How to Love a Duke in Ten Days (Devil You Know, #1)
These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees...Famed and brilliant, Lady Alexandra Lane has always known how to look out for to herself. But nobody would ever expect that she has darkness in her past—one that she pays a blackmailer to keep buried. Now, with her family nearing bankruptcy, Alexandra strikes upon a solution: Get married to one of the empire’s most wealthy eligible bachelors. Even if he does have the reputation of a devil.LOVE TAKES NO PRISONERSPiers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is seeking revenge and the first step is securing a bride. Winning a lady’s hand is not so easy, however, for a man known as the Terror of Torcliff. Then, Alexandra enters his life like a bolt of lightning. When she proposes marriage, Piers knows that, like him, trouble haunts her footsteps. But her gentleness, sharp wit, independent nature, and incredible beauty awakens every fierce desire within him. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe in his arms.

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days (Devil You Know, #1) Details

TitleHow to Love a Duke in Ten Days (Devil You Know, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 27th, 2019
PublisherSt. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN-139781250318848
Rating
GenreRomance, Historical Romance, Historical, Historical Fiction

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days (Devil You Know, #1) Review

  • Kerrigan Byrne
    January 1, 1970
    I'm trying to like this author better... But I know she loved writing this book.
  • Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved, loved How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. No, not just favorite historical romance authors, but favorite authors. Full stop. This is the second book from Kerrigan Byrne in a row that I've loved, and I think it's time to just suck it up and buy her whole backlist. This book was unputdownable. Sometimes, I think I'm too harsh of a reviewer. I have trouble feeling enthusiastic about mediocre romance, and with over 1500 roman I loved, loved How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. No, not just favorite historical romance authors, but favorite authors. Full stop. This is the second book from Kerrigan Byrne in a row that I've loved, and I think it's time to just suck it up and buy her whole backlist. This book was unputdownable. Sometimes, I think I'm too harsh of a reviewer. I have trouble feeling enthusiastic about mediocre romance, and with over 1500 romances under my belt, I got bored easily. But then a book like How to Love a Duke in Ten Days comes along and knocks my socks off. I loved almost everything about this story. I loved how it addressed the main character's (Trigger warning) (view spoiler)[rape (hide spoiler)] with sensitivity and understanding. I knew going in that the book would have something to do with sexual assault from the #metoo at the author's dedication section, and I think the author did an excellent job balancing everything. I also have a HUGE weakness for a scarred male MC, and his gruff, masculine, scarred face was giving me allllll sorts of good vibes. The book was an excellent blend of female friendship, mystery, sensuality, sensitivity, romance and pain. I practically read it straight through in one sitting. I simply couldn't stop reading. For those of you who want something compulsively readable, something to shake up your reading slump, look no further. Kerrigan Byrne will wow you with this one.*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*goodreads|instagram|twitter|blog
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  • Anovelqueen
    January 1, 1970
    ***4 Stars***I have been a fan of Kerrigan Byrne from her first book. She is an outstanding storyteller and her novels contain deep and dark emotional themes. This novel continues to exemplify her writing skill and her ability to evoke an emotional response.Lady Alexandra Lane has a dark secret that not only leaves emotional scars but has also caused her fear of revelation throughout the years. Only a few know her secrets, namely her two best friends, and they are all bound by their loyalty and ***4 Stars***I have been a fan of Kerrigan Byrne from her first book. She is an outstanding storyteller and her novels contain deep and dark emotional themes. This novel continues to exemplify her writing skill and her ability to evoke an emotional response.Lady Alexandra Lane has a dark secret that not only leaves emotional scars but has also caused her fear of revelation throughout the years. Only a few know her secrets, namely her two best friends, and they are all bound by their loyalty and love for each other. Now Alexandra is afraid of the consequences of her secret being revealed by a blackmailer. Her character is noted to be strong, intelligent, independent and serious.Piers Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, bears both emotional and physical scars. He is bent on revenge after being ditched by his fiancée. He is immediately drawn to the uniqueness of Alexandra. His character is of a hunter/outdoorsman, open, funny and a rescuer/protector.The story is fast paced and I read it in one sitting. I love how much time the couple spends together, getting to know one another. There is not a significant secondary story which lends to more time with the couple. Excellent dialogue with some laugh out loud moments with Piers dry humor. Overall a good read and a highly recommend.
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  • Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession
    January 1, 1970
    5 How to fall in love with a book in 1 day Stars ******Mild spoilers***** "We are eternally bound," she repeated. "By secrets, blood, and pain." "And by trust, passion, and revenge," Francesca added darkly. "And by friendship, love, and..." Cecelia sniffed, pressing on the hands beneath her, as if she could touch the heart below it. "And hope. For without that, what reason do we have to endure?"-The Red Rogues OMG Kerrigan Byrne is a brilliant writer. I knew I had a ARC due. I will be honest 5 How to fall in love with a book in 1 day Stars ******Mild spoilers***** "We are eternally bound," she repeated. "By secrets, blood, and pain." "And by trust, passion, and revenge," Francesca added darkly. "And by friendship, love, and..." Cecelia sniffed, pressing on the hands beneath her, as if she could touch the heart below it. "And hope. For without that, what reason do we have to endure?"-The Red Rogues OMG Kerrigan Byrne is a brilliant writer. I knew I had a ARC due. I will be honest I didn't want to read this book. Or any book for that matter. I have been in a really crappy book funk. Everything I have read had been boring, meh, annoying, or just plain pissed me off. For the last few months, I have found myself not wanting to read anything, because I know I will end up angry at fictional characters, and want to throw my kindle against a wall. I was avoiding this book. Afraid my sour ass mood would color my view of the story. I decided to try and start it. If I started to feel annoyed, I would put it down and come back to it later. However two pages in, just two mind you, I was so enthralled that I couldn't put the book down. The story was so emotional, the characters so on point, that I read it all the way through. No sleep, didn't clean, had my husband make dinner. I could not be pulled away from this book til I got their HEA. "Lately, I only feel safe when I'm with you."-Alexandra "I like it when you say my name," he growled. "I'll like it even better when you moan it."-PiersPiers was amazingly sexy, beastly, and protective. He had his issues, and wasn't perfect, but he was perfect for me. I love me some scarred heroes. Maybe it's just me, but there is something sexy about the strength and survival that scars represent. Piers had a dry sense of humor that had me cracking up. Alexandra was amazing and strong. It was nice to see how much of a fighter Alexandra was. She made a life for herself without a man, she was smart, brave, and loyal. As a sexual assault survivor, I hate when I read a book where a woman is assaulted, then jumps straight into bed with the hero. Like nothing happened and sex magically makes everything better. When the aftermath is depicted as easy to get over. Just glossed over like no biggie. Sexual assault is an ugly, life altering thing that changes a person forever. No two survivors are the same, or react the same. So I really loved that Kerrigan Byrne did a great job of painting the raw aftermath of healing. Of the scars that linger long after, but also of the beauty of taking back one's power and life. It was a nice balance. A touch of real without weighting down the book with too much dark. I love anything that sheds a realistic light on something that affects so many. He could break her. He could protect her. She feared him. She needed him. She wanted....this. The scream crawling up her throat finally erupted, muffled by the fabrics as her entire soul rent apart in one quivering, bone-shattering cry of pure, helpless, hopeless anguish. She'e thought she was healing. That her patient, tempting husband opened her body and mind, seducing her into the world of carnality. But no. She was broken. Damaged. Dirty. No matter how many baths she took. No matter how many tears she offered. How much restitution she paid or forgiveness she begged. No matter how many years were put between her and the night her body had been invaded. She was damaged. Soiled. Unclean and fallen.-Alexandra The above quote is just so powerful, and raw. Piers and Alexandra were one of those amazing couples that you feel a real, and deep connection too. Their love was all consuming. Their passion was smoking hot. I felt the bond, felt the love, felt the story. They were not the only well written, and beautiful relationship in this book though. The Red Rogues, Alex and her two best friends Francesca and Cecilia were a lovely picture of female friendship and sisterhood. They would do anything for each other. It's a nice change to read about loyal female relationships, without all the catty, backstabbing drama that most books have. Truly this book was amazing, and I would recommend it to anyone that loves romance. I would say that as a reader maybe the Author should have put a bit more of a trigger warning on the book, other than the #metoo comment. The rape scene was very hard to read and may really upset some. That there is the only thing I would change about this book. It will be going into my top favorites of all time. I would give this book more that 5 stars if I could. I'm just blown away!!! I can't wait to read the next book!"You don't know what it will cost me, Alexandra, to love you like this. It consumes me. It obsesses me. You've somehow, in less than a bloody fortnight, become more integral to my sustenance than the very air I breathe or the water I drink." -Piers https://jessicasoverthetopbookobsessi...
