I’m going to add my two cents here. I read The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo also and I loved it. It was definitely a Top Pick for me. The darker tone completely worked for me and I absolutely LOVED The Rook and Lorelai. And the ending left me champing at the bit for next book in the series.
Release Date: Aug 28, 2018
Series: Victorian Rebels
Heat Level: Hot
Imprint: St. Martin’s Press
My first Kerrigan Byrne book and I inhaled it.
Took me a little bit to adjust to the darker tone of the story, but I found myself pulled along by Byrne’s natural story-telling and penchant for flowing prose. Descriptors, dialogue, and the characters were all very interesting. I’d barely got started and then realized I was halfway through the book with little effort. The tale swept me away… literally and figuratively. I saw the cover and let’s say it lives up to don’t judge by the cover turn of phrase.
The hero is an alpha male and in ways the story had parallels to older historical romances, but Byrne puts a nice twist on things. Our hero, Ash, is tortured in the worst of ways and his heroine, Lorelei is a spinster who would love nothing more than a shot at saving him. Of course, this turned into a second chance romance (my favorite trope).
My biggest challenge with the story is almost mid-way the hero teased me with the hopes of getting some power play between H/h, but the promise is never fully realized. Otherwise, there are plenty of twists and turns. The villains, of which there are plenty, provide perfect opportunities for our H/h to act heroically and save the day. Though dearest Ash does most of the rescuing. I also adored Lorelei’s spunk and bravery. Often, she doesn’t believe she is brave, yet continuously in the story does not panic and stands up straight and tall against danger.
This is the 6th book in the series and I read it without getting lost. So, the story works well as a stand-alone, though I would be interested in going backward in the series to read the other books.
Overall, The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo was an unexpected delight and I look forward to reading more books in the series. Especially, if the next one features the heroine’s dearest sister in-law, Veronica. For readers who love Sherry Thomas’s prose and the angst and dark tones from Anna Campbell’s historicals.