Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Blog Tour Review: How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

From the Back Cover:

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.


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.

My Thoughts:

This story starts with an awful scene depicting what happened to our heroine, Alexandra, when she was eighteen. It's tough to get through, but it's necessary to understand what she deals with in the years that follow and why she behaves the way she does. We also find out she's being blackmailed over what happened all those years ago, and she's about to run out of the money she so desperately needs to keep her secret safe. So when she meets the scarred and brooding Piers Atherton, the Terror of Torcliff, who is in need of a wife to beget an heir so his nasty cousin doesn't inherit the dukedom, she makes a rash proposal of convenience. Piers readily accepts, but for him this marriage will be very real. He's already half in love with the beguiling, bookish beauty who attempts to hide herself from society's prying eyes.

Alexandra is frightened by her attraction to Piers. Understandably afraid of sexual intimacy, she presents him with a list of rules for their time together in the bedroom. Piers is puzzled by her reactions, but he's determined to prove his skittish wife can trust him, though as time goes on he grows frustrated that she won't open up to him. But they soon have bigger problems as a series of mysterious "accidents" that nearly get one or both of them killed on their honeymoon leads Piers to believe that someone is determined to stop him from siring an heir, while Alexandra thinks her blackmailer has grown bolder and is prepared to resort to murder. As the chasm of mistrust between them deepens, the danger around them intensifies. When Alexandra's secret is revealed, can Piers finally prove to her that she can trust him? Or will the villain determined to destroy them put an end to their happily ever after before it even starts?

I've had mixed feelings about the previous books I've read by this author, but I keep reading because Ms. Byrne can write. She creates wonderfully flawed and compelling characters; I've just found her stories to start off strong and fizzle out. I'm happy to say that's not the case here. This story has a strong plot right up to the last page. Of course there is a little over-the-top melodrama involved, but that's okay.

Alexandra is smart and brave, though she is very guarded--understandably so. The banter between her and Piers is delightfully witty. Piers is truly romantic and swoon-worthy...until he isn't. When the "big misunderstanding" comes between them, he behaves pretty abominably, though fortunately that doesn't last long. The scene where he finally puts the pieces together and understands what his wife has been through was heart-wrenching and had me in tears.

I will say I was not a fan of the epilogue. In most cases, I really enjoy an epilogue and get annoyed when one is missing, but I didn't like the content of this one and it unnecessarily spoiled the ending of book two in the series. I also didn't find either of Alexandra's friends as compelling as she was, so I doubt I'll be reading the other books. But this book gets big props for taking on such a sensitive issue, for pulling at the emotional strings from beginning to end, and for pairing two souls who complement each other so perfectly.

My Rating: 4 Stars out of 5

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