Not the Duke’s Darling: The Greycourt #1 by Elizabeth Hoyt @ForeverRomance @ElizabethHoyt https://wp.me/p3OmRo-acy
Elizabeth Hoyt returns to the blog with the first in The Greycourt series with
Not the Duke’s Darling
Childhood friends, a feminist heroine, blackmail, secrets and some dangerous mystery drive this story forward, while introducing a new setting and set of characters. Freya de Mornay is a feminist through and through, with her determination to right the wrongs done to her family, disgraced by the man whom she was friendly with as a child. She’s living a lie right now -with hiding her feminist tendencies that are far more progressive than would be acceptable in society, and she’s hiding behind an alias – the family disgrace would leave her without options to pursue her interests and agenda – and being able to act as a chaperone allows her access to events that her own name would leave her out of. Christopher Renshaw is now the Duke of Harlowe, and is being blackmailed for secrets from his past – spotting Freya, who knows everything about him from his early years – he thinks he may have found the culprit.
From an amazing set up, with plenty of questions to be answered and the promise of some truly dangerous machinations for both their physical well-being and the emotional connection between them, the story quickly was mired in multiple subplots that were vaguely concocted and overly simplistic, I never truly felt connected to the relationship as it developed between Freya and Christopher. Additionally, the plethora of name choices from actual to family, fake to real, kept much of the connection that should have been built in a sort of ‘watch and see’ zone: with a constant need to remind myself of who each character is, let alone what other ‘traits’ they attempted (in Freya’s case) to change for their alias. What stood out was Christopher and his own struggles with a PTSD-like set of reactions to varied situations, and his willingness to believe that the Freya of the current day is the same one he knew as a child. He was solidly developed, and utterly honorable, even with secrets, that made him the standout in this story, even with the feminist approach to Freya and her stubborn (and frequently annoying) determination to view everything in an us v them, man v woman mode that just didn’t allow what character was there to develop in ways that would make Christopher’s fascination and admiration plausible. When the climax should have happened and felt more ‘threat’ from the mystery promised, the story fell rather flat and wasn’t helped by the simple feeling race to the end, few red herrings or actual tension just didn’t make that pan out. Yes, they had a connection that felt very one sided and seemed to have Christopher making most of the effort, but I just wasn’t overjoyed with this story or the characters introduced, and don’t see myself continuing the series.
Title: Not the Duke’s Darling
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: The Greycourt #1
Genre: Historic Romance with Mystery Elements, Regency
Published by: Forever
Published on: 18 December, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 36 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Hoyt brings us the first book in her sexy and sensual Greycourt Series!
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 among 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, he will have to earn Freya’s trust…by whatever means necessary.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.