I think I need to start this review by pointing out that Kerrigan Byrne is a phenomenal writer. Phenomenal. One of the best in the business right now. Her descriptions in HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS blew me away. I was transported to a dark, gothic, late 1800s, and I never wanted to leave.
Whew, okay with that out of the way, clearly, I loved this book. The first in a new series about three intelligent, redheaded heroines who went to school together as girls and became best friends. HOW TO LOVE A DUKE IN TEN DAYS follows Alexandra, a woman with past scars and lots of secrets, both her own and her friends’, and Piers, a physically scarred duke in need of a bride to exact revenge.
I don’t want to say too much more about this book because all the plot twists and turns are half the fun. The pull between Piers and Alexandra is palpable. The sexual tension alone had me turning pages well into the night. Did I mention there is A+ hero groveling? A freaking plus.
Ms. Byrne did a great job of making Alexandra relatable and an enigma in many ways. She wasn’t a wallflower, but did avoid attention. She was lovely but did her best to hide her light, for many reasons. She was smart, passionate, quiet at times, outspoken at others, adventurous, and I loved that I couldn’t quite put my finger on her. She was multifaceted, like all women, making her feel entirely real to me.
As in all Kerrigan Byrne novels, the prologue is absolutely brutal, and I caution anyone who picks up this book to make sure to check the content warnings. The dedication to the #MeToo movement should be a big clue.
The romantic connection did take a while to heat up. I know KB is just setting up the series, but the beginning of the book felt like a lot of telling instead of showing. I think the first book in any series can fall prey to this, and the pacing of the last half of the book made me forgive the slow start.
Overall, this was another magnificent, sweeping epic of a romance novel. Kerrigan Byrne is a master historical romance writer, and I can’t wait to continue to devour each and every book she publishes.
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**