Review: Not the Duke’s Darling

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Not the Duke’s DarlingNot the Duke’s Darling (The Greycourt, #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Greycourt
Published by Forever on December 18, 2018
Genres: Historical
Pages: 496
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“Obviously he wasn’t used to being given orders by anyone — a woman least of all.

Too bad.”

FINAL DECISION: I absolutely loved the relationship between Freya and Christopher which I found passionate and combative and I loved how the two of them both have to consider their own expectations. This book begins a new series and has a lot of new characters and new situations to begin to explore so it feels that there are a lot of dangling ends…but the main story line between Freya and Christopher is complete.

THE STORY: “What had happened at Greycourt fifteen years ago would reverberate forever in their lives.” Freya de Moray is operating as a companion while working as a member of a secret group of women called the Wise Women who, among other things, protect and care for women who need help. When one of her missions places her in the path of Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, Freya’s mind turns to revenge. Harlowe caused the ruin of her family and Freya is not going to forget it.

OPINION: This book is breathtaking in its fierce passion. These characters are drawn together through pain and fury. I loved their relationship which is between two strong personalities.

“He was a man, both good and bad and everything in between.”

Christopher was simply an amazing hero. He is damaged and difficult and incredibly caring and passionate. From his protection of his deceased wife, to his acknowledgement of what Freya needs in order to feel heard. I loved his passion for Freya — and not primarily the sexual passion (although the relationship between Freya and Christopher is hot). He is strong and determined but I especially loved him at the moment that he put aside his own desires and instead considered what he could do for her — even if he didn’t agree with her.

Freya is a woman who has made her own way after the tragic events that destroyed her family. She has a strength and a determination that is especially admirable for the historical period. That strength and independence is something that Freya fears will be lost in a relationship with Christopher. I was interested in how Freya has to confront the risks a woman takes in choosing to join her life to a man at a time where a woman has no recourse against the malfeasance of her husband.

Together, Freya and Christopher sparkle on the page. The moments where they are together are passionate and frustrating and I was never bored for one moment. For me, the relationship is the central and most important part of the book and there was no disappointment for me here.

It is important to note that this book is part of a series where there is an overarching story line that is not resolved in this book. If danging threads bother you, consider that this story resolves the main plot points raised in this book, but there are things still to be uncovered in the remainder of the series.

Indeed, the weakness of this book, like many first books, is that there is much setup here of characters and situations which are clearly meant to be unraveled in the series. This book is one which expect might improve over time as the other stories are told and the promises in this book are fulfilled.

WORTH MENTIONING: I had to read this one twice. I was mildly disappointed on first read. I believe because it was so different than the Maiden Lane series which I adore that I really didn’t give the story a chance. On second read, I loved it and am excited about all the possibilities in this new series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: NOT THE DUKE’S DARLING is the first book in the Greycourt series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received a copy of an ARC of this book from the author. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars