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Not the Duke’s Darling

(Greycourt #1)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,606 ratings  ·  318 reviews
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 th
Mass Market Paperback, 468 pages
Published December 18th 2018 by Forever
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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,606 ratings  ·  318 reviews

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2.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First in the new Greycourt series, Hoyt starts us off with a spot of danger as our heroine, Freya, is on the run from some men and finds herself face to face with her childhood crush, Christopher, but who she also blames for her brother's downfall. There's some background foundation to the hows and whys of where our characters are at in life. The main thread
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I've given this a C at AAR (which I think was probably over-generous).

Hard as it is for readers when a favourite, long-running series ends, it must be equally so for the author who has lived with those characters and scenarios for years – and who then has to follow up that success with something new that will continue to please fans of the previous books as well as, hopefully, gain them new ones. Having closed the book on the hugely popular Maiden Lane series last year, much-loved author Elizabeth Hoyt
Jun 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Why hasn't Jilly written a review for several days?
Because I have stalled-out on this book. I can tell how much a book is holding my attention by whether or not I am willing to turn on Netflix at night. So, the last few nights I have been rewatching the Schitt's Creek series. That tells you how much this book captivated me.

IKR? Jilly is a night-reader, not night-watcher.

So why is this book so boring?
It had potential to be exciting. There is a group of women who
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: hr, read-2018, 2-stars
1.5 stars


You have two choices, though they're by no means mutually exclusive.

You can either simply scroll through my updates, and you'll get the gist of my overall feelings about Not the Duke's Darling'.

Or - and that's by far the better option, in my opinion - you can read the excellent reviews already written by Caz, Kyraraker and Jan.

This is not laziness on my part for a change. I'd say so, if it was. There's simply nothing I could possibly add in regards to the many, many weaknesses of this book. Apart from the usual trademark Elizabeth
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 'it was OK' stars. This much-anticipated first book in a new series by a decent HR writer was actually pretty flat and disappointing for me. Others may enjoy it much more - these are my opinions only. I didn't hate it, but it's a bit of a rant, so feel free to look away now.

I just did not get engaged in this book and I couldn't bring myself to care much about the characters. I love the period and place setting (1760, England). But the trope was, for me, pretty lame. It's no spoiler
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)

NOT THE DUKE’S DARLING is the first book in a new series called the Greycourt. Guys, this series is so fun! If you’re a fan of the Maiden Lane series or like a little bit of action in your Historical Romance, then I’m sure you’ll love this book as well.

The heroine, Freya, was really fun and cool. She’s a member of the secret order of Wise Women so there was a lot about her character that I found intriguing. It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about a new series, especially a Historical Rom
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Freya was a woman of titled nobility but reduced due to a scandal involving her brother and the Greycourts. Christopher, brother’s childhood friend was also involved, and while Freya would like to set him in his place with revenge, it soon becomes apparent that Freya may not know all the details

Freya’s newest mission leads her to a house party in order to get close to Lord Randolph, a man who wants to pass a law to once again subject women to witch trials. Lord Randolph had a wife, a much young
Nenia ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ Campbell
You know that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where the evil dude rips the heart out of that one guy's chest?

I wish I could do that, only with this book and me ripping it out of the alternate dimension where it's already been written.

*wiggles fingers evilly*

Brooke — brooklynnnnereads
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
From page one, this story begins quickly with readers being thrust into a scene with quite a lot of action. That sense of action and adventure, in the midst of a romance, continues on throughout the length of the novel.

I really enjoyed this story as I loved the chemistry and tension between the two main characters. As well, I was in the mood for a historical romance and this novel 'scratched that itch' nicely. It was a historical romance but the writing style was easy and enjoyable to read for
Robin (Bridge Four)
3.5 Stars

I loved almost every book of the Maiden Lane series and so I was extremely excited to start on a new journey with Elizabeth Hoyt in the Greycourt series. Remember this is an introduction book to a new set of characters and overall plot arc so some things take more time than in other books.

