I always get excited when a new Elizabeth Hoyt book comes out. I adore her and her Maiden Lane series. I have to say I was very curious about how she was going to make a hero out of Val. He was quite thoroughly unlikable in all of the previous books. He has lied. He has kidnapped. He seems to have no conscience at all. He was the villain for crying out loud. But I should have never doubted. And she always does, Hoyt pulled me in and I couldn’t put this book down from the moment I started it.
What’s cool about this is that Hoyt does not try to rewrite Val’s character. He is still extremely flawed. The thing is, we just finally begin to learn how he got this way. I really didn’t think I would care about his backstory. I didn’t believe there would be any excuse for what an awful guy he is. But I was wrong.
The story begins with Val in all of his horrible glory. He is manipulative and overflowing with machinations and blackmail. And his housekeeper Bridget is bent on digging up some of his ammunition. You see, Val is blackmailing her mother. Bridget was illegitimate and her very existence could destroy her mother’s life if it is made public. Val knows she is up to something but has no idea what. It becomes, at first, a little cat and mouse game between them. But it ends up being so much more.
Bridget is such an unusual heroine. She is a housekeeper and is proud of the work that she does. She is so very grounded when compared to Val and his excess. But those things about her are exactly what ends up attracting him to her. Plus she’s smart and she can hold her own. He is fascinated by her and with every little bit, he learns about her, and with every bit he gets closer to her. He only wants to learn more and get closer.
This guy is so messed up. But you see how he came to be this way. And somehow when all is said and done I really was left believing that there was hope for this man who I believed was irredeemable. I really enjoyed him with Bridget. I loved how strong she was, how much she controlled her own destiny. I love how she truly saw Val and loved him anyway.
This story does not tie in with any of the Ghost of Saint Giles storylines or anything like that. But it’s a pretty good continuation from the last book. If you haven’t read any of this series, I wholeheartedly recommend them. If you like historical romance, you can’t go wrong with Elizabeth Hoyt.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Duke of Sin
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: May 31, 2016