Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane Series #6)

Duke of Midnight (Maiden Lane Series #6)

by Elizabeth Hoyt
4.5 51

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Duke of Midnight 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt Book Six of the Maiden Lane series Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Publication: October 15, 2013 Rating: 5 stars Source: ARC sent from the publisher ***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): WHEN A MASKED MAN . . . 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 . . .  MEETS HIS MATCH . . . 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 . . .  DESIRE IGNITES A DANGEROUS PASSION 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? What I Liked: You know that feeling when you fly through a much-anticipated book and you get to the ending and you just collapse and close your eyes and sigh because the book was THAT GOOD? Yeah... that's how I felt after reading and finishing Duke of Midnight. It didn't just have a great ending, or an exciting climax, or an endearing romance - this book had it ALL, from start to finish. I'm going to start with the plot. Artemis, lady's companion to her cousin (distant relation) Lady Penelope, is treated almost like a servant, despite being of noble background. As a lady's companion, she is always with Penelope, and she is regarded as the poor relation that must depend on the kindness of her relatives to support her. Also, she has a "mad" twin brother, Apollo, which makes her situation even worse, as people think that madness runs in the family. Apollo is accused of killing several people and thrown in Bedlam. Everyone believes that he is mad, except Artemis. She wants him out of Bedlam. An opportunity is given to her in the form of Maximus Batten,the Duke of Wakefield. She discovers that he is the Ghost of St. Giles, and all but blackmails him with her knowledge.  Can you see how the plot of this book is exciting? Blackmail AND romance AND murder AND betrayal! Oh, I probably didn't mention betrayal. The Duke courts Lady Penelope for a good portion of the book, and intends to marry her. So, in a way, Artemis betrays Penelope by falling in love with the Duke (and that's not a spoiler... I don't think). So the plot itself was AMAZING. I loved how the plot wasn't typical of a historical romance novel. I mean, the poor relation threatening a duke?! I found this angle intriguing.  Artemis is such a strong and independent character - so different from Lady Penelope and the typical female figure of this time. She is named for the goddess of the hunt, and this reference appears quite often in this book. Artemis herself is a hunter, seeking to free her brother, and hunting her prey (Maximus). I loved how she went after Maximus, and not necessarily the other way around. And Maximus. Oh, Maximus. I didn't think I would, you know, LIKE him, after his cold and iron-like appearances in the previous Maiden Lane books. But, I found myself completely sympathizing with him and really liking him and wanting to give him a hug throughout the book! It's hard not to fall for him - beneath the cold exterior is a broken man. Onto the romance. The romance was... heartbreaking and beautiful and ALIVE. I honestly don't know how to describe it better than that. The romance wasn't soft and flowery and sweet. It was brutal and passionate, powerful and unforgiving. Maximus and Artemis are meant for each other in so many ways, but it's their passion, so alike, that make them magnetic. Their relationship progresses in the strangest manner, what with Maximus formally courting Penelope, and Artemis being Penelope's lady's companion, but it developed seamlessly and perfectly. As always, Ms. Hoyt does an excellent job of writing the historical part of this book - meaning, she does her research well, and knows the history behind this time period. I am always impressed by how well Ms. Hoyt writes this historical society, because believe me when I say, I am unconsciously watching for anachronisms. The ending is PERFECT. Yes, it's a happy ending that you could probably see from the beginning, but the way that everything else happens makes the ending so much more real and deserved. I love the journey on which Ms. Hoyt takes us readers - and I hope you will too! What I Did Not Like: I can honestly say that there wasn't much, if anything, that I didn't like. I dislike saying something like that, because no book is perfect. But it's been several weeks since I read this book (and re-read it, and re-read it again, and re-read it 21454756 more times... you THINK I'm exaggerating!), and I can't think of anything I really didn't like about this book. Would I Recommend It: YES! I highly recommend this book to historical romance lovers, even if you've never read any of the books in this series, or any of Ms. Hoyt's books. This is definitely one of the best (if not, the best) historical romance books (if not, the best historical romance book) that I have read - and I have read a good many! Rating: 5 stars. Whatever you do, DON'T miss this one! Read it out of the series, if you've never picked up any of the books in this series! And if you're already a fan of this series, you will not be disappointed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book yet in the Maiden Lane series! As thos series goes on its amazing to see the characters grow and how they are still interwoven with each other throughout the whole of the series, not just the individual books. So excited for the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This may be my favorite of the maiden lane series. I had been waiting anxiously for this book to come out, and it certainly did not disappoint. I think Artemis is my favorite of this series' heroines, and Maximus is her perfect match. These two characters are complex and richly drawn, and the passion between them sizzles. Hoyt's plotlines are as usual, compelling. Wonderful! I do hope to see more books in the series. I especially would like to find out what happens to Artemis' twin brother Apollo...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I love the series, have always loved Maximus's character, love the ghost, loved Artemis, loved the story, loved everything about it! Absolutely couldnt put it down! Loved the teaser at the end, cant wait for the next one!
