Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt (Maiden Lane #12) *review and giveaway*

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 involes herself in his life—and bed. Soon he’s drawn to 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?

  

I’m in a deep hole of denial that this series is over. I held the book, read it, devoured it actually and I still managed to delude myself into thinking that this isn’t the end. I had a lot of expectations for this book. This is my absolute favorite Historical Romance series, along with the Wallflowers. This is the longest, most detailed, most immersive historical romance world I’ve ever been in period. So this last book had a lot to live up to….and it so did.

Raphael, Duke of Dyemore is a tortured, brooding man who is haunted by his past and has a singular purpose in his life…destroy the Lords of Chaos. He infiltrates the Lords with the goal of dismantling them once and for all. But they kidnapped the wrong woman to debauch and sacrifice. Raphael rescues her! Under the guise that he will kill her. He has no intention of killing her and soon realizes that the Lords of Chaos will not let them live when they realize that she hasn’t been killed so the only recourse is of course to marry her. And there starts our sweeping story.

For such a short book this had me at the edge of my seat! There was never a lull in the plot. Something was always happening or being discovered or almost always in our reach. The pacing in this was just masterful. Hoyt does one thing well and she does it to perfection. Its always a wonder to me when I read one of her books. They always follow the same basic formula but somehow are always distinct, fresh and delightfully entertaining. This book can measure up to many of the stronger ones in the series I’d say.

There were so many interesting details in this book. I loved how Raphael was half Corsican. I’ve never heard of anyone in any book no matter what genre, being Corsican so that was a nice touch! The Duke’s mother was Corsican and when he leaves England as a young boy he lives there for most of his life and also his servants are all Corsican. I want to hug Hoyt for adding this to the story! She always adds something different to her books!

The vibe of this book was so dark and a little bit gothic. This is literally the shining characteristic for me in an Elizabeth Hoyt historical…..the setting being in Georgian England and the story being darker than most historicals. We have a sadistic side of the story with the lords of Chaos story line, which has been a secondary/primary story line for some books now. When Iris first arrived at Dyemore Abbey I got so many Jane Eyre vibes! Because she’s with a guy she doesn’t know arriving in this huge dark and creepy mansion. She just met this guy at basically a sadistic sex cult, he whisks her away she manages to shoot him but woops he’s actually trying to rescue her and then BAM she has to marry him for her own safety….just wow.

I have to say there were also intense Hades and Persephone vibes in this book and I was lit for them! That is my favorite ship and these two omg dead ringers for Hades and Persephone. I mean come on in the end of the previous book we meet Raphael at a costume party where he dances with Iris and he’s dressed at the Lord of the Underworld. *FEELS*

I have to talk about Iris. Wow I loved her! I didn’t expect to love her as much as I did. She would not take any of Raphael’s shit and she would not back down! Iris, Lady Jordan is a widow in her late twenties. She was in a very loveless marriage with her previous husband who was also 10 years her senior. She thought she was going to marry the Duke of Kyle but he ended up falling in love in the previous book with someone else and got married. Iris was a bit disappointed because she’s tired of being alone so she completely took advantage of her situation when she ended up married to Raphael de Chartres, The Duke of Dyemore. I love that she decided to make her otherwise dire and confusing situation into an amazing opportunity.

While she nurses Raphael back to health (after she shot him lol) she begins to realize he might not be how she thought he’d be like. She wants to know him and try and make this marriage work. Raphael is resistant he fears the darkness and malice of his father might have been passed down to him, he doesn’t trust himself. Watching him open up and feel the light and acceptance that Iris brings into his life left me teary eyed. Iris is resolved to be happy no matter what. She wants the companionship she was always denied; while Raphael is denying himself happiness and companionship.

Guys I simply adored this book. I wish it were longer I ate it up! Seriously I prolonged the reading another day just because I didn’t want it to end. This was a sexy and heartfelt final book. I was a little upset that we end the series in the actual maiden lane but oh well. You will not be disappointed with this tale of redemption and love. It’s so good; you’ll be in denial that it’s the last book just like me 

