Tuesday, 27 August 2019

[Review] How to Love a Duke in Ten Days, by Kerrigan Byrne



Title How to Love a Duke in Ten Days
Series: Devil You Know #1
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Number of pages: 448
Publication date: August 27th 2019


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Synopsis:
These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees...

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.


Review:
I received an eARC at no cost from the author, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.


Trigger warning:

I think there are few HR authors (from time periods I like) out there whom I have not yet read, and Kerrigan Byrne was one of them. After hearing such high praise about this author, and having been given the opportunity to read How To Love A Duke In Ten Days, I couldn’t refuse. And at the end of this book, I said to myself: why did I wait this long?!

This book has such a strong friendship between the heroines of this series. I always love a book where female friendship - well, any friendship, really - is championed. They support each other, they are always there when needed, and they don’t judge. Isn’t that wonderful?

Alexandra had a traumatic event in her teenage years at school, and Francesca (Frank) and Cecelia (Cecil) - her friends, and fellow red-heads - helped her hide what happened, and at the same time supported her with her feelings and the fear she - rightfully - developed after such an event. Now that Alexandra had a secret that needed to be kept with their lives, Frank and Cecil wanted to assure her their loyalty, and so the three friends told each other powerful, damaging secrets, so that they would all be connected by something stronger their school years.

Alexandra became a doctor through the Sorbonne, an archaeologist, in reality. She buries herself in work, and her only true connections are with her school friends. One day, she received a note from Francesca, saying she was getting married, and she was needed. The cryptic note was especially odd since the three women had sworn never to get married.

Frank is supposed to marry Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne. When Alexandra gets reaches the station and awaits her friend Cecil, she meets a huge, strong horse - a man to, and the description fits just as well! - and she manages to calm the horse down, and the man, whom she believes to be a man that worked at the stables, is the first man to arouse her in a certain way.

Due to her past, she believes no man can ever be trusted, and they must be feared, but with this man she doesn’t really feel afraid. Even though he was a very large man that could pick her up easily, she feels he’s more of a protector than anything else.

Believing she won’t see him again, Alex and Cecil go to the castle of the Duke of Redmayne, and meet with Frank in their rooms. And out of the window, Alex sees the man from the station, and she assumes that he works at the castle. I’m sure you already know, dear reader, that he was indeed the Duke of Redmayne.

Frank is worried because she believes that someone wants to hurt her, or her friends, and she doesn’t want to marry Redmayne.

Alex is also being threatened in a way - she was being blackmailed. She didn’t know who it was, but they knew what she and her friends had done. And she wanted to protect them at all costs, but her family doesn’t have any more money, so she decides to make a trade: she’ll marry the duke, he’ll protect them, without knowing what had happened at school. Frank and Cecil don’t want her to do that, but she persuades them that Piers is a good man, and she somewhat trusts him. And she wants to be a mother, so she knows she’ll have to overcome her trauma for that to happen.

The book happens is a small time frame - the 10 days, give or take - and that doesn’t really give the characters a lot of time to connect with one another. I did like Piers - even though he was a bit too rough for me personally - but I get that Alexandra liked that part of him, because he could protect her, and at the same time he was a good man and so he wouldn’t overpower her.

I really liked the way Kerrigan Byrne dealt with such an important, difficult, traumatic issue, how she described it and its impact on the life of the characters. It shaped some of it, but the love that develops between Alex and Piers showed that it didn’t have to rule her life.

There’s some mystery, and sometimes a bit too much happening, but it was a great book, a great start with this author, with romance, friendship, strong and interesting characters. What more could I ask for?



[Q&A] How to Love a Duke in Ten Days, by Kerrigan Byrne



Welcome to another interview, here at Romancing Romances!

Today we have author Kerrigan Byrne, answering a Q&A about her new book,
How to Love a Duke in Ten Days!




Q: What inspired you to write How to Love a Duke in Ten Days?
A: I’ve always been one of those women who have enjoyed fierce female friendships. I think that soulmates, even for heterosexual women, can be just as necessary with other women as with men, and a real hero must not just love and respect you, but also your tribe. I wanted to write a series where historical heroines could truly have it all, education, dreams, businesses, wealth, genius, revenge, hot sex, AND true love. Where the sacrifices were made on their behalf instead by them, and where their heroes learn to lift them up in all ways, heal their pains, calm their fears, become their best friends, and protect them with what I hope is a great balance between alpha hotness and progressive sensitivity.


