2018 Book #76 – The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

51yWK2P7l7LTitle: The Duke With the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Date finished: 8/30/18
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: Victorian Rebels series #6
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

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?

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I finished this book for ARC August 2018! Love this reading challenge. And this year I’m especially excited because as part of the challenge they added one of my favorite things, reading Bingo! This book will be checking off my “Pirates” box, since its a book about Pirates!

I liked the description of this book and I had read the last book in this series and enjoyed it, so I thought I’d give it a try. And I’m so glad I did, I really liked it! It did end up being a little darker than I expected, the hero was definitely a tortured individual when he returned, he had a plethora of demons. I ended up really liking the story line still, the plot was interesting and the characters were well developed. The story line kept me interested and I wanted to keep reading and finish the book. Some of the parts got very wordy, most of the lovey dovey parts I actually ended up liking though since they were very poetic and romantic, but at a couple points it got to be a bit too much. I did especially love that it was a pirate waxing poetic to a shy and timid woman. And I loved Lorelai’s menagerie as well, especially that she got to teach an otter how to fish – I thought that was so cute! Overall I really liked this book and I would definitely recommend it! I would be interested to read more in the series.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

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Bout of Books 23 Update – Day 4

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Yesterday was a busy day, between finishing up all my fair entries and working up at the Fairgrounds all night, there wasn’t a ton of extra time for reading. Today I’ll be up at the Fair working all afternoon / evening. Hopefully can find some time here and there to read through the day today.

Update

Thursday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 127 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read:  528 pages
Books read: Continued reading The Killing Game by Nancy Bush
Challenges: I did not participate in the challenge for yesterday, there’s not enough time in the day!

Stay tuned for continued progress made in tomorrow’s post on my Friday update!!

2018 Status Update: May

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May was definitely a busy month. I participated in the Bout of Books challenge this month, but I unfortunately wasn’t able to read as much as I wanted to. Work was just so crazy this month, I’ve been working a lot of extra hours and it didn’t leave a lot of time for reading. I am currently (like right now) at (another) Quilting Retreat (for Mom, Reading for me!) so I’m hoping to be doing some extra reading! Anyways, here are some highlights from May for me:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 6
# pages read this month: 2,426
# books read year-to-date: 42
# pages read year-to-date: 13,850

Favorite Books I Read this Month:

I can’t really say I was crazy about anything this month. I’m not sure if it was how distracted I was with work or what but I found myself dragging through most of the books I read this month. Not that I didn’t enjoy what I read in May I just can’t say I really loved any of them.

Other Posts this month:

A Duke Like No Other BLOG TOUR!!
Bout of Books 22 posts
The Duke of Lies BLOG TOUR!!

Next Month TBR List:

Next month I only have a good number titles scheduled:

-When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
-The Opposite of Here by Tara Attlebrando
-This Could Change Everything by Jill Mansell
-Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
-Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris
-The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
-Believe Me by JP Delaney
-The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay Sands
-One for the Rogue by Manda Collins

Plus I’m starting to fall a little behind for previous 2018 books now, I’m up to 10 from Jan-May that I missed so I’ll have to read those at some point in addition to the 59 from 2017 and 2016 that I still have to read. Luckily! I am at a retreat right now where I am reading all weekend and THEN the third week in June I am in wonderful MAINE at my family’s house where there will be no distractions and I can read to my heart’s content!

Happy reading!

Bout of Books Update – Day 5 & 6

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Friday and Saturday were busy days! Friday after a busy work day I got together with a few girlfriends and our friend Adria asked us all to be bridesmaids in her wedding next year!! We (of course) said yes!

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Then Saturday I worked in the morning and then celebrated my friend Cori’s upcoming wedding! Her bridal shower was very fun and we had cake and played games and had a great time!

However, suffice it to say I didn’t get much reading done, being as busy with fun as I was!

Update

Friday and Saturday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1 hours (maybe)
Number of pages I’ve read today: 56 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 405 pages
Books read: Finished reading The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll, started The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams
Challenges: I did not participate in the daily post challenge for Friday or Saturday

Today is my day at home and I have a lot of chores and other things to take care of but I’m hoping to find some time to read today too! Its a beautiful day and I’m looking forward to some relaxation and re-centering after a busy week and weekend!

