‘Duke of Midnight’ by Elizabeth Hoyt

dom ehSTORY: When a Masked Man . . .

Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents. Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament. But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer. One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe—and won’t back down . . .

Meets His Match . . .

Artemis Greaves toils as a lady’s companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress. When the Ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads, she recognizes a kindred spirit-and is intrigued. She’s even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious Ghost is by day . . .

Desire Ignites a Dangerous Passion

Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother-or she will expose him as the Ghost. But blackmailing a powerful duke isn’t without risks. Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire-or the temptation of his embrace?

REVIEW: At this point I’ve lost the count on this series …NOT! This is #6 and as in the books before it, we’ve already met the hero, Max. He is the Duke of Wakefield, heroine Hero’s (Notorious Pleasures) brother.

When we met him in her story, he was a very proper and stiff-upper-lip Duke. A bit cold and aloof, yet still a loving brother, if a bit strict. I was looking forward to his backstory and I loved the history the author gave him. I also liked the nod that the author did to the Batman’s Bruce Wayne. That was so cool!

I thought the heroine was one of those so well written and developed that she may as well have been the real Victorian women. Her backstory was very compelling and well done. She was strong, determined and very likable, not to mention witty.

Have you started reading this series yet? If not, I recommend it highly.

Her twin brother’s story is next and I’m chomping at a bit to read his story.

Melanie for b2b

‘Lord of Darkness’ by Elizabeth Hoyt

lod ehSTORY: When Strangers In The Night

He lives in the shadows. As the mysterious masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles, Godric St. John’s only goal is to protect the innocent of London. Until the night he confronts a fearless young lady pointing a pistol at his head—and realizes she is his wife.

Become Lovers…

Lady Margaret Reading has vowed to kill the Ghost of St. Giles—the man who murdered her one true love. Returning to London, and to the man she hasn’t seen since their wedding day, Margaret does not recognize the man behind the mask. Fierce, commanding, and dangerous, the notorious Ghost of St. Giles is everything she feared he would be—and so much more.

Desire Is The Ultimate Danger

When passion flares, these two intimate strangers can’t keep from revealing more of themselves than they had ever planned. But when Margaret learns the truth—that the Ghost is her husband—the game is up and the players must surrender…to the temptation that could destroy them both.

REVIEW: If the previous book is my favorite, then this is the second. This is #5 in this series, and I adored our hero as much as I did the heroine.

Once more this story picks up where the last book left off  and since we met both of these characters in those earlier books, you may as well read the whole series before you start on this one.

I actually started reading it with book #9 and since I loved that one, now I’m trying to play catch up:)

I loved the pace and action in this one as much as the wee bit of mystery in it.

All in all, worthy read and highly recommending it and  this whole series. Each book is filled with complex characters, entertaining plots with plenty of twists and turns, and a lot of romance with sensual love making.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Thief of Shadows’ by Elizabeth Hoyt

tos ehSTORY: A Masked Man . . .

Winter Makepeace lives a double life. By day he’s the stoic headmaster of a home for foundling children. But the night brings out a darker side of Winter. As the moon rises, so does the Ghost of St. Giles-protector, judge, fugitive. When the Ghost, beaten and wounded, is rescued by a beautiful aristocrat, Winter has no idea that his two worlds are about to collide.

A Dangerous Woman . . .

Lady Isabel Beckinhall enjoys nothing more than a challenge. Yet when she’s asked to tutor the Home’s dour manager in the ways of society-flirtation, double-entendres, and scandalous liaisons-Isabel can’t help wondering why his eyes seem so familiar-and his lips so tempting.

A Passion Neither Could Deny

During the day Isabel and Winter engage in a battle of wills. At night their passions are revealed . . . But when little girls start disappearing from St. Giles, Winter must avenge them. For that he might have to sacrifice everything-the Home, Isabel . . . and his life.

REVIEW: You know how I tell you that each of these tales in this series can stand alone? Well, this one doesn’t… come to think of it, none really do. Just forget what I said before! In order for you to get the full impact of these two, I think you’re better of reading the previous book. Better yet, read all of the earlier books in this series. They are all very good.

