Lorelai Weatherstoke understood what it was to be in need
of care and tenderness, which she bestowed on all
creatures great and small. And that, one day, came to
include the nearly dead teenage boy she found, whom she
named Ash. He remembered nothing from his past, which
from the way he looked might have been a good thing.
Lorelai fell in love with that boy, who had told her that
he would always come back for her, whatever happened. And
one day, he left. He did come back, twenty years later,
as the Rook, a formidable pirate who had been terrorizing
the seven seas.
THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is a book I should not
have enjoyed so much. In spite of the enticing blurb, it
lacks subtlety: the villain is as black as night, Lorelai
is a white as the driven snow, and Ash/the Rook, is all
the darkest shades of grey. Yet, it worked beautifully
for me because of a very important detail: the tone of
the book. Kerrigan Byrne's slightly over the top voice
was ideal, as was the somewhat purplish prose -- don't get
me wrong, the writing is magnificent and sophisticated.
THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO feels like an old-
fashioned historical romance that owes much to the
classics, particularly Alexandre Dumas: think THE COUNT OF
MONTE CRISTO with explicit sex scenes.
Lorelai had a very difficult life, courtesy of her
dastardly brother Mortimer, a vicious, cruel brute, and
her weak-willed father -- whose motto is the "What will
people think?" of my title. Ash, while suffering from
amnesia, fell in love with Lorelai's kindness, which had
seem to vanish from his later incarnation of The Rook.
The Rook, I must say, terrified and mesmerized me as much
as he did Lorelai, and I was seriously worried that I
would not like where the story was going for a little
while. I have never read what are called "old skool"
historical romance novels, the bodice-rippers of old, and
I have no intention of doing so, as the idea of extremely
doubtful consent is de rigueur, which I feared in THE
DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Kerrigan Byrne does an
admirable job at walking an extremely thin line with
unprecedented flair and panache.
THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO has everything: murders,
kidnappings, amnesia, pirates, and a treasure. The
secondary characters are exceptionally fleshed-out, and I
would have liked a little bit more on Veronica. I
have seldom witnessed such extraordinary character
development as with Lorelai and Ash/The Rook, which
actually kept me on the edge of my seat. While I
understand that I read an uncorrected advanced copy,
there were some distracting mistakes, notably: how old is
Lorelai? Twenty years later, she is supposedly thirty
three, while when meeting Ash, she is thirteen, fourteen,
or fifteen, depending on the chapters. Had her age(s) not
been mentioned so often, it would not have had mattered
as much. In any case, with THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON
TATTOO Kerrigan Byrne demonstrates that when an author
knows exactly what she's doing, she can convince even the
most stubborn of readers.
The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The
boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts
and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love
He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past,
no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent
dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his
mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and
salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful
stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And
who calms the restless demons in his soul…
A LEGENDARY LOVE
Lorelai will never forget the night she rescued the broken
dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who
haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she
devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when
he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after
all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he
sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her.
But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief,
and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when
he takes her in his arms?