Title: Duke of Sin
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Genre: historical romance
Part of a series? Yes, this is book 10.
Publish Date: 5/31/2016
I got an e-arc of this book from Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing. To begin, I want to point out what I look for in a good romance novel- contemporary or otherwise. The plot- so often plots have been done again and again, one story after another. Does this one breathe new life into the idea? Are the characters well developed? Am I intrigued by their interaction? Is there a good amount of witty/ snappy dialogue? Lastly, do the characters deserve each other? If only half of the equation is making steps toward the relationship, working for it, then that is upsetting.
I have read most of this series, but it seems I may have missed one or two- I will be picking them up. One thing I love about the whole series are that the characters are well developed and usually quite loveable even if they are damaged. The play between the two main characters never fails to make me smile, and the dialogue is always great. In this, the tenth book, there seemed to be a little something missing though. I could not feel like the two deserved one another- or rather that out “hero”, Val, deserved Bridget.
I loved Bridget, with her strong sense of self. She was beautiful and smart, giving to a fault. I loved how she fought with her employer, the Duke of Montgomery (Val), even when it wasn’t in her best interest. I love that she had heart enough to see and understand the bit of good in him.
When she starts her job as housekeeper for Val’s London home, he isn’t supposed to be there. She does her job well, but with ulterior motives. In her down time she is looking for items that the duke is using to blackmail her friend, and her mother. The day she finds one of these pieces, Val comes out of hiding, catching her in the act.
Over the following weeks Bridget and Val do battle over his copious blackmailing schemes. He swears he has no heart; and will argue right and wrong to his last breath. When Val is poisoned and Bridget has to tend to him, other pieces of him are revealed. A younger him, that was punished for caring. Abused as a child, forced to watch the depraved acts of The Lords of Chaos, he learned to shut himself away- kill anything he loved before it could be used against him. She has to come to terms with the knowledge that she loves Val, for all his small kindnesses and for all he has been through.
The road is not an easy one for our two- for one, Val Must acknowledge that not only can he love, but that he loves Bridget. He also must decide what is more important- revenge and power, or Bridget.
There was a lot to love in this book. The plot was great, the writing flew from the page and the dialogue fairly sparkled. I loved Bridget, our no nonsense housekeeper with the heart of gold.
I did not love Val… I just couldn’t. He was horrible and vain. He hurt so very many people and would have continued if not for Bridget. Worse, I don’t feel like he ever really grew a conscience- preferring to allow Bridget to be this. That seems unhealthy. I grant you, in the end he chose her over his own plans; so there’s some growth. It just wasn’t enough to make me feel like he deserved her. For this reason I give it four stars.
On the adult content scale- there is a large amount of violence, references to darker acts and explicit sexual content. I give it an eight.
The book is out now- let me know what you think!
Link to book: