I have enjoyed all of the Maiden Lane books to this point. Hoyt has a way of combining the sweeping saga of a historical romance with the dark and edgy in a way that suits my tastes perfectly. So, you know I was excited to read this final entry in what is certainly one of my favorite series ever. A perfectly tortured hero and smart, no-nonsense heroine make this one memorable.
Iris is kidnapped by the evil group that has terrorized a number of people in the past few books. Fortunately for her, she has an ally and savior in an extremely unlikely source…Raphael, the Duke of Dyemore. Raphael is expected to take his father’s place in the nefarious Lords of Chaos, but he has other plans. Saving Iris turns into something he didn’t expect, but it isn’t going to stop him on his quest for revenge.
I cannot decide whether I prefer Raphael and his tortured, brooding nature or Iris and her openness and unfiltered love. I think it is Iris, and here is why: she doesn’t make any of his issues about her. She is confident in herself and who she is, and she just loves him. There’s no drama where she derides herself or gets upset with him over his issues. Hoyt is masterful at sticking with the main conflict and just deepening it, rather than sprinkle it with lots of little conflicts to lengthen the story. Her focus allows her to deepen, not only the conflict, but the characters as well. They live and breathe instead of existing only to fall in love and finish the story.
The Bottom Line-
If you love historical romance, and this would be your first Maiden Lane book, you can certainly follow along and enjoy it. There is enough backstory that you will not feel left out. Be prepared for a darker world with darker subjects than most historical romance, but that darkness allows for such satisfying payoffs. If you are already a fan, you’re gonna love this one as well. I can’t wait to see what she does next. 5 stars