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Ratings and Book Reviews (19 48 star ratings
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4.6 out of 5
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    That pesky misunderstanding

    HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS has one of the most breathtaking epilogue and first chapter of a book I have read in years, regardless of the genre! Those few pages hold more drama and excitement than most thrillers. The three female characters are so sharply defined, you feel you know them already, and what highly appealing characters they are! And it only gets better from there, as Kerrigan Byrne weaves a very intricate plot around these three amazing women. How does one express one's ecstasy at being properly shown that your heroine is brave and resourceful, that she is one to be admired! Ms. Byrne does it with assured style and considerable panache: we experience every emotion and gesture through vibrant descriptions, stunning imagery, and dynamic writing. The writing in HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS is phenomenal, the vocabulary exquisite, the flow impeccable, and the characters so extraordinarily crafted, they immediately became real to me. Unfortunately, after this wondrous magnificence which consumed me came the dreaded *misunderstanding* around the halfway mark, which I had not anticipated because the story was going so well. Alexandra could have told Piers a partial truth. I think the author lost a golden opportunity to write a four-hanky scene in the way she chose to deal with the secret Alexandra had withheld from Piers. What could have led to memorable and very emotional scenes turned out to be, as far as I'm concerned, very anticlimactic. I was disappointed with how Alexandra acted with Piers. He's justified in being angry, and he is not to blame. I feared much unpleasantness, but it was partially set aside for some seduction. The usual he hates her, he doesn't trust her, but he wants her. Neither did she seem to mind how he had treated her. I wasn't onboard, my interest dwindled, and I started reading distractedly. I found myself not caring much anymore because the lack of communication goes on and on; why not tell him it was ten years ago! It had the potential for an extremely moving story without that misunderstanding. Pity. I found myself not caring about the romance, the mystery, I just wanted the book to end. The traumatising event was handled well. As for the happily-ever-after, I'm not convinced. I don't believe Piers will ever entirely trust Alexandra, and with him being jealous... Apart from one, the villains were no big surprise, and there was a whole lot of melodrama. The epilogue reveals a tad too much, to my liking, and as delirious as I was to read Cecelia's and Francesca's stories, now I don't feel the need to read Cecelia's book. Some things are better left unsaid...
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    Excellent start to a new series, read it!

    Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for introducing me to a new author and the delightful start of a new series. How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is a wonderful historical romance, taking place in the late 1800’s, when things were starting to become a little more modern but women were still expected to know their place. This is a tale that is full of laugh out loud humor and seriously sexy scenes (and a Duke, sigh!), but a story that also deals with some very somber issues in a sensitive, realistic manner. Something terrible, unspeakable, happened to Alexandra at the young age of 17 and, at least in her eyes, it has ruined her life forever. She has a very successful career in a field usually reserved for men doing work she loves, many casual friends, and the love, trust and undying friendship of the two schoolmates who were there when the horrible event occurred and who share her secret. But as for men, that’s another story. They bring nothing but trouble and heartache and Alex has no intention of opening her heart to one. Besides, if her secret ever comes out no one will ever want her anyway, and the lives of her friends Cecilia and Francesca will now be ruined because of her as well. But enter Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, brave and strong (and sullen and angry), once breathtakingly handsome but now known as the Terror of Torcliff due to a disfiguring accident. What follows is oh so funny and sweet and also sad and thought-provoking and dangerous and scary. This isn’t just a story about lords and ladies and how true love should conquer all; there is a real plot and storyline and some excellent writing in How to Love a Duke in Ten Days. The characters are well-developed and interesting, with deep backstories and motivations. And the danger feels real. It’s complicated and as the story moves along you aren’t sure who is in danger and why. What seemed obvious isn’t obvious at all. After some very exciting events and some fun and romance How to Love a Duke in Ten Days arrives at a very satisfying conclusion, with just enough tidbits left hanging to whet your appetite for what will hopefully be two more books in the series about Cecilia and Francesca. I received a copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I loved it, highly recommend it, and can’t wait for this entertaining story to continue.
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    I'm completely blown away by this book!

