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THIS BOOK WAS SINFULLY DELICIOUS!!! 5 SINFUL STARS.
When I first met Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, I hated him with a passion. Somewhere after his initial introduction, I started to like him--so much so that I wanted a book with him as the hero (hard to imagine him initially, I know!). You see, I realized there was a method to the madness; although I admit that some of the 'madness' couldn't be excused but I love a good bad boy. Eve's story convinced me of my thoughts.
I started listening to this book and unfortunately I wasn't all that impressed. In retrospect, I kind of jumped the gun. I hate secrets and subterfuge--the description of this book along screams it. I also wasn't too in love with Bridget *initially*. I was to a point where I thought I'd pause it and move on to something else but then I saw the sparks fly between Bridget and Val and I was instantly in love. I also realized the mastery of Miss Hoyt's mind--she had to make the plot (and woman for a while) as such because of the type of hero Val is. Val wouldn't be interested in some mousy woman who couldn't use her brain.
I smell what you're cooking Mrs. Hoyt and it smells delicious!
Miss Bridget Crumb, a competent but sneaky house keeper is on a mission, two to be exact. She comes off as sort of cold and scheming but I really grew to like her. I love that no many how many layers Val tried to put on to protect himself therefore hiding his true self, she saw the real Val. Everyone hated him including Bridget but she soon saw him in a different light. I believe that Bridget's relationship with Val also helped her grow as a character. She becomes more confident and she softens chapter by chapter. I really liked her.
Val, was a on mission, well maybe several missions. To be fair he is always scheming, on a mission or causing mischief. More villain than hero, he is sexy, arrogant and a bit of a narcissist. He has the mind of a scholar, the face of an angel, personality of a semi-sociopath and the sexuality of Zeus. He's not a man who sticks to one woman but his little housemaid intrigues him. Not only does she take him to task despite the rank differences (and he's her employer!), she has the intellect and will to go toe to toe with him. When her discovers her scheming, he's even more intrigued. Game on!
There were so many great scenes in this story. Val really takes the cake. His character is so dynamic, so insanely outrageous it's impossible not to like him, even at his darkest. The intimacy was steaming and wasn't overdone IMO. The secondary characters were great as well. This is one of my favorite books and the best IMO in the Maiden Lane series, maybe even all of E.H's book's. I look forward to seeing The Duke of Kyle in the next book.
Mrs. Hoyt is amazing. She made a villain into a hero, one of my favorite HERO's and VILLAINS of all time.
Narration: Ashford McNab is great for this series. I'm so glad that she's narrating the series again. She really brings the characters to life for me.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I went into this novel with full knowledge of the hero Valentine Napier, Duke of Montgomery, from other books in the Maiden Lane series. He was really an odd character, and could be ,at times, pretty despicable. I was extremely curious about how he was going to be the "hero" of this book. After finishing the audiobook, I am happy to say that Val is now one of my favorite heroes, ever. He is warped, to be sure. But he knows it and realizes he needs Bridget. Some part of him that is buried under his horrific childhood wants to be better. The relationship between Val and Bridget is a wonderful give and take. It's wonderful to see them both help the other see their own worth. Just as an FYI, there are some really big trigger elements in this book such as reference to a secret society that engage in pedophelia and a pretty graphic kidnapping scene. This book is graphically violent in ways that I don't remember any of the previous books being, but Val is a very visceral guy. It's shocking, but it's not because violence is part of him because of his past. I was ok with the intensity and the fact that it has so much to do with the plot. Val's past weighs in heavily and his strength of character to live through it brings so much to the table to make him lovable. The romance is intense and wonderful. I do highly recommend this next installment in the series. A.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful