Title: Duke of Pleasure Maiden Lane, Book 11
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
Published by: Grand Central Publishing
Published Date: November 29, 2016
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
IN THE ARMS OF DANGER
Bold. Brave. Brutally handsome.
Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the king’s secret weapon. Sent to defeat the notorious Lords of Chaos, he is ambushed in a London alley-and rescued by an unlikely ally: a masked stranger with the unmistakable curves of a woman.
IN THE HEAT OF DESIRE
Cocky. Clever. Courageously independent.
Alf has survived on the perilous streets of St. Giles by disguising her sex. By day she is a boy, dealing in information and secrets. By night she’s the notorious Ghost of St. Giles, a masked vigilante. But as she saves Hugh from assassins, she finds herself succumbing to temptation . . .
ONE KISS WILL CHANGE THEIR LIVES FOREVER
When Hugh hires Alf to investigate the Lords of Chaos, her worlds collide. Once Hugh realizes that the boy and the Ghost are the same, will Alf find the courage to become the woman she needs to be-before the Lords of Chaos destroy them both?
My Thoughts: What I find fascinating is how Alf is able to travel the city by rooftop, jumping from building to building. That, in and of itself, tells us a lot about this woman. Her job, as Ghost of St. Giles, is defender of the poor, protect those who come to harm in St. Giles. Yes, even dukes if they happen to stray into this bad area of London. Her usual fair is protecting the whores that team the streets, but lately she’s been following a group of footpads, called the Scarlet Throat gang, active in St. Giles, ready to do anything, including murder, for the right price.
Alf, at 23, is lonely. She has to live alone, to protect her secrets. High up in an old, vacant building, she has built her nest. She dons her colorful costume as the ghost at night, becomes Alf, the young boy who trades information and secrets during the day.
She met the duke, Hugh Fitzroy, some time before when he asked Alf to inform on a person she was already working for. She didn’t take the job because she was working for the man he wanted information about. She has her honor.
The Duke of Kyle is not one of those dukes who think the world should bow to them.Hugh was the result of a dalliance by the King. Rather than ignoring his illegitimate child, he recognizes him, gives him the necessary education and takes him into service as a spy. Hugh is presently searching for the Lords of Chaos, a secret society made of noblemen, identified by a dolphin tattoo. They are wicked men, with evil plans to make as much havoc for the government as possible. It is his job to find and stop them.
Although Hugh has a high-level position in society, it doesn’t go to his head. He has a sense of humor which we are made aware as he is fighting for his life in St. Giles, enumerating the reasons he wishes not to die.
One: His eldest son was too young to inherit the dukedom
Two: His younger son was still suffering nightmares from his mother’s death, some five months previous
Three: His Majesty had just assigned Hugh to destroy the Lords of Chaos—he liked to complete his work
Fourth: He hadn’t bedded a woman in nine months and “to die in such a drought would be a particularly unkind blow from fate, goddamn it.”
By this time, dear reader, I was chuckling. He is a nice guy in a real awkward situation.
Needless to say, I loved the scene while he’s fighting for his life, with these thoughts running through his head, and when he can’t fight anymore…
He fell to his knees on the icy ground, growling like a bleeding, baited bear.
Raised an arm to defend his head…
Someone dropped from the sky right in front of him.
Facing his attackers.
Darting, wheeling, spinning.
Defending him so gracefully.
With two swords.
Hugh staggered upright again, blinking blood out of his eyes—when had he been cut?
And saw—a boy? No, a light man in a grotesque half mask, motley, floppy hat, and boots, battling fiercely with his attackers. Hugh just had time to think: Insane, before his defender was thrown back again him.
Hugh caught the man and had another thought, which was: Tits?
So you can pretty much understand why I couldn’t close the pages of this book, rather, I was smiling and flipping those pages like they were pancakes!
Alf finds herself being hunted. Were the same men who were after Hugh, after her? Hugh, being the person he is, thinks he must protect Alf, because she was gathering information for him when she is attacked. Hugh protects his own (still not knowing she is a woman).
The story is exhilarating, suspenseful, and witty. Once Hugh realizes the gender of Alf and Alf discovers the perks of being a woman, the story basically takes off in flames!
Every one of Elizabeth Hoyt’s stories in this series is quite diverting. Time to get to know this author if you haven’t and familiarize yourself with the Maiden Lanes series.