7 October 2015

Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt

Hey everyone,

I’ve being reading the Maiden Lane Series since it first came out, in fact it was one of the first books I ever reviewed. You could say we’ve being going steady for a while now... Too much? Okay, I’m sorry. Shall we just continue with the review?

The book:

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 . . . 


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 . . .


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?

My thoughts:

The Duke of Midnight came out in 2013?! Can’t believe how far behind I’ve fallen with this series. Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favourite historical romance authors and I’ve always loved The Maiden Lanes series because its focus wasn’t on the aristocracy and instead on normal people just trying to survive. Sure its featured aristocrats in the past but St Giles has always felt like an important part of the story. In my opinion the Duke of Midnight departs from this setting.

“No! You must go to London. You must get him out. You must save my brother because if you don’t, I swear upon everything I hold holy that I’ll ruin both you and your illustrious name. I’ll—” 

Although Maximus is the Ghost, the majority of the book takes place in the world of the elite. Also Artemis has the smallest connection with St Giles and the Home for Orphans and Foundlings because of her position as Phoebe’s companion. Now that isn’t saying I didn’t enjoy the Duke of Midnight because I did! I thought Maximus was a wonderful hero, torn between performing his duty and following his heart. Similarly Artemis was a wonderful heroine, she was forward thinking, independent, capable and refused to be a victim, no matter the circumstances.

It would be the height of idiocy for the Duke of Wakefield to pursue the cousin of the woman he wanted as wife. And yet, for the first time in his life, Maximus wanted to let the man rule him instead of the title.

I loved the scenes between Maximus and Artemis. They were full of love and passion. I even enjoyed reading about Artemis’s twin Apollo, who at the start of the book is imprisoned in Bedlam for murder. I really hope he gets his own book because he is one of the most interesting, still single characters, left in the Maiden Lane Universe. As usual Elizabeth Hoyt’s writing was beautiful, full of emotion, historical accuracy and wonderful world building.

He didn’t like the look in her eyes—a grim determination. “I love you,” she whispered and his soul soared until she uttered her next words. “But I must leave you.” “No.” He clutched at her hips as if he were a child of three refusing to give up his toy sword. “No.” 

Unfortunately although I enjoyed reading the Duke of Midnight it didn’t quite live up to the brilliance of the earlier books in the series. I felt that the shift away from St Giles and the orphanage meant some of the magic and uniqueness of the series was lost. Even Maximus scenes as the ghost felt bland and almost pointless at times. He didn’t care about St Giles but was instead focused on his own vendetta. This meant the personal connection to the area was lost and as a result I felt the book suffered. Overall I’m giving the Duke of Midnight four stars because it was still a solid historical romance, it just didn’t have the usual Elizabeth Hoyt brand of magic for me.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!