Bout of Books Update – Day 4

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Thursday went ok for reading. I had a productive but stressful workday, grabbed some food and drink with a friend and had some relax time, and then got to read once I got home.

Update

Thursday

Time spent reading: (Approximately) 1.5 hours
Number of pages I’ve read today: 115 pages
Total number of pages I’ve read: 349 pages
Books read: Continued reading The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
Challenges: I did not participate in the daily post challenge for Thursday

Almost done with this book! And then I can start the next one, which I’m not super excited about the next one either but its gotta get read! Happy reading everyone!

The Duke of Ruin BLOG TOUR!!

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The Duke of Ruin was released recently, and to celebrate I am participating in a Blog Tour for the book! If you haven’t already seen it, you can find my review of the book under Book Reviews on my site. See below for more information about the book, a short author bio, and an excerpt! This was a good read and I would recommend checking it out!

MEET THE AUTHOR

Darcy BurkeDarcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of sexy, emotional historical and contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations. Join her reader club at http://www.darcyburke.com/readerclub. A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, two Bengal cats and a third cat named after a fruit.

ABOUT THE BOOK

With her betrothal to a duke in tatters and scandal imminent, Diana Kingman has two choices: live in certain ignominy or flee into obscurity. Diana wants solitude. She never wished to wed in the first place. However, her father will stop at nothing to betroth her to one of the finest titles in the realm…no matter how loathsome the bearer. Escape is Diana’s only option, and she’ll pay any price to achieve freedom.

Universally blamed for the death of his wife and unborn child, Simon Hastings doesn’t dispute his guilt over an accident he cannot even remember. He hasn’t had a drink since, nor a moment’s peace. Determined to be a better man, Simon rescues a young woman in need—only to be accused of kidnapping. They must marry to save him from prison. But how can a man haunted by the love he lost and a woman afraid to get too close find happiness together?

DB_DOR_AVAILABLE NOW

Read Today!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2IXPQMb
Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/DukeofRuin
iBooks: http://apple.co/2q3bARa
Nook: http://bit.ly/2Cdo3ax
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2DCpSKF
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2Ej9xM4

EXCERPT

51qpbLOiCqL._SX302_BO1,204,203,200_He turned from the fire and contemplated the bed. It was neither big nor small and would support a blanket between them. However, there was no dressing screen to allow for privacy.

He wasn’t entirely sure how to broach the sensitive topic of disrobing, but since they would be spending several nights together, it had to be done. He looked back at her over his shoulder. “You aren’t planning on sleeping in your clothes again, are you?”

She turned in front of the fire but didn’t come toward him. “I’d rather not. But I’m afraid I’m in need of assistance. Unfortunately, my wardrobe depends upon a maid.”

“I’d be happy to provide help. Just remember I’ve no experience as a ladies’ maid.”

“Did you never undress your wife?” She looked away, angling herself back toward the fire. “Forget I asked that.”

He went back toward her and spoke softly. “Don’t.” She turned her head, her blue eyes dark and vivid in the firelight. “We are going to get to know each other much better than we ought, and I don’t want you to regret things you might say. I assumed you would be curious about my wife. Yes, I undressed her. Many times. If I close my eyes, I can still feel her skin.” But he didn’t close his eyes. He couldn’t. She—Miss Diana Kingman—held him captive with her gaze.

Miss Kingman exhaled. “You must promise not to look. Aside from what you must do to unlace my gown.

“I promise.” He kept his voice and his gaze steady. “We must trust each other on this journey. Implicitly. That’s why I won’t shy away from your questions.”

She nodded, then presented her back. “Will you leave while I undress? I’ll need ten minutes or so. I’ll be in bed when you return and will close my eyes while you disrobe.”

It was a good plan, particularly since he thought a walk outside in the cold might do him some good. A beautiful woman’s back presented to him for the purpose of assistance with disrobing was too reminiscent of a time gone by and yet wholly new. Miss Kingman wasn’t Miriam, nor did he want her to be.

Simon quickly unlaced her gown and helped lift it over her head. He laid it across one of the chairs set at a small table and returned to help her remove her petticoat and unlace her corset. When he finished, he dropped his hands to his sides.

