Review + Excerpt: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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

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?

Series:

Victorian Rebels

Book 6

Can be read as a standalone

Book Type:

Historical Romance

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Series Reading Order:

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission should you purchase using those links. All opinions expressed are my own. I receive no compensation for reviews.

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo
By Kerrigan Byrne

Review + Excerpt: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo

“In the Orient, they call me the Black Dragon. In Africa, I am known as the Sea Panther. A warlord along the Persian coast once granted me the title, the Djinn of Darkness. I have many names, and even more titles, but first I am Capitan of the Devil’s Dirge, more commonly known in this part of the world simply as… The Rook.”

An infamous pirate without name, past or memories to bind him, lays claim to the girl who once freed him from death’s vise in THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.

Author Kerrigan Byrne’s Victorian Rebels series is my favorite new obsession—every story wildly coming to life with its tortured hero, fierce heroine and their against-all-odds love story. And perhaps there is not greater example of the latter than with the story of The Rook—a man hardened by his past, insentient by reputation, notorious for his ruthlessness as the pirate king of the seas.

“He’d been born a man in a mass grave. His midwives were named fire and torment, delivering him into an unfamiliar world. His siblings had been ravens, feasting on the dead.”

He once awoke in agony, mere breaths from death only to be saved by a stranger with a soft voice and caring hand. While his identity and past hid in the locked, dark recesses of his mind, a young Lorelai Weatherstroke nursed the boy with the dragon tattoo back to health, giving him a name, her love, and a new lease on life. She never imagined the promises he made would be so callously severed.

“There are only two indisputable facts in this world. The sun will set in the west, and I’ll come for you. Always.”

Twenty years later, The Rook sweeps in to take his revenge, to claim what’s always been his—her. He isn’t the same man Lorelai fell in love with, his eyes are hard and dark, no softness to be found. A maelstrom of emotion surges at his touch, at his every word and she struggles to make sense of the man he’s become, of what happened to the boy she’s yearned for throughout the years.

And as secrets are revealed and desires surge, she questions whether traces of his humanity remain, if she’s more than just a prize to be won. And moreover, she wonders if she can fall in love with a merciless pirate whose promise to her years ago finally proved true.

I was held utterly captive by Lorelai and Rook’s story. Suspenseful and sensuous, poignant and heart wrenching, wicked and deliciously fun, Byrne’s masterful writing captures it all, bringing to life a story of love, friendship, freedom and redemption.

I adored it—every word, every page, every character. Read it, I promise you’ll fall in love with this book too.

“She’d found him in the nightmares she wished he didn’t suffer. She found him in the darkness he ruled. In the storms he summoned. She found him, and was determined not to lose him again.”

Close thunder shook the stones and rattled the glass of the oil lantern at the bedside table of yet another luxurious prison. The bed was comfortable, at least, and the room spacious, done in dark wood and autumn tones.

Still, the storm stirred a restlessness inside of her she couldn’t appease. Something wild. Something indefinable and unescapable. Like time or fate.

But didn’t she exist outside those constructs? It certainly seemed thus. Was she a married woman, or a captive? Her physical desires and her emotional ones were ever at odds when it came to the dark and damaged man who could in the span of a breath be both threatening and tender. It seemed if she were to search for Ash, he’d have to live with the Rook.

As much as the prospect terrified her, it thrilled her, as well.

And the question remained. Did she have a choice?

Did she want one?

A chill lanced up her spine, spreading bumps down her arms, and Lorelai knew he was on
the other side of her bedroom door. All six-plus-feet of him.

He hadn’t made a sound. He didn’t cast a shadow.

But he was there.

The electric presence of him radiated from just beyond the thick oak as extant and intense
as the lightning outside. She was acquainted with his unparalleled strength. The barrier wouldn’t protect her if he decided to pit his body against it.

She didn’t breathe until the bolt slid open, the latch released, and he let himself into her room.

The sight of him freed the band from around her lungs and created a new pressure. One she’d felt awaken inside of her more fervently with each moment they passed in each other’s company.

A lower pressure. A moist desire.

She’d not felt it since their kiss all those years ago. But it was different now. Less innocent. More insistent.

Lanternlight had a way of softening people, but not him. His eyes were too black, to fiendishly clever. His features—dark as a heathen’s—were too hard. His expression, intemperate.

He was a living, breathing sin.

In her bedroom.

Lightning blanketed the sky in blinding brilliance, shifting the deep hollows and broad
planes of his features into a queer white light. For a ghostly moment, she caught sight of the boy she’d once known.

Ash. Her ash. All tender yearning and impetuous youth. Only Ash had gazed at her like that, once upon a time.

By the time the percussion of the thunder broke their stillness, his expression had again smoothed to that eerie tranquility she’d come to despise.

Instead of many, regular beats, her heart gave one great thump. Had he come to finish what he’d started in his quarters this morning?
She’d not known men were such creatures as he until revealed his unparalleled body to her. Now that she thought of it, most men weren’t.

There was no one like him.

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