Q: Is there one thing you would like readers to take away from this story?
A: That’s tough because I packed a lot in there! I would say the one thing from this book, specifically, is that happiness is attainable against the odds, even when overcoming the worst that people can do to one another. Even though I’m a grown up and a cynic, I still like to write books that remind me that true love conquers all, because that love can come from so many people.


Q: Can you describe your typical day writing this book?
A: This book was especially difficult for me to write, so I spent a great deal of time in my bathrobe. I would get up, my fantastic husband would make me coffee, I’d call my critique partner and we’d do a bit of brainstorming, and I’d write and rewrite for hours, stress, cry, throw things, walk the dog, eat, snack, eat some more, facebook way too much, and then finish under word count, binge a tv show or a book until I stared at the ceiling into the wee hours. Oh, and there was drinking in there at regular intervals. Glamorous, I know!


Q: Describe the hero and heroine of How to Love a Duke in Ten Days in three words each.
A: The Duke of Redmayne: Wary. Wounded. Wicked.
Lady Alexandra Lane: Brave. Brilliant. Beautiful.


Q: What is the one thing that the heroine, Alexandra, can’t live without?
A: She cannot live without her two dearest friends in the entire world, Miss Cecelia Teague, and Lady Francesca Cavendish. They literally buried a body for her, and would defend her to the death.


Q: What was your hardest scene to write in How to Love a Duke in Ten Days? Your favorite?
A: As with many (most) of my novels, the prologues are the hardest to write, and read, I suspect. Usually I take the characters to the very edge of their breaking point, often times pushing them over so they have what seems like insurmountable conflicts to overcome both internally and externally. So, for this book, Alexandra’s assault was the most difficult thing to get through, and boy did I enjoy being able to help Piers put her back together, because he was just the perfect hero for her. Tender, empathetic, a good sense of humor, and a large dose of protective alphaness.


Q: Why do you write historical romance?
A: I’ve always romanticized the past. I can’t help it. I love the pace and the aesthetic, the gowns and the suits and the manners and the manors. I love to do historical research and it’s so fun to see how much we are influenced by the past and how, even though so much has changed through the centuries, people really haven’t. Also, it’s fun to play with language, mystery, and sex in a time when a scandal was still possible πŸ˜‰


Q: Is there another particular author that inspires you or that you enjoy reading?
A: There is a LIST! I would say in historical romance, though, it’s always always Lisa Kleypas. She has a grasp on the characterization of historical folks that I can never hope to attain. I’m just in awe of her every word.


Q: Where do you go or what resources do you use to make sure your novels are historically correct?
A: I love to find books about a time period at B&N or my local bookshops. I go to Harper’s Bazaar for fashion, and a slew of Victorian references for the time period. I do read blogs and sometimes consult with historians and experts.


Q: Did you learn anything surprising while researching for this novel?
A: Many things! I learned how truly difficult it was to attain an education as a woman as little as a hundred years ago. It’s really incredible how far we’ve come in a century.


Q: What do you do when faced with writer’s block, if you ever are?
A: Oh man. I often am. I usually try to shake it loose with a brainstorming conversation with a few friends I have who always seem to be able to unstick me. I rely heavily on the creativity of others as well as my own.


Q: How did you feel the first time you realized one of your books was a big success?
A: I didn’t believe it. It seems surreal every time I truly realize that a story I wrote entertained another human. Let alone more than one. I’m like… they paid to read it? WHAT?


Q: What’s next for the Devil You Know series?
A: I’m especially excited for the next book All Scot And Bothered because it’s about Alexandra’s best friend the curvy vicar’s daughter, Cecelia Teague. She inherits London’s most infamous and successful brothel, and one imposing, surly Scottish enemy along with it. She and Lord Ramsay, the Lord Chief Justice with an axe to grind against her establishment, can’t be in a room together without the sparks flying. I can’t think about this book without smiling.


Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: I hope you enjoy this trio of roguish redheads as much as I enjoyed writing them!




Thank you Kerrigan Byrne for visiting Romancing Romances, it was a pleasure to interview you.

Dear readers stick around, for I'll have a review of
How To Love A Duke In Ten Days later today!

And if you have any doubts, read a small excerpt of
How To Love A Duke In Ten Days 😊



Title How To Love A Duke In Ten Days
Series: Devil You Know #1
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Number of pages: 448
Publication date: August 27th 2019
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Synopsis:
These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees...

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.





