though you had to give him a woman he would want to redeem himself for and Bridget Crumb was that and so much more. Bridget who you meet in the previous books is up to no good too or that’s what you’re lead to believe when in actual fact she is helping those Val has tried to ruin.
Bridget has such a strong backbone and I liked her just a much as I liked Val. She doesn’t give in to Val and she has her own secrets that make her more unique. Bridget has a real depth to her, she’s more than just a housekeeper but it’s not until the story unfolds that you find out how much more. You can see how Bridget appeals to Val but it’s more than he just enjoys her backbone and secrets. It’s how he comes to care for her, her opinions, her vulnerability and her power over him.
There are a few worse places for a housekeeper of impeccable credentials to be caught than kneeling on her employer’s bed.
While yes I loved to hate Val and wanted him to get his HEA, I didn’t want it to be an easy ride for him because of all the bad things he had done previously. Sadly for Bridget and Val their HEA isn’t easy to come by but god damn by the end of the book it was so very, very worth it.
“I don’t wike you,” said a familiar infant voice.
There was a lot of humorous banter in the Duke of Sin with all the different characters and I adored the way it was delivered to us and by whom and how. However, because this is Val’s book and is the means to his HEA and to redeem him somewhat, he could no longer be the villainous villain that we knew before and therefore while he still got up to some dastardly deeds the true evil of the Duke of Sin was the Lords of Chaos that we were introduced to in Sweetest Scoundrel. I was slightly expecting the Lords of Chaos arc to be finished with in Duke of Sin but it wouldn’t have meshed well with the rest of the storyline but I like the way Ms Hoyt brought it about.
While the Duke of Sin is the tenth book in the series it is no means the last and it was delightful to bring all the previous characters together and to see how everyone continues to mix.
Val smiled evilly at the child and reached into his pocket. “Do you,” he asked, “like kittens?” And he held out a black, fluffy kitten with a white chest. Annalise blinked at the kitten’s green eyes. The kitten blinked back. “Oh, yes!” said Annalise. Val deposited the kitten into the plump little arms and strolled to the kitchens, where Hecate and her kittens were in residence, swinging his gold walking stick. There were seven more kittens remaining and a garden full of his enemies’ children…
Overall, the Duke of Sin has to be one of the best redemption books that I have read in a good long time and not only would I recommend the Duke of Sin but also the Maiden Lane series. I’m so very excited for the next book, Duke of Pleasure which will (finally) give us Alf’s book (out in November 2016).
Wicked Intentions #1
Notorious Pleasure #2
Scandalous Desires #3
Thief of Shadows #4
Lord of Darkness #5
Duke of Midnight #6
Darling Beast #7
Dearest Rogue #8
Sweetest Scoundrel #9
This review is based on the ARC of Duke of Sin provided by Grand Central Publishing.