First and foremost this is a semi-enemies to lovers story and so sometimes the animosity Freya feels for the Duke of Harlowe is a much. Since this is a set up story for more in this wor
RachelW (BamaGal)
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
This was well written as always with a Hoyt book, and the last part was enjoyable; but I just didn’t find myself gripped by the storyline. It was a bit simplistic, I was not overly engaged with either of the leads, and the story was often rambling and with too many vaguely drawn subplots.

I got confused with all the names. There was no consistency in the name being used. Sometimes it was the character’s first name, other times the family name. Add to that the titles and the fake names, and I was
Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover
2 Underwhelming Stars

Did Elizabeth Hoyt even write this book?? This was not what I was expecting. At all! The writing was ludicrous, the characters almost seemed childish. The sex scenes were a bore with words like “...he battered her with his pleasure.” Yeah no.

This was a total disappointment. I want to pretend I never read this book.


I NEED this book!

Sara Reads (mostly) LOTS of Romance


So... this book is one of the most confusing WTF moments I've ever had.

Where do I even begin?

How about with the fact that this book did NOT read like a E. Hoyt novel. It was like E. Hoyt from a parallel universe where she was not E. Hoyt.

The central couple is Christopher and Freya, childhood friends who were estranged after her brother is wrongly accused of murder. Fast forward fifteen years and now Christopher is a Duke and Freya is in service as a companion (or so it seems). They meet by chance at a house party and have to deal with the past, the present and also consider what they want for their future.
I loved the hero! Christopher Renshaw, Duke of Harlowe had a dark past to regret, but was a lovely person all through t
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A terrible incident 15 years ago created consequences that both Lady Freya de Moray and Duke Christopher Harlowe are still dealing with. Through a complicated series of circumstances both end up at a house party in rural England, Freya with a secret mission and under an assumed identity as a lady's companion, and the Duke ready to pay off a blackmailer. Freya's mission is to protect a secret society of Wise Women by investigating the sponsor of a bill that would reintroduce witch hunts, but she ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Romance w/Mystery, Loving Heroes & Spitfire Heroines
Reviewed for THC Reviews
Not the Duke’s Darling is the first book in Elizabeth Hoyt’s promising new Greycourt series. It follows the exploits of our heroine, Freya, who is part of a secret order known as the Wise Women. These women live in a commune-like environment in northern Scotland. They’re well-educated in many different traditional areas, as well as learning the ways of their foremothers in the healing arts. They’re also very independent and forward-thinking, always trying to protect their fellow women in/>Not
Kay (aka) Miss Bates
Ah, Hoyt, who’s written some of my favourite historical romances, The Leopard Prince and Duke Of Sin. Therefore, a new Hoyt series is always welcome and I happily plunged into Not the Duke’s Darling as my first 2019 romance-read. Though it didn’t reach the heights of my favourites, very difficult to do given how much I love them, it was satisfying. In particular, the storylines and premise it sets up make me eager for the books-to-come.

Not the Duke’s Darling is Georgian-set, Hoyt’s t
Sheila Melo
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hrr-2018, keep
"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/>Too
❝He was a man, both good and bad and everything in between.
A man who made her very aware that she was a woman of blood and bone and wants.❞

Confession time ... this is my first, Elizabeth Hoyt book. I know, I KNOW. You don't need to tell me what a fool I've been. Or what I've missed out on, because this book was an EXPERIENCE. It was an adventure. It was a treat.

Historical romance has never been my go-to choice for reading, but as I get older, I find I'm enjoying them more. 'Not the Dukes Darling' was a time travel experience
Jan 27, 2019 marked it as gave-it-a-shot
I was in the middle of a decent reading streak and this book literally caused me to stall: I just did not care an iota about any of the "Wise Women", the alleged drama between Freya or Christopher or their apparently large and sprawling families, or the ridiculous conceits needed to create a sense of drama and tension.

