The Maiden Lane series gets better and better and then better! I could not wait to read Alf and the Duke of Kyle’s story! I’m still relatively new to this series but I am hooked on Hoyt’s writing! Her stories, that I have read, are always filled with action, tension, excitement and suspense! “The Duke of Pleasure” is no exception.
We first meet The Duke of Kyle in the previous book “The Duke of Sin”-which was absolutely fantastic. We meet Alf in the previous two books and as we all probably know at this point; Alf is a woman. She lives in St. Giles and dresses like a boy for security reasons. Alf has lived on the street of Giles for years. Alf makes an appearance in, I believe, the previous two books. She is paid by the Duke of Montgomery to gather up information. The Duke of Kyle contracts her for the same purpose in the previous book but she cannot help him since the Duke of Kyle wants her to gather information on the Duke of Montgomery. Hoyt also introduces a sinister and sick society in “The Duke of Sin.” There we learn about a group of high society men that are a part of “Lords of Chaos.” In “the Duke of Pleasure” Kyle is trying to end this society and quickly realizes that they have affected him in a very personal way.
First, the plot is fantastic! Alf is such a lovely character. She is strong and fierce. She has moments where she is Alf and moments where she is The Ghost of St. Giles. But, she is never really herself- a woman. Alf is quick with a sword and even quicker jumping from roof top to roof top. But as a woman she is completely vulnerable.
Kyle was a little more complex. He was married to a woman that notoriously cheated on him, when she suddenly dies, he has to return to London -after a self-inflicted exile- to care for his boys. Kyle is also a spy for the king and is working to take down this sinister, secret society. He needs Alf’s help in order to gain information.
I loved Kyle and Alf! They had great chemistry and Alf is no sipping -tea -Miss. She is an action hero caught up in a regency period. Kyle, although a Duke, is a bastard that was acknowledge by the king as his own son. Kyle is very driven and in many ways emotionally shut off. He is limited by who he thinks he should be and who he thinks “should” be his wife. This story is action driven, between uncovering the truth of “The Lord of Chaos” and numerous attacks on both Kyle and Alf, this is an exhilarating story. My one little complain is that I wanted Kyle to have more emotion with Alf. There were many moments where they shared something intimate that I thought conversation or introspection should have followed-but didn’t. Nonetheless, such a great read. This is the kind of book where you struggle to finish quickly because you want to see how the story unfolds yet don’t want it to end. Just when I thought I could sit back and not count down till the next book… Hoyt gives us Iris and the Duke of Dyemore.
Hoyt really knows how to plot out a book. Iris, a secondary character and whom the next book is about, was so interesting. She is by no means a primary character but I’m already counting down to her and the Duke of Dyemore’s story, “The Duke of Desire.” I will just say it starts with Iris’ kidnapping and Dyemore getting shot… the countdown begins!
**ARC provided by Publisher**