Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Desire

A LADY OF LIGHTRefined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESSCynical, scarred, and brooding...

Title:Duke of Desire
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Edition Language:English

Duke of Desire Reviews

  • Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠

    Why is Iris the heroine in this book? I'm reading the Duke of Kyle's book right now and she's so boring. Maybe she grows a personality by the time this book happens.

  • Caz

    .

    All good things must come to an end, and here we are, at the end (almost – I think there are a couple of novellas to follow) of Elizabeth Hoyt’s 

     series with the twelfth and final full-length novel, 

    . I’ve read some of the novels and listened to others (and in many cases, done both) and there’s no doubt that Ms. Hoyt has maintained an incredibly high standard of storytelling throughout the series, giftin

    .

    All good things must come to an end, and here we are, at the end (almost – I think there are a couple of novellas to follow) of Elizabeth Hoyt’s 

     series with the twelfth and final full-length novel, 

    . I’ve read some of the novels and listened to others (and in many cases, done both) and there’s no doubt that Ms. Hoyt has maintained an incredibly high standard of storytelling throughout the series, gifting us with some wonderful stories, plenty of action and adventure, a group of memorable characters – gorgeous, sexy heroes to sigh over and their equally gorgeous and sexy ladies to envy – and her own brand of steamy, earthy and heartfelt romance.

     brings us all of those things, although I’ll say now that anyone expecting a big reunion between all the protagonists from the other eleven books is going to be disappointed, because this isn’t that sort of story, and in fact, I’m glad of it. To have brought back all the earlier heroes and heroines would have been too much and actually, rather implausible, and I’m glad that this book concentrates on a new hero and heroine and gives them their chance to shine.

    You can read the rest of this review at

    .

  • Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover

    Book 1:

    4 stars

    Book 2:

    5 Stars

    Book 3:

    5+++ Stars

    Book 4:

    5 Stars

    Book 5:

    4.5 stars

    Book 6:

    5+++ Stars

    Book 7:

    3.5 Stars

    Book 8:

    3.5 Stars

    Book 9:

    3.5 Stars

    Book 10:

    5 Stars

    Book 11:

    4.5 Stars

    Book 12: Duke of Desire 4 Stars

    I never would've thought histori

    Book 1:

    4 stars

    Book 2:

    5 Stars

    Book 3:

    5+++ Stars

    Book 4:

    5 Stars

    Book 5:

    4.5 stars

    Book 6:

    5+++ Stars

    Book 7:

    3.5 Stars

    Book 8:

    3.5 Stars

    Book 9:

    3.5 Stars

    Book 10:

    5 Stars

    Book 11:

    4.5 Stars

    Book 12: Duke of Desire 4 Stars

    I never would've thought historicals would take me on a such a ride. I clearly have my faves: Mickey, Winter and Maximus will always have a special place in my heart. Gosh those heroes!

    I was over the moon excited about this newest book. The Duke of Dyemore is a scarred hero...literally. And I love nothing more than a bad boy, scarred, asshole duke. Raphael has had a traumatic past that's tied in with the evil group Lords of Chaos. His only goal is to bring them down even if it kills him and falling in love is not a part of that plan.

    This story wasn't exactly what I was expecting. While I loved the side story about the Lords of Chaos...I wanted a tad bit more romance between Raphael and Iris. I felt like it was a bit hard to connect with them at times.

    With that said, this story is still a solid read that

    capture your attention. I've no doubt about that. The action, the suspense, the devastation that we face with this hero, it'll leave you stunned and your heart will hurt for this tormented hero.

    Thank you so much Elizabeth Hoyt for writing such an incredible series! So sad to see it come to an end, but I've gotten some faves from this series and I'm happy about that.

    _____________________________________________________________

    I'm so happy to have received a paperback arc for this book!

    The scarred, dark, brooding hero...yep I need this book in my life!

    Fingers crossed it's a goodie!

  • Alyssa

    ***

    ***

    Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

    Book Twelve of the Maiden Lane series

    Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

    Publication Date: October 17, 2017

    Rating: 5 stars

    Source: ARC sent by the publisher

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    A LADY OF LIGHT

    Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his

    ***

    ***

    Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

    Book Twelve of the Maiden Lane series

    Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

    Publication Date: October 17, 2017

    Rating: 5 stars

    Source: ARC sent by the publisher

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    A LADY OF LIGHT

    Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him . . . only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

    A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS

    Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

    CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER . . . AND DESIRE

    Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

    What I Liked:

    This book. Was. Perfect. Friends, I wanted to weep after finishing it. It was so excellent for so many different reasons - I can't even begin to describe how wonderful this book was to me. I definitely won't do the story justice with this review. You all know how much I love this series? This is only the third of twelve books that I've rated five stars. It's definitely tied with the other two as my favorite. I will be thinking about this one for a long time.

