Cover Image: Not the Duke's Darling

Not the Duke's Darling

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Member Reviews

Freya de Moray is a warrior woman. She has had a tragic past, and is living under an assumed name. Freya is part of a secret order of Wise Women and also serves as a chaperone for employment. She is also driven by vengeance for her brother, plotting to one day avenge the downfall her family suffered. To her great surprise, she spots the Duke of Harlowe while at a house party. Let the plotting begin.

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, has some plotting of his own in mind. He is being blackmailed and he is finally planning to put an end to it. But then Harlowe’s plans are derailed when he spots Freya at the party. Freya could be Harlowe’s very undoing, in more ways than one.

Although the premise was quite interesting, especially since Harlowe’s and Freya’s paths had crossed once before, the challenges they faced in this story were a bit distracting. The history of the Wise Women, Freya’s reasons for wanting revenge against Harlowe, and her methods prevented me from being as engaged in this story as I would have liked. Also, the whole Wise Women aspect, and the related practices, when relayed, were a bit off-putting to me.

That said, there was plenty of action as well as twists and turns to keep me riveted enough to want to see whatever resolution the various circumstances could lead to. Another interesting factor was that Freya and Harlowe had to fight intense feelings for one another, especially when they had impossible situations facing them. The conclusion was satisfying, and I do look forward to the next book in this series.

Not the Duke’s Darling is the first book in the Greycourt series. The next book is When a Rogue Meets His Match, scheduled for release July 30, 2019.

Many thanks to Forever for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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This is the intriguing first book in the Greycourt series.
Freya is an interesting woman and her personality bot what you would expect.
She is living under a fictitious name, she is disgraced nobility, a member of the secret order of Wise Women and a chaperone.
You had better believe she is out for revenge, Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe is the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downward spiral of her family.
He has secrets, secrets he needs to never have told and because of that he's being blackmailed into attending a house party which he plans to attend and put a stop to all this nonsense.
It just so happens that delightful Freya de Moray is in attendance . He can't take his eyes off of her .
The author has made the story come to life and this is what I enjoy seeing in books!

Pub Date 18 Dec 2018
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you.
All opinions expressed are my own.
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Thank you for my copy of Not the Duke’s Darling. I really enjoyed Freya as a character. I’m always a fan of a strong female lead. However I felt the chemistry is lacking. I’m still trying to find what I like when it comes to historical fiction. This one ended up being a DNF for me.
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I am newer to historical romances, and this was my first book by Elizabeth Hoyt. I loved how Freya is a strong, confident, independent woman. Right away we saw what she is willing to do for revenge. 

Thus started out a little slow for me, and didn't initially see the connection between the two main characters. This is a romance novel, but I thought the romance was just a small part of the book. I needed more interactions and tension! 

Overall it was a good book, and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.
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Secrets and half truths can color a person’s perspective and make there judgment be one-sided. Freya de Moray was a young girl when her family was splintered by the accusations her brother murdered his close friend and the girl he was trying to marry. 
Christopher Renshaw the recent Duke of Harlowe was a best friend and he did nothing to save his friend from the rumors. Freya is beyond wanting to get justice for the destruction of her family by somehow making this Duke pay for what he did. 
The other nuances of secondary underhanded goings on interfere with Freyas mission, but things happen for a reason! 
The author does a good job of keeping you going from one issue to another, but there is no true final culmination at the end which definitely is a lead in for another book! 

I received an advanced free copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.
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I am always happy to start at the beginning of a new series. I knew by the end of the first chapter that I would want to read every single book in the Greycourt series. 

This is a fantastic blend of historical romance with a Scottish flair, a touch of magic from a lineage of wise women, and a lot of intrigue and mystery. 

I really enjoyed the initial banter between Freya and Christopher. She is such an awesome character.

The steamy scenes were somewhat overdone. But they can be skipped and still leave a great story. 

Thank you to Forever for the ARC.
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I've read quite a few books by Elizabeth Hoyt and loved them all, so was happy to get the opportunity to read this one.  It was good, but definitely not one of my favorites from Hoyt.  My problem with writing a review it is putting my finger on why I didn't like it as much as the others.  I liked the characters, I liked the story for the most part, but something was lacking for me.  Part of it was clarity - I was a bit confused for a while about what was actually going on with the Wise Women, as well as the nature of the incident in the past that had Freya so angry with Christopher (not that it isn't a familiar trope, but in this instance it just became frustrating).  And for some reason for a long stretch I had issues keeping the secondary characters straight.  Maybe it was my mood at the time - and for that reason I won't hesitate to read the next book in the series - I know that Hoyt is usually a must-read for me and I definitely saw promise for future books in the series.  It is good - just not quite as good as I expected.
My thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for providing a copy for an unbiased review.
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"She was a sire, a demon, his one weakness. He'd rise for her. He's fall for her."

