I received this book for free from St. Martin's Paperbacks in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne
Also in this series: The Highwayman, The Hunter, The Highlander, The Duke, The Scot Beds His Wife
Series: Victorian Rebels #6
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on August 28, 2018
Genres: Historical Romance, Nautical, Victorian Era
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 them…
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
Lorelei 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?
*May Contain Spoilers*
The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo is the sixth installment in this incredible series by Kerrigan Byrne. After seeing all the raving reviews for this book I knew I was in for a great time with this book here and I have to say this one might be my favorite of the series, even more than Highlander which had been number 1 for me but this book was INCREDIBLE and I don’t think I could ever give this book the right justice that it deserves…but I certainly will try.
In this story, we have our fated Rook….whose character we have been teased about and so we finally get his story. It starts out when he was a boy in Newgate Prison, and he is getting a tattoo done on his arm which we are included into the why of quite yet, and then we see him being dragged out. Our darling heroine, Lorelei, is traveling with her father and brother (she is fourteen at this point) and sees a man abused and barely alive and she insists that they stop to help him. She is unable to since she has a bummed leg (where her brother broke her ankle and she never was able to see medical care for it)
See her? He absorbed her. Devoured her. Committed every detail to his empty memory with in human precision. In fact, he could see nothing else. And never wanted to.
Lorelei works on healing him alongside the local doctor, and slowly Ash begins to heal with the tender care of Lorelei. Ash has no memory of his life before, but he does have a feeling it was brutal. He knows that he isn’t worthy of Lorelei’s tender touch but he also is drawn to her in a way he has never felt before. Lorelei motivates him to heal and to live and to become worthy of her someday. When he recovers though, working for her father, already making plan to declare his love for her when her brother kidnaps him and sells him to be a slave on a ship.
There are only two indisputable facts in this world: The sun will set in the west, and I’ll come for you. Always.
It has now been twenty years since that fateful day, and Lorelei never knew what happened to her beloved Ash or his sweet promise to her. Lorelei is now thirty-four years old, and she has never forgotten Ash but he can’t save her for what her brother is forcing her to do. Her brother is abusive and controlling. She has had to live under his control for years, including the horrible treatment of his own wife who lost their babe to his abuse. Now he has lost everything they had with his gambling debts. And so she will have to marry a rich but very old man to save them from being on the streets. She knows its the right thing, but then when she arrives at the wedding, her brother is killed right in front of her by a pirate by the name of “Rook” who then kidnaps her and he resembles a boy she once knew….her beloved Ash and he has come back to claim her as his. He takes her and her sister in law on his ship and marries her. But now Rook puts himself in Lorelei’s mercy, that he will do anything for her. Lorelei is intrigued yet frightened a bit of this new Ash that hardly resembles the boy she once fell in love with, but she begins to see that he is in there hidden beneath layers of abuse and pain and only she can recover his heart…
I was born the moment I heard your voice commanding me to live. You have you been mine ever since.
The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo is one of the most heart wrenching and captivating second chance romances I have ever read in my life….it was so beautifully written in depth and heart-tugging emotion that will have you going through a box of tissues. I was swept away in their story that instantly got my attention from their first meeting. This is where you believe in instant love matches because Ash and Lorelei have an instant connection to each other that is powerful. Even as just kids, not even full adults, they realize the amazing gift they have in each other. We see these little moments of emotion and soul like connection in where they understand each other. Both of them have had rough lives. We see the joy and sorrow that love can bring to you especially when you are torn away against your will.
You’re supposed to heal me. Or hurt me. To save me. Or condemn me. To remind me that I’m human.
The hero is very badass…I mean he has become a bit of an anti-hero almost…definitely a bad boy. He was sold, forced to serve others and was severely beaten over the years. Until after fifteen years of it, he and the other slaves rose up against their masters and forged their own future. Building up their own fortune and abilities and fighting against anyone that attacked them. Now they are on the hunt for the greatest treasure, and the map of this priceless treasure is embedded in his tattoo. Ash “Rook” has been keeping tabs on Lorelei planning for the one day he can come back and fulfill his promise. But then when he learns that she is to be married, he knows he can’t allow that and it ups his plans a bit. We see the sorrow and the torment that Rook has suffered over the years and how it has hardened him into being a pirate. He also wants revenge on those that have harmed the woman he still loves after all this time.
Time will end before I stop loving you. I love you. I could be–I have been–sent to the other side of the earth, and it doesn’t even matter, because I’ll always find my way back to you. I etched the ebony wings on my back years ago because I have always been your raven. Your mate.
Our heroine is such a wonderful woman. She is strong and compassionate and the abuse she has suffered at the hands of her brother has never broken her, only made her stronger. She has a deep love for all animals and any time she comes across an animal hurt or injured she cares for it. I loved her level of empathy and understanding she has for everything and everyone, she is so accepting of Rook even though he kidnaps her and is a pirate and forces a marriage between them. But she sees what is behind the tough exterior and that he would never force her to have sex with him. I loved how wise she is, and has this inner strength of iron you just have to admire.
Sometimes, one must be broken, in order to be healed
The sexual chemistry between them that builds is phenomenal and man I felt so immersed in their sexy moments that could smolder your home. I loved how well written these sexy moments were written. They were HOT and sensual with just the right level of emotion that they develop the intimacy that is building between these two.
The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo swept me away in the adventure, the treasure hunting, the suspense and the love story that is truly a compelling and heart-achingly romance that fills you up…AN ENTHRALLING ADVENTURE OF LOVE ON THE HIGH SEAS!!