ARC · book review · NetGalley

Weekly Wrap Up (August 26th through September 1st)

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Sold on a Monday

Second Chance At Two Love Lane

Don't Look Back (Unbroken Heroes, #6)

I Do Not Trust You

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Don’t Look Back—review here

Don't Look Back (Unbroken Heroes, #6)

 

I Do Not Trust You—review coming September 7th

I Do Not Trust You

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo—review here

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels, #6)

Maybe for You—review here

Maybe for You (Whiskey and Weddings, #3)

Eight Goodbyes—review here

Eight Goodbyes

Project Prometheus—review here

Project Prometheus (Assassin Fall, #2)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Sisters of the Fire (Blood and Gold, #2)

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Days of Reign

Weekly Posts:

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

Weekly Wrap Up

ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

Blog Tour: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels: Book 6) by Kerrigan Byrne

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels, #6)

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Date of publication: August 28th, 2018

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Victorian Rebels

The Highwayman – Book 1

The Hunter – Book 2

The Highlander – Book 3

The Duke – Book 4

The Scot Beds His Wife – Book 5

The Duke with The Dragon Tattoo – Book 6

Where you can find The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

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

Lorelei 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 review:

Image result for dragon tattoo

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo was unlike any historical romance that I have read before. Why do I say that? A few reasons. This book was a lot darker than your usual Victorian romance. The author chose to explore themes that were taboo in that era. She also chose to make the book violent. I can count on one hand where I read a Victorian romance that had violence in it. Usually, those types of books are all sunshine and rainbows. Not this one. This one showcased the darker side of the human nature. And guess what, I loved it!!

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo is the story of Lorelei and The Rook (also known as Ash). Ash was left to die on the edge of a road as a teenager. Lorelei, her father, and her brother happened to be riding by in their carriage when Lorelei spots him. He was horrifically injured, lye poured over him. The only thing unmarked was a beautiful dragon tattoo. The stranger, who has no memory of who he is, is renamed Ash by Lorelei. One day he leaves with her older brother, never to return. Instead of saying goodbye, he tells her: “There are only two indisputable facts in this world: The sun will set in the west, and I’ll come for you. Always.” His leaving means that she is now at the mercy of her abusive older brother, who had crippled her as a child. Ash does come back for Lorelei20 years later. He is not the same boy that Lorelei fell in love with. He is a man with scars on his soul and no memory of who he was before he met Lorelei. He has done horrible things. He has exacted his revenge on the people who held him captive for 15 years. Can Lorelei help Ash regain his memory and heal? Or will she fail to drive out his demons?

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Ash was damaged. He wasn’t a good guy by any means. He did some pretty awful things in the 20 years he was separated from Lorelei. Even when they were together. But, the author made me feel pity for him. His reaction to Lorelei wanting to be with him was heartbreaking. As was the nightmares that he had. I wanted to reach into the book, hug him and tell him it was going to be ok. I enjoyed watching his interactions with Lorelei but I did feel frustrated with how he treated her at first. My frustration went away in the middle of the book when his internal monologue showed me how much he loved her. By the end of the book, Ash was still as damaged as he was in the beginning. But he was healing and that made me smile.

I liked Lorelei. Her rescue of Ash and her help in his recovery was excellent. I could see why Ash fell in love with her. An older Lorelei was amazing. She had been shaped by her life with her brother. Instead of turning into this fearful woman, she was someone who stood up to people. She was the one who made her father and brother stop the carriage. She had a hand in Ash’s recovery. So, I wasn’t that surprised when she discovered that she still had feelings for Ash. She fought for him, which I loved. It wasn’t that she had to compete with another person for his affections. Instead, she fought his demons for him.

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The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo had some pretty hot sex scenes that weren’t between the main characters. There was intense sexual tension between Veronica and Moncrieff. That whole scene when she was watching him have sex with another woman was insane. Especially when she was getting turned on. Which is why I was surprised when the storyline took the turn it did. I was expecting something different.

