Monday, 12 December 2016

Review: The Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

I love Elizabeth Hoyt's books, particularly her Maiden Lane series, which is historical romance set in Georgian England. The Duke of Pleasure is #11 in the series but you don't have to have read the others to enjoy the story. 

Hugh Fitzroy, the Duke of Kyle, is the illegitimate son of King George II, who uses him as a kind of spy for the work he can't trust anyone else to do. Hugh's current investigation is into the Lords of Chaos, a secret society of aristocrats, similar to The Hellfire Club. One night Hugh is ambushed by their assassins, but fortunately rescued by a notorious vigilante known as the Ghost of St Giles - who turns out to be a woman.

Ironically, the female 'Ghost' Hugh is now obsessed with is already known to him as the street urchin 'Alf', who lives on 'his' wits by dealing in information - for a price. It takes Hugh about half the novel to realise Alf's real identity, and me about the same amount of time to recognise a reworking of My Fair Lady, as Hugh trains Alf to pass herself off as an aristocrat to help him steal some important papers and finally catch the Lords of Chaos.

I enjoyed The Duke of Pleasure because it wasn't the usual girl-meets-rake historical romance, it had lots of action and adventure, as well as a bit of a mystery, and I loved the character of Alf. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Georgian romance.

The Ghost of St Giles (a kind of Georgian Batman) has appeared as a main character in three other Elizabeth Hoyt novels: Thief of Shadows (#4), Lord of Darkness (#5) and Duke of Midnight (#6). Alf has also appeared in other Maiden Lane books, mainly Lord of Darkness. So if you do want to read the other books in the series, you might want to start with those.

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