About the author:
Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Connect with Kerrigan Byrne:

[Excerpt] How to Love a Duke in Ten Days, by Kerrigan Byrne



Today I bring you an excerpt of Kerrigan Byrne's new book,
How to Love a Duke in Ten Days!





Title: How to Love a Duke in Ten Days
Series: Devil You Know #1
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Number of pages: 448
Publication date: August 27th 2019
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Synopsis:
These men are dark, bold, and brave. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees...

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.


Chapter One


Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890

Ten years later

Alexander,
Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne.
I’m in danger. I need you.—Frank


Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from London to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.

The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Francesca, 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, private 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. Alone.

He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her correspondence. 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 adjoining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.

But she knew they would hear her scream, and that provided 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 situation 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 behaved 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 companion.

Rain wept against the coach window, and the shadows of the tears painted macabre little serpents on the conflicting 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.


What do you think? Are you excited about this book?
There's will be a Q&A with the author, Kerrigan Byrne, in just a few short hours - find out all about this new series of books!

And don't forget to take a peek at my review of the book, that's going to be published later today 😊





About the author:
Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, USA Today bestseller Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Connect with Kerrigan Byrne:

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

[Giveaway] Winners of the Madeline Hunter Bookmarks' Giveaway


Hi everyone! We have the winners of Romancing Romances' first international giveaway!

First of all, thank you to Madeline Hunter, for sending these amazing bookmarks. I hope you like them as much as I did.

As mentioned in the original post, each winner will receive three (3) bookmarks!




Here are the winners:





I've sent emails to the winners, and you have 48h to answer!

Thank you so much to everyone to entered this giveaway. I hope to do another one soon, so don't forget to follow the blog, to learn all the news first hand πŸ˜‰

Thursday, 8 August 2019

[Review] The Wallflower Wager, by Tessa Dare



Title The Wallflower Wager
Series: Girl Meets Duke #3
Author: Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Number of pages: 368
Publication date: August 13th 2019


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Synopsis:
They call him the Duke of Ruin. To an undaunted wallflower, he's just the beast next door.

Wealthy and ruthless, Gabriel Duke clawed his way from the lowliest slums to the pinnacle of high society—and now he wants to get even.

Loyal and passionate, Lady Penelope Campion never met a lost or wounded creature she wouldn’t take into her home and her heart. When her imposing—and attractive—new neighbor demands she clear out the rescued animals, Penny sets him a challenge. She will part with her precious charges, if he can find them loving homes.

Done, Gabriel says. How hard can it be to find homes for a few kittens?

And a two-legged dog.

And a foul-mouthed parrot.

And a goat, an otter, a hedgehog . . .

Easier said than done, for a cold-blooded bastard who wouldn’t know a loving home from a workhouse. Soon he’s covered in cat hair, knee-deep in adorable, and bewitched by a shyly pretty spinster who defies his every attempt to resist. Now she’s set her mind and heart on saving him. Not if he ruins her first.


Review:
I received an eARC at no cost from the author, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.


Reading a book by Tessa Dare is always a pleasure. There are always funny, romantic moments with her books.

Penny is one of the most adorable characters ever. She’s an animal lover, and a vegetarian – in the 1800’s! She takes care of animals that were hurt, or that no one wanted. She’s one of the most lovable people, she’s caring, and sweet, and a great friend. She’s someone we would all love to have in our lives.

Gabe (Gabriel Duke) is fantastic. He’s ruthless, but, to be honest, it’s one of the things I like about him. Let’s face it, people take advantage of other people, and he just collects what they thought they could always owe. And the ton doesn’t like it. Too bad, if you ask me. Not his problem. Don’t like what he does? Then don’t give him the chance to do so, by not having debts everywhere!

Anyway. Penny lives next door to this handsome Duke of Ruin. And their first meeting is hilarious! Penny has a parrot, the parrot flies away to Gabe’s house, and she follows, and his… pretty much naked. And what a scene! Tessa Dare is one of the best writers for sexy scenes – mind, not necessarily sex scenes, but everything before, after and the sex scene itself. It makes us readers feel as good as the characters.

They strike an unusual friendship with attraction at first sight – not love, attraction. Loves comes later.

Penny has the best of friends, but lately they have their own families, and their free time is limited. And Gabriel decides to help her with her new predicament. Penny’s brother wanted her to leave London, and go back to her family’s estate in Cumberland, and Gabriel doesn’t want her to go, because her presence as a neighbour would help him sell his new house. And Penny doesn’t want to leave her house, and she has a past that she doesn’t want to re-live, which might have happened if she left for Cumberland.