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About the Author:
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


stars are an inadequate way of rating this book

I will never forget the first time I found out about Harry Potter. I was in second grade, the other second grade class were all reading this weird little book. They had all just come back from the school library all holding it and by chance the one other girl that I knew in that class walked past me and I gathered up all my courage (I was painfully shy) and asked her…” hey what is that book that you all are reading?” she said; “Oh its Harry Potter” I was intrigued..so I asked her what it was about she said..”oh its about witches and magic”

this feeling overtook me at that moment…..I had to have this book…I’ve never felt something so intense…I wanted to know about magic., I NEEDED to know about magic. So I asked my mom if she could please buy me this book…we didn’t have a car or much money but but she could see how much I wanted this book so we walked to CVS on a lovely September day and they had a cute display of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I had no idea that this wasn’t the first book so I got it and devoured it… and I was immersed in this world of magic and fantasy…it saved me from my not so magical surroundings and in Harry Potter I found another kid who just like me, didn’t fit in with his family and felt totally alone. I went to the library and got my hands on all the harry potter books that I couldn’t buy and when I turned 11 I waited by a window in my old new england house by an even more ancient heater, looking out the window waiting for my owl, to tell me that I would be taken away and off to Hogwarts.

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Autumn Reads Recs


Hey guys! So today I thought I’d recommend some perfectly autumnal reads for you all. Whenever the weather gets a bit chillier I always want to curl up with a specific kind of book. Preferably for me, atmospheric and lyrical books, Fantasy, Paranormal and of course Thrillers! So here are some recommendations! Some are books I’ve read and haven’t read that I just think have the vibe for a nice autumn read!

~ The first book The Secret History by Donna Tartt, has to be the most autumn book ever. Seriously. All the pictures you see on bookstagram are the moodiest fall pictures. It’s set in a New England college and surrounds a group of quirky nerds who study the classics and theres a murder! Doesn’t that sound Autumn AF. I actually own this book (bookstagram made me lol) And I hope to read it very soon!
~The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry is set in Victorian London and has a host of characters searching for the mythical Essex serpent. It’s meant to be spectacular and I love historical fiction for every day but it’s such an autumn genre as well. I own this one as well and the cover is aesthetic goals!
~The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is more of a late November read because it’s a Russian Fairytale retelling filled with lush wintery landscapes that fit the mood. I own a copy of this one and the cover is so wintery and autumnal. I also think Russian retellings are perfect for this time of year.
~The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, oh this is THE autumn book; its adult high fantasy and so atmospheric and easy to get lost in the world on a brisk autumn day. I recently read this and it has become one of my favorite books ever.
~Uprooted by Naomi Novak, this is a Slavic inspired book that’s also a fantasy and deals with magic and mystical forest so total fall vibes. I haven’t read this but I own it and it makes a lot of appearances on my bookstagram.
~ The House of Leaves is meant to be the creepiest most unsettling book ever written. That’s all I’ll say about that. I own it (got it for a steal at a thrift shop) and I’m terrified to read it.
~The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, this is such a good book! I don’t want to say a lot about it but it’s very VERY atmospheric and is set in Victorian London in a magical circus.
~The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, so I’ve been meaning to read this book for years! I don’t know much about it but I do know that’s its Laini Taylor and her writing is some of the best in Fantasy imo. So her prose is perfect for autumn.
~The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater this is a YA paranormal series that is serious autumn vibes. Filled with psychics, dead welsh kings, curses and ghosts. I really like this series! I only have one book left that I hope to read this autumn.
~In the Woods by Tana French, This is a thriller set in Dublin, Ireland that has to do with children going missing in the woods and only one surviving with no memory of what happened. Years later he becomes a detective and a similar thing happens to another girl in the city and he heads the investigation to find out what happens and creepy things happen along the way. I really want to read this and its arrived in my library today!!! I’M SO HYPE. Also, its going to be a show soon on the BBC.
~The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. All I know about this book is that it deals with Vlad the Impaler and I’m sold. History and vampires? Sign me up.
~A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, I’m currently reading this and really enjoying it. The vibes it has are unreal, old oxford libraries, witches, vampires, ENGLAND literally during the autumn, Magic and lost manuscripts.
~The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman; I’ve only read one other Hoffman book before; Blackbird pond and that is also serious autumn vibes book. This book is meant to be about short stories about the history of this small Massachusetts town…..did you say autumn? Yeah, I basically did.
~The Witching Hour by Anne Rice, so Anne Rice, New Orleans, a family of witches…yea I don’t need to say more.
~Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery. Yea read this October you won’t regret it.

~Every single Harry Potter book.
That’s it! I hope you found some books you’d want to read. Let me know if you did ❤

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

The Duchess Deal (Girl Meets Duke, #1)The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


So let me tell you about this magical book I read……………………

Guys this book is such a magical delight! It’s the perfect historical romance comfort read. Especially since its Tessa Dare and she always has this harmonious blend of heart clenching romantic, laugh out loud funny and quirky freshness.