This tale picks up right where ‘Scandalous Desires’ left off, and I loved it! Not because of fast moving pace, or how well it was written and plotted, but because of both main characters. If anyone was ever made for Winter and sorely unsuitable, that would be Isabel. And yet they meshed perfectly! I also loved the fact that she was the experienced one and a few years older.

I can safely say that so far, this is my favorite in this series. Get it!

Melanie for b2b

‘Scandalous Desires’ by Elizabeth Hoyt

sd ehSTORY: Can a pirate learn that the only true treasure lies in a woman’s heart?

Widowed Silence Hollingbrook is impoverished, lovely, and kind–and nine months ago she made a horrible mistake. She went to a river pirate for help in saving her husband and in the process made a bargain that cost her her marriage. That night wounded her so terribly that she hides in the foundling home she helps run with her brother. Except now that same river pirate is back…and he’s asking for her help.

“Charming” Mickey O’Connor is the most ruthless river pirate in London. Devastatingly handsome and fearsomely intelligent, he clawed his way up through London’s criminal underworld. Mickey has no use for tender emotions like compassion and love, and he sees people as pawns to be manipulated. And yet he’s never been able to forget the naïve captain’s wife who came to him for help and spent one memorable night in his bed…talking.

When his bastard baby girl was dumped in his lap–her mother having died–Mickey couldn’t resist the Machiavellian urge to leave the baby on Silence’s doorstep. The baby would be hidden from his enemies and he’d also bind Silence to him by her love for his daughter.

REVIEW: In the third installment of EH’s Maiden Lane series, she finally gives Silence, a character we met in the first book, and a sister to Temperance and Winter, the owners of the orphanage in St. Giles, her own happily ever after.

We also met the hero of this tale, even though we thought him a villain in the previous books. Mickey cleans up quiet well after we meet get to know him better. On the outside, he’s all ruff and gruff, but deep down, he’s a loving man and very protective of his “family”.

What torched me the most is the love that slowly developed between these two. It was the respect they started to feel for each other that allowed their hearts to open up to love.

If you’ve not read the previous books in this series, have no fear of starting with this one. It stands on its own, but I’d probably read them all, just to get the feel of the world that Ms. Hoyt is gifting us with. I know what I’m speaking of, since I started this series with book nine:)

Melanie for b2b

‘An Affair in Winter’ by Jess Michaels

aaiw jmSTORY: Widow Rosalinde Wilde is on her way to her beloved sister’s wedding when an unexpected storm waylays her at an overcrowded inn. There she meets a tempting stranger who sweeps her into a night of unforgettable passion.

Grayson Danford never expected a night with the irresistible Mrs. Wilde, but she was a welcome distraction from the unpleasant duty of breaking up his brother’s impending nuptials. He’s shocked when he discovers his passionate lover is none other than the sister of his brother’s intended.

Now Rosalinde and Gray will butt heads, even as their simmering desire for each other threatens to boil over. Who will win? And who might lose it all?

REVIEW: 1810

Rosalinde Wilde is a widow and is heading through a snowstorm to the estate of the Earl of Stenfax at Caraway Court. There, she will be attending the wedding of her sister, Celia, to the Earl. However, the weather has become so bad from an early in the season snowstorm that they are forced to spend the night at an inn. As always, Rosalinde is afraid that her grandfather will be quite angry if she doesn’t arrive as scheduled. Her grandfather, Mr. Fitzgilbert, is a wealthy man who has always treated Rosalinde badly due to what he calls her poor choices.

Upon arrival at the Raven’s Wing Tavern, Rosalinde finds the Inn crowded with other stranded travelers. Thus, she is forced to share a dining table with a man who introduces himself only as Gray. At first skeptical of him, she soon relaxes as he appears to be a true gentleman. Their evening of chatting turns into a night of passion. When she leaves the next morning, she is certain she will never see the man again but will have the memory of a wonderful night making love. This was something missing in her marriage.

Finally arriving at Caraway Court, she discovers that the Earl’s brother has arrived as well and she hears that he does not care for Celia as he thinks she is only interested in his brother’s title. The marriage is truly not a love match for the Earl needs the money that her grandfather sends to the marriage and she needs his title. This has come about as part of an agreement with their evil, controlling grandfather to tell Celia and Rosalinde about their deceased parents.

