We are so excited to be participating in the tour for How to Love a Duke in Ten Days! If you know us here at Fiction Fare, you know we love reading historical romance books and we especially love Kerrigan Byrne’s books! If you haven’t read them yet, now is your chance! This book is the first in her Devil You Know series so you can dive right in! Check out the summary and excerpt below and don’t forget to scroll down to my review so you can read all about why I loved this book!How To Love A Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne
(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group on August 27th 2019
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance, Scottish, Victorian
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.
Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890 Ten years later
Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne. I’m in danger. I need you.
Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from Lon- don to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.
The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Fran- cesca, who tended to give more than the appropriate amount of context. The terse, vague note Alexandra now held was more of a warning than the message contained therein.
The second, she could no longer afford a first-class, pri- vate railcar, and had, for the last several tense hours, been forced to share her vestibule face-to-face with a rough- featured, stocky man with shoulders made for labor.
He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her cor- respondence. By now, however, they were both painfully aware she needn’t take four stops to read two letters.
It was terribly rude, she knew. Her carpetbag remained clutched in her fist the entire time, except when her hand would wander into its depths to palm the tiny pistol she always carried. The sounds of the other passengers in ad- joining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.
But she knew they would hear her scream, and that pro- vided some relief.
For a woman who’d spent a great deal of the last ten years in the company of men, she’d thought these painful moments would have relented by now.
Alas, she’d become a mistress of manipulating a situa- tion so, even if she had to endure the company of men without a female companion, there would be more than one man. In the circles she tended to frequent, people be- haved when in company.
It had worked thus far.
Alexandra braced herself against the slowing of the train, breathing a silent prayer of relief that they’d finally arrived. She’d been terrified that if she’d glanced up once, she’d be forced into conversation with her unwanted com- panion.
Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflict- ing documents in her hands. One, a wedding invitation. The other, Francesca’s alarming note.
A month past, she’d have wagered her entire inheritance against Francesca Cavendish’s being the first of the Red Rogues to capitulate to the bonds of matrimony.
A month past, she’d assumed she’d had an inheritance to wager.
Their little society had seemed destined to live up to the promise they’d once made as young, disenchanted girls to never marry.
Until the invitation to an engagement masquerade— given by the Duke of Redmayne—had arrived the same day of her friend’s cryptic and startling note.
The invitation had been equally as ambiguous, stating that the future duchess of Redmayne would be unveiled, as it were, at the ball. Included in Alexandra’s particular envelope was a request for her to attend as a bridesmaid.
The subsequent plea for help from Francesca—Frank— had arrived in a tiny envelope with the Red Rogue seal they’d commissioned some years prior.
Alexandra hadn’t even known Francesca had returned from her romps about the Continent. Last she’d heard, the countess had been in Morocco, doing reconnaissance of some sort. Nothing in her letters had mentioned a suitor. Not a serious one, in any case. Certainly not a duke.
Francesca had a talent for mischief and a tendency to interpret danger as mere adventure.
So, what could possibly frighten her fearless friend?
Marriage, obviously, Alexandra thought with a smirk.
A risky venture, to be sure.
From How to Love a Duke in Ten Days. Copyright © 2019 by Kerrigan Byrne and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne is the first book in the Devil you Know series and I have to say, it was everything I was hoping for! If you know me, you know I have been reading more historical romance of late and having loved Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series, I jumped at getting the chance to check this one out.
Lady Alexandra Lane is our lead and I loved everything about her. She loves her friends and is willing to protect them as much as she is able. We immediately learn about what happened in her past and there’s no question it has impacted her…as it would anyone. And while she hasn’t necessarily resolved the pain and fear that came out of that event, she has continued to live her life. What it did for the story was show exactly why Alexandra and her friends are so protective of each other. I thought that while it is traumatic and perhaps some more sensitive readers might not love it, Byrne created a story that shows just how much of a survivor Alexandra is.
The friendship between Alexandra, Francesca, and Cecilia was really well built and it all starts with the prologue and when the story picks up years later, we can easily see that despite the trauma, Alexandra will do whatever is necessary to help and protect her friends. When she finds out Francesca is supposed to marry the Duke of Redmayne (known as the Terror of Torcliff), she immediately digs in to figure out what is going on and comes up with a solution everyone can be happy with…she will marry the Duke instead.
Piers has his own issues, one of which includes the fact that he needs to marry and have some heirs. When he runs into a woman at the train station who immediately takes over his thoughts, he never expects to see her again. Lucky for him, she just happens to be the best friend of his unannounced fiancé and when she proposes an arrangement that essentially gives him what he wants, a wife, he is more than willing to take the deal.
I loved the chemistry between these two characters. Yes, they are both scarred but they slowly get to know each other and trust one another. Without knowing the full story of Alexandra’s past, Piers is left to make some assumptions which are shaded by his experience with his mother and this all creates some tension. There are bumps along the way for these two as they learn more about one another and it only helps move the story along.
Alongside all of that, there is a bit of a mystery to solve too. Someone has been blackmailing Alexandra because of her secret. As Alexandra and Piers go on their honeymoon, things start to move forward with this storyline. When she finally figures out who is behind the blackmailing, there’s another complication that puts them both in danger.
Overall, this is another great historical romance from Byrne. There’s no question that she is officially on my auto-buy list and I can’t wait for the next books in the series so we can learn more about Francesca and Cecilia as I can already tell there are some twists and turns coming with their stories. If you are looking for a book that will give you well developed characters, swoons, mystery, and some heartache, consider checking this one out.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the early copy in exchange for an honest review.