How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne
Devil You Know #1
August 27, 2019 by St. Martin’s
Content Warning: rape and sexual assault
I adore this author, absolutely adore. Kerrigan Byrne writes the MOST emotional, chest-clenching, angsty love stories. Strong heroines and broody heroes who experience sweeping, sensual, all consuming passion for each other. I always think she can’t out do herself yet again and she always does.
How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is the first book in a new series featuring three feisty, fiery red headed friends who meet while away at boarding school and form a life-long bond after an evening filled with pain and violence. These three women truly are ride or die. They will do anything for each other.
Despite the trauma and memories of that night, Alexandra Lane has created a life filled with travel, academia, and adventure. She knows how to protect herself, how to make herself uninteresting and unassuming. When she receives an impassioned request from one of her best friends, Francesca, asking her to come immediately to her side. It appears that Frank’s fiancée may also be from the family who killed her parents.
Enter in broody, broken, scarred Piers Gedrick Atherton, Duke of Redmayne. He has his reasons for being dark and intense. Growing up with a faithless mother, losing his fiancée to a cousin while on his death bed, and coming back scarred, feared and dubbed “the Terror of Torcliff”. His only objective now is to marry and produce heirs so that his cousin and ex-fiancée will never obtain the title he carries. He settles on Francesca Cavendish, an old friend of the family, and also a young woman whom he was betrothed to at as a child. But it’s her best friend Alexandra who he can’t stop thinking about.
As with any Kerrigan Byrne book, there are deep, complicated themes and a brilliant love story. In How to Love a Duke in Ten Days Ms. Byrne writes about sexual assault and it’s aftermath. The prologue is hard to get through and I had to take a break before I could start reading the first chapter. But once I picked it back up again I could hardly stop reading. This love story is sublime.
I spent a good amount of time while reading kind of clutching my chest wondering how Alexandra’s rape and subsequent anxiety and fear would be dealt with, but was so relieved when it was addressed with sensitivity and a gentle understanding. The main protagonists have quite a sensual, passionate relationship and I feel like the author built that relationship beautifully.
This book is a wonderful mixture of fierce women friendships and passionate romance, throw in a little mystery and you won’t want to put it down. It’s that good. End of year, best of list good. Highly recommend.
Final grade- A
“You’re perfect,” he whispered. “My brilliant, beautiful wife.”
She laid her hand against his scars. “So are you.”