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  • Stacey is Sassy
    January 1, 1970
    Listening enhanced my love for this story...I was so excited when I realised that How To Love a Duke in Ten Days was going to be available in audio. I'm a huge Kerrigan Byrne fan and her previously released, Victorian Rebels series is not available in Australia (YET...please be yet). My listening experience was everything I hoped for and more. The characters came to life for me and I loved stepping into their world and hearing them. Derek Perkins is a master at his craft and is one of my very fa Listening enhanced my love for this story...I was so excited when I realised that How To Love a Duke in Ten Days was going to be available in audio. I'm a huge Kerrigan Byrne fan and her previously released, Victorian Rebels series is not available in Australia (YET...please be yet). My listening experience was everything I hoped for and more. The characters came to life for me and I loved stepping into their world and hearing them. Derek Perkins is a master at his craft and is one of my very favourite male narrators. His clear and precise voice is enhanced by his talent with accents and characterisations. In my head, I often apologise to Mr Perkins that such a classically sounding narrator has to say the "F" word aloud and narrate intimate scenes. It almost seems out of character to his voice. The best way to describe it is trying to imagine Mr Darcy swearing (of course I'm thinking Colin Firth's). Now, I'm not saying he shouldn't say those words, though, because I loved hearing Piers' frustration...and naughty thoughts.I loved reading this story and I loved listening too. I'm so glad I have my very first Kerrigan Byrne historical romance on audible and I am sure it will be regularly re-read/listened to. That is until the Victorian Rebels comes to Australia... HINT... HINT... PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON THE TOP!! (sorry for shouting)**********Holy Friggerroly…that was bloody AWESOME!!I saw a post on Twitter the other day that made me a little sad. No book or author was mentioned but a reviewer was disheartened and ready to give up reviewing after she’d been targeted and harassed because of a negative review. That bothered me, but then, I was also upset by a comment that was further down in the post. Another reviewer was complaining about all the OTT fangirling reviews.Hmmm…Now, how am I going to convince you to read this awesome story that is my absolute favourite from Kerrigan Byrne (since her last release) without sounding OTT fangirling? Well, friends and fellow readers, I just can’t. Sorry, you’ll just have to grin and bear my fangirling tendencies because I LOVE THIS AUTHOR and I LOVE HER HISTORICAL ROMANCES!!Seriously, Kerrigan Byrne can do no wrong in my eyes. Well, maybe she could do wrong if I knew her in real life, but writing-wise, she is a BLOODY MASTER at her craft. How to Love a Duke in Ten Days was amazing and kept me enthralled from start to finish. As soon as this story loaded up on my Kindle, I HAD to start. I squirmed with glee at the turn of the first page and sighed in contentment with every page turned after that. Ms Byrne’s words…worlds…characters are my happy place and I’m sad to say goodbye at the end.I absolutely love Kerrigan Byrne’s ability to capture my attention at the beginning with a scene that was thought-provoking and a little heartbreaking. This author sucks you in by showing us the heroine at her most vulnerable. We then get to see her survive, grow and eventually conquer the demons that made her vulnerable. To be honest, that squirmy, uncomfortable, icky feeling she leaves me with is something I look forward to. Isn’t that weird? I guess the appeal is in knowing that this character WILL win in the end. If that win is just in love, then I’m fairly satisfied. If that win also happens to be from conquering a fear or getting past a barrier, then I’m ecstatic.When I met Alexandra and her Red Rogue friends Cecilia and Francesca, I knew that I was meeting new friends. When I met Piers, the hero, I knew I was meeting my next favourite HERO!!! This man made my heart flutter. Big, broody and bossy…just the way I love them. So, on meeting him I was fluttery, by the end, I was swooning, sighing and squirming with delight. He’d fallen and he’d fallen hard…I love it when the hero falls hard for his heroine.How to Love a Duke in Ten Days left me extremely satisfied, but I can admit that at times it was hard to read. Alexandra had a horrible thing happen to her at a young and vulnerable age. If she hadn’t had the support and love from her two friends, there’s a good chance she may not have survived. While the journey was a little rocky at times, I was never in any doubt that Piers and Alexandra would work through their problems together. I knew that Piers would be thoughtful and understanding. He cared about Alexandra's feelings and while Piers knew it left him vulnerable, showed her how much she meant to him.Yes, I have written a very positive review, but I know this book will not be for everyone. For starters, if you’re not a fan of sexy stories, this is probably not for you. If a wee bit of mystery, a touch of angst and a smidge of secrets, lies and betrayals make you run for the hills, then maybe avoid this one. How to Love a Duke in Ten Days does touch on some sensitive issues but I never felt overwhelmed and thought the author handled it very well.From the first page to the last, I was captivated. Piers and Alexandra’s love story was exactly what I’m looking for in my historical romance reads. I smiled, sighed, sniffled and squirmed throughout this story and I loved every minute of it. If you haven’t read a Kerrigan Byrne historical romance yet, this start to The Devil You Know series would be a fantastic introduction. But be warned…once you start, you won’t be able to stop.Stacey is Sassy, received an advanced copy of this story. The copy provided is not the final copy and may be subject to edits and changes.
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  • WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker
    January 1, 1970
    4.3 starsI 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.How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is the first book in the new series Devil You Know by Kerrigan Byrne and it is a wonderful start. The Prologue starts us off with seventeen year old Alexandra as she is called into the headmaster's office of the ladies' finishing school she has been attending in France. I do want to mention that there is a pretty intense r 4.3 starsI 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.How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is the first book in the new series Devil You Know by Kerrigan Byrne and it is a wonderful start. The Prologue starts us off with seventeen year old Alexandra as she is called into the headmaster's office of the ladies' finishing school she has been attending in France. I do want to mention that there is a pretty intense rape scene, some might want to avoid reading. Skipping the prologue to avoid it would be possible but you would miss some bonding knowledge between Alexandra and her friends. The rest of the book has mention of the rape and how it affects Alexandra's relationships and how she is, can, and could be triggered in intimate moments with our hero Piers. I thought the author handled the respect and emotions beautifully around this issue and it provided some moments of tears and smiles. A confusion of sensations paralyzed her. How could she feel both panicked and protected? If you've read Byrne's work before, you'll know how her stories balance light and dark moments, she mastered them in this book. The fear Alexandra feels with Piers in the beginning before she knows him was tempered exquisitely with the playfulness between the two. Alexandra and Piers get to know one another and the first half is Alexandra learning to trust Piers.After the prologue, we jump ahead in time ten years and Alexandra gets a note from her friend Francesca telling her she needs her help and an invite to her betrothal ball to the Duke of Redmayne aka The Terror of Torcliffe. Francesca, along with Cecilia, are the friends Alexandra made at the France school and they formed The Red Rogue Society. They all have red hair and sneak away at night to “further their education”, basically try things young men get to experience but are forbidden to ladies. The night of Alexandra's rape bonds them together, along with the school's gardener, as they bury a secret. I loved how Byrne wrote this group of women and how their personalities were so different but their friendship was solid. I feel like historical romance is full of men groups who are bonding together in some way and I liked the script flipping here. She was a soft, silver moonbeam in a room full of glowing golden candles.And all the more radiant for it. When Alexandra and Piers meet there was a definite crackling of tension but even though these two were very guarded characters, it was their lightness together that won my heart. Byrne's writing style is very reminiscent of the bodice rippers of old, you'll get some faint purple prose elongated sex scenes and drama, which sometimes can get a bit much. I thought this was most apparent with Pier's nickname of Terror of Torcliff; except for the scars on his face, there didn't seem to be a reason for it. I also thought his background could have be fleshed out more, we're told about his mother and father, but especially his relationship with his half-brother, it wasn't as filled out as I would have liked.The reason for Piers wanting to get married is so that he can produce heirs because he doesn't want his cousin inheriting, the cousin who ended up marrying Piers fiancee. This whole situation is probably what I would have cut out as it too wasn't especially filled out and the vitriol towards the ex-fiancee felt a bit much and I'm just particularly sensitive towards hate at woman at the moment. Bringing Piers in through Francesca would have worked on it's own for me.Francesca wanting to marry Piers is a whole conversation, there is a lot happening in this book, but Byrne does for the vast majority keep it together. Besides the red hair and more adventurous attitudes, The Red Rogues bond together for support because Cecilia has a very cruel father and Francesca watched her whole family be murdered by men in masks. While Francesca is obviously not the star of this story, her murder mystery definitely plays a solid underlining to it. This murder mystery, along with the first half mostly taking place in Piers' castle help to give this a slight Gothic feel. She wondered if the world wold ever recognize that the Terror of Torcliff had never been a terror at all. But a man. A man possessed of so much wit, skill, charm, intellect, and humor, he was forever surprising her. Often delighting her.Enchanting her, even. The second half changes gears and after a little bit of marriage of convenience, the story moves to Normandy for Alexandra and Piers' honeymoon. As Alexandra has a doctorate of archaeology, Piers takes her to a current excavation of who could be a former Viking ancestor from William the Conqueror time. Some might think this comes in a bit oddly but I loved it, this additive was fun and what I look for when I read historical romance. It also helped to tie in the other mystery, someone has been blackmailing Alexandra over what happened ten years ago. Needing money to keep paying the blackmailer was the reason for Alexandra jumping in to marry Piers (Francesca never wanted to marry him, it was a set-up to gain info on who was responsible for her family's murder). This mystery wasn't quite as intriguing as Francesca's and I thought the ending conclusion was obvious and too Scooby Doo villain drama-ish.While the first half was about Alexandra trusting Piers, the second half moves to Piers learning to trust Alexandra when he learns she's not a virgin. His issues with how his mother slept around and the betrayal from his ex-fiancee cloud his judgment and he says he won't touch her until ten days, when she gets her courses. Piers doesn't even want to be around Alexandra but she sets-up that they have to be together to learn one another for at least an hour a day. This setup is brought up and then kind of abandoned but the building blocks for the couple's relationship were still there so I didn't mind. Because this inexhaustible emotion gathering inside of him threatened to completely dismantle him. He knew, then and there, that he'd walk through hell for her. He'd slay dragons and face entire armies. He'd circumnavigate the globe to lay her foes at her feet. And the power of whatever suffused him would assure him victory. The story does start to drag a sliver around the sixty percent mark but I'm not sure what I would cut out. As I said, this is a busy story with Alexandra getting blackmailed, Francesca's murder mystery, someone trying to murder Alexandra or Piers or both, and the whole falling in love, but instead of a clogged incoherent story, Byrne ties everything together soundly and creates one heck of a reading journey. The best part is that I saw these two fall in love and all the other tidbits were great bonuses. Cecilia and Piers' half brother Ramsey are teased as the next couple and I can't wait to read their story and maybe get more information on Francesca's compelling story. I highly recommend How to Love a Duke in Ten Days, don't miss out on what looks to be shaping up to one amazing series.