    We met Raphael and Iris in Duke of Pleasure, in which Iris and the Duke of Kyle (Hugh) are friends. Iris attends Hugh's wedding and they fool society into thinking that they (Iris and Hugh) got married, because they don't want anyone to know that Hugh married Alf... at least not yet. Little does Iris know that the Lords of Chaos have it out for Hugh, and they kidnap her, thinking that she is the new Duchess of Kyle. But she is rescued by a man whom she never would have expected - the Duke of Dyemore. Raphael de Chartres wants no part of the Lords of Chaos, but he does want to destroy them. Rescuing Iris from them isn't part of his revenge plan, and it only makes things harder, because he must defy the Dionysus (the leader of the Lords of Chaos). He does not kill her - instead, he marries her, to protect her. Iris slowly learns more about her new husband, and she finds out that his past is even darker than she might have imagined.

    This book broke my heart and made me swoon at the same time, which is pretty difficult to do. The story is darker than any of the other Maiden Lane books, with the heart of it involving the horror of the Lords of Chaos. Raphael's father used to be the Dionysus, and Raphael was to be initiated into the Lords. The tone of this book is bleaker than any other book in this series, but this makes the book so much more compelling and intriguing. I enjoyed it so much, darkness and all. Much like Raphael.

    I'd go as far as to say that this book is Raphael's (as opposed to it being Raphael's and Iris's). Yes, both have POVs in the story. But this story is one of growth and healing for Raphael. He went through a horrible, traumatic event during his childhood, and it affected him through adulthood. It broke my heart to see him react to certain things, because of this event. He doesn't like this or that, he doesn't want children, he never planned on getting married. Raphael thinks he is such a monster, and he shrouds himself in darkness, but really he is a good man. He is bent on revenge, trying to take down the Lords, but he is a selfless, good person.

    Iris is hands-down one of my favorite heroines of the Maiden Lane series, just like Raphael. Both are in my top three for sure. Iris... she isn't a plucky, feisty, outspoken heroine. She isn't brash and loud, opinionated and demanding to be heard in any way. She is soft and quiet and caring, a light to Raphael's darkness. But she is so strong in her caring, loving nature. She isn't an alpha female and she doesn't need to be - her whole self is just as tough and assertive as an alpha female, except she is Iris Daniels, a loving, gentle soul. I adored her. I especially loved her for sticking with Raphael, for never running away or giving up on him. There is so little drama in this book because Iris had the strength to be patient with Raphael. Every time he told her to leave him, she never did.

    There is a certain amount of angst in this book that I loved so much. I know, it's weird for me to be loving angst. But it was so perfect. Raphael and Iris are nearly strangers when they get married. Iris doesn't know anything about Raphael's past, the scar on his face, why he won't have sex with her like any husband would. Every time Iris would learn something new about Raphael, my heart would break a little. The angst in this book is so perfect. Raphael is so complicated, with layers and layers of hurt from many years of build-up, and it's beautiful and heartbreaking to see Iris slip through those layers one by one.

    That being said, the execution of the "tough issues" of this story was excellent. The execution of the story in general was excellent. Hoyt's writing is superb as always, her world-building flawless, and her craftsmanship solid. This story is so much darker, because of the Lords of Chaos and because of Raphael's past, and Hoyt did an amazing job with bringing across the story without depressing readers. The tone of the story is darker, but it's also hopeful.

    The romance is so sweet and slow-burn. I loved watching Raphael and Iris fall for each other - especially Iris falling for Raphael. How she learns more about him and is still drawn to him. How she grows to care about him more and more, with every secret she uncovers. Raphael can't help but fall for her, because she becomes a constant that he wants, needs, and loves.

    This book is quite steamy, which I appreciated! I mentioned earlier in my review that Raphael refused to have sex with Iris (at first). He has his reasons. But that doesn't mean they couldn't do... other things. The sexy times get creative, before there is "actual" sex. I was all for it!

    This book has an edge and an excitement to it that isn't as present in the other books. Likely because this book deals with a man who wants revenge and he is out for blood. Taking down the Lords of Chaos is everything to Raphael. There is a lot of blood and murder in this book. There are a lot of high stakes. But this book ends extremely well, so don't worry about the HEA. It's an awesome ending to a wonderful series. Yes, this is the end of the series!

