This review is for the audiobook version of The Duke of Sin, by Elizabeth Hoyt.
I’m generally a fan of Elizabeth Hoyt, so when I saw that my library had a new audiobook from her I jumped at the chance, but this one was a bust. The biggest flaw is that the hero is a horrible person. He literally kills a man in front of our heroine, and they hide a body. The dead man didn’t even threaten them, he just betrayed the Duke by selling secrets to the King. The heroine is housekeeper for the Duke’s London residence, and ends up there to find stolen documents that are being used to blackmail her friend. He is described as vain, ruthless, and unscrupulous, but the author thinks we’ll believe that the good and noble housekeeper ends up actually loving him? Pretty isn’t a reason to be loved, and certainly blackmail is a reason not to, so I don’t even know what she was thinking with this one. The reader does a fine job, giving each character a distinct personality, but the author made her job more difficult by trying to make the duke (whose name is Valentine) two people in one. There is the emotionally scarred man that has never gotten over horrors he witnessed and experienced as a child, and also the grown man that blackmails and kidnaps as a hobby, and somehow we are supposed to feel empathy for both, but I simply couldn’t.
I will probably read the next one, because I do like the author, and the hero of that novel is already more likable than “Val.”