*4.5-stars, copy received from publishers but all thoughts and opinions are my own*

REVIEW
This was my first Elizabeth Hoyt novel and I absolutely loved it. I haven't read many historical romances set in the 1700s, so it was a nice change of pace. That being said, if you are someone who is sensitive to the witch-hunts that occurred in the 1700s do be careful reading this book. Freya is part of a group called the Wise Women. They are not witches, but society views them as such and she is constantly in fear of being hunted by the Dunkelders.

The banter between Freya and Christopher was hilarious. I loved how Freya constantly clapped back at Christopher and had no issue being as blunt as possible with him. The development of their relationship was a rough one. They had a lot of emotional hills to cross in order to reach their end, and I appreciated the time Hoyt took to flesh out their progression.

Freya, while being a headstrong and kickass woman, is extremely closed off. She is still healing from the Greycourt Scandal that ruined her family. Freya is so used to fending for herself and only trusting herself that she struggles to let anyone in and help her. She knows she doesn't need a man, but she learns that there is nothing weak in wanting one. Unlike other books with "kickass" heroine that I have read, we actually get to see Freya use a sword and fight!

Christopher has PTSD from an event that he experienced while in India. His dog, Tess, essentially functions as a service animal for him (even though he doesn't realise it, nor was this a "thing" back in the 1700s). I really loved their relationship. Christopher is a character that, when you first meet him, you don't know if you can trust. Freya hates him so vehemently that it seems like he cannot be redeemable. But, through his POV, you learn that there is so much more to the story that Freya believes.

I really enjoyed the underlying mystery plot of this book. I am someone who is a fan of mysteries in their historical romances, and I know that they aren't for everyone. However, this is one of the best mystery sub-plots I have read in a HR. I was genuinely shocked at the twist and found myself wishing I had a friend to yell about it to. There is also a greater mystery in this book that will span the entire series - the murder of Sophy Greycourt.

It was really interesting that we had a POV in this book that was the main couple! I loved Messalina's POV and it made me even more excited for her book (which is the sequel). She is a very complex character, and seeing her POV helped fill in potential plot-holes. I really loved the female friendships in this book and how the women leant on one-another.

I cannot wait to continue on this series and also delve into Hoyt's backlist!
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. And my honest review is : meeeh. This is not even close to the league of earlier books. It moves slow, there's a lot of time spent talking to to avail and even though the sex is pretty hot, the connection is almost non existent. I suppose that the whole 'female secret society' is supposed to gear the book towards some feminist ideas but it didn't work for me at all. I'm really not going to continue with the series unless I see some mind-blowingly good reviews. I gave this three stars because it is Elizabeth Hoyt and she can write but the story is just ... meh.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Forever for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

This book contained (SPOILERS)

-m/f enemies to lovers
-childhood friends
-a women's spy network
-widower hero
-virgin heroine
-insta attraction/insta love

I loved the first almost half of the book.  The banter the enemies, the hate.  But then it just kind of ended.  The attraction was clear but then the hero seems to fall in love with the heroine overnight and all of the banter and tension changed.  I'm not sure if the structure of the book or just the pacing but I struggled with their connection.  The sex scenes also didn't seem to propel the intimacy, and there was something about them that just didn't pull me in.

I also have to note that the hero was in India for a time and worked for the East India Company.  The book doesn't grapple with his time there and uses it more as a plot device.  The treatment of his first wife also made me uncomfortable, she was simple (the book's WC) and just seemed to try to make the hero more sympathetic that he suffered through marrying a 'simple' woman.  

I enjoyed the women's spy society and wish there had been more of a focus on that.  The third POV seemed unnecessary to me as well.  I would read another book by this author but this one missed the mark for me.

Rating: 2
Steam: 3

CW: grief, death of a spouse, amputation (off page side character), claustrophobia, spousal abuse emotional/physical
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Freya, the daughter of disgraced nobility, lives under an assumed name as a Wise Woman, a member of a secret sect of helpers and healers. When a member of the House of Lords plans to introduce legislation to allow the persecution of witches, she seeks to stop him by discovering evidence against him in the death of his wife. At a house party near the man's estate, she runs into a childhood friend, the Duke of Harlowe. Their families are now estranged, and she blames him for the tragedy that turned her brother into a recluse. 