When Rosalinde meets the Earl’s family, she finds that the Earl’s brother is none other than Lord Grayson, a.k.a., Gray! This is a shock to both of them. How will they handle the situation? Can there be a future for happiness in the marriage between Celia and Stenfax?

I liked this novel and found the characters to be well-written. There is certainly a lot of food for thought here as well.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

‘Notorious Pleasures’ by Elizabeth Hoyt

np ehSTORY: Their lives were perfect…

Lady Hero Batten, the beautiful sister of the Duke of Wakefield, has everything a woman could want, including the perfect fiancé. True, the Marquis of Mandeville is a trifle dull and has no sense of humor, but that doesn’t bother Hero. Until she meets his notorious brother…

Until they met each other.

Lord Griffin Reading is far from perfect – and he likes it that way. How he spends his days is a mystery, but all of London knows he engages in the worst sorts of drunken revelry at night. Hero takes an instant dislike to him, and Griffin thinks that Hero, with her charities and faultless manners, is much too impeccable for society, let alone his brother. Yet their near-constant battle of wits soon sparks desire—desire that causes their carefully constructed worlds to come tumbling down. As Hero’s wedding nears, and Griffin’s enemies lay plans to end their dreams forever, can two imperfect people find perfect true love?

REVIEW: This is book two in Maiden Lane series and for some reason I didn’t find it as romantic as the first one. That said, I did find it steamy as hell!

I also found the secondary love stories distracting from the main characters. But all of that I could live with. What I found disturbing was the way Hero gets introduced to Griffin. That just kept creeping up every time they were together. I just couldn’t get over it.

Is this a well written story? You bet. Is it well plotted? Certainly. Are the characters complex? Definitely. Are they likable? Possibly.

Am I recommending it? A resounding YES! But be warned, these two are not your cookie-cutter hero and heroine.

Melanie for b2b

‘Murder Has Nine Lives’ by Laura Levine

mhnl llSTORY: The future is looking bright for freelance writer Jaine Austen. She’s signed up for a new job, she’s looking forward to a tropical vacation, and her cat Prozac is slated to star in a major commercial. But when the claws come out behind the scenes, Jaine worries that murder might be the only thing to meow about. . .

A writer’s life is far from glamorous. Still, Jaine’s new gig to write an ad campaign for Toiletmasters’ new line of self-flushing toilets comes with a few perks–including a date with the president’s dreamy nephew. And with a much-needed trip to Maui on the horizon, it seems life couldn’t get any better–until her cat Prozac is tapped to star in a Skinny Kitty commercial. But Jaine never would have guessed the world of cat food could be quite so catty. . .

Jaine is nervous that Prozac won’t be able to take direction, but the finicky furball ditches her diva behavior for the camera, eating and napping on cue like a seasoned pro. But just as Jaine begins dreaming of fame and fortune, Skinny Kitty’s inventor drops dead on the set. Everyone is a suspect–including Jaine. And she’ll have to get her paws on the truth before the killer takes a swipe at another victim. . .

REVIEW: Jaine Austen’s cat, Prozac, is a holy terror to examine or treat at the vet. Dr. Madeline is Prozac’s vet and today is a checkup and teeth cleaning for Prozac. While waiting, a young woman comes in and zeros in on Prozac saying she is a perfect for their commercial for Skinny Kitty Cat food.

At the audition for the commercial, Prozac performs well and is offered the part for the commercial which pays $5,000. During the filming of the commercial, Prozac decides to not eat the cat food which causes a ruckus. That’s when everyone decides to take a break and try again later. The maker of the food has no sense of smell so he always eats the cat food. When another attempt is made to get Prozac to eat the food, the maker tastes it first and dies from poisoning. Since Jaine was the only person there when people took a break, she is now a suspect in the murder.

Jaine has had experience of sorts as a so-called investigator so she calls upon her talents to help find the murderer. With all of the people involved in the planning and backing of this commercial, she has a number of people to investigate.

In the meantime, we meet her friends, neighbors, parents, and a crazy guy who wants to date her.

Prepare to sit back and have some really good laughs. This story is so funny. It is the first Jaine Austen murder mystery I have read and it certainly won’t be the last.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b