Review: Not the Duke's Darling (Greycourt #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt


Print Length: 496 pages
Publisher: Forever (December 18, 2018)

From  Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe, the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family, appears at the country house party she's attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading amongst the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins—sins he'd much rather forget. But she's also fiery, bold, and sensuous—a temptation he can't resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he'll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya's trust-by whatever means necessary.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Sadly, I was disappointed by Not The Duke's Darling even MORE than I was disappointed by the second book in this series (I accidentally read them in reverse). This book was just..... well I don't even know. 

To begin with the whole "Wise Women" vs "Dunkelder" (I'm still laughing at that name) was not only borderline ridiculous, but added nothing to the plot. There were dozens of ways the author could have used the mystery surrounding Lord Randolph's wife without resorting to something that made no sense for the time period (witches were hanged NOT burned). 

This plot device may have worked if not for all the other ones happening at the same time. Harlowe vs. Freya, Freya vs, the mysterious dunkelder, Freya vs, Messa-whatever her name was (the main character in book 2), Harlowe vs. Plimpton, etc, etc etc. Instead of adding to the plot, they pulled the reader into several different directions at once making it hard to concentrate on what was happening. 

While I liked Christopher, the way the author handled his PTSD, (not to mention his dealing with the tragic loss of his first wife and the secrets there), Freya was just IMPOSSIBLE. It didn't matter how many times he reached out to her, she was there to slap him back. He offered his help, she refused it. He loved her, she denied him. Despite her life prior to him coming back into it, he more than proved himself to her and did not deserve to be treated that way, therefore it made it hard to believe these two were in love. 

Overall, while I understand I'm in the minority here, I'm going to have to give this author a break before I read anything else by them.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Amazon First Reads. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                                        Not the Duke's Darling is available from

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