    The story starts as it means to go on - rather dark, with plenty of suspense that had me reading with one hand over my eyes. Even when I knew what was going to happen, it was difficult to read but impossible to put down. Alexandra is one tough cookie, having endured and achieved so much more than anyone could expect of a teenage girl. And then things really kick into high gear when she meets Piers ... cue all the swooning! This book gave me such a book hangover! The writing is exquisitely on-point throughout, never letting up or losing focus. It ends with a hard-fought HEA and a beautiful epilogue that will make you sigh with contentment. This is the kind of story that we hope every historical romance will be. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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    Excellent Emotional Read

    I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book. Alexandra goes through a traumatic event at the start of the story from which no one ever recovers. Her past impacts her daily life and decisions. She is also being blackmailed and is having to pay someone who knows what happened. With her family bankrupt, she needs money to continue to pay the blackmailer. She proposes marriage to Piers, the wealthy Duke of Redmayne who agrees. One is taken on an emotional journey with Alexandra as she has to face her fears and panic when being around men. She makes progress and experiences setbacks. Through it all she maintains her courage to move forward. I loved seeing Piers and Alexandra interact and how his treatment of her helps her in her healing. The story has a mystery/suspense element as well and there is enough happening to keep the reader turning pages until the end. This is a great beginning to a new series. I love Kerrigan Byrne’s writing. She creates strong characters that engage the reader from the start.
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    Heartbreakingly beautiful!

    Oh my gosh! What a heartbreakingly beautiful story! There is no doubt this author poured her heart and soul into this book and I felt it in every word. This begins with a very intense, dark moment in Alexandra Lane’s life. A moment that changes her forever. And while it leaves devastation in its wake, it is also the event that leads her to suggest marriage to the Terror of Torcliff, Piers Atherton the Duke of Redmayne. Scarred, arrogant and a bit of a barbarian, rumors abound concerning Piers. ”Whatever lurked in his blood, whether the Viking warrior, the fabled were beast, or fearsome demon, it was undeniable that something sinister and sinful rippled beneath the ducal bearing. Something ferocious and ancient that might have earned him a pagan’s grave upon a day. He did not belong in the age of gentility.” Even as he embraces the privacy the title of monster gives him, in his heart he’s lonely. When an incident at the train station brings a young woman into his life, he fantasizes about what a simple life with her would look like. And then he sees her again. But she is not a simple villager’s wife, she is his fiancée’s best friend. This was an absolutely amazing read! Once started I could not put it down! I immediately felt a connection to Alexandra, my heart torn to shreds at what happened to her, at how she was forced to deal with it, and how she carried the burden every day. ”Sometimes, though, I fear the weight of my sins will pull me into the abyss. I hope if God exists, if we are to stand judgment, that justice is more compassion than vengeance.” I loved this heroine. Despite being broken, she was so strong. She had to be to continue on. But she doesn’t just flounder through life, she bulldozes it down by becoming one of among a few female archeologist in her time, and a highly sought after one at that. Watching her grow, as well as learning to overcome her fears and to embrace hope, was so perfectly beautiful. I’m all about the hero, but Alexandra and her quiet strength, innate sense of loyalty, and courage moved her into a top favorite heroine. There is no denying that Piers is the type of hero I look for. He has his own issues to deal with but in spite of their problems he was always protective and possessive. “If Alexandra were ripening with child, every man who’d dare to look upon her would know he’d put it there. Would understand she was taken. Claimed.” I have never read a scene like the one where Piers learns the truth of Alexandra’s past. He was devastated and this author allowed him free reign to react as only the Terror of Torcliff could. ”A Redmayne’s revenge was slow. It would be wet. It would be messy. Methodical. And ultimately lethal.” I raged and cried for both Alexandra and him. This scene is reason alone to read this book. As I said, heartbreakingly beautiful. ”Reaching, but not touching. Aching, but not speaking. Because language hadn’t yet invented words for this sort of pain, and therefore neither had it words for comfort.” Together, Piers and Alexandra were imperfectly perfect! Their chemistry sizzles, their banter is engaging, and their emotions are constantly evolving into something more. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a hero and heroine who deserve a happy ever after more than this couple. There are layers upon layers within the pages of this book and with each new layer I fell further into this world and these characters. This is a high angst read, filled with drama, danger and mystery. It is also interlaced with wit and fun as well as secondary characters that add a richness to the overall story. I cannot wait to get the next book in this series. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and St. Martin's Press. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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