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  • ~**Anna**~ A Romance Reader
    January 1, 1970
    Loved it!! This was such a heartfelt, beautiful story. Piers and Alexandra are true soulmates. I am so glad they found each other and the happiness they so deserve. Kerrigan Byrne writes the most touching, beautiful Historical Romances and this book wasn’t the exception. Its going straight to my faves not only of 2019 but of all time!
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  • Lana ❇✾Dirty Girl Romance❇✾
    January 1, 1970
    4 STARS Kissing Piers Gedrick Atherton was like standing at the mouth of the Nile and realizing the scope of it was beyond comprehension. That the beauty matched the peril, and in the awe-inspiring danger existed its own strange appeal. Who's a reader that will jump on whatever book Kerrigan Byrne writes but was even MORE excited for a brand new series?Spoiler alert; it was me.I'm obsessed with Byrne's historicals and when I saw that she's coming out with a brand new series, I jumped on it so 4 STARS Kissing Piers Gedrick Atherton was like standing at the mouth of the Nile and realizing the scope of it was beyond comprehension. That the beauty matched the peril, and in the awe-inspiring danger existed its own strange appeal. Who's a reader that will jump on whatever book Kerrigan Byrne writes but was even MORE excited for a brand new series?Spoiler alert; it was me.I'm obsessed with Byrne's historicals and when I saw that she's coming out with a brand new series, I jumped on it so quick I'm pretty sure I left a dust trail behind me. The premise to this series is definitely delicious with three friends bonded by dark secrets that threaten to ruin them all. We are eternally bound,” she repeated. “By secrets, blood, and pain.” “And by trust, passion, and revenge,” And while Byrne is a master when it comes to creating tortured and broken heroes, it was a nice change of pace to get that from the female character. Lady Alexandra Lane is a heroine that grabs your attention immediately and you can't help but bond with. This woman is a survivor in every sense of the word, and I loved that extra zing of fierceness to her. I loved how Byrne took a delicate and yet poignant subject and shed all the more light on it. Alexandra's past is not an easy one, but it's not laced in morbid detail either. The author gives the reader just enough of a glimpse to set the tone and boy did it set the tone. His entire life, he’d never quite had a sense of belonging. Had never known what the words “home” or “family” meant, or why they meant so much to others. Until here. Until her. Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is exactly how he sounds from the blurb; intense, brooding, and driven by revenge. His potential bride is not exactly thrilled at the idea of marrying the Terror of Torcliff, particularly since it clashes with her own agenda. So color him surprised when her friend strikes a bargain to marry him in her stead. Alexandra and Piers were everything. EVERYTHING. I loved watching this brooding man fall harder and harder for her even though he fights it at every turn. Alexandra has dark secrets and Piers is full of preconceived ideas due to his past. There's a dark undercurrent to their union, paved with deadly secrets and scorching chemistry. I was immediately enraptured with this world and these characters. I'm so excited for the next book in the series! If you're looking for a Historical Romance with a dash of grit, suspense, and plenty of action, you need this book in your life.ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest reviewFind me on:
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  • Chris C - A Midlife Wife
    January 1, 1970
    Oh sighhhhh! I loved this story! Hotttt- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I have to say I absolutely enjoyed this book thoroughly. It definitely is something special that seem to be above and beyond the normal historical romance.I think what the differences is that this one focused more on the attraction between the two characters and not endless stiff conversation that slowly built into something by the end of the book.In this story, the two main characters felt their connection quickly and we are treated Oh sighhhhh! I loved this story! Hotttt- ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I have to say I absolutely enjoyed this book thoroughly. It definitely is something special that seem to be above and beyond the normal historical romance.I think what the differences is that this one focused more on the attraction between the two characters and not endless stiff conversation that slowly built into something by the end of the book.In this story, the two main characters felt their connection quickly and we are treated to all of the hot glances, teasing and tantalizing descriptions, and the build up that got even better the further we get into the story.Piers was from solid Viking stock and full of unexpected pleasures. He certainly gave Alexandra unexpected pleasures too! Tender and sensual, dominant, and possessive in all of the right ways.Alexandra was brilliant, courageous, and oh, so innocent. The best part, she was not afraid to go after what she wanted to hide her secrets, namely Piers!This author charmed me with over top creativity, heated descriptions, and tense but passion-filled build up. Plus, the main events were enough to make your temperature rise a bit too!I just really enjoyed the story completely. In fact, I don’t recall the last time I gave an historical romance five stars. But I’m certainly not letting that hold me back today.If you are looking for something different and unique, interesting and captivating, that will tickle your fancy while reeling you in completely, this author certainly has nailed it.* copy received for review considerationfull review - https://amidlifewife.com/how-to-love-...
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  • Holly
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThis book does NOT start off as a normal historical romance with a meet-cute moment between the hero and heroine. Instead it starts with (trigger warning and major spoiler warning!)(view spoiler)[ a rape (hide spoiler)]. So yeah, this was different. For the most part I actually enjoyed this book, and I would have rated it higher if:A) the heroine had a little more fire to her, she had a very straight forward, analytical personality that wasn't particularly endearingB) the hero had a mor 3.5 starsThis book does NOT start off as a normal historical romance with a meet-cute moment between the hero and heroine. Instead it starts with (trigger warning and major spoiler warning!)(view spoiler)[ a rape (hide spoiler)]. So yeah, this was different. For the most part I actually enjoyed this book, and I would have rated it higher if:A) the heroine had a little more fire to her, she had a very straight forward, analytical personality that wasn't particularly endearingB) the hero had a more interesting backstory to how he got his scars, figuratively and literallyC) the big mystery reveal scene wasn't so over the top! I mean that many people all there at once was just ridiculous and I wasn't shocked or emotionally involved with any of the reveals.It really was thisclose to being a four star book though based on writing talent, I just wanted a little MORE from the story itself. I'll still pick up the next book in this series when it comes out.
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  • Hollis
    January 1, 1970
    I was so worried about HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS. The opening chapters, in some ways, read a lot like THE HIGHWAYMAN, the first book by this author I loved (and unrelated to this series..). I was side-eyeing the story, some familiar elements, until.. those similarities dissipated and this story, different and with its own strengths, emerged.Loneliness was safer than love.This book is dedicated to survivors, to the #metoo movement, and that probably says a lot about some of the content in th I was so worried about HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS. The opening chapters, in some ways, read a lot like THE HIGHWAYMAN, the first book by this author I loved (and unrelated to this series..). I was side-eyeing the story, some familiar elements, until.. those similarities dissipated and this story, different and with its own strengths, emerged.Loneliness was safer than love.This book is dedicated to survivors, to the #metoo movement, and that probably says a lot about some of the content in this book. Infact the very first chapter opens up with a sexual assault on our heroine and she spends the rest of the story dealing with the aftermath. She learns to disguise her form and navigate life to avoid touch, avoid danger, and basically any men who could be a threat. She becomes a traveler, an academic, preferring the company of dead men and their bones to real flesh and blood ones. Even though it's a dead man who haunts her.. as well as a very real person who is blackmailing her over it.Just who were these ladies? Where were the tears and histrionics? Couldn't they have at least afforded him a modicum of feminine display for his — he wasn't too modest to say — rather heroic behaviour?She and her two best friends from school reunite when one of them announce their engagement to a duke. And it's when Alexandra inadvertently runs into said duke, prior to an introduction, that her carefully curated life goes off script."I know we're both in a great deal of trouble at the moment, but that is no reason to marry a man. When has the addition of anyone of the opposite sex ever improved one of our situations?"It's no secret that Byrne's specialty is dark, damaged, anti-heroes. But this time, with Piers, she gives her typical (atypical?) hero a bit of a twist; he's dark, he's damaged, but he's also charming. Funny. Tender. Kind. He's not an anti-hero, more just resigned to his fate, for all that he's blessed with riches and a dukedom. He'd rather tend the horses, travel, and be far from the ton and their two-faced-ness, as well as any and all wearying social niceties."You're like no duke I've ever met.""And you're unlike any lady of my acquaintance.""I–I didn't at all mean that as a slight.""And I was paying you the highest compliment."Both have secrets. Both have their own scars. And both somehow discover this incredible connection over the course of (you guessed it) ten days. While I would almost never buy this in a contemporary, and I'm sure I've doubted it in a HR, too, somehow.. Byrne makes me believe it. The intensity of the events, with (multiple!) near death close-calls, the emotional rollercoasters they have to navigate as they get to know each other, plus the heightened connection by way of their attraction and everything they have to navigate in order to be together.. it just works. In the same way that the secret, hovering over their heads, worked. It wasn't something that could just be blurted out and I didn't begrudge it for its existence. Every reason for keeping it a secret was valid. Somehow everything about this story just.. fit. Everything that was introduced was handled beautifully, respectfully, and overall this was just so well done. Even the outlandish or harder to believe bits."All I'm asking is for you to have mercy on me, [..]. If there is a battle to fight, a villain to face, I beg you to allow me the honour. Because the cruelest thing you could do, is sentence me to a world without you in it."This was all the swoon, all of the fun, all of the mystery (though I did actually guess right!), that I’ve come to love from Byrne and I'm so relieved considering the last additions to the Victorian Rebels series had me worried. They seemed to be missing some of the early spark I had come to love and rely on from this author; but the same cannot be said here. It might feel a little familiar for those who know, and love, the aforementioned series.. but it's in the best kind of way. And it definitely stands apart. I'm very keen to read on in this series, which, additionally, had the next couple cunningly teased (not that we couldn't guess..) in the epilogue. Just to hook you. So, consider me hooked!** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **---This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.
