Lady Alexandra Lane leads an interesting but solitary life, except for her career and relationship with her two best friends from her school days. She’s scholarly and learned but is emotionally scarred and burdened by a ten-year old event that only a few know about. However, one of them is her anonymous blackmailer who has drained her financially. Piers Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, is hosting a weekend celebration at his estate to announce his betrothed, yet to be named but rumored to be one of Alexandra’s best friends who’s a reluctant bride. He has strong motives to marry but not necessarily to a specific woman. Circumstances change where Piers and Alexandra might alter the original plan.
I’ve wanted to read this author for a very long time, have even collected a lot of her books; so, when this opportunity presented itself, I was more than thrilled. There was something about the synopsis that hinted at more and my instincts paid off. This was a meaty story centered around two very appealing characters, and I don’t necessarily mean physically. Alexandra was shaped by what happened years ago, created so many layers it made her fascinating. Piers is physically imposing with an even larger personality and demons. The conflicts and challenges were immense and the intrigue even grander. I also loved Alexandra’s two friends who are vital to the story.
I loved everything about this story…the characters, mysteries, subterfuge, romance and the stunning prologue that sets the stage for everything that comes after. Alexandra and Piers are well crafted, so much that you eventually know what they will and won’t do. No predictable paths here except where it’s natural for the two of them. There’s quite a bit going on but I appreciated that I got to discover it all by reading the book and won’t deprive anyone of that pleasure. Just know that you’ll be swept up and captivated by it all.
- Release Date: August 27, 2019
- Series: Devil You Know #1
- Page Numbers: 464
- Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Maynemouth, Devonshire, 1890 Ten years later
Accept the invitation to Castle Redmayne. I’m in danger. I need you.
Alexandra Lane had spent the entire train ride from Lon- don to Devonshire meticulously pondering those fourteen words for two separate reasons.
The first, she had been unable to stop fretting for Fran- cesca, 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, pri- vate 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.
He’d attempted polite conversation at first, which she’d rebuffed with equal civility by feigning interest in her cor- respondence. 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 ad- joining vestibules didn’t make her feel safer, per se.
But she knew they would hear her scream, and that pro- vided 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 situa- tion 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 be- haved 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 conflict- ing 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.
One print copy of How to Love a Duke in Ten Days will be given away to a randomly selected commenter (US residents only). The winner will be selected on September 5.
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.
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(Thanks to St. Martin’s Paperbacks for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)