Title: The Duke
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Victorian Rebels, #4
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
He is noble, notorious, and takes no prisoners...
Strong as a Viking. Handsome as Adonis. Rich as Midas. Collin "Cole" Talmage, Duke of Trewyth, is the stuff that legends are made of. He's the English Empire's golden son--until fate has its way with him. Cole's family is killed and his closest comrade betrays him on the battlefield, leaving him gravely injured. But Cole is not one to dwell on misfortune. He is a man of duty, honor--and desire. And now he's ready for the fight of his lifetime...
Imogen Pritchard is a beautiful lass who works in a hospital by day and as a serving maid at night. Years ago, when she was young and penniless, she ended up spending a scandalous night with Cole, whose tormented soul was matched only by his earth-shattering passion. Imogen entered a marriage of convenience--one that left her a wealthy widow--but she never forgot Cole. Now that her long-lost lover has turned up in her hospital, injured and with no memory of her, Imogen is torn: Is it a blessing or a curse that their past remains a secret to Cole, even as his new passion for her leaves him wanting to protect and possess her...at all costs?
I've been meaning to read Kerrigan Byrne for a long time and when I saw a post about The Duke, I checked it out and decided I just had to read it! And I could kick myself for not reading her sooner because The Duke was so amazing. It wasn't at all what I was expecting, but I loved that - I loved it, period!
I have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with Cole, although love and hate are too strong of words to use, but they make the most sense to say. When I say that they're too strong, I mean that while I loved the first couple of glimpses that we say of Cole, for most of the book, I didn't love him. I didn't hate him either though, granted he can be an a*s, which he admits to, but I could never hate him. He would do something that would give me hope that I would fall for him because I truly did like him and there were things that I loved about him. Cole's dark and primal and dangerous, he's protective and possessive and I loved all of that about him and while I can't say that he stole my heart, I did love him in the end.
Even though I struggled with Cole, I had no such struggles with Imogen. She's smart, brave, kind, and sweet. Imogen is so beautiful inside and out and the way she sees things is beautiful too. She's optimistic and positive and she's always trying to find the light in everything. Imogen is just so real and genuine and good - she is absolutely wonderful and I positively loved her!
The Duke was darker than I expected - honestly, I didn't expect it at all and I might not have been surprised if I had refreshed up on the synopsis, but I just jumped right in instead. It's not really a book that you read to give you laughs, it's heartbreaking and gut wrenching at times. It's not easy, but that's what makes it so great. The Duke will capture you, make you gasp, make you laugh and smile, it will make you yell and hurt your heart as well as warm it. It is so full of depth and beauty and wisdom. It's just incredible and I can't wait to read more from Ms. Byrne.
The Duke is a standalone, it's told from Cole and Imogen's POV, and they do get their happily-ever-after.
~ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars
About the Author:
Her first novel with St. Martin's Press, THE HIGHWAYMAN, is available now, followed by THE HUNTER and THE HIGHLANDER. The fourth book, THE DUKE comes out Feb. 7th, 2017.
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.