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review 2017-07-01 17:49
Her Majesty's most unobservant spy
The Duke - Kerrigan Byrne

could have saved himself, and the h, a lot of heartache if he'd noticed one little thing about that virgin prostitute - the carpet didn't match the drapes. Alas, he didn't so spent years looking for what was right under his nose. Oh, this was never mentioned in the book itself but really, he spent all this time looking for a dark haired woman when he knew she wore makeup and used a different name. It never crossed his mind that she wasn't actually dark haired. And...how could you not know? Couldn't use the excuse that her drawers covered all since he ripped them off.

 

Sorry. I just find it laughable that he went years and 300+pages under the illusion the woman he was looking for was actually a brunette.

 

Regarding their relationship, I got the feeling he avoided her. She lived next door. And he avoided her. Much of the book took place over the course of...a week maybe? That's a danged long time to avoid your neighbor, particularly when you find yourself becoming irritably attracted to her so quickly - that week or so. You'd think as cranky as he is, he would have confronted her during those several years that were written off-page.

 

As for her, some of the things she did were downright irrational. Really? You live in London, neighbors on both sides, and you strip down to your undies while outside painting? It never occurs to you that others can see you? The wall may go over your head, but does it block the upstairs window?

 

Other things - the villain. It took 'til now for the inspector to notice the connections of these dead women. And...they started after the nutburger realized the h was actually a strawberry blond. Why then, why not before? I find it difficult to believe that he hadn't killed before.

 

The h's sister - considering their background, she seemed terribly sheltered.

 

The h's mother - why was she letting her daughter handle all her late husband's problems? Why was she oblivious to what was going on? She wouldn't have been THAT old; why did there seem to be this impression that she wasn't in much better shape than the elderly gent who married the h.

 

Beyond that, there's the usual keeping of secrets from the soul mate, the harsh reactions when they come out (even though if the soul mate had been a little more observant, there wouldn't have been any secrets.) Lying isn't ok, but neither is being willfully blind. The resulting attack on h while H is off nursing his pride...yeah; these are a bit formulaic when you think about them.

 

OTOH, it is nice that you have a H who is actually capable of being the villain's worst nightmare when provoked. Too many - historical and otherwise - have heroes whose fitness is as improbable as their fighting skills (or their ability to discern danger). It's a bit harder to feel anything other than an eyeroll when a foppish H is trying to defend his h from the sort who'd have him for breakfast - and somehow he comes out on top. And while at some point, I'd hope the author creates a H who hasn't had the need to learn how to maim and kill. Of course, I'd hope she doesn't put said pampered prince in a position where he needs to fake it to save his h.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-05-13 22:34
The Duke
The Duke (Victorian Rebels) - Kerrigan Byrne

My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts...

Sooo, I finished Kerrigan Byrne’s The Duke, book 4 of her dark historical romance series Victorian Rebels and I’m not sure what to say. My feeling is rather ambivalent. I was really anticipating the release because the H of this one sounded very intriguing; however he failed to meet my expectations. Actually, there were equal bits of likes and dislikes throughout.

Wanna add that Victorian Rebels has no paranormal or time travel elements in it like the author’s previous works; just a few Victorian-era bad boys of the underworld getting their HEAs with women who bring them down to their knees, quite literally. More than once I’m happy to add. ;) These people are deadly and will do anything to survive.

In book 1, The Highwayman, we were introduced to the King of the London underworld, Dorian Blackwell and his band of misfits. Dorian is actually Dougan MacKenzie, the bastard son of the cruel and lecherous Hamish MacKenzie, now deceased Laird of MacKenzies. His darkness has seeped into all of his sons, doesn’t matter whether they were legitimate or illegitimate. The only difference was Dougan/Dorian wanted to fight it for the love of his life, Farah. Their story had a tragic beginning that started as young love kept apart for almost 20 years. They both thought all hope were lost for them until they found each-other again. Dougan was imprisoned for murder at the tender age of 12, where his life was a hell no one would want to wish upon another human being. However, he and a few of his rebellious friends survived that hell, came out deadlier than ever. They wanted revenge for what was done to them, they wanted to rule the underworld but most of all, Dorian wanted to find his “fairy” who he knew was still alive. He knew her to be his soulmate. Now all he wanted was to find the peace that eluded him forever. And no one but Farah will do. I really loved book 1, which was a great start to this series.