LilMissBookmark More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to receive this book from Goodreads. I sure do love a good historical romance novel!! This is my first Elizabeth Hoyt novel but I've had my eye on a few of her works previously so I was pretty excited when this one arrived in the mail. First impressions? Dude. There are similar names that REALLY threw me off at first. The only similarity was the first letter but it made it a bit confusing at first ... like Phoebe and Penelope, Artemis and Apollo, Blackbourne and Brightmore, just to name a few. Come on, I know that there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and that there are tons of first initials that are the same but when you're first diving into a book, you don't expect for there to be soo many that are similar right from the get-go. Well, at least I didn't. I think that it just added some unnecessary confusion at first until you get through the first few chapters and kind of have a handle on what is going on. Anyhow ... the novel is really well written. It held my attention and kept me interested throughout the whole thing. I didn't find any parts that were long winded or boring, I didn't have to skim anything and all in all, it was a good book. The characters were intriguing and I really enjoyed reading about Maximus and the journey that he has taken in his life. I do wish that there was a little more back story to the heroine, Artemis, of the story but that very well could have been in some of the previous novels of the series. That being said, I didn't feel the need to go back and read the previous 5 just to know what was going on in this one, it could definitely be a stand alone novel. All in all, a good book. I'd be interested to see what some of the other Hoyt novels are like because I really enjoyed the mystery and intrigue in this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was no doubt or second thoughts when I brought this book I would not enjoy it as I have all that you wrote. You are a writer who knows what your fans like to read. And book after book you give what your fans wait for. Never failing or letting me down. It took me 9 hours to read this book. Over 300 pgs. I could not put it down. Bravo E.H. you have done it again. Ms. D from Bronx, NY
lenoraww More than 1 year ago
This was a captivating story. I was unable to put it down. Wonderful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GREAT read!!! I simply could NOT put this book down...read it in 2 nights! Loved the characters, the mystery & , of course, the romance. Elizabeth Holt is one of my favorite authors & she certainly didn't disappoint on this latest novel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't like the tease at the end...is there another book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you haven't read anything from this author, you need to add her to your list. I have not read anything of hers that I haven't loved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stepping into Georgian England with this series is great fun. I enjoyed the mystery along with the love story. The side characters and settings were well flushed out. It was just fun!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great Georgian romance from this author. If you haven't read the Maiden Lane series yet, you need to. Unlike another reviewer who said this book was boring and a waste of time, I very much disagree. I generally don't like series, but I had to read every book by this writer. She has a very unique and engaging style of storytelling! Time well spent :)
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GoddessPhD1 More than 1 year ago
“Duke of Midnight” is one of the most perfect historical romances I’ve read in a long time! I feel like I should write a love letter to Elizabeth Hoyt for awakening me from my reading ennui of late. The fast pace kept me up a night, turning the pages desperate to read on and the characters were intriguing, tortured, and complex. Maximus, the Duke of Wakefield, is the ultimate alpha hero: conceited, arrogant, and carefully controlled over every situation. His control extends to his cold logic in determining his future Duchess. His top nominee turns out to be Lady Penelope, the featherbrain twit of several seasons, but because of her fortune and good lucks, can afford to take her time in picking her husband. Fortunately, Lady Penelope’s single state is a benefit to her distant poor relation, Artemis Greaves. Artemis, like all poor relations, straddles the fine line between being just one of the help and a lady. Because her brother, Apollo, was thrown into Bedlam, Artemis considers herself lucky that any family would take her in at all. Even when she’s surrounded with her cousin, Lady Penelope, and her “Uncle”, she feels alone and abandoned at the beginning of the story. I loved Artemis’ resourcefulness and bravery that we’ve been given glimpses of throughout the series. In the Duke of Midnight, Artemis has to reach deep and be prepared to sacrifice everything to save her brother. Her love for Apollo gives her the strength to stand up to Maximus and defy him when she knows he’s wrong. She challenges him to confront his painful childhood and the witness of his parents’ murder when he was only 14 years old. I read some of the reviewers’ comments who say they didn’t like Maximus, but I loved him and his character arc. At the end of story, he’s faced with avenging his parents’ murder or the saving Artemis. Revenge has been eating at him for years, pushing him to take up the mask of the Ghost of St. Giles and turn away Artemis. But when Maximus sees Artemis dive over the side of the boat, he goes after her! She sacrifices her life to give the man she loves what he’s always wanted: revenge, but it’s because of her love that Maximus is transformed. He dives after Artemis, saving her and giving me one of the most satisfying HEAs I’ve read in a long time. Ms. Hoyt’s story was an excellent example of hero’s and heroine’s external (Maximus: finding a bride; Artemis: freeing her brother Apollo from Bedlam) and internal conflicts (Maximus: overcoming his need for revenge and finding true love; Artemis: can she sacrifice being alone again for love?) and character arcs. I’d be happy to discuss this book with other authors, because if I had a class on “Romance 101”, I would have students read her book as required text.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has become my favorite Maiden Lane series.