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  • Jonetta
    January 1, 1970
    Lady Alexandra Lane leads an interesting but solitary life, except for her career and relationship with her two best friends from her school days. She’s scholarly and learned but is emotionally scarred and burdened by a ten-year old event that only a few know about. However, one of them is her anonymous blackmailer who has drained her financially. Piers Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is hosting a weekend celebration at his estate to announce his betrothed, yet to be named but rumored to be one Lady Alexandra Lane leads an interesting but solitary life, except for her career and relationship with her two best friends from her school days. She’s scholarly and learned but is emotionally scarred and burdened by a ten-year old event that only a few know about. However, one of them is her anonymous blackmailer who has drained her financially. Piers Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is hosting a weekend celebration at his estate to announce his betrothed, yet to be named but rumored to be one of Alexandra’s best friends who’s a reluctant bride. He has strong motives to marry but not necessarily to a specific woman. Circumstances change where Piers and Alexandra might alter the original plan. I’ve wanted to read this author for a very long time, have even collected a lot of her books; so, when this opportunity presented itself, I was more than thrilled. There was something about the synopsis that hinted at more and my instincts paid off. This was a meaty story centered around two very appealing characters, and I don’t necessarily mean physically. Alexandra was shaped by what happened years ago, created so many layers it made her fascinating. Piers is physically imposing with an even larger personality and demons. The conflicts and challenges were immense and the intrigue even grander. I also loved Alexandra’s two friends who are vital to the story. I loved everything about this story...the characters, mysteries, subterfuge, romance and the stunning prologue that sets the stage for everything that comes after. Alexandra and Piers are well crafted, so much that you eventually know what they will and won’t do. No predictable paths here except where it’s natural for the two of them. There’s quite a bit going on but I appreciated that I got to discover it all by reading the book and won’t deprive anyone of that pleasure. Just know that you’ll be swept up and captivated by it all. (Thanks to St. Martin’s Paperbacks for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)
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  • Stacie
    January 1, 1970
    5 "Man or Beast" Stars!This book was just exactly 100% everything I wanted it to be! Intense, shocking, mysterious, compelling, heartbreaking, tragic, triumphant, bold, subtle, romantic, swooney, sensual, HOT, dirty, sweet. I loved it!! Pierce is everything I love in a romance hero. Physically damaged and closed off emotionally. Or so he says until the right woman comes along. He's going on the favorite males list. Alexandra was brave and scared and scarred and loyal and sweet and sassy and vuln 5 "Man or Beast" Stars!This book was just exactly 100% everything I wanted it to be! Intense, shocking, mysterious, compelling, heartbreaking, tragic, triumphant, bold, subtle, romantic, swooney, sensual, HOT, dirty, sweet. I loved it!! Pierce is everything I love in a romance hero. Physically damaged and closed off emotionally. Or so he says until the right woman comes along. He's going on the favorite males list. Alexandra was brave and scared and scarred and loyal and sweet and sassy and vulnerable. But again, so brave. She was a woman I could respect. This is definitely one of my top reads of 2019. I can't wait to see what Kerrigan Byrne comes out with next. She has become an auto buy author for me. Highly recommended for Historical Romance lovers. Happy reading!
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  • Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤
    January 1, 1970
    ❤ 5 STARS❤I loved it so much, this is the first book in a new series and it's a little bit darker than her other books!Kerrigan Byrne delivers an emotional,raw story with a heavy romance! “If there is a battle to fight, a villain to face, I beg you to allow me the honor. Because the cruelest thing you could do, is sentence me to a world without you in it.”I fall in love with both characters and I find their relationship interesting and intense!Alexandra and Piers were addictive!I couldn't get en ❤️ 5 STARS❤️I loved it so much, this is the first book in a new series and it's a little bit darker than her other books!Kerrigan Byrne delivers an emotional,raw story with a heavy romance! “If there is a battle to fight, a villain to face, I beg you to allow me the honor. Because the cruelest thing you could do, is sentence me to a world without you in it.”I fall in love with both characters and I find their relationship interesting and intense!Alexandra and Piers were addictive!I couldn't get enough of them!I could feel their pain and my heart was aching for them!Such a great characters!     
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  • MG
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. Okay... where do I even start?! It is rare for me to be blown away, especially in this genre because I have read so many HRs and have seen similar plots unfold time after time. In this case, however, even when there was some re-treading of themes, it was executed so well that it somehow made what is old feel new all over again. The story opens as Alexandra Lane, the daughter of an earl, is set to graduate from her preparatory school.... and things go horribly wrong. Luckily, she has the aid Wow. Okay... where do I even start?! It is rare for me to be blown away, especially in this genre because I have read so many HRs and have seen similar plots unfold time after time. In this case, however, even when there was some re-treading of themes, it was executed so well that it somehow made what is old feel new all over again. The story opens as Alexandra Lane, the daughter of an earl, is set to graduate from her preparatory school.... and things go horribly wrong. Luckily, she has the aid and devotion of her fellow Red Rogues - her 2 best friends (Francesca and Cecilia) who also have a variation of red hair and who are part of a "secret society" where they indulge in delights only permitted by men in polite society. Her friends help Alexandra deal with the fallout and share their own secrets so that they are bonded forever by them. But someone else knows what happened that night, and that person has bled Alexandra dry by blackmailing her over the last 10 years which is where the story resumes. Alexandra is now a respected archeologist who has eagerly accepted spinsterhood as her traumatic experience in the past has made it impossible for her to ever trust a man. She has now found herself in dire financial straights and is trying to determine her best course of action when she is sidetracked by an urgent request from the Red Rogues to join her at Castle Redmayne for Francesca's sudden nuptials to the Duke of Redmayne: Piers, aka the Terror of Torcliff. Piers has come to terms with the fact that he must end his wanderlust (at least temporarily) to secure his legacy as the duke. He considers himself a huntsman and adventurer, though his last excursion left him near death with half of his face horribly scarred. As unsightly as he believes himself to be, he recalls that there is a betrothal contract and decides to call it in. The problem is that he and his bride are more likely to kill each other than coexist peacefully; thus, he is dreading what lies ahead. Then he encounters an intriguing woman: Alexandra Lane. She is both courageous and terrified; brilliant and naive; dowdy and exquisite --- a mystery he cannot help but want to unravel. And since Alexandra is in desperate need of funds to keep her blackmailer at bay AND knows her friend Francesca doesn't want to marry Piers, she offers herself to the "beast." But as she trusts no man and Piers has too many reasons to be wary of women, will they ever learn to trust one another? And even if they can, will they have a future when they are constantly dodging death as someone is after one of ... or both of them? What I liked:--- The main characters were very "real" - gritty, raw - the good, the bad, and the ugly all on display, which not only made the characters more relatable, but made the reader feel so much more invested in their HEA--- There were twists I definitely didn't see coming (I will say that I called the first reveal and the very last reveal in the epilogue - points for me! haha!)--- The ancillary characters were also really fun - I am excited to read the other 2 Red Rogues' stories!--- The writing style of this book is straight up superb - the visuals Byrne created with the words was like poetry at times - very eloquent and well done! --- Heartbreaking scenes that made the reader feel almost as pained as the characters--- Steamy goodness What I didn't like as much:--- The only thing that stands out to me here is Piers kind of pissed me off by being so untrusting - I understand it to an extent, but he was acting a bit too dickish at times, imo--- One other thing mild (view spoiler)[ one of the villains wasn't very well developed, so even though the motive was "clear," the extent of the reasons behind it was not revealed until the villain was "unmasked," so it lost a little bit of the "aha!" factor (hide spoiler)]I normally dislike angst in my stories (I tend to prefer the "us against the world" kind of romance vs the ones with relationship angst), but this one worked for me because the angst didn't feel unnecessary or manufactured which is my real pet peeve. A highly recommended read if you enjoy a a well-written historical romance with sizzle, intrigue, and emotion that holds your attention from cover to cover!Plot --- 5/5Main Characters --- 5/5Supporting Cast --- 5/5Steam Level* --- 3.5/5Violence --- nothing graphic (possible trigger: sexual abuse)Language --- some (the H likes the f word)POV --- 3rd*Note that steam level is not a rating so much as a how hot was it: 0/5 - clean; 1/5 - mild; 2/5 - sensual but nothing descriptive; 3/5 - now we're getting somewhere; 4/5 - yes please! ; 5/5 - they did EVERYTHING in this one, y'allI received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Lover of Romance
