REVIEW: KERRIGAN BYRNE THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

REVIEW: KERRIGAN BYRNE THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOOThe Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne
Also by this author: How to Love a Duke In Ten Days
Series: Victorian Rebels #6
Published by St. Martin's Press on August 28th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, St. Martin's Press
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five-stars

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO

by Kerrigan Byrne

There is a certain kind of voice in HR that just speaks to me. Lisa Kleypas has it, Lorraine Heath and Courtney Milan do too, to name only a few. I’m happy to report I can add another name. Kerrigan Byrne’s spellbinding storytelling took me completely by surprise. She is able to transfer the feel of another time when women were gentle and men courteous, with a good portion of grit and steam. And oh my word did it ever. It packed more steam than I expected, some of the scenes were SCORCHINGLY HOT.

But I should actually say something about The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo, right?

I think deep inside we all want men to promise us women that we are the only one. That it’ll always be just us for them and that it’ll never change. And you know how, at the same time, we don’t have any illusions about it. So along comes a book with a hero who is so totally crazy about the heroine, so absolutely gone for her from the beginning that he promises her to always come back for her. The heroine is 14 at the time, so of course she believes him. Only…one day he has to leave and never returns. Until she is being forced into marrying a disgusting man some twenty years later and kidnapped by a pirate called The Rook.

“Lorelai. There are only two indisputable facts in this world: The sun will set in the west, and I’ll come for you. Always.”

In the first couple of chapters Ms. Byrne tells us about how Lorelai found a young man, almost dead, without a memory. How their love blossoms right from the beginning. How much he adores the young girl, who takes care of him, is there when the nightmares press down on him, always with a soothing hand and a smile at the ready. There is a distinct change in the tune of the story when it switches to twenty years later. The innocent, sweet love from the beginning is gone. Instead we find obsession, the harsh cruelty of truth, a man who is unable to love and a woman who never really let go of her feelings for the young boy. But there is also a bittersweet yearning of a man who experienced incredible tragedy, yearning for the girl who has grown into an enticingly beautiful woman with an iron will.

Am I rambling? I’m rambling, huh? 😀

He inhaled agony, and exhaled anguish.

Ash was such a tragic character. He thought he was dead inside, without feelings, worthless and totally unable to recognize his emotions for what they were. He came across obsessed, a little crazy, maybe, but knowing what happened to him it was easy to see past what could be seen as a little off the rocker. He made me ache for him, I was horrified at what had happened to him but also admired his strong will to go on. His love for Lorelai was all encompassing, sometimes tender, often passionate and almost too big for his battered heart. Even in the end it felt a tiny bit desperate and sad.

And yet . . . here she stood. Waifish and delicate, innocent and untouched. Even by him. Because here was the one threshold he could not seem to cross into his final damnation. The one thread that tied him to a flickering vestige of humanity. His one island in an endless ocean of unforgiveable depravities. No matter how cold and cruel and inhumane he’d become . . . he physically could not bring himself to face a weeping Lorelai Weatherstoke.

Likewise did Lorelai impress me with her youthful wisdom, her patience, her innocence was the sweetest thing. Her growth over the course of the book was huge. I so loved her for not being bitter. Lorelai also had some pretty horrible things happening to her and she never let them pull her under. It’s her quiet strength and endurance, her patience and caring nature that frees Ash’s heart and mind from the prison of his past.

“Through everything that’s been done to me, I’ve only ever believed in one thing.” “What’s that?” she whispered. “That the sun would set in the west, and that I would come for you.”

Kerrigan Byrne has left an imprint on my heart with this book. Her words are lyrical, beautifully expressive, and oh so romantic. The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo packs a good portion of angst and if you want to be sucker-punched right in the feels you need to read this!

About Kerrigan Byrne

Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

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five-stars

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4 Comments

  • This sounds like such a beautiful love story. I love the tortured, soul-crushing, yearning romance as much as the next girl and this one seems right up that alley! It’s indeed the loveliest of feelings when a man tells you you’re his everything, even if you don’t really believe it on the inside… I think you hit that one spot on!
    Overall, amazing review <3

    • Thank you, sweets! Yes – it was all of that. Soul-crushing and tortured. I’m pretty sure you’ll love it!

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