Not the Duke’s Darling by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Greycourt #1
Published by Forever on December 18, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Narrator: Ashford McNab
Length: 10 Hours and 36 Mins
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt brings us the first book in her sexy and sensual Greycourt Series!
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.
Features a bonus novella from New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes!
Not The Duke’s Darling is the first book in the latest series from Elizabeth Hoyt. I have to admit I don’t know why it took me so long to read this book, I have been such a fan of this author for so many years, and I have adored the way she has grown in her writing (although I still say her earlier books are pure gold) and even though I was very curious about this series I wasn’t quite sure that I wanted to try this out because of all the mixed reviews of this one. I was actually disappointed it didn’t receive a more positive feedback but finally I saw this available at my library and knew that I needed to grab it up and yeah this audio took almost a week to forge through. Quite frankly I wasn’t sure that I wanted to stick with this one. I struggled so much with wanting to listen to it. Now at first I found the story highly engaging but man this heroine was a struggle for me to like at all. Which is probably why it took so long to get this listened to.
Not The Duke’s Darling is a story of a young woman, Freya, who is on the run in the efforts to save an innocent child and return her to her mother. And is saved by Christopher, the Duke of Harlowe. Christopher is a man that Freya once considered a childhood friend but then blames him for what happened to her brother and his downfall. Now Freya is part of the “Wise Women” which is a group of women residing in Scotland in efforts to keep a bill from passing in England’s parliament about burning and witches. Freya is determined to do whatever it takes to keep that from happening despite the distraction that Christopher is to her, but life tends to get complicated when you least expect it.
I will say that while there were some pivotal plot points that I had a blast with, I really struggled with this story. It had its entertaining value at some points, but quite frankly, the heroine was very prickly and bitter at times and that aspect just really turned me off from the story. She is a character that I wanted to really like but I just couldn’t in many ways. It was highly disappointing though because in the beginning of the book you are highly intrigued by her drive and passion but it just flames out quickly and I just couldn’t like her even in the end.
The romance was quite interesting, I did find that part enjoyable especially in Christopher’s part, in just seeing the good parts of her. I really admired him as the hero of the story, he tends to not get turned off by her frosty exterior that is meant to push him away. I liked that he didn’t let that deter him and never gives up on Freya and what they have together. He just has a solid character and was gold for me and to be honest he is the reason the rating of this book isn’t lower. He really makes up for the negative feelings I had on this story.
Overall, despite some issues I had with the story, I found The Duke’s Darling to be an interesting beginning to the series, it has a unique take on culture and society and some plot twists that leaves you wanting to know more.