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from St. Martin's Paperbacks in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.How To Love A Duke In Ten Days is the first book in this authors NEWEST series...yep you heard me she has a new series and it starts out with a bang. Just like "The Highwayman" it starts off fresh, gritty and real and I am all for it and it worked for me in so many ways. There i This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from St. Martin's Paperbacks in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.How To Love A Duke In Ten Days is the first book in this authors NEWEST series...yep you heard me she has a new series and it starts out with a bang. Just like "The Highwayman" it starts off fresh, gritty and real and I am all for it and it worked for me in so many ways. There is so much that I admire about this author here and this book surprised me. I am not sure why I was so shocked it delighted me so much here, but it really did and in ways I wasn't expecting. Just fair warning there are some darker elements included in the story so this story might not work for everyone because of those elements such as abuse and rape.Our delightful story starts off with a friendship that is formed between three women. Lady Alexandra along with two other women while at a school is sexually assaulted by the headmaster and in trying to defend herself, the headmaster ended up dead and Alexandra along with her two friends covered up the evidence and have kept it a secret for over ten years. But Alexandra still suffers from the trauma and focuses on her archaelogical and traveling work instead of the memories that haunt her. She is called upon for her friend Francesca who is betrothed and to marry the Duke of Redmayne, but in a turn of events she finds herself offering herself up to Piers instead when there is a threat against all those she loves.Their match is one of a marriage of convenience but there are sparks between them when they kiss and Alexandra hopes that chemistry builds and that she can finally find some peace from the nightmares of the past. But with her life in danger and those she loves, she needs the money and power that protects her by being the Duchess of Redmayne. But Piers is unlike any man she has ever known and he makes her feel safe and cherished in a way she has never experienced. But when her enemy follows them on their honeymoon, their lives are threatened when the danger escalates....can they find a way to defeat their enemy or will their enemy defeat them....This was truly a magnificent book and honestly I am really struggling to write this review in such a way that gives this book the right justice that it truly deserves. Because this book was breathtaking in all that it contains and there are really no words to display my love for this book. Because once again Kerrigan Byrne has wowed me in such a way that humbles me.  Now there are two major factors that I guarantee you will fall for....the friendship in this trio of ladies and the romance between Pier and Alexandra. Now first lets discuss this friendship. I just love seeing any friendships in romance whether they are male or female focused...it doesn't matter because both are beautiful to see in any story. We see the tight bond that these three have. They each have a painful secret and the way they first come together for Alexandra and protect her and risk their own lives and reputations for her was so heartfelt. To have that type of bond of friendship is rare and we see how their bond is cemented throughout the story.Now for the actual romance between Piers and Alexandra. Both of them have trauma's or some form of abuse they both have suffered. Piers was pretty abused by his mother and suffered a attack from a jaguar in the jungle on his travels and is scarred because of it. Of course, our heroine has suffered from being sexually assaulted and what her family has suffered financially but has still maintained her goals and dreams and the way she sacrifices herself for her friends is such a beautiful tribute to the friendship. But I also believe for Alexandra that when there is a kissing scene between herself and Piers she felt something she hadn't felt before and desired more. There is something that see in each other from the very beginning and even though Alexandra knows having to share sex with Piers will be a challenge, she is willing to do what it takes to protect those she loves and I truly admired her courage and core of strength to do that. We see from their relationship that it does get rocky at times, and yes Piers has NO clue what she has suffered so I really felt bad for him. Because in many ways he is completely in the dark about what Alexandra is suffering. You as the reader understand why this is happening but at the same time wanting Alexandra to come clean with the truth. But Piers is no idiot and boy I wanted to cheer for him in how he learns the truth because he is my HERO. His life hasn't been easy for him either and I just truly adored the way these two connect and truly accept each other without judgment.Overall I found How To Love A Duke In Tend Days to be a emotionally raw packed love story that delivers in sensuality, thrills of adventure and true intimacy that is deep and awe filled!! A sensual gem to hold close to your heart! 
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  • Carvanz
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my gosh! What a heartbreakingly beautiful story! There is no doubt this author poured her heart and soul into this book and I felt it in every word. This begins with a very intense, dark moment in Alexandra Lane’s life. A moment that changes her forever. And while it leaves devastation in its wake, it is also the event that leads her to suggest marriage to the Terror of Torcliff, Piers Atherton the Duke of Redmayne. Scarred, arrogant and a bit of a barbarian, rumors abound concerning Piers. Oh my gosh! What a heartbreakingly beautiful story! There is no doubt this author poured her heart and soul into this book and I felt it in every word. This begins with a very intense, dark moment in Alexandra Lane’s life. A moment that changes her forever. And while it leaves devastation in its wake, it is also the event that leads her to suggest marriage to the Terror of Torcliff, Piers Atherton the Duke of Redmayne. Scarred, arrogant and a bit of a barbarian, rumors abound concerning Piers. ”Whatever lurked in his blood, whether the Viking warrior, the fabled were beast, or fearsome demon, it was undeniable that something sinister and sinful rippled beneath the ducal bearing. Something ferocious and ancient that might have earned him a pagan’s grave upon a day.He did not belong in the age of gentility.” Even as he embraces the privacy the title of monster gives him, in his heart he’s lonely. When an incident at the train station brings a young woman into his life, he fantasizes about what a simple life with her would look like. And then he sees her again. But she is not a simple villager’s wife, she is his fiancée’s best friend.This was an absolutely amazing read! Once started I could not put it down! I immediately felt a connection to Alexandra, my heart torn to shreds at what happened to her, at how she was forced to deal with it, and how she carried the burden every day. ”Sometimes, though, I fear the weight of my sins will pull me into the abyss. I hope if God exists, if we are to stand judgment, that justice is more compassion than vengeance.” I loved this heroine. Despite being broken, she was so strong. She had to be to continue on. But she doesn’t just flounder through life, she bulldozes it down by becoming one of among a few female archeologist in her time, and a highly sought after one at that. Watching her grow, as well as learning to overcome her fears and to embrace hope, was so perfectly beautiful. I’m all about the hero, but Alexandra and her quiet strength, innate sense of loyalty, and courage moved her into a top favorite heroine. There is no denying that Piers is the type of hero I look for. He has his own issues to deal with but in spite of their problems he was always protective and possessive. If Alexandra were ripening with child, every man who’d dare to look upon her would know he’d put it there. Would understand she was taken. Claimed.” I have never read a scene like the one where Piers learns the truth of Alexandra’s past. He was devastated and this author allowed him free reign to react as only the Terror of Torcliff could. ”A Redmayne’s revenge was slow. It would be wet. It would be messy. Methodical. And ultimately lethal.” I raged and cried for both Alexandra and him. This scene is reason alone to read this book. As I said, heartbreakingly beautiful. ”Reaching, but not touching. Aching, but not speaking. Because language hadn’t yet invented words for this sort of pain, and therefore neither had it words for comfort.” Together, Piers and Alexandra were imperfectly perfect! Their chemistry sizzles, their banter is engaging, and their emotions are constantly evolving into something more. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a hero and heroine who deserve a happy ever after more than this couple. There are layers upon layers within the pages of this book and with each new layer I fell further into this world and these characters. This is a high angst read, filled with drama, danger and mystery. It is also interlaced with wit and fun as well as secondary characters that add a richness to the overall story. I cannot wait to get the next book in this series.HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!!I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.Dual POVSafe (view spoiler)[h not a virgin; H celibate; H’s family had contracted signed with his fiancée’s family so this is not a love match and he isn’t attracted to her no her him – they never even touch and this causes no drama between anyone; ow drama is from a fiancée he had prior to the accident that scarred him – she is married to H’s cousin now and makes a move on him but he quickly puts her in her place after a bit of a showdown in his room where she enters his room while the h is there – a bit sticky but within a few pages everything is worked out; om drama is a man the h worked with on sites who appears to be attracted to her – causes some jealous moments within the H (hide spoiler)]Triggers (view spoiler)[h was raped – on page (hide spoiler)]
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  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    January 1, 1970
    This review was originally posted on Books of My HeartReview copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Kerrigan Byrne always tells a different story but they always have one thing in common. At least one of the main characters, if not both have been through something horrific and heartbreaking.Alexandra’s horrible experience happens in boarding school in the very first chapter. She has been carrying the secret for the last ten year This review was originally posted on Books of My HeartReview copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Kerrigan Byrne always tells a different story but they always have one thing in common. At least one of the main characters, if not both have been through something horrific and heartbreaking.Alexandra’s horrible experience happens in boarding school in the very first chapter. She has been carrying the secret for the last ten years, along with her two best friends, bound together forever by shared secrets. However, someone knows. They are blackmailing Alex and soon the secret will come to light because she doesn’t have the money to pay them anymore.Piers, The Duke of Redmayne, saddled with the moniker the Terror of Torcliff needs a wife. It just so happens that Francesca, one of Alexandra’s partners in crime, was betrothed to him when they were children. For him to get the revenge he wants he needs to marry and produce an heir. Should it matter that neither of them seems to care at all for the other? “You’ll meet him tomorrow, and see for yourselves how incredibly ill-suited we are. Were we to marry, our life would be years and years of senseless battles, him trying to put me in my place, and me trying to murder him in his sleep.I’m telling you, I won’t do it.” One woman’s nightmare is another woman’s dream and the Terror of Torcliff might just be exactly what Alexandra needs to both protect her from the blackmailer and break down some of the walls she has put up around herself since her trauma. There is something about this beast of a man that calls to Alexandra and she might just be brave enough to explore it. “Men like me can just tell.” Her heart kicked against her lungs, evoking shorter, shallower breaths. “Men like you?” “Hunters.” The vibration of the word spread down her spine and unfurled in the most alarming places. “Your lips, innocent as they are, beg to be kissed whenever I am near. Your tongue moistens them. Your teeth worry at them. And when I stare, as I am doing now, they soften and part, like an invitation…” Both Piers and Alex have skeletons in their closet and don’t trust easily. Each will have to take a journey if they are going to find some common ground and figure out how to make this marriage of convenience a love match. In addition, someone might be trying to kill Alexander or Piers. It is unclear which one is in more danger, better to stick together until they can sort that out too.I really enjoyed this marriage of convenience tale. Alexandra is incredibly likeable and I love how scholarly she is and how much the Terror of Torcliff enjoys her intellect. He is a man and a little thick headed at times but once he starts to figure out this woman that he married he is quite dreamy.Get first book in a new series of strong women who are willing to take on some savage men.