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
I think that next to Charming Mickey and Silence's story, this is my favorite. I loved watching the Duke of Wakefield squirm and lose his precious control and order. He is a formidable man and Artemis is the perfect woman to help him lose that control. She is strong, she has to be to earn his notice, and she is determined. I couldn't believe she actually tried to blackmail him! That was fun to watch them spar together. In order to save her brother, she must blackmail the Ghost of St. Giles, and what do you know, the Duke is the third member of that team. He doesn't take too kindly to this lady's companion speaking her mind and standing up to him and trying to blackmail him into saving her "lunatic" brother. But he can also not believe how alluring her strength and sense of freedom, even within her confining circumstances, is and when he finds her wandering his forests early in the morning barefoot, he knows that this woman is both dangerous to his plans and to his well ordered life, and to his heart (though being the man that he is, he doesn't see it that way at first) :-P I enjoyed their adventure and the ending was quite romantic; his proposal was down right perfect!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was such a fantastic read. I love reading anything Hoyt writes and this book is no exception.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the whole series and this one has been one of my favorites. I am excited for her to keep writing about all the characters!! The whole series is a must read!!
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
Artemis Greaves is a woman very much alone in the world. She has lost her parents, her brother, and her fiancé when her circumstances were reduced and her family scandalized. She is now a lady’s companion to her very spoiled and immature cousin, Penelope, a vain and shallow woman who epitomizes the very worst of society. Yet Artemis is grateful to her—Penelope’s father, a distant cousin, took Artemis in when no one else would. Artemis feels sorry for Penelope, at the same time she is secretly exasperated by her actions and behavior. When Penelope ventures into St. Giles on a dare Artemis, as her lady’s companion, has no choice but to follow and, when they encounter footpads and the Ghost of St. Giles comes to their rescue, Artemis stands her ground. I really like how Elizabeth Hoyt conveys Artemis’ inner struggle between being the proper, well-behaved, and very hidden companion she must present to society with her restless urge to break free of the constrictive box she is in whenever she can. She captures this frustration perfectly in a ballroom scene: “Artemis held very still because she had a quite mad urge to tear sweet Miss Picklewood’s hand from her leg. To stand up and scream. To run through the ballroom, out the front door, and keep running until she felt cool grass beneath her feet again. This couldn’t be her life. It simply couldn’t be.” But Artemis has a strong and admirable strength of character, resilience, and a will to survive. When she attends a house party at the Duke of Wakefield’s country house, she takes every opportunity to run free, barefoot in the woods, early in the mornings before the other guests awake. It is during one of these morning rambles that Maximus, the Duke of Wakefield, encounters her on his own morning walks with his dogs. He is drawn to her free spirit, her strength, and feels for her in the poor circumstances of her life. He is also courting Penelope, her cousin. Maximus is in awe of Artemis even as he knows she is the wrong type of woman to be his duchess, according to Georgian society. But he can’t help himself. Like her namesake, she is like a goddess to him. “…she was one of the innumerable female shades: companions, maiden aunts, poor relations. The ones who hung back. The ones who drifted quietly in the shadows. Every man of means had them, for it was the duty of a gentleman to take care of females such as she. See to it that they were clothed and housed and fed and, if possible, that they were happy or at least content with their lot in life. Beyond that, nothing, for these types of females didn’t impact on masculine issues. They didn’t marry and they didn’t bear children. Practically speaking they had no sex at all. There was no reason to notice a woman like her. And yet he had.”  Maximus is a strong character and he has his own demons. He is every inch the stern and imperious duke, trying to avenge his parents’ double murder since he was only fourteen years old. He feels a guilt for their deaths; thus his tenure as the Ghost of St. Giles to find the killer. He also doesn’t feel he could be anything less than a duke as a tribute to his father, including marrying the right woman. We meet Artemis’ twin brother, Apollo, Lord Kilbourne, wrongly imprisoned for four long years in the hellhole of Bedlam. Artemis takes advantage of her knowledge of Maximus’ impersonation as the Ghost of St. Giles and Maximus discovers that Artemis will do anything for those she loves, even blackmail.  I like the descriptions of Artemis and Apollo’s unconventional childhood, wandering the woods in their cool green solitude. “They’d been children in a family broken by madness and genteel poverty, left to run wild by parents with other cares.”  When Maximus and Artemis begin a secret affair, both think it will be only temporary, as it must be. Simply put, Artemis wants him and Maximus is only too happy to make her his mistress. But they both want and wish for more. “…he couldn’t help wishing it were different. That they could lay aside their armor and find a way to have the woods around them always. A far too dangerous thought.”  Miss Picklewood, Maximus’ aunt, is a wonderfully portrayed character here. She pretty much gave up a life of marriage and family to take care of Maximus and his sisters after their parents’ deaths. She understands Artemis’ frustrations at her lot in life and tries to help her understand how things must be. But she is never vindictive, never judgmental. Maximus’ valet, an older man who was valet to Maximus’ father, is also a sort of father figure to him. The scene when he takes Maximus to task for bedding Artemis is a powerful one and we see Maximus struggle with his conscience. This is a very realistic and stark story, of how circumstances can affect one’s life, dreams, and hopes for the future. But as in all historical romances, there is a happy ending after all the struggles. An impressive story in a remarkable series.
skelley55 More than 1 year ago
This was the first book in this series that I read.  I really enjoyed the mix of murder, mystery, and romance.  Max is a great character and met his match in Artemis.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great!