by Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Devil You Know #1
Release Date: August 27th 2019
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
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 PRISONERS
Piers 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.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
*This is a Trigger Warning for the Content in This Book: Depictions of Sexual Assault Found Within*
You guys…this book…how do I even go about writing this review?
Kerrigan Byrne is a somewhat new-to-me author that I discovered pretty recently (approximately a year ago). I started with The Highwayman, which was the first novel in her Victorian Rebels series, and soon found myself addicted – her writing, her storytelling, the characters and settings, they gave me everything that I ever wanted in a Historical Romance. Not to mention that the *sexy-times* are pretty delicious, too.
So when I saw that she was delving into another historical romance series, I immediately added it to my TBR. The premise alone had me hooked – strong-willed heroine (who is actually a Doctor in Archaeology, so that was fun), damaged hero (I’m a sucker for the brooding-types), a marriage-of-convenience plot (um, hello, yes), and a mysterious enemy from Lady Alexandra’s past, out to threaten everything she holds dear.
What I was not expecting, dear reader, was how hard this book hit. I mean, it was a straight sucker punch, straight out the gate.
I mentioned above about a trigger warning for sexual assault – within the opening pages of the prologue, there is a very intense rape sequence. Note that I do not say graphic – it is not explicit in detail, but it is intense in emotions.
The events that follow in that prologue influence the rest of the story, especially in the character of Lady Alexandra. Her motivations, her mannerisms, her very sense of self is impacted by what happens to her as a teenager, and it is something that she works through during the course of the novel. I truly felt like the author did an incredible job balancing sensitivity and understanding of Lady Alexandra, while also depicting the mental toll that a traumatic event can have on a person. There were moments when my heart absolutely ached, because even though I (as the reader) as well as those closest to her (specifically the Red Rogues, which I’ll mention in a moment) knew and understood that what had happened was in no way her fault, the psychological torment that she put herself through were understandable. Lady Alexandra was such an amazing character, and I can’t help but admire her courage and strength – as well as that of the writer who allowed her to story to be told.
I also loved this book for the amazing way it depicted female friendships – the Red Rogues, comprised of Lady Alexandra, Cecelia Teague, and Francesca Cavendish, Countess of Mont Clair, have been friends since school, united not only in the color of their hair (all possessing varying shades of red), but also in their belief that women can appreciate, and should take part in, all the activities and discussions that men do. Cecelia and Francesca are there for Alexandra, and she for them, throughout anything that comes their way. Their loyalty and love towards one another is something that I wish we saw more of in literature (and in life) – women supporting women. From what I understand, this series is setting up to be a trilogy, following the exploits of the Red Rogues – and I cannot wait to see what happens!
Now let us talk of our daring hero – the Terror of Torcliff, the Duke of Redmayne, Piers Gedrick Atherton. Having returned from his explorations physically scarred, in addition to the emotional scars that the women in his life have left upon him, this brooding man is immediately captivated by the Lady Alexandra (this isn’t an insta-love situation – she literally stops a rampaging horse in its tracks). I absolutely adored Piers, simply for his infallibility. Despite whatever outward reputation that he’s maintained, he is deeply vulnerable and wounded by the experiences he’s been molded by, and just like Alexandra, has to work through them before he can fully care for and love another person. I loved Piers with Alexandra, and you better believe that my heart broke a little when he found out about what she had been through. Piers, you are a good man, and I really hope that there are more of you out there in this world – with or without a title.
Simply put, I adored this book. It was emotional and captivating and incredibly well-executed in the handling of the characters and the material. Be sure to head to your nearest bookstore or retailer and buy all of Kerrigan Byrne’s work – I know that I will.
A brief snapshot into everything you need to know about me: I’m a 25 year old Ravenclaw living in the Deserts of Arizona (but, hey, it’s a dry heat, right?). I’m 90% water and 10% caffeine, and I proudly declare myself both a Sassenach and Queen in the North. In addition to reading practically anything and everything I can get my hands on, I graduated with a degree in European History and a full-out obsession with Hamilton and Disney. I’m fluent in English, Sarcasm, and Movie Quotes (there’s French in there as well) and am that friend of a friend who will run off on tangents about the most random topics. I hope you enjoy my reviews and I can’t wait to discuss with you all!