Publication date: February 7, 2017
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
He’s noble. notorious. And takes no prisoners…
Strong as a Viking. Handsome as Adonis. Rich as Midas. Collin “Cole” Talmage, Duke of Trewyth, is the stuff that legends are made of. He’s the English Empire’s golden son–until fate has its way with him. Cole’s family is killed and his closest comrade betrays him on the battlefield, leaving him gravely injured. But Cole is not one to dwell on misfortune. He is a man of duty, honor–and desire. And now he’s ready for the fight of his lifetime…
Imogen Pritchard is a beautiful lass who works in a hospital by day and as a serving maid at night. Years ago, when she was young and penniless, she ended up spending a scandalous night with Cole, whose tormented soul was matched only by his earth-shattering passion. Imogen entered a marriage of convenience—one that left her a wealthy widow—but she never forgot Cole. Now that her long-lost lover has turned up in her hospital, injured and with no memory of her, Imogen is torn: Is it a blessing or a curse that their past remains a secret to Cole, even as his new passion for her leaves him wanting to protect and possess her…at all costs, in The Duke, the next Victorian Rebels novel by Kerrigan Byrne.
Normally when I read a review book, I write the review immediately while the ideas are fresh on my mind. However, this one was different. I devoured this novel, but I fear it may not have been for the usual reasons I read a novel quickly. I think anxiety is the true cause for my speed. The Duke isn’t the typical historical romance, and I think my need to find the traditional formula caused me to read it faster than normal. Kerrigan Byrne dared to break the mold with this one.
The premise of this novel was interesting. Imogen is not the normal rich heroine forced into the arms of the scandalous hero. She’s working-class, a nurse, who is trying to support her mother and sister after their father’s death as well as pay off her father’s debts. She’s also not the raving beauty so prevalent in the genre. In the beginning, she’s malnourished and sickly because of her impoverished state. She hasn’t the etiquette or breeding to be considered acceptable by the handsome Collin Talmage. Definitely puts the tried-and-true romance fan out of her natural element.
Cole also breaks the mold. I really didn’t like him. He had the promise of the hunky bad boy but turned into a surly, damaged man–too much so for my taste. Yes, he goes through a terrible ordeal in the beginning of the novel, but I just didn’t like his attitude. And I ended up skimming a lot of his continual mental montage of anguish. That probably sounds heartless, but there is only so much self-torment a reader can stand.
That being said, the writing was wonderful, a little flowery at times, but well-written. And the timeline technique was interesting though frustrating. Once the flashforward”ing” was over and the time remained stationary, I enjoyed the novel much more.