Yet neither Freya nor Harlowe can deny the attraction between them. When she learns that he has secrets, too, she becomes involved in his schemes. Can they escape the threats hanging over them? And can she find the courage to give him her heart?

Elizabeth Hoyt is among the best of the best. This book is full of intrigue, but it doesn't overpower the romance. It's steamy and emotional and smart. I loved how Freya exerted her independence, and Harlowe gave her the space she needed. I highly recommend this book. 

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received.
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This is the start of a new series by Elizabeth Hoyt and it does not disappoint. This is the tale of Freya de Moray who is a member of the secret order of Wise Women, and a lady working as a chaperone under an assumed name. She feels her family has been wronged and has a long standing vendetta against the Duke of Harlowe, the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family. 

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed and is Intent on keeping his secrets safe. He must attend a house party in order to get letters back. Freya and Christopher have heated clashes and are both in danger from a variety of directions. This book has plenty of intrigue and there is a nice flow towards reconciliation on many fronts. 

This is an excellent and exciting read that will entertain all readers. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series.

I was provided an ARC of this book by NetGalley for an honest review.
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I enjoyed the plot and characters immensely. Captured my interest right from the start and although it slowed down a bit around 70%.. it sped back up for a great finish. 
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Not The Dukes Darling is a hate to love romance. Freya De Moray is out to get revenge on the Duke of Harlowe from something that happened when she was younger. Harlowe soon finds that she is in grave danger and vows to keep her safe.

I loved the chemistry between these two! The background story was really good and I enjoyed the mystery as well! I'm so glad I read it and I now can add Elizabeth Hoyt to one of my favorites for historical romance!
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This book sucked me in from the moment I started reading with a chase scene through London until the happy ending it finally gave me after depriving me of much sleep until I saw it through. So many themes throughout though dominant we see women's independence and strength, forgiveness, and appearances can be deceiving. I thought the romance between the couple was steamy and sweet, as well as truly meant to be. I hope for happy weddings for a few other characters as well! #NotTheDukesDarling #Netgalley
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review of this book. It in now affects my views.

I must be honest and say this was a slow start for me. Which is strange because I like a good enemies to lovers story and that is how this book started out between Freya and Christopher. At first Christopher doesn't even recognize Freya because she has changed her look to hide who she really is.

But once they both attend the same house party and he finally remembers who she is the story starts to pick up. That is when I couldn't put it down. 

I can't wait to see what Elizabeth Hoyt has instore for the other characters in the book or in which direction she takes us in future books.

If you are a fan of her Maidan Lane series you should give this a try.
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I will say on paper that a lot of this did work for me. Childhood friends to enemies to lovers! A heroine who's part of a secret society made up of all women! A scene where the love interests literally cross swords and fight each other! However, there were times it felt like there were just one TOO many plots happening at once and some of the storylines held my interest more than others. I liked the tension of the main couple and the promising setup of the sequel bait romance, but this was a case of almost too much being thrown at the wall to see what would stick and I'd be kind of skimming through certain parts to get back to the plotlines I was more interested in. Overall, though, I'll be checking out the next book in this series because I'm into it based on the summary copy.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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I am a big Elizabeth Hoyt fan but this one didn't catch my attention. I enjoyed the story but there seemed to be a LOT going on in the plot. Witchcraft, a dramatic past, kidnappings...it just seemed to take away from the romance. That said, I look forward to the second book in the series.
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I am a fan of Hoyt's books in general, although recent releases have been hit or miss for me. This one was definitely a hit. I enjoyed the whole witchy wise woman bit and revenge plot. Fans of Hoyt will certainly enjoy. I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series.
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I really liked Freya and Christopher. Despite the action that opens the book it took me a few chapters to finally find a good reading rhythm and really get into the story. 

Freya is posing as a chaperone using a fake name as part of her mission as a Wise Woman. When the Duke of Harlowe appears at the house party she is attending, she fears he will recognize her and give away her true identity. She can't hide her dislike of him which of course leaves Christopher wondering if he's met her before and what could he have possibly done to deserve her ire. 

Christopher is only attending this house party because his blackmailer has forced him to meet there.  The blackmailer has letters that would expose his deceased wife and he'll do anything to protect her now. 

When he finally recognizes Freya they are forced to face their difficult past and eventually their growing feelings.
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