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  • Somia
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Shining StarsPiers may not be perfect, but he is one yummy broody hero – perfect for Alexandra (Alex), who has endured more than enough over the years (tortured by a trauma and its consequences). Secrets, distrust and danger threaten the passionate bond these two are forming, but those out to harm and destroy them underestimate Pier’s and Alex’s will and desire to protect one another.Loved the idea of The Red Rogues, and wish the author had given us more snippets into the antics of Alex and 4.5 Shining StarsPiers may not be perfect, but he is one yummy broody hero – perfect for Alexandra (Alex), who has endured more than enough over the years (tortured by a trauma and its consequences). Secrets, distrust and danger threaten the passionate bond these two are forming, but those out to harm and destroy them underestimate Pier’s and Alex’s will and desire to protect one another.Loved the idea of The Red Rogues, and wish the author had given us more snippets into the antics of Alex and her two best friends Francesca and Cecilia My impatience to read this was so justified, overall this was a delectable little morsel, especially the last 38% or so – it had my emotions ensnared and my nose deep in my kindle. Really don’t want to wait until 2020 for the next book in the series.Potential Triggers: (view spoiler)[Rape (occurs early in the book and had me aching for the heroine). Also, blackmail and attempted murder (on multiple occasions) are strands of the tale. (hide spoiler)]
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  • Christie«SHBBblogger»
    January 1, 1970
    Title: How to Love a Duke in Ten DaysSeries: Devil You Know, #1Author: Kerrigan ByrneRelease date: August 27, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre: historical romanceThis is only my second book (so far) by Kerrigan Byrne. After reading The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo and falling in love with the author's writing, I was thrilled to be starting a new series from her. It will be centering around a group of three best friends who went to school together and called themselves the Red Rogue society. Red because Title: How to Love a Duke in Ten DaysSeries: Devil You Know, #1Author: Kerrigan ByrneRelease date: August 27, 2019Cliffhanger: NoGenre: historical romanceThis is only my second book (so far) by Kerrigan Byrne. After reading The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo and falling in love with the author's writing, I was thrilled to be starting a new series from her. It will be centering around a group of three best friends who went to school together and called themselves the Red Rogue society. Red because each of them have their own striking shade of red hair, and Rogue because they like to push the boundaries of what's expected of females at the time. I really loved the bond between these three women right from the start. They had a loyalty and camaraderie that was very evident and natural. There wasn't any jealousy or agendas between any of them, just a pure friendship that evolved into that of something closer to family. Francesca and Cecilia were both well developed in their backstories and personality, so much so that I'm already eager to read both of their HEAs in the following stories. Dr. Alexandra Lane is an archaeologist who's considered a spinster and bluestocking by many, but that doesn't faze her in the least. She's respected in her field, travels abroad, and is content with her place in life. She doesn't have the slightest desire to ever wed, a sentiment that has always been shared with her best friends. However, Alex has more reason than her career for her lack of interest in marriage. After a sexual assault occurred, she's convinced herself that she has moved on from the trauma. But ten years after the horrible day she has never dealt with the emotions that have welled up inside her. So they've been festering and infecting her life through flashbacks, fear and anxiety of being alone with men, and being intimate. All of this she avoids if at all possible, and she's done a pretty good job of it until her sudden trip to Castle Redmayne. There's a bit of a mystery regarding an unknown person who keeps making "accidents" happen around the heroine. There are several possibilities as to whom it could be, but it's assumed to be tied to Alex's dark history. In order to keep her dangerous secret hidden for these past ten years, she's had to pay a hefty price. Now that funds have run out, her freedom could be slipping away as well if she can't come up with a new plan. I was really enjoying the first interactions between Alex and Piers. They had a great chemistry together and I loved seeing her through his eyes. This highly intelligent, witty woman was brave and skittish all at the same time. She was an enigma that he couldn't stop thinking about. As for Alex, she experienced an attraction that was completely new to her. She never sought out men's attention or paid it a second thought. But with Piers she was finding herself strangely drawn in and fighting uncomfortable feelings. Piers was a good man with a lot of love to offer. He could have turned irrevocably bitter and angry over the betrayals he suffered, but when Alex walks into his life, he opens the door for new possibilities. Had anyone even searched? Or dared to brave the layers of her prickly intellect, her dowdy garments, and furrowed frowns to find the sensuous potential within the prim spinster? Apparently not. All that exquisite softness had gone unnoticed. Untouched. Unkissed. Until him.The first half of the book was a solid five stars. I really thought I would end up falling head over heels for the book but everything started to unravel as they moved into marriage. Granted, these two only knew each other for two days before agreeing to tie the knot, and as the title states they fall in love by ten. This could have been fine in other circumstances, but because of the heroine's history it felt way too rushed. She chooses to keep her secrets from him for almost all of the book and the major lack of communication led to distrust and misunderstandings. Piers has reason to not trust easily so her secrecy wasn't a good combination. “They say time heals all wounds, don’t they?” She expelled a caustic breath, her own fork idly scraping across the plate. “And I suppose that’s true to a point. But there is no mistaking the scars…”What didn't work for me the most was the fact that the relationship's physical side was addressed with less care than I would have liked and their emotional side underdeveloped. Her reaction to being intimate was kind of all over the place. At first having to put down rules for him in order to feel safe, then throwing the rules out in the blink of an eye, followed by her big panic attack. I wanted to see trust, communication, and honesty built between them, and I didn't see enough growth there. It didn't make sense to me how she could feel comfortable with him in a short span of time without these things. I was super intrigued by Piers' brother Ramsay. He will be getting his full story next with Cecilia, and the potential has been laid for an exciting story. I did love the characters introduced here, the backstories were well drawn, and the pace was nice and smooth for the length. Of course Kerrigan Byrne's beautiful writing style was just as enchanting as it was the last time so no complaints there. A solid start overall despite my issues which don't seem to be a problem for others. I love reading about strong women breaking society standards in historical romance, and these three most certainly fit the bill. They were perfect for each other. Two restless souls that would never be still. And would no longer have to wander alone.FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:
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  • Tracy C
    January 1, 1970
    NOBODY does historical like Kerrigan Byrne! I was sucked into the story from the very beginning and stayed there the whole time. I am not a fan of the mystery/intrigue but Byrne does it so well I don't even notice. Alexandra was so amazingly strong and admirable. Actually, all 3 of the ladies are amazing. Piers was equally fantastic. I was so invested in this couple, I was mentally castigating Piers for not seeing the signs of what happened to Alexandra sooner. Once he go out of his head, his re NOBODY does historical like Kerrigan Byrne! I was sucked into the story from the very beginning and stayed there the whole time. I am not a fan of the mystery/intrigue but Byrne does it so well I don't even notice. Alexandra was so amazingly strong and admirable. Actually, all 3 of the ladies are amazing. Piers was equally fantastic. I was so invested in this couple, I was mentally castigating Piers for not seeing the signs of what happened to Alexandra sooner. Once he go out of his head, his reaction was fierce and satisfying. SOOOO looking forward to Cecilia and Francesca's books.
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  • The Romance Book Disciple (Samantha)
    January 1, 1970
    How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is equal parts heartbreaking and swoon worthy. I cried tears of utter sadness and then delighted joy. Seriously, this book gave me so many feels I'm not even sure I can review it adequately.Alexandra has two wonderful friends, and seeing positive female friendships in a story was so heartwarming. The 3 Red Rouges are more than mere friends and they share a terrible secret. Fast forward many years and an engagement brings them together. These 3 are quite different How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is equal parts heartbreaking and swoon worthy. I cried tears of utter sadness and then delighted joy. Seriously, this book gave me so many feels I'm not even sure I can review it adequately.Alexandra has two wonderful friends, and seeing positive female friendships in a story was so heartwarming. The 3 Red Rouges are more than mere friends and they share a terrible secret. Fast forward many years and an engagement brings them together. These 3 are quite different from each other which was interesting as well. Alexandra is tormented by an event in her past and it has shaped who she has become-she tries desperately to hide any indication of femininity. Her meeting with Piers, the Duke of Redmayne, aka the Terror of Torcliff, is just as unorthodox as Alexandra. Alexandra got her doctorate from the Sorbonne, which I actually visited when I was in Paris several years ago!Both Piers and Alexandra have baggage and this leads to a lack of trust in their marriage of convenience. I cried HARD when Piers finally pieced the clues together and figured everything out. I adored Alexandra, but I also fell deeply in love with Piers. Throughout their love story, there is the constant threat of danger because someone is trying to kill them. Also, Alexandra's blackmailer is demanding payment and now that she is a duchess, the price has increased.There are times when the story is painful to read. I think Bryne does a brilliant job of making that pain real in a way that causes the reader to hurt for Alexandra. While it wasn't easy to read, its very well done and an important topic. Check the trigger warnings if you have any. I am very excited to see what Bryne has in store for Cecilia and Francesca!    POV: 3rd   Tears: so many   Trope: marriage of convenience   Triggers: (view spoiler)[Alexandra is raped by her school's headmaster in the opening scene. The rape is explicit. (hide spoiler)]   Series/Standalone: stand alone   Cliffhanger: (view spoiler)[no (hide spoiler)]   HEA: (view spoiler)[yes with epilogue (hide spoiler)] A Scot in the Dark by Sarah Maclean, Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas, The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Bryne...then you will probably like How to Love a Duke in Ten Days!  How to Love a Duke in Ten Days  See full review on The Book Disciple
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  • Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads
    January 1, 1970
    2 STARS! IDK. I have no feelings for this story. I'm just apathetic when I think of it. I didn't connect to any of the characters and outside of the pulse pounding, heart wrenching prologue, I was bored. That said, Kerrigan is such a beautiful writer. Incredibly talented. And this is undoubtedly well written. It just didn't give me the feels. So I think this is another case of, "it's me, not the book."
