I am such a huge fan of Elizabeth Hoyt and her Maiden Lane books. I feel like I say that every time I read one, but they’re just so good! This installment is one of my favorites, and that is thanks to a heroine unlike any of the others.
We’ve met Alf in the previous books, a street urchin who pretends to be a boy for her own protection. She procured information. She was cocky and sure. She knew how to keep herself alive. And now… she is the Ghost of St. Giles.
I love this for so many reasons. The Ghost storylines were always my favorites and having Alf in the role makes me want to do a happy dance. I love that this little woman is now the savior of others. I love that she has pulled herself up through the horror of living on those streets to become a powerful force. And I love that Godric trained her, that he was the only one who knew her secret and trained her to replace him without hesitation.
The story begins with her saving the hero, which is awesome. And then stealing a kiss before disappearing into the night. It’s always so cool to turn the tropes on their ear. Alf had met the Duke of Kyle before, when he wanted her to spy on her master. She dumped a plate in his lap. But she feels an attraction for him she’s never felt with another man, and she feels empowered when she acts on it.
Kyle is investigating the terrible Lords of Chaos and feels like the attack on him is tied to that. He hires Alf as an informant, having no idea she is the fiery woman who saved his life and kissed him –having no idea she is a woman at all. But I loved the tension when she is around him, both as herself and as the Ghost. I loved waiting for it all to come out. And I was totally satisfied when it did.
Alf is such a great blend of hard cynicism and loving warmth. You see her other side when she interacts with children, like Kyle’s boys. Kyle is an ok hero. He is sexy and doesn’t do anything particularly stupid. He has a solid moral compass and he fights against evil, so I was happy to root for their HEA.
The sexy times are steamy and satisfying. The ending gave me everything I wanted. And the setup for the next book has me excited. I’m always down for a scarred hero!
Would definitely recommend.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Duke of Pleasure
by Elizabeth Hoyt
Release Date: November 29, 2016