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The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo is the 6th installment of Kerrigan Byrne’s dark and steamy Victorian Rebels series. Despite the ups and downs I’ve faced in this series, liking some installment more than the others, I’ve been a fan of it since book 1.
The Victorian Rebels series is based on a few Victorian-era bad boys getting their HEAs with women who bring them down to their knees, quite literally. They are a diverse bunch who’d do anything to survive and protect the ones they love. As mentioned in the intro of my review, I was sold on the idea since book 1that started it all. Kerrigan’s writing was pretty dark and she, throughout the story, took us to places I never thought I’d explore. I.e. book 2 where some really nauseating stuff that were happening, seeing the hero was an assassin. The description of it all weren’t always for the faint-hearted. Nevertheless, I found the stories thrilling and engaging.
In The Highwayman, Dorian Blackwell AKA Dougan McKenzie is introduced to us alongside his plight of life in a prison as a youngster. He’s one of the bastard sons of the cruel and lecherous Hamish MacKenzie, now-deceased Laird of MacKenzies. His darkness has seeped into every single one of his sons, doesn’t matter whether they’re legitimate or illegitimate. The only difference was Dougan/Dorian wanted to fight it for the love of his life, Farah. But, as he grew up seeing and experiencing stuff no youngster should, Dougan had already transformed into someone with a blackhole for a heart. He is called ‘The Black Heart of Ben More’; the reigning king of the underworld for a reason. It was a great beginning to this series that I absolutely enjoyed.
Book 2 and 3, The Hunter and The Highlander, kind of followed book 1. The Hunter is the story of Dorian’s best friend since prison, Christopher Argent, the aforementioned assassin. I really liked his story with a famous actress of that time. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy task to make a hero out of a ruthless killer but Kerrigan pulled it off quite masterfully. The Highlander veered more towards the McKenzie family. It’s the story of Liam McKenzie, the legitimate heir of the McKenzie kingdom, who is also Dorian’s half-brother. He didn’t even know Dorian existed until book 2, as their father was infamous for emptying his nastiness everywhere he went, never bothering with the repercussions. Liam also grew up in a disturbed household as we find from the beginning of the book. His life afterwards was what can only be called hell-ish. He was forced to marry the wrong person, a woman his younger half-brother, Gavin St. James, loved. He’s Hamish’s son from his second marriage. Later, Liam finds love in Mena, a woman haunted by her own past and hunted by a cruel husband. I loved that Liam and Dorian are now united, their wives being friends, because Farah already knew Mena before she escaped to the Highlands to save herself.