    What I Did Not Like:

    I can't think of anything I didn't like!

    Would I Recommend It:

    I highly recommend this book, and the entire series in general. The Maiden Lane series is quite possibly my favorite historical romances series ever. I've never stuck it out with a twelve-book series before, but there is no way I would have missed any of the books in this series. This final book is particularly good, a masterpiece that Hoyt has perfected for readers. It's worth all of the pain and hurt and angst, because this book is still a sweet novel, above all of that. If you don't want to read the entire series (you should though!), read Duke of Midnight, Duke of Sin, and Duke of Desire.

    Rating:

    5 stars. Hoyt has outdone herself with this conclusion novel. I am so happy with this book, and the series, and I'm also so sad to see the series end. I am definitely excited about new projects that Hoyt might be working on though!

    YAAAAAAASSSSS! Raphael and Iris for the win!

  • Hollis

    Maybe it was unfair to expect anything to live up to my last read, it could be argued nothing really stood a chance no matter what I picked up, but also.. uh.. this was really not enjoyable? It felt the least

    -y of all the series. We get a pretty brief/minor appearance of one of the characters from the last book (and not even my favourite one) but otherwise it was full of more Lords of Chaos doom and gloom without any of the fun.

    Both leads were a pretty big disappointment, though kudo

    Maybe it was unfair to expect anything to live up to my last read, it could be argued nothing really stood a chance no matter what I picked up, but also.. uh.. this was really not enjoyable? It felt the least

    -y of all the series. We get a pretty brief/minor appearance of one of the characters from the last book (and not even my favourite one) but otherwise it was full of more Lords of Chaos doom and gloom without any of the fun.

    Both leads were a pretty big disappointment, though kudos to Hoyt on giving both the male and the villain these backstories, and some of the story felt disjointed. I'm super sad that this is the end and that I'm left with this feeling after everything. Which is, generally, disappointed. Though new to the author's writing, I have loved this series, even if some of the books along the way were [insert sound of record screeching here], and really hoped it would have gone out with a bang instead of a mewl. I'm mixing metaphors. But you get it.

    At this point I'm now pinning a lot of hopes on the novellas that follows this -- even if the series is technically over -- to recapture the glory of St Giles and the legacy of all these wonderful characters. No pressure though.

  • ♥Rachel♥

    Iris Jordan finds herself in the middle of the Lords of Chaos latest diabolical plan when they mistake her for the Duke of Kyle’s wife and kidnap her. Lucky for her Raphael is there, trying to infiltrate their horrid group rescues her from rape, torture, and possibly death. These men are despicable! Unaware of Raphael’s true intentions, Iris shoots Raphael as he’s trying to get her to safety. Ooops!

    Snatching Iris away from the Lords of Chaos as his own was no easy task. To continue the deceptio

    Iris Jordan finds herself in the middle of the Lords of Chaos latest diabolical plan when they mistake her for the Duke of Kyle’s wife and kidnap her. Lucky for her Raphael is there, trying to infiltrate their horrid group rescues her from rape, torture, and possibly death. These men are despicable! Unaware of Raphael’s true intentions, Iris shoots Raphael as he’s trying to get her to safety. Ooops!

    Snatching Iris away from the Lords of Chaos as his own was no easy task. To continue the deception Raphael realizes he must marry her to keep her safe. Which is in no way a hardship since he’s longed for Iris from afar for quite some time now. Unfortunately, Raphael believes his tainted line must die with him and, so he plans on the marriage to be in name only. Poor Raphael.

    Iris has met Raphael before, they shared a dance and she was fascinated and maybe a little afraid of the man. Just being next to him felt dangerous and thrilling, but she never counted on marrying him! As they get to know each other well in a short period of time, she hopes their marriage can be a love match after all. Raphael may feel responsible for the sins of his father, but Iris has other ideas for the two of them. She’s drawn to him and she knows he’s attracted to her even though he fights it every step of the way. Can she dispel his fears? Add to their dilemmas are the Lords of Chaos scheming to take them out for good.

