This is a somewhat dark story that probably should be expected given Valentine’s nature and past actions. The fascination for me is in learning how and why he has become the amoral dissolute man he is and in watching Bridget finding a way through his defenses, both literally and emotionally. I love that she is a complex individual herself, with her own challenging background, which makes her a worthy adversary and gives Valentine enough of a challenge and an enigma to explore. Their romance develops in an atypical manner, and there were a few reactions that startled me but were perfectly in keeping with their characters once I stopped and thought about it. It is fascinating that the author was able to shade the actions of a pretty hateful man in such a way that one could understand his motivations, even while I wanted to punish him for some of his actions. I wasn’t thrilled by the climactic scene and its outcome as I think some things were quickly glossed over but I did enjoy reading the fairy tale that plays out at the beginning of each chapter and I think the overall story was definitely entertaining. There are enough gently dangling ends that tempt one to wonder about subsequent stories even while the requisite happy ending plays out and I look forward to more entries in this enjoyable series.
“Duke of Sin” by Elizabeth Hoyt is a historical romance that is part of the ‘Maiden Lane’ series and centers on Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery as he matches wits with Bridget Crumb, who is working in his household as housekeeper. They each discover that the other is hiding a multitude of secrets, but that doesn’t seem to stop their attraction from flourishing. It will be a challenge to find a common meeting ground since their objectives are very different, but finding a way to compromise may be fraught with more danger and require more exposure than either is prepared for.
A MAN OF SIN
Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.
A WOMAN OF HONOR
Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery's household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.
A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY THEM BOTH
Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can't resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets-and neither may be as nefarious-or as innocent-as they appear . . .