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review 2017-03-30 04:49
The Highlander - Kerrigan Byrne

Finished in the wee hours last night, so it could have been this morning.

 

It moved fast. The H has issues from an abused childhood (and I imagine the next book or two in the series will also feature titled gents with horrible childhoods. Yawn...) The h was encouraged by her father to marry a newly arrived neighbor... I'm somewhat mystified on this part because usually a title had a moldering pile attached to it somewhere, so why would a titled family acquire a new house? In any case, this was a bad idea because the entire family appears to have been wastes of skin. At the beginning of the book, the h has been locked in an asylum due to her interfering with her in-laws' scheme of killing off the previous h for reasons I've forgotten (it's been several months, and I've slept since then). Said asylum seems to be run by the same sort of people the poor h had married into. She was rescued in the nick of time, and packed off to be governess for the H's kids.

 

Lots of stuff happens. I felt like some disclosures didn't really get dealt with - I can only assume they'll be addressed in the next book. And well, no matter how you look at it, the h was NOT free to form a relationship until two chapters from the end. It's hard not to think about her being married, particularly since SHE keeps reminding herself.

 

Also, I really wondered about the whole "barren" bit. Still no kids in the epilogue but it seems odd I guess. How would a Dr know? And considering her husband's proclivities, did he have scattered proof of his own fertility?

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review 2017-02-13 02:11
Dark journey to love
The Duke - Kerrigan Byrne
I found this book hard to put down. It is the fourth in the series, but I felt it stood alone. Ms. Byrne's style of writing is not the usual historical romance. There are a lot of incidents of despair, violence, grit, but hope grows and shows the way to love. This is Cole's story, and he is battle-hardened with scars inside and out. The only thing keeping him going is the one night he spent with a woman who made him feel. Imogen did not forget that night either, but the outlook for her future became bleak so she took the option to help her step out of the filth. As they come together again, the secrets stay front and center until danger is knocking on Imogen's door. I highly recommend this book and the series, but be prepared for a darker journey toward the light.

I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and it is a Book Obsessed Chicks Star Review selection. This is my unsolicited review.
 
 

 

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review 2017-02-07 19:24
The Duke
The Duke - Kerrigan Byrne

'The Duke' by Kerrigan Byrne is book four in the "Victorian Rebels".  This is the story of Collin Talmage, Duke of Trenwyth  and Imogen Pritchard.  I have read the other book in this series but I feel this is easily a standalone book.  I have truly loved this series and this book just added to the enjoyment.   Collin has lost his family and now he has inherited the Title of Duke of Trenwyth. Collin happens to meet Imogen 'Ginny' when she is trying to keep her mother and sister from the poor house.  Imogen has taken to working as a nurse by day and working at at bar/brothel at night to pay off her fathers debt.  Imogen noticed a sadness in Collin that first night at the bar.  Collin too noticed Imogen and paid for her for the night.  Imogen tried to talk her boss out of taking the money and turning her into a prostitute.  But the money would pay a large part of her fathers debit. So Collin and Imogen spent the night together with Imogen sneaking out before morning.  Collin and Imogen didn't see each other for a few more years after that night.  We learn that Collin was taken as a prisoner of war and was hurt badly during that time. Imogen is still working both jobs so when Collin is brought in she is the nurse assigned to him.  It seems Collin hasn't forgotten 'Ginny" but he doesn't realize that who Imogen is.  Imogen doesn't get the chance to tell him nor is she sure she wants too.   Collin and Imogen story does have some drama in it when there appears to be a stalker after Imogen. This was just and exciting read that I could not put down and read it until the end.  
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."

Source: www.amazon.com/Duke-Victorian-Rebels-Kerrigan-Byrne-ebook/dp/B01IA6FN9S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486495259&sr=8-1&keywords=Kerrigan+Byrne
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