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  • *The Angry Reader*
    January 1, 1970
    *ARC recieved for an honest review*I thoroughly enjoyed a number of things about this book. For starters, it's always so exciting to have the opportunity to read something new by Kerrigan Byrne. You're pretty much guaranteed a good time. The beginning captivated me. I was ready to sign up for the ARCs of books two and three moments after meeting the Red Rogues. I enjoyed the dark blustery mystery threaded through the book and around the characters. It was fun to wonder what comes next. The Highw *ARC recieved for an honest review*I thoroughly enjoyed a number of things about this book. For starters, it's always so exciting to have the opportunity to read something new by Kerrigan Byrne. You're pretty much guaranteed a good time. The beginning captivated me. I was ready to sign up for the ARCs of books two and three moments after meeting the Red Rogues. I enjoyed the dark blustery mystery threaded through the book and around the characters. It was fun to wonder what comes next. The Highwayman remains one of the best and most touching romance books I've read. There are several reasons for that. First and foremost was the connection between the characters - their shared history and experiences that gave their relationship gravitas. A hero and heroine with a childhood connection is one of my favorite things about which to read. And this highlights the difficulty of the instant connection. The title doesn't lie - this relationship spans 10 days. Already that's a struggle for me. Of course folks can fall in love quickly, but it can be difficult to believe. Here it created an almost Paranormal Romance/Fated Mates vibes that stole from the believability of the story. Their overwhelming connection called to mind countless vampires or werewolves drawn together by biology rather than time and respect and mutual admiration. The PR Vibe was only strengthened by the constant (and I'm not exaggerating here) references to Piers' physical presence. His "beastial" nature. His bulk. His proportions. His width. His breadth. His power. He was far more a physical presence in the book than anything else. It reminded me so much of JR Ward's Wrath that now I want to read Dark Lover all over again. The heroine's strength (man, there are some big fat trigger warnings for this one if that's your thing) and intelligence made her a likable and formidable character. And I thought the hero had some potential - but he sadly devolved into mommy issues and brute strength. Still, it's a Byrne - meaning it's 100% readable and enjoyable. And I can't wait for the next one.
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  • Jenny - TotallybookedBlog
    January 1, 1970
    “I cannot – will not – allow you out of my sight into a world where you might be taken from me.”‘Shame had been her companion for so long. So very long.’How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne ticked every single box on the list of why we have such a deep love for historical romance. Not only was it brilliantly written, it had a dark, broody and mysterious hero and a heroine who encompassed both innocence and a will forged in steel. We love historical romances that showcase a time of tr “I cannot – will not – allow you out of my sight into a world where you might be taken from me.”‘Shame had been her companion for so long. So very long.’How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne ticked every single box on the list of why we have such a deep love for historical romance. Not only was it brilliantly written, it had a dark, broody and mysterious hero and a heroine who encompassed both innocence and a will forged in steel. We love historical romances that showcase a time of traditions and societal rules; that keep to the time within which it is written yet highlights the strength of women in a time where the man is considered the dominant. Yes, we absolutely love the ruthlessness, the mysterious and almost aloof nature of the romantic ‘historical’ man, but what we love even more is the fierceness of the -anything but- demure heroine.‘If only he could slay her dragons. He’d stand over her like a lupine sentinel, snarling at whoever might approach. He’d sear the secrets from her eyes. Who could want to hurt someone like her? What could she possibly have done to warrant such violence?’Kerrigan Byrne perfectly laid out this story in such a way that we were gripped from the first page. The character development was on point and the story line one of great tragedy, intrigue and suspense. The romance was divine and the character connection intense. We inhaled every single word and barely came up for air. Lady Alexandra Lane and Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne stole our hearts.‘In his experience, people often reviled what they feared, or vice versa. So, if she wasn’t repulsed by him, why fear him? Had he been mistaken? Had he read admiration where none existed?’Alexandra is one of three, in a powerful bond established in childhood. Along with her best friends, Francesca and Cecilia, they form the Red Rogues Society and forged a friendship for life, cemented even more so during a horrific experience which marked Alexandra in such a way, it’s followed her into adulthood. Three friends, each one of them unique and individual yet sharing the burden of a secret which can never be told. We absolutely loved these three friends, their friendship had such strength, and their nature was fun, loyal and protective. The power of three has never been more evident. “We are eternally bound,” she repeated. “By secrets, blood, and pain.”“And by trust, passion, and revenge,” Francesca added darkly.“And be friendship, love and…” Cecilia sniffed, pressing on the hands beneath her, as if she could touch the heart below it. “And hope. For without that, what reason do we have to endure?” When we meet Piers, it’s under a fierce, angsty and blustery setting, the brooding rogue nicknamed the Terror had such an impact on us we knew instantly that we would fall in love with this man. Piers lives under a dark cloud, with a past that’s made him distrustful of everyone and quite the cynic. Bearing both physical and psychological scars, he’s reluctant to let anyone in but knows he must, in order to fulfill his duties and exert revenge on those who’ve wronged him. When Alexandra is placed in his path everything he thought he knew about himself and women is challenged.‘She wondered if the world would ever recognise that the Terror of Torcliff had never been a terror at all. But a man. A man possessed of so much wit, skill, charm, intellect and humour, he was forever surprising her. Often delighting her. Enchanting her, even.’All the characters had their own individuality and exuded a power from their life experiences, bringing great heartbreak, strength as well as vulnerability to a story where lives are entwined stemming from a shared moment in time where actions changed not only three women’s path but a brute of a duke too. If you love historical romance as much as we do or would like to dip your toes into this wonderful genre then this is the perfect place to start! A compelling story of intense sadness, secrets, murder, suspense and of course an enticing love story. How to Love a Duke in Ten Days stole our hearts and whilst it’s a standalone in a series we cannot wait for the next Red Rogue Society sister to tell her story!He could break her.He could protect her.She feared him.She needed him.She wanted…this.Available to purchase belowAmazon USAmazon UKCome and say hi, at:✲ TotallyBookedBlog✲ TBB on Facebook✲ TBB on Instagram✲ TBB on Twitter✲ TBB on Pinterest
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  • ♥Rachel♥
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely LOVED Alexandra and Piers' story! The prologue was a shocking jolt, forging a friendship between three schoolgirls who’ve stuck through thick and thin together. Ten years later Alexandra and Cecelia have been called in by Francesca to Castle Redmayne. Without any details they know it’s a matter of some urgency, and despite Alexandra having her own troubles she and Cecelia drop everything and go. Little does Alexandra know that her life is about to change in a way she never imagined I absolutely LOVED Alexandra and Piers' story! The prologue was a shocking jolt, forging a friendship between three schoolgirls who’ve stuck through thick and thin together. Ten years later Alexandra and Cecelia have been called in by Francesca to Castle Redmayne. Without any details they know it’s a matter of some urgency, and despite Alexandra having her own troubles she and Cecelia drop everything and go. Little does Alexandra know that her life is about to change in a way she never imagined possible. Piers, the Duke of Redmayne, aka the Terror of Torcliff, is set on revenge and in need of a wife to carry out his plans. Meeting Alexandra doesn’t really fit into those plans, but she basically bewitches him from the first meeting, and then (as the book description states) Alexandra proposes they marry for both their benefit. Alexandra comes off as fearless and independent in some respects, but also skittish and naïve in others. Piers is an imposing man; big and fierce, Alexandra never thought she’d feel protected by such a man, but his presence makes her feel safe, and something even more shocking, Alexandra feels desire! The chemistry between Alexandra and Piers leaped off the pages from their first meeting on! Trust is not an easy thing for either of them, both have been severely betrayed by people that should’ve looked out for them, so it’s a slow, step by step process between them and I relished every inch gained! It was two steps forward, one back sort of thing at times, and it tugged on my heart strings! But oh, I loved the irresistible pull between them, and their encounters were filled with heat and passion! Oh, my! This is the first-time reading Kerrigan Bryne, and I was impressed! Her writing was lovely, and I was captivated from the first page. I’m eagerly anticipating the next story in this series, Cecelia’s romance, All Scot and Bothered, but until then I’ve downloaded one of Ms. Byrne’s backlist, The Highwayman, and I can’t wait to dig in! A copy was kindly provided by the St. Martin's Paperbacks in exchange for an honest review.