“I can finish,” she said, without looking back. “Thank you.”

He left without a word, closing the door firmly behind him. He inhaled sharply, taking perhaps the deepest breath he had in the last ten minutes.

Thankfully he didn’t encounter anyone on his walk. He wasn’t in the mood to made idle chatter. His thoughts were bad enough—railing at him for being attracted to someone who wasn’t his wife.

But how could he expect to go through life as he had the past two years? A self-hating, forlorn monk. Oh, he put on a good face for everyone else, but no one knew how acutely his pain cut.

Tomorrow, they would be on their way to Northampton, and hopefully, things would go as smoothly as they had so far. But first he had to spend the night in her bed. Again. Only with less clothing.

Thinking it had been well more than ten minutes, he made his way back upstairs. The lantern next to the bed had been extinguished, leaving just the light from the fire to illuminate the room.

Simon looked toward the bed. Miss Kingman lay near the edge of one side—as close as she could get without falling off, he noted—her back to the center of the bed, where it looked as though she’d rolled one of the blankets and placed it between them. He hoped there were enough coverings on the bed to keep them warm. Last night, they’d worn more clothing to bed.

Hell. He wore a nightshirt to sleep in or, most often, nothing at all. Tonight, he should probably keep his smallclothes on.

Shrugging out of his jacket, he hung it on a hook in the wall. He sat down to remove his boots, working as quietly and quickly as possible. When he’d removed everything but his shirt and smallclothes, he went to his side of the bed and crawled between the icy covers. He shuddered involuntarily and felt her jerk.

“Sorry,” he murmured. “Cold bed.”

“Very,” she responded, her low, feminine voice rustling over him like a fine silk.

He considered making an offer to warm them both up—body heat would be most beneficial. But that was likely a bad idea. For so many reasons.

He turned to his side, away from her, but snuggled his back against the rolled-up blanket. That would help with the cold. And the warmer he got, the more easily he would fall asleep. And the sooner he fell asleep, the sooner he could put the proximity of Miss Kingman out of his mind.

Too bad none of that happened very quickly at all.

Celebrating Read-a-Romance Month!!!

I was asked to participate in the “Blogger Day” for Read-a-Romance month (http://www.readaromancemonth.com/). My essay, interview, recommendations, and bio are listed below.

 

What does romance mean to me…

I like to think that I am romantic in nature. Romance really is essentially thinking about the person you love, and thinking about what you can do to make them happy. It’s not rocket science and it isn’t really a difficult thing. I believe that through the years, romance is the glue that holds a relationship together. It’s not necessarily about the grand gestures, but about finding time to care about one another in little ways every day. Through the month of August so far I have been reading the essays from different romance authors on the readaromancemonth.com website, and I have found that a number of the essays have had a common theme – that romance isn’t always the dramatic, over-the-top gestures that we see in some novels but the little things that people do every day to show their love for you. Especially when you consider your partner of 30 years, something as simple as holding their hand becomes meaningful and romantic. As you grow older things are constantly being added to your life; more responsibility at work, kids, pets, house, etc. This leaves less and less time for you to think of your spouse and of the things that you can do to make them happy. There is no longer time to plan a romantic 3 day getaway weekend, you’re lucky if you can find 5 minutes when you can be not only together but also alone. And not only that, but after dealing with all of the problems and issues you encounter during the day, there isn’t always a lot of energy left to think about the other person in your relationship. I really believe that it is important to take those 5 minutes every day to really focus on your spouse and think of something nice you can do for them, even if it’s as simple as vacuuming the house. Those little things can really mean a lot to the person that you love. I have found that romance novels really both remind and encourage me to think of my spouse. I read about these great loves and these dramatic romantic overtures and I think that the least I can do for my husband is something little, like making him his favorite dinner or picking out a movie to watch that I know he’ll like even though I won’t really.

I get asked a lot why I bother reading romance novels. Many people say that they’re just trash and that they have no real substance. Every book is different though, and while I agree you could argue some items are missing from romance novels that you might find in a book of “substance”, I believe that romance novels have a great deal of substance. They have a never-ending depth of human emotions. Great authors will draw you into the story and trap you there, make you feel what the hero and heroine are struggling through together. You get to personally experience their happiness at the end of the story when they discover love.