The Duchess Deal is about a scarred, broody duke who, after a broken engagement, literally marries the first women he sees! (Yes, I know perfect premise)


“Your Grace, I regret the interruption, but there’s a young woman to see you. She’s wearing a wedding gown.”

……and Emma Gladstone, the unassuming seamstress with a bone to pick with the Duke, becomes his duchess.
He has rules, and so does she and herein starts the story of how they break their rules and fall in love.

The Duke of Ashbury was so broody and I ate it up. He was a lovable curmudgeon who fights his path the love every step of the way. He was scarred horribly in his face during war and isn’t out in society because of it. But he has such a good heart! He’s fiercely loyal to his staff and to Emma<3 he’s also fucking hilarious! He has such a sharp wit; some of the things he said had me in stitches!

“There” He stood back, chest heaving with exertion. “I made you a fire. You may now admire my manliness.”
“I do rather.”

The whole dynamic between them is so swoony! And not only them but the staff in the house all conspiring to get them together was so adorable!
Oh Emma, I fell in love with her. Mostly with the way she loved Ash (double swoon) she brought out the best in Ash, it was lovely to see. She is so caring and gentle but at the same time incredibly strong she is by far one of my favorite Tessa Dare heroines.
The plot went along smoothly I loved how Emma found her little niche with a group of quirky women just like herself (groups of quirky women seem to be a TD trademark) I’m looking forward to reading more about them

Also! Slight spoiler I think…my favorite scene was with Emma and her friends in the bookstore and that mysterious gentleman comes along asking Penelope for book recs! And they switch books! And we don’t even know how name!!! way to string me along Tessa!!! Omg that scene!!!

This book is classic Tessa Dare magic with all the best troupes I highly recommend this book if you want a swoony time.


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October TBR


Its officially every readers favorite time of year!
October is my absolute favorite and I always get a bit panicking because I want to read every creepy, scary, thriller and I’m the most distracted reader *eye roll* but on my list for this month there are a fair few of Autumnal reads and some carry overs from last month’s TBR.
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (physical, Historical romance) this one has been a long time coming! I got the ebook when it first came out but couldn’t finish so I’ve switched to physical book courtesy of my local library<3 I’m almost done with this book and I adore it.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (physical, ) This is a buddy read with my beloved Melanie! Its also such an October vibes book! I’ve been meaning to read this since high school and I’m stoked to be reading it! I’m actually starting it tomorrow! Lets hope I love it.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (physical, Historical, Reread) I know you’re tired of seeing this on so many TBR’s..so am I but I really do have hope that I’m going to get to finish it this month…next month…beginning of next month the absolute latest.
Duke of Desire (Maiden lane series #12) by Elizabeth Hoyt (ARC, historical romance) this beautiful book comes out this month in a couple weeks! And I’m due for a review the 17th so this is the month I read it!
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (physical, YA Fantasy) this is another buddy read with my book bestie Melanie! She was kind enough to send me an extra copy she has and I’m excited to discover a new author!
The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken (physical, YA fantasy) Whether or not I read this book and the follow books depends on when my library decides to send this to me. Because I’m been on the holds list since before it came out.
In the Woods by Tanna French (physical, Adult Thriller) I cannot wait to read this lets hope the library sends it to me this month. This is also getting adapted into a show in the BBC and its meant to be proper creepy! So that means perfect October read in my book.
The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman (physical, adult historical fiction) Library please send this to me soon! I love Alice Hoffman and this book is about a new England town and how it got founded and its meant to be filled with magical things. I’ve wanted to read this since I got a goodreads account and read Blackbird house by Alice as well.

I’m going to cross my fingers once a gain and hope I can get to all of these.

Posted in TBR

September Wrap Up

Its September Wrap up time! Well this will be short and sweet because I’ve only managed to read about 5 books this month. Let’s get to it