The real problem I have is that I enjoy how Hoyt writes; the mechanics of her prose are engaging and interesting, but this particular story not only hit me like a bucket of cold w
1-Click Addict Support Group
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Intriguing regency romance…

I’m all about diving into character’s minds and hearts. Feeling, hearing and seeing their emotions is what romance is to me. Not surprising then that traditional Regency romance is hard for me to connect with as the characters keep so much of their true thoughts and feelings hidden behind strict grammar and manners. Thank goodness this author reminds us that, no matter the time, there is always, always love…

Freya and Christopher (aka Kesper) fou
Nov 06, 2018 rated it liked it

For years now I've been hearing about how great Elizabeth Hoyt's books are. Even though I am a huge fan of historical romance, I think it took me a while to pick up anything from her because I didn't know where to begin. Now that I've read my first book from her, Not the Duke's Darling, well, I'd like to bang my head against a wall. I did not think this book was perfect, but it was enjoyable enough that I will be reading more of this author.

I was intrigued by Not the Duke's Darling i
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not the Duke’s Darling is the first book in the Greycourt series by Elizabeth Hoyt.

15 Years ago Freya De Moray's brother was left a broken man, both literally and figuratively leading to the downfall of her family. The man she holds responsible is Christopher Renshaw, now the Duke of Harlowe. Before the 'incident' she thought herself in love with Christopher, but now she only holds anger and contempt towards him. When they come across each other at a house party Freya wants nothing m
I wanted to like this much more than I did. It had all of the elements of a great story: revenge, feminism, and a tortured hero. Somehow it didn't meld into anything spectacular. The main female character was a strong feminist and was part of a secret group called Wise Women. I love a good revenge story, but this one unraveled rather quickly.

Freya was hard to like. I loved it that she was so passionate about women's rights, but it was taken too far to the point of man hater territory
Tracy Emro
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
3.5 stars rounded up.

Lady Freya Stewart de Moray's life changed dramatically 15 years ago after what came to be known as the "Greycourt Tragedy", when her brother Randolph "Ran" almost died and her family was torn apart. Now 27, Freya has joined the secret society of Wise Women and has taken work as a companion/chaperone to Lady Holland and her daughters, using the assumed name of Miss. Stewart. Her life is nothing like she thought it would be, but she is content. While helping reuni
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Reviewed for Wit and Sin

Murder, betrayal, revenge, trauma, blackmail, mysterious orders, politics, secrets, danger, and romance… Not the Duke’s Darling is a whole lotta story packed into one book. Elizabeth Hoyt dives headfirst into the intriguing world of the Greycourt family and the result is a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, I liked many of the elements to this tale. On the other, there was so much going on that everything felt incomplete.

At the center of Not the Duke’s Darling a
Kate Douglas
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love Elizabeth Hoyt’s writing, the proof being that I really don’t care for historical romances, and yet I have devoured every single one of hers, going so far as to chase down out of print copies online, but this latest book, the beginning of a new series, is absolutely fantastic. I think what draws me to her stories is that Ms. Hoyt writes strong, self-assured women in an era where women had very little autonomy over their lives. She writes them beautifully and makes it work.
Dec 20, 2018 rated it liked it
I have some seriously mixed feelings for this book. The story seemed to drag on a bit, which given that there were 2 central plots and a number of sub-plots on going, should have been impossible.
The author was trying to lay the foundations of future books in this series which at times felt too convoluted while there were bits in which the story dragged.
Overall, I found h to be a more enjoyable and engaging character than the H; in fact all female characters seemed more dominant in the boo
Dec 08, 2018 rated it liked it
After a fortuitous encounter, Freya de Moray sees the opportunity to get her revenge on Christopher Renshaw, now the Duke of Harlowe. She is to attend a house party at the Lovejoys in her capacity of paid companion and chaperone to Lady Holland and her two daughters, and Christopher will also be there. For the duke, it’s not a pleasurable task: he is being blackmailed and intends to put an end to it at the house party. He hadn’t a clue that the fiery lady’s companion was Freya, his best friend l ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love everything that Elizabeth writes. She is a master storyteller with original plots and such wonderful flawed and beautiful characters.
This story is about how life throws obstacles in your path and challenges you to break through them to your HAE.
I recommend everything that that Elizabeth has ever written. As a bonus, she includes a fairy tale at the beginning of each chapter.
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Elizabeth Hoyt is a New York Times bestselling author of historical romance. She also writes deliciously fun contemporary romance under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three untrained dogs and one long-suffering husband.

Other books in the series

Greycourt (2 books)
  • When a Rogue Meets His Match (Greycourt, #2)