From the New York Times bestselling author of the Maiden Lane series comes the first book in a new series that "marries her irresistibly witty writing style with an intrigue-steeped plot," (Booklist) perfect for fans of Tessa Dare and Eloisa James.
Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe, the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family, appears at the country house party she's attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.
Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading among the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins-sins he'd much rather forget. But she's also fiery, bold, and sensuous-a temptation he can't resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he'll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, he will have to earn Freya's trust...by whatever means necessary.
Hoyt (the Maiden Lane series) falters with this historical trilogy launch set at an English house party in 1760. It opens with a rousing chase, but that's deceptive: matters proceed sluggishly among four plot lines and three perspectives. Christopher Renshaw, Duke of Harlowe, was best friends with Freya Stewart de Moray's older brother, Ran, until a melee left Ran's fianc e dead, Ran mutilated, Christopher banished, and Freya swearing vengeance on him. Freya became a member of the covenlike Wise Women. On their behalf, she has disguised herself as a dowdy companion to gentlewoman Arabella, covertly promoting feminist causes. She's using the party to stalk Christopher and investigate a murder as, for other reasons, is Freya's childhood friend Messalina Greycourt. Christopher, meanwhile, is being blackmailed by another guest with his dead wife's correspondence. Then there's the urgent requirement to marry off Arabella, for whom spinsterhood looms. All this plot is worked through in just over 300 pages, and scant attention is paid to emotional and character development. (The remaining page count is a charming novella by Grace Burrowes.) The first kiss is worth the wait, but overall, it's a forgettable outing by Hoyt.
Hoyt does it again!!
I was so excited to recieve an advance copy of Not the Duke’s Darling from Ms Hoyt. I blew through the story - such a gripping and flirtatious tale! Hoyt really cannot be beat when it comes to sex scenes.