Publication Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance
I think this might be my favorite marriage of convenience book I have read. Dr. Alexandra Lane and Duke Piers Atherton were so swoon worthy as they started falling in love with each other that I couldn’t get enough. This historical fiction book starts off when Alexandra is at school with her best friends, Francesca and Cecilia, and one night her headmaster rapes her and she fights back. The repercussions of this night continually haunt Alexandra and this is what leads her to proposing marriage to the Duke. The chemistry they have together jumps off the page and dang can Byrne write some sexy smutty scenes.
Not only were the characters well written but I also loved the mystery element of this story. Both Piers and Alexandra have enemies who want to see them dead and because of this the book is packed with lots of drama. I also enjoyed the fact that I had no clue who Alexandra’s blackmailer was and I loved the reveal.
I went into this book not realizing that it dealt so heavily with rape. There is an author’s note at the beginning that clues the reader in but I wasn’t prepared at all for the on page rape scene in the prologue. I think this book is also very authentic to how life is like for a rape survivor and it has the potential to be triggering so just know that before starting.
I mentioned earlier that I loved the reveal at the end of the story but the ending quickly went downhill from there. The story started to get so over the top that I thought it ruined the great pacing the rest of the story had. I also didn’t think the epilogue brought much to the story and I would have liked a slower paced ending instead. Although this is the first book in a series so maybe the epilogue is important to the setup of the second book.
If you are someone who doesn’t read a lot of historical romance then I think this is the perfect book for you to dip your toes into the genre. Also, if you are a romance fan than I’m sure this book is already on your radar and I think you won’t be disappointed by it. This is my first Kerrigan Byrne book and I can’t wait to read more. I know her last book, The Highwayman, was very popular when it came out and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.