    Iris and Raphael had some obstacles to overcome with their romance, and I loved their journey! Raphael had damage from the past, but Iris was determined to help him to see the light, and prove he was someone worthy of love and happiness. My heart ached for Raphael, so I was happy he had Iris to help with his dark times. Raphael couldn’t resist his desire for Iris and every time they were alone they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Lusty, heated encounters between them crumbled Raphael’s resolve a little more each time.

    was full of passion, peril, and conflicted emotion, but wrapped up so very sweetly! I’ve read and loved the Maiden Lane series, so I’m sorry that this is the last book! Elizabeth Hoyt’s beautiful writing made this series come alive; exciting and daring, making each book a thrilling read! I’m anxious to find out what she plans next!

  • WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Kidnapped and brought as an offering to the Lords of Chaos, Iris improbably finds herself rescued by the towering Wolf.

    Now a man and ready to take on the insidious Lords of Chaos, Raphael, finds himself saving a woman he can't forget a shared waltz with.

    Raphael's scars run deeper than just the surface but Iris is determined to show him he's wor

    I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Kidnapped and brought as an offering to the Lords of Chaos, Iris improbably finds herself rescued by the towering Wolf.

    Now a man and ready to take on the insidious Lords of Chaos, Raphael, finds himself saving a woman he can't forget a shared waltz with.

    Raphael's scars run deeper than just the surface but Iris is determined to show him he's worthy of love.

    With the Lords of Chaos looming over them, Raphael and Iris will show that love is the greater strength.

     

    The twelfth installment in the Maiden Lane series brings us to a resurgence of the Lords of Chaos. Previously thought snuffed out in the last book, a new Dionysius leader has emerged and stronger than ever. You actually wouldn't need to read any other books in the series, maybe just the previous one as you get an introduction to the Lords of Chaos. As this is placed in the Maiden Lane series, I was a little disappointed that we didn't get any previous characters to check up on; the Duke of Kyle from the previous book makes an appearance but that is all.

     

     

    If you read the previous book, you'll remember the Duke of Dyemore, Raphael, introduced as a hulking scarred beast who waltzes with Iris. Here he rescues her and in order to keep her safe from the Lords of Chaos, he marries her. Iris was a bit dull as heroine but with the focus so heavily on Raphael's past with the Lords of Chaos, she didn't get a fully rounded out story. We know she didn't have a loving marriage and she cares for Raphael, but I didn't feel why she cared for him so soon. Iris ended up being a ghost on the pages to me.

     

    Raphael's childhood trauma dominated the story and was extremely heavy. Frankly, that's all it felt like his character was, I didn't learn anything else about him. His attraction to Iris seemed to be based on one waltz and because she seemed like a golden light to him. A lot of their relationship was Raphael wanting to keep Iris on some sort of pedestal, away from his defiling hands, but this also creates a blank spot of him never really knowing and connecting with her.

     

    After a darkly adventurous start, the story took a bit of a slow turn. The first half was basically Iris wandering around Raphael's gloomy Abbey, trying to learn his servants’ names, and disregarding Raphael's warnings of danger. Iris' lack of understanding or listening to Raphael about the danger ended up making her feel pretty vacuous at times, too.

     

    With the focus so much on childhood pain (childhood sexual abuse is discussed prominently here), it made it extremely hard to switch gears and follow along to a sex scene, no matter how it was handled. In fact, the whole heavier tone of this one had a very uneven feeling with the usual Hoyt naughty sexual scenes.

     

    The romance was lacking for me here with Iris not showing up completely and Raphael dealing with extremely traumatizing pain. Their lack of romantic connection kept me from feeling them and the Lords of Chaos brought such a heavy disturbing emotional toll, this ended up not being a very fun read. Hoyt's atmospheric writing can't be denied but after following along with the Maiden Lane series for so long, I guess I was personally looking for a more uplifting, sigh, and smile ending.

  • Lady Wesley

    I'm sorry to see the Maiden Lane series end because I have enjoyed all eleven of the previous installments. I cannot say that I enjoyed this one though.

    Yes, there is Elizabeth Hoyt's gothic atmospherics, deft plotting, and excellent pacing, as well as her outstanding characterization. She is a first-rate writer. If the danger and adventure had come from a group of evil men who were, say, French spies or jewel thieves, I imagine I would have enjoyed the book.

    The villains, however, are a group of

    I'm sorry to see the Maiden Lane series end because I have enjoyed all eleven of the previous installments. I cannot say that I enjoyed this one though.

    Yes, there is Elizabeth Hoyt's gothic atmospherics, deft plotting, and excellent pacing, as well as her outstanding characterization. She is a first-rate writer. If the danger and adventure had come from a group of evil men who were, say, French spies or jewel thieves, I imagine I would have enjoyed the book.

