Thursday, December 13, 2018

Not the Duke's Darling - Historical Romance Review

Goodreads:  Not the Duke's Darling (The Greycourt #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Rating: Very Good
Source: Publisher

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 amongst 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, Harlowe will have to earn Freya's trust-by whatever means necessary.

Genre: Romance - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:
  I really enjoyed another book by this author and am really curious to start this new series.

My Impression:
  I'm still relatively new to Elizabeth Hoyt but I fully intend make up for lost time.  I normally love my historical romance to be on the light side with lots of witty banter.  While there is banter there's a decided edge to the banter and the mood is much more dark than romp.  However, that didn't keep me from thoroughly enjoying this book right from the start.

Freya is all action with lots of prickles and an enormous backstory.  Christopher is dragging around and equally fraught backstory and has walls built around his walls.  He does have a dog named Tess who in my head is a yellow lab mix and I want to hug her.  They have serious chemistry with a hefty dose of antagonism.

This book features two of my least favorite plot devices - hidden identity and revenge - but somehow here it just works.  It helps that the hidden identity isn't so much hidden as one not recognizing the other and the other not mentioning exactly who they are.  I don't know exactly why the revenge worked but it did!

This wasn't flawless. I found all the mentions of Wise Women a bit annoying after awhile and it always drives me crazy when there's a huge traumatic event in the characters' past that's only vaguely mentioned but isn't fully explained - or at least not for more than a quarter of the book.  However, these were fairly mild annoyances and didn't keep me from enjoying the book in the slightest.

All the Scottish mentions, the house party, the suspense, and the mystery mixed in with the romance made this fantastic snuggle under a blanket with a hot cup of tea winter reading.    

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  I really need to go back and read her previous series and I'm looking forward to continuing this one.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy historical romance with a more serious lean I think you'd really love this one!

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I like history and romance as well in between the gory stuff!

  2. I don't usually read historical fiction but this does sound good.

  3. Katherine you have sorely tempted me. I must try it.

  4. I might just read this - I read one of her series from about 10 years ago and loved it. What's great is this is the first in a series, yay.

  5. Oh yeah. She always has a little bit of a darker edge to hers than most historicals, I think. She's such a good one, though :)

  6. I haven't read Hoyt yet but her books are on my radar. I think that the fact that this is a bit darker makes it more appealing to me. Glad you enjoyed it!