Release Date: Jun 2, 2020
Series: Victorian Rebels
Heat Level: Hot
A Dark and Stormy Knight is the seventh book in Kerrigan Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series. Sir Carlton Morley has pulled himself from the gutters of London to be a respected Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard. By day he protects the city with the law as his weapon. By night he stalks the streets as the Knight of the Shadows, a vigilante for justice. While investigating a case as his alter ego, Prudence Goode literally falls into his lap. He doesn’t have time for distractions, even beautiful raven haired distractions like Pru. However, he finds her irresistible and in her he finds his one weakness.
Kerrigan Byrne has become a one-click author for me, because she writes historicals that are full of action, passion, and emotion. I’m especially a fan of any romance that gives me a good mystery as a subplot to the love story, and Kerrigan always manages to weave the two stories together in a most enjoyable way. I came late to the fandom, so I have not read all of the novels in this series but when I saw this drop on NetGalley I had to snatch up A Dark and Stormy Knight.
Fair warning, I usually try to remain as professional as possible when I write these reviews, but I just have to exclaim one thing. This hero is literally Victorian Batman! His double life as the Chief Inspector and the vigilante gave a lot of insight into the type of man Carlton was, and I loved it. Carlon was as sexy as Bruce Wayne and as mysterious as Batman, with all the buttoned up propriety of a Victorian gentleman. After a lifetime in the gutter he felt duty bound to save those who could not save themselves any way possible. Before he meets Pru his entire being is consumed with finding justice for victims of crime, mostly out of penance for those he could not save. I am a sucker for this type of hero and Carlton sucked me in from the first word on the page.
Prudence is a typical sheltered and pampered miss from a good family. Her father has a small title and is the Commissioner of Scotland Yard, making him Carlton’s direct superior. I don’t want to spoil their meeting, but I can say that the manner is definitely not how one would expect to meet the daughter of a police commissioner and it’s probably my favorite first meeting between a couple in 2020. I struggled a bit with connecting to Pru since she was a bit more one-dimensional than Carlton in the beginning of the book. We don’t get to know much about her other than the fact she was engaged to a philandering Earl and she’s always felt like an outsider in her family. As we go along in the book, Pru eventually finds her way out of her shell and she becomes a very strong and likable character in the story.
The mystery surrounding this story was told very well, and Kerrigan kept me guessing right up until the reveal. I liked how this mystery plays a big role in Carlton and Pru’s relationship, and eventually leads Pru to demanding exactly what she deserves from him. What did bother me in a very minor way was that in the later half of the book a lot of the relationship between Pru and Carlton gets fast forwarded, I think in service to getting the mystery solved on page. This means that we miss out on 2 weeks of them bonding that I would have liked to see on page. I prefer to see major milestones and initial bonding on page, and not skipped over with a quick time jump.
Overall, I loved this book and I’m giving it a 4.5, just because I was a glutton for Carlton and Pru and I really wanted to see more of their love story get page time. This only slightly diminished my extreme love for this book, and my general fandom for this writer. If you love dark and steamy historical novels like Sarah Maclean’s Bare Knuckle Bastards series or the Highland Guard series by Monica McCarty you’ll love this series and this book. I dare you not to fall in love with Victorian Batman 😉