    The villains, however, are a group of aristocrats who kidnap, torture, and rape women and children for their own entertainment. The book opens with one of their midnight orgies out in the countryside, and Iris is the chosen victim. Her ordeal is horrifying, until Raphael the Duke of Dyemore rescues her and takes her to his gloomy home in an old abbey. Dyemore's late father had been the Lords leader, but Dyemore has joined the group in order to sabotage and put an end to it.

    There is a romance between the two, but Iris turns out to be a rather bland character, while Dyemore is so scarred by his childhood trauma that it seems impossible that ever will be normal. Their lives are constantly in danger because the Lords have sworn to kill them both. On the one hand, I found the Lords to be almost laughable, what with their masks and feuds and standing around naked to perform their paganish rituals. On the other hand, though, they were grown, presumably responsible gentlemen, with every right and privilege known to man, and they were rapists, torturers, and murderers.

    Elizabeth Hoyt doesn't spare the details, and in a way, I admire her for that. It was just too dark for me, and I found it jarring to switch from discussions of child abuse to hot sexual encounters between Iris and Dyemore. So here is my complaint in a nutshell -- too little romance; too much horror.

    Finally, I was hoping for a brighter conclusion to the series, perhaps with some of the characters from earlier stories appearing, or at least being discussed. I admit that in a series this long it would be hard to do that and work in a new romance at the same time, and the whole thing would amount to just one giant epilogue. So I was a bit disappointed.

    I was given an advance review copy of this book by the author, and as you can tell, that did not affect my rating, but I am grateful for her generosity.

  • RachelW (BamaGal)

    This one is all Lords of Chaos. No Ghost, and no Maiden Lane/St. Giles. Although the LOC were supposedly defeated in the last book, they are back; and stronger and more evil than ever. I found the story to be uneven at best. The romance was bogged down by erotic escapades, the H had a

    of psychological damage, and the atrocities by the LOC were enough to turn the stomach. It was bad enough for the women who were sexually assaulted; but the abuse of the little boys by the group was unthinkable

    This one is all Lords of Chaos. No Ghost, and no Maiden Lane/St. Giles. Although the LOC were supposedly defeated in the last book, they are back; and stronger and more evil than ever. I found the story to be uneven at best. The romance was bogged down by erotic escapades, the H had a

    of psychological damage, and the atrocities by the LOC were enough to turn the stomach. It was bad enough for the women who were sexually assaulted; but the abuse of the little boys by the group was unthinkable.

    All in all, I wish this particular storyline had not been saved for the end of the series. I just felt like it beat down the reader's emotionally and was high on the 'ick' factor. It would have been nice to end the series with a story that said goodbye to the characters and the world in a more pleasant fashion; one that didn't leave a bad taste in my mouth...and especially one that I enjoyed reading more.

  • Bubu

    Raphael de Chartres, the new Duke of Dyemore since his father’s death in

    , has come back to England to finally destroy the infamous Lords of Chaos, a secret society of degenerates who were led by his father for years and indulged in all sorts of unspeakable crimes against women and children. To do so, he has infiltrated said society, pretending to be one of them, and kill the new leader, the

    whose real identity is unknown, even by the members of the Lor

    Raphael de Chartres, the new Duke of Dyemore since his father’s death in

    , has come back to England to finally destroy the infamous Lords of Chaos, a secret society of degenerates who were led by his father for years and indulged in all sorts of unspeakable crimes against women and children. To do so, he has infiltrated said society, pretending to be one of them, and kill the new leader, the

    whose real identity is unknown, even by the members of the Lords themselves.

    The

    and the rest of the Lords of Chaos, still holding a grudge against the Duke of Kyle (Hugh from

    ), abduct Lady Iris Jordan, falsely assuming she’s the new Duchess of Kyle. Raphael, who has met Iris at a ball months prior to the events with which this book starts, instantly realises the mistake and rescues Iris from the clutches of rapists and murderers. Not knowing Raphael’s real intentions, Iris shoots Raphael and seriously wounds him. So much so that he can’t do more to protect her identity and reputation, and proposes marriage. Being married to the Duke of Dyemore will assure security for Iris in the short run - until Raphael recuperates enough to strike again. And so begins the marriage of convenience between Raphael and Iris at the family seat, Dyemore Abbey. A place where Raphael experienced the most painful and shocking betrayal possible: the sexual abuse by his - up until then beloved - father.