 First book I finished was The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (Physical, Historical Fiction, 5 stars) WOW this book. I almost didn’t write a review for this because it impacted me so much. I’m so happy I finally read it, since it’s been haunting me for a while now and for a good reason. I can safely say that it was one of the best book I’ve ever read and I’ll never forget it.
Next was a DNF Bad Reputation by Nicole Edwards (ARC, sports romance, eBook, DNF) this book was so bad. I don’t recommend anyone pick it up…well if you want to waste your time then go for it.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Physical, Fantasy, 5 stars) Yea this was also one of the best books I’ve ever read like ever. Now that I say that I realize September was really good reading month for me I find top favorites. This is a landmark of fantasy writing, a literal work of art. I highly recommend this read no matter what you like to read you’ll love this. Its atmospheric, lyrical, intense, magical and heart wrenching. Pick this up. I didn’t write a review for this book because I simply couldn’t the more a book impacts me the less I am able to articulate what it meant for me; which isn’t a good habit since I’m a book blogger but there you go.
The Shadowhunters by Cassandra Clare (physical, YA fantasy, 3 stars) this was quite enjoyable! Yes, it was repetitive but it is a ‘textbook’ for new shadowhunters. I loved learning about the shadowhunter things I didn’t know about. This is a great supplement for die hard SH fans. It’s a beautiful book which has notes from the characters in the margins and the most beautiful end papers I’ve ever seen.
Deathless by Catheryne M Valente (Physical, retelling, 4.5 stars) another all time favorite book that I’ll never forget. This is a retelling of a Russian folk tale but its also a fantasy, historical fiction, a romance its just everything. With the most lyrical prose I’ve ever read. This is a singular book and you should read it if you want something new and fresh and unlike anything. PS. Its aesthetic goals and so atmospheric.
The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne (ARC, ebook, historical romance 4.5 stars) wow what a lovely surprise this book was! This book releases today and its one of my fav HR of the year!!!! I don’t say that lightly. Kerrigan Byrne’s new release can’t be missed.
That’s all for my wrap up! Make sure to check out the reviews for most of these books to read more of my thoughts. Happy Reading!

The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

The Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels)The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

ARC courtesy of netgalley in exchange for an honest review


Oh guys are you in for a good time with this one! The Scot Beds His Wife is an engaging and fresh good time that you won’t want to put down at all.

4.5 stars!

The Scot is Gavin St James, the son of a brutish and sadistic Laird Mackenzie who made his childhood a living hell. Since surviving the trauma that was Hamish Mackenzie, Gavin had that he wanted nothing to do with being a Mackenzie or being his son. He wanted to establish his own name and land and find women to actually love and be unlike his sire in any way possible. The way to do that is to acquire Erradale Castle, the Ross family estate, and make it his….but Alison Ross stands in his way.

Enter Alison Ross. Alison hasn’t been in Scotland since she was a child she lives in America and never wants to go to Scotland. The Mackenzie’s and the Ross’ have bad blood so she will never let Gavin St. James/Mackenzie buy her family estate from her. So when she decides to finally travel to Scotland to stop him formally she gets landed right in the middle of a train robbery.

Here enters Samantha Masters. Sam is married to a notorious train robber and on a heist gone wrong she ends up killing her husband to spare Alison’s life. And here is where the story begins! Alison gives Sam what she’s always wanted a new start and life, her life and off to Scotland she goes to stop Gavin and be free. But oh nothing goes as planned.

Guys this book surprised me so much! I didn’t think I’d like as much as I did. It was so well paced and expertly written. The story was truly unlike any Highland or Historical I’ve read recently. I’ve only read very few books where the protagonist is America so I loved that! Sam was so strong willed and sharp tongued she was never without a pistol or her determination. She falls very easily into her role as head of an estate. I loved reading about all her knowledge of cattle and pistols she was just so much fun. It was so unique to meet orphan Mormon runaway ex train robber Wild West shooter woman end up in the Scottish highlands and falling for brutish aristocratic Scot The idea sounds so Outlandish but it works!

I have to say that this had my all time favorite troupe hate to love! Oh they hated each other and I was HERE for it I giggled every time they bickered and watching Gavin get so flustered at this foul mouth pistol waving American was so amusing.

To Gavin, Sam/Bonny/Alison LOL is so outlandish and so other to anything he’s accustomed to that he very quickly decides that he’ll do whatever it takes to get her on her back as a means to an end for him to get Erradale. He is SO attracted to her but hates her at the same time and she hates him thoroughly that when they come together its so satisfying! Their chemistry was palpable and it kept me glued to my kindle.

I loved every single side character in this book. Seriously I had so many ships it was ridiculous. I won’t say much about them because I don’t want to spoil but I’ll just say: Eammon, Callum and Liam. Speaking of Liam while reading about his dynamic with his wife I kept thinking “wow that would make a great book I wonder if its next” and omg I had forgotten that this is series! And Liam’s book has already been written that’s defiantly at the top of my TBR now.

I have to give a shout out to the writing once again Kerrigan has a way of describing Scotland that left me breathless. And the way Gavin’s blooming love is written was nothing short of perfect. It really glowed through the writing how much he admired her and cared for her imperfections more than anything else. I’m so happy that I gave this series another try and I’m beyond thankful for the publisher for approving me for this ARC!



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