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One of the books that I most remember losing myself in is Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James. At the time I read that book I was going through a difficult point in my marriage and I very much related to the heroine in the story and her struggles with the hero. I can distinctly remember getting lost in that story and connecting with the heroine at such a depth that I couldn’t distinguish her emotions from my own because they were one in the same. I would stop reading to get a snack or something and my mind would still be stuck in the story.

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Getting to the ending of that story and finding Edie and Gowan’s happy ending gave me hope for my happy ending. That’s what I really love about romance novels, that there is always a happy ending and the readers are always left with a deep sense of hope. Life can be really tough sometimes, and there are days that I come home from work feeling defeated and beat down. Life can be overly depressing when you think too hard about how much you work and how little time there is to actually do the things you like to do. Romance novels help me to escape that. Instead of my life, I’m suddenly dropped into London society in 1810, in the midst of a torrid affair between a rogue and a daring young miss. Having that escape is a form of relief for me. It helps me to be better prepared to deal with the rest of my day when I can have that half hour at lunch to go into a different world.

I have been an avid reader my whole life and enjoy reading a multitude of genres. Through the years though, romance novels seem call to me in a way that no other genre really has. The romance niche has it all and has a genre for everyone: suspense, paranormal, historical, contemporary, cowboys, pirates, there is absolutely something for everyone. And I think everyone needs a dose of love and of hope in their lives to get through the day.

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Interview:

1 – Describe the most daring, adventurous or inspiring thing you ever did. 

Probably the most daring thing I ever did was fall in love with a Marine who lived 3,000 miles away from me. We met at a graduation party of a mutual friend and exchanged phone numbers. From there we became good friends and correspondents. And from there we fell in love. Before I met my now husband I never knew I liked to travel or that I was slightly adventurous. I ended up driving cross-country to CA for a summer and that was probably one of the most adventurous experiences of my life thus far.

2 – Tell us about your journey to becoming a writer. (How did you decide to get started? Did you always know or was there a specific moment when you knew?)

I have trouble thinking of myself as a “writer” even though I end up writing a blog post almost every day some weeks. Compared to the authors I read though, I couldn’t imagine writing something as interesting as they do. My journey as a blogger began this past year. My mom and I both set goals for this year (hers was in quilting, mine was to read 60 books). I suggested that my Mom start a blog on her quilting to help her keep track of her completed projects through the year (you can see her blog at http://joanne94w.wordpress.com/). And in about February of 2014, my husband also suggested that I start a blog for my book challenge.

3 – Tell us about The (or A) Book That Changed Your Life. (Why?)

It’s hard to pick one. Romance novels have gotten me through some tough points in my life and I’ve loved a good variety of genres. I think if I had to pick a book I would have to say that I was really drawn into the world of romance novels when I started reading Linda Howard’s romantic suspense. Now You See Her and Mr. Perfect both drew me in and I think were the first books that I really got caught up in the emotions and the drama of the heroine. Both are great romantic suspense novels.

Recommendations –

I’m new to the world of blogging so I haven’t been able to explore other blogs as much as I would like yet. I do really enjoy the Rakes and Rascals blog (http://rakesandrascals.wordpress.com/) which also features mostly romance novels.

As for authors, I probably have too many favorites to name. Stephanie Laurens, Jennifer Ashley, Elizabeth Hoyt, Julie Garwood, Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, Jayne Ann Krentz (and all her other pen names), Kristan Higgins, Meg Cabot, Nora Roberts, Vicki Lewis Thompson (the nerd series is one of my absolute favorites) are some of my all-time favorites.

I’m becoming more interested in different authors lately as well: Elizabeth Lowell, Elizabeth Boyle, Jane Graves, Eloisa James.

I could probably keep naming but you get the idea 🙂

Bio –

Rebecca Lyman began blogging in February of 2014. Since then she has posted a total of 83 blog posts, including both book reviews and articles on other book-related topics. By day she works as an accountant at a national auditing firm. She has been an avid reader since she was very young and always has at least one if not two books with her at all times. She is well known at her local library and worked there during her high school years. She hopes to someday return to working at a library as an accountant.

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