    Iris, who met her new husband only once at the ball in

    , slowly comes to understand that Raphael is haunted by demons of his past whilst nursing him back to health,. What exactly it is, is revealed later. But she’s fascinated by this man she likens to Hades. Raphael, on the other hand, has always kept an eye on Iris ever since the ball, and upon learning that she didn’t marry the Duke of Kyle, is equally thrilled and appalled by the idea to call the woman he’s been fascinated with for months, his wife. She’s everything he is not. Where she has hopes for the future, Raphael can’t think beyond the destruction of the Lords of Chaos. Where she is light, he is darkness.

    The story runs smoothly with the easiness I am accustomed to by Ms. Hoyt. Nothing is too flowery and – as always – there is a keen eye on the little details. From the surroundings, the fashion, the mannerisms to the ticks and quirks of the characters, the secondary characters included, thus creating a vivid picture of the time and the main protagonists. Taking the subject matter into account, there are only a few scenes that allow for some humorous relief, such as Raphael making it clear that he loathes tea in a manner that had me smiling. But

    is Raphael’s story.

    If Raphael is darkness and Iris his light, there’s no room for Iris to be anything but nigh angelic. She has an answer to almost everything, her patience endless, her positive outlook unwavering. And, sadly, that becomes dull very quickly. Now, I’m a reader who likes her characters flawed, something I can relate to, and watch them grow as the story moves along. Iris is a strong woman, knows what she wants and doesn’t hesitate to express her wishes. But she’s simply perfect. At the same I can’t fault her either, seeing that that’s what Raphael needs.

    Raphael is deeply tortured, as one can imagine. And the shame, self-loathing and anger he displays is poignant and true. The panic attack, in particular, was difficult to stomach. Knowing what the trigger was, already imagining how the trigger was created, was one of the hardest scenes to read. There’s another scene, which I’ll not put in a spoiler, where I had to put the book aside for a few hours. Iris turns out to be probably his last chance to a normal life. But for that to happen, he must destroy the Lords of Chaos first.

    There is a scene quite at the beginning of the book, told from

    point of view during one of their despicable orgies that first night and it gives the reader a fairly good idea how far these men are willing to go to fulfil their ‘fantasies’. It’s neither graphic nor gratuitous, only two or three sentences. But Ms. Hoyt is too talented an author, her few words evoking the horror these men cause and it set the tone for me, and - along with additional scenes later – I could never shake it off.

    This was my main problem with the book. It’s not only dark; it deals with child abuse and rape. And although I’ll be forever grateful for a childhood as carefree as possible, I still find it extremely difficult to read about it.

    Ms. Hoyt doesn’t make light of it. To say so wouldn’t be true. The epilogue also makes it clear that Raphael – although having found happiness - will probably never truly heal. The Lords of Chaos story line has been going through the past 4-5 books, and if we didn’t know what these men were capable of, Valentine Napier and his kittens gave us a good glimpse already.

    This is quite difficult to put into words. I love this author’s eloquent writing. That’s why I also said she was too talented an author. She doesn’t need to be graphic. But what is a praise for her talent, backfires at the same time. I remember reading

    , having a grand time, loving every moment Val would open his mouth, grinning, laughing – until the ‘Kitten’ scene. All laughter was forgotten.

    Is much darker, and as much as I tried, I couldn’t just simply go from being appalled to embracing the budding romance, which at times happened within the same scene. I must admit, I don’t think that the page count was enough to truly explore/solve the subject matter satisfactorily. But this topic actually never does. The only book that I can think of and which left me gobsmacked by how carefully this had been handled with, was J.R. Ward’s

    .

    The

    series is not quite finished. There’s at least one novella still coming, if not two. I’m not sure about that. But definitely one novella. But - not being a big fan of novellas - as far as I am concerned, the series has come to an end. I am equally relieved and saddened at this point. Relieved because the last few books were running out of steam, shorter, with less time to explore the characters. And saddened because it ended on such a dark note. I wish the author had switched

    and

    around. At the end, Hugh helps Raphael bring the Lords of Chaos down, anyway.

    At the same time, I am also glad because I am already looking forward to Ms. Hoyt’s new stories. I neither really liked nor disliked

    , and though, I may have ranted about

    , this author is still miles better than most HR authors, even the established and very popular ones, in my opinion.

    On this note: Go, go, Ms. Hoyt, and thanks for the entertainment you’ve given me and the laughter, the wonderfully steamy sexy times, for Griffin, Godric, Meg, Asa and Eve, Val and Bridget, and all the others I haven’t mentioned.


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