Gabe helps Penny, and he’s ambitious, relentless, and he gets things done. Penny is so assertive about what she wants, she doesn’t leave things to chance. And when she wants Gabriel, and he wants her, things heat up! And wow! They have such sweet, romantic, sexy moments.

Like I mentioned before, there’s something in Penny’s past that could have made her a scared, sad person, but no. She’s such a happy, tender, devoted person. It’s handled beautifully, with the hero feeling angry about what she had to go through, but I really liked that the women got together, and Penny handled it on her own – she’s fierce!

So, read this book! You won’t regret it.



Tuesday, 6 August 2019

[Review] Lord of Sin, by Heather Boyd



Title Lord of Sin
Series: Distinguished Rogues #10
Author: Heather Boyd
Publisher: Independently Published by Heather Boyd
Number of pages: 250
Publication date: August 6th 2019


buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Synopsis:
In the battle between love and duty, the heart has the most to lose…

Despite his previous irksomeness, Lord Julian Wade has become a dear confidant to Portia Hayes. He’s proven attentive, honorable, clever, and would make many a lady a fine catch. Not herself, alas. Wade has naught but lint in his pockets, and Portia is expected to make an advantageous match. Her recent betrothal to the Duke of Montrose thrills her parents, but as she learns of his unfavorable reputation—and equally untenable behavior—Portia’s happiness is less assured. As is her chance of being loved.

Julian Wade may have lost the battle for Portia’s hand, but her heart has yet to be won. Certainly his old enemy Montrose is unworthy of her affections, and indeed, it seems the dastardly duke is up to his usual unsavory tricks. But Julian has a few tricks of his own, as well as the support of dear friends. Penniless though he may be, should he win Portia’s love once and for all, Julian may yet prove to be the richest gentleman about Town.


Review:
I received an eARC at no cost from the author, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you.


This was the first book I’ve read by Heather Boyd. And it was a great surprise, especially since this book has a “friends to lovers”, which is one of my favourites.

But I feel like I must point out that we don’t actually have a lot of moments when we can actually see Portia Hayes and Julian Wade as friends, because that seemed to mostly happen in the previous books – which I have not read.

Portia is a bit arrogant and is used to getting everything her way. She’s flirty, a good friend, and independent. And she wants to fulfil her family’s wish, which is for her to marry a high ranking gentleman, so that her family – especially her younger sister – have a better position in the ton. But she wishes to marry for love – or at least to have a happy marriage. And then the duke of Montrose proposes. And she can’t say no.

At first, she thinks it might be a dream, that even though they don’t know each other, he can’t be as bad as everyone else says. And then the invitations start to thin up, and she realizes that the dream life her family wanted wasn’t real. And she decides things have to change.

Julian Wade has been in love with Portia for several years. He thinks that after so long, she will realize that he’s in love with her, and she will fall in love with him as well. Things didn’t work out as he had initially planned but, of course, this is a historical romance, so the HEA is guaranteed.

There are several funny moments during the book, and the romance heats up a bit towards the end. And Portia finally takes control of her life, and she sets everything so that the mean, controlling Montrose gets what he deserves, and she gets her happy ending with Julian.

A great start with this author.



Thursday, 1 August 2019

[Giveaway] Madeline Hunter's Bookmarks


Hi everyone! Welcome to Romancing Romances' first international giveaway!

First of all, thank you to Madeline Hunter, for sending these amazing bookmarks. I hope you like them as much as I did.

I'll be giving away 3 bookmarks (for yourself, and for you to share with your friends, or your library, for example) to 3 winners! Three people will win this giveaway!





Here are the rules:

1) This giveaway is open between August 1st 15h (GMT time) and August 12th 23:59(GMT).

2) All participations that do not fill the requisites and/or do not follow these rules, will be considered void.

3) It is Mandatory to either follow the blog or follow the Facebook page of Romancing Romances.
If you follow Romancing Romances both through the blog and facebook, you'll get an extra entry.

4) It's MANDATORY to do a public share of this giveaway in a social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc).

5) The winners will be chosen via random.org.

6) The winners will have their name published in the blog, and will be contacted by email.

7) Only one participation for person. International. Void where prohibited.

8) Must be 18 or older, or have parental permission to enter this giveaway.

8) Romancing Romances is not responsible for any lost/misplaced orders.