Speaking of sex, Ash and Lorelei’s scenes were insanely hot. Mainly because you could taste the emotions when they were having sex. Everything Ash wouldn’t/couldn’t say came out when they had sex. The sexual tension between them was insane too. It didn’t go away when they had sex. Instead, it was even more turned on, if that makes sense.

I wish the storyline that involved Ash’s memory loss had been resolved earlier in the book. I felt that the conclusion to it was rushed. Which leads into the other storyline about the treasure. I didn’t like the way it went in the end. There was a twist that I should have seen coming but didn’t. A twist that made me go “Shut up” when I read it.

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The end of the book was fantastic. I’m not going to go much into it but I will say this. I burst into tears at the last sentence of the epilogue.

What I liked about The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo:

A) How realistic Ash and Lorelei were

B) The storyline. Loved it!!

C) The sex scenes

What I disliked about The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo:

A) Ash’s memory loss storyline being resolved when it was

B) Mortimer

C) Moncrieff

I gave The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo a 4-star rating. This is a dark romance with plenty of sex. I was able to connect to both characters. I felt that the memory loss storyline could have been ended sooner. Other than that, this was a book that I enjoyed reading.

I gave The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is graphic violence. There is language. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo

All opinions stated in this review of The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

ARC · book review · NetGalley · St. Martin's Paperbacks · St. Martin's Press

Weekly Wrap Up (August 19th through August 25th)

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

Eight Goodbyes

Maybe for You (Whiskey and Weddings, #3)

Books I’ve Reviewed (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Eight Goodbyes—review coming August 28th

Eight Goodbyes

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo—review coming August 30th

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels, #6)

Golden Skies—review here

Golden Skies

Foundryside—review here

Foundryside (Founders, #1)

Not Her Daughter—review here

Not Her Daughter

The Phantom Tree—review here

The Phantom Tree

Maybe for You—review coming August 28th

Maybe for You (Whiskey and Weddings, #3)

Blood Cure—review here

Blood Cure (Blood Type Book 3) by [Linde, K.A.]

Strange Circumstances—review here

Strange Circumstances

Carbon Replacements—review coming September 9th

Carbon Replacements (The McAllister Justice Series #4)

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Email Request (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

Weekly Posts:

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Weekly Wrap Up

Foodie Friday

ARC · book review · NetGalley

WWW Wednesday: August 22nd, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted bySam at Taking on a World of Wars. So here what I have read/are reading/will be reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I didn’t get much done reading wise last week. I was checking my blog tour emails and noticed that I have 3 coming up. That I haven’t read. Whoops. So, I changed my reading schedule. Not by much. But still. Needless to say, what I posted last week, I only got around to reading two books out of the 5 I posted.

In other news, school starts next week. I have Open Houses on Friday (3 at 3 different schools, all at the same time….wish me luck in going to all of them….lol). Then school on Monday for my older two. My youngest starts school next Tuesday. I will have no kids for 4 hours. 4 blissful hours…lol.


What I am currently reading:

Eight Goodbyes

(click on the picture for Amazon link)

One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas. And I had the privilege of meeting you.” – Unknown

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined. 

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

I started this last night. So far, this is a great read. My only complaint is Tessa. I cannot stand her. I am waiting for her to grow up. It doesn’t seem to happen.

This book is not set to be released until August 28th. Now, saying this, you can buy it on Amazon right now. Be on the lookout for my review on August 28th.


What I finished reading:

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Victorian Rebels, #6)

(click on the picture for Amazon link)

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

Lorelei 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?

I can’t even begin to explain this book. This is nothing like any historical romance that I have read before. It is very dark and can be violent. I am not going to get into it because my review is up and coming. I will say this, read with tissues. Be prepared to have your heart broken and breath taken away.

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo is set to be released on August 28th. I have already published an excerpt (which includes the first chapter). Since I am part of the blog tour, my review will be published on August 30th. So be on the lookout for it then.


What I am reading next (click on the pictures for Amazon links):

I Do Not Trust YouDon't Look Back (Unbroken Heroes, #6)Second Chance at Two Love Lane

I Do Not Trust You – I was approached by the publisher to review this book. It looked interesting. A mix of romance, thriller, and intrigue. I Do Not Trust You is expected to be published on September