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  • ❤️ Dorsey aka Wrath Lover Reviews ❤️
    January 1, 1970
    5 Red Rogue Society Pact Stars!! A haunted past, a secret, and a vow. Lady Alexandra Lane and her two dearest friends Francesca Cavendish and Cecelia Teague (The Red Rogues) make a pact to never allow a man to have power over them because of one hellish night. Fast forward 10 years and Alexandra has been invited to a unexpected wedding…..Francesca’s wedding and she & Cecelia are to be bridesmaids. Francesca is looking for evidence of a past crime which may have been perpetrated by her inten 5 Red Rogue Society Pact Stars!! A haunted past, a secret, and a vow. Lady Alexandra Lane and her two dearest friends Francesca Cavendish and Cecelia Teague (The Red Rogues) make a pact to never allow a man to have power over them because of one hellish night. Fast forward 10 years and Alexandra has been invited to a unexpected wedding…..Francesca’s wedding and she & Cecelia are to be bridesmaids. Francesca is looking for evidence of a past crime which may have been perpetrated by her intended’s family which is the only reason she agreed to the marriage. Piers Gedrick Atherton, Duke of Redmayne aka “The Terror of Torcliff” has been tasked with procuring a bride to fulfill his noble duty. Unfortunately, he feels absolutely nothing towards the women who will soon to be his Duchess. Especially after meeting Lady Alexandra. So no one is more shocked than he when Lady Alexandra offers herself to him instead. “If there is a battle to fight, a villain to face, I beg you to allow me the honor. Because the cruelest thing you could do, is sentence me to a world without you in it.” What starts off as a wedding to seek vengeance for one and convenience for the other turns into something completely different. This is a adventure filled journey of secrets, blackmail, murder, love, suspense, and a unexpected fierce loyalty. Will Alexandra take a chance by letting go of her secrets and trust this fierce man who is now her husband to protect her? And will Piers forget a past betrayal that has made him bitter? I have to say, this kept me guessing till almost the end who was behind all the misdeeds. I’m looking forward to future books in this series!! Five huge stars!!!
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  • Gi's Spot Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1r1jQ7oeQj/5 ‘Her Beast’ StarsOh my world, How To Love a Duke in Ten Days ended up surpassing all my already huge expectations! Ms. Byrne truly is the MASTER of dark/gothic historical romance! The rawness of the emotions, the carefully constructed and weaved setting, and the most well crafted and complex of characters stole my breath – along with my heart – away! Broken and imperfect, but yet so PERFECT for each other, Pries and Alexandra are what romance dreams are https://www.instagram.com/p/B1r1jQ7oeQj/5 ‘Her Beast’ StarsOh my world, How To Love a Duke in Ten Days ended up surpassing all my already huge expectations! Ms. Byrne truly is the MASTER of dark/gothic historical romance! The rawness of the emotions, the carefully constructed and weaved setting, and the most well crafted and complex of characters stole my breath – along with my heart – away! Broken and imperfect, but yet so PERFECT for each other, Pries and Alexandra are what romance dreams are made off! HR perfection!Ahhhh, this book! I should have expected an emotional and heart touching read since Ms. Byrne always gives us all the feels but this was so much more! With an opening scene, with Alexandra’s assault, we see instantly that this story will rip us apart, instantly upon their first meeting and unmeasurable hope and happiness overflows us, because we can FEEL these two are meant to be.Once a man tasted ambrosia, the idea of any other sustenance curbed the appetite.“If every woman tasted like you, a man would hunger for nothing else.”Alexandra was such a beautiful, and broken, female lead. Normally in HR we usually see the hero being the broken one, but here, even though heartbreaking it witness all the events and her pain, shame and guilty, how strong and resilient she was, as it was fantastic to see first hand them falling for one another, and put each other broken pieces together, bit by bit.“Didn’t you say all men are beasts?”“Of course we are.” His knuckle caressed her cheek. “It’s why we need a beauty like you to temper us. To tame us. To teach us how to appreciate something delicate.”He was her beast now. May God have mercy on her soul.Piers is now on my TOP Book Boyfriend List! I love a goody and scarred hero, and he fit the role to a T, even with his maddening moments, lol. He was just sooooooo swoon worthy, whispering the most beautiful and loving of statement to Alexandra. SO caring and protective, truly what I loved the most in romance!“I sometimes forget…” “Forget what?”“How beautiful you are.” He undid his cravat as he traveled the length of the sitting room. “Then I see you and realize that memory cannot compare to reality. I’m left as breathless as the first time we met.”“My appearance, my manners, and my voice may be harsh, Alexandra, but I promise you my hands will never be anything but gentle with you.”The secondary characters take on a big role here as is with Ms. Byrne’s other series, enticing us with this trio of strong and independent women each with an agenda of their own, Red Rogues. As well as Ramsay, Piers' brother, that left me wondering if he’ll indeed be paired with a certain redhead. I sure hope so! ;)How To Love a Duke In Ten Days is HR excellence at its finest! All the feelings, all the experiences, the friendship, the mystery, the suspense, the blooming relationship, the passion, and most of all, love, make this one of my all time fav of the genre. This book truly was perfection for me, I wouldn’t change one bit of their journey, even the horrifying moments and pain, took them to most amazing of HEA, and Kerrigan Byrne once again delivers an outstanding story of friendship, partnership and soul mate love! Can’t wait to see which of the Red Rogue will fall next! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3“the cruelest thing you could do, is sentence me to a world without you in it.”“I want all of you, Alexandra. I want your pleasure and your pain. Your sins and your secrets. Your past and your passions, your opinions and your pretenses. I want to know everything. All of it. To be the only one with whom you share them. I’m a selfish bastard, wife, and I’ll thank you to indulge me. I want you without limitations and beyond suspicions.” ARC kindly provided by the publisher ST. Martin’s Press for an honest review For full review with Release Blitz, check out my Blog post,http://gisspotreviews.com/index.php/2...
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  • Leigh
    January 1, 1970
    HUGE CONTENT WARNING! THIS IS NOT A SPOILER! In the first chapter, the heroine is raped and kills her attacker. The story depicts her struggle to overcome that traumatic time by using sex which I was not comfortable with. It is very explicit in terms of content and emotions. It's well written and made me sick to my stomach to the point I really did not enjoy reading about it. When books are published nowadays, they need content warnings. Having a small sentence by the author at the beginning is HUGE CONTENT WARNING! THIS IS NOT A SPOILER! In the first chapter, the heroine is raped and kills her attacker. The story depicts her struggle to overcome that traumatic time by using sex which I was not comfortable with. It is very explicit in terms of content and emotions. It's well written and made me sick to my stomach to the point I really did not enjoy reading about it. When books are published nowadays, they need content warnings. Having a small sentence by the author at the beginning is stating this is for the survivors of the #metoo movement is not enough. In fact, I think it's more insulting that this is for survivors yet there's no content warning. There are some survivors of rape and sexual assault that would not like to read in explicit details of rape and sexual assault. On to my review: Like everyone, I enjoyed The Highwayman and to be frankly honest, it is the only book I have read by the author that I really enjoyed. How to Love a Duke in Ten Days very much trying to do too many things and not focus on the romance. Because of this, I found myself put out of the story a lot. She put tension where there didn't need to be tension. Trying to depict and beauty and the beast love story trope, have a mystery in it, plus depict a survivor's story of rape, and build on a strong female friendship, plus establishing the other women's future stories. I just wanted the story to focus on the main hero and heroine. And was anyone else annoyed the females kept calling each other by their male names?!
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  • Marta Cox
    January 1, 1970
    Four and a halfThis author writes historical romance with bite that truly sweeps her readers away from humdrum everyday existence to a world that excites and invites the reader to explore more. In this the first of what appears to be a new trilogy we meet three plucky young women who face life on their own terms. This story introduces Alexandra who at the beginning of this book experiences a horrific ordeal at the hands of her headmaster. The scene didn’t feel gratuitous and actually wasn’t one Four and a halfThis author writes historical romance with bite that truly sweeps her readers away from humdrum everyday existence to a world that excites and invites the reader to explore more. In this the first of what appears to be a new trilogy we meet three plucky young women who face life on their own terms. This story introduces Alexandra who at the beginning of this book experiences a horrific ordeal at the hands of her headmaster. The scene didn’t feel gratuitous and actually wasn’t one the author lingered on but it does set up for the way Alexandra conducts herself in the years that follow the attack. Alexandra has come a long way in nearly ten years and is a respected scholar and archaeologist . She doesn’t trust men but has found a way to deal with her reactions although she’s hesitant to let any male see her as a woman and relishes her blue stocking status. When one of her dearest friends announces she’s about to get married Alexandra is both perplexed and happy for her but it’s obvious it’s no love match and funnily enough perhaps the Duke would prefer to wed Alexandra ? Piers knows he’s not every woman’s dream husband but as he’s desperate to secure an heir the quaint proposition of Alexandra actually surprises and excites him but there’s something she neglected to tell him and it’s about to make their honeymoon both memorable and very dangerous !I note that there are several reviews that are perhaps more negative than I usually associate with this authors work and would like to state that the author does preface this with a paragraph about the me too movement so going in I knew that there would be a situation that no woman wants to experience. Abuse is never an easy subject but this story is about healing, hope and ultimately survival. It also happens to be a very sexy romance as Alexandra takes control and frees herself from a past that has held her back for too long. For this reader personally I didn’t particularly enjoy the couples dialogue and interaction at times as it seemed perhaps a little too lovey dovey but I did enjoy the overall plot with its mystery and elements of danger. This is a romance so of course there’s a happy ending but oh the author is a tricky woman as something is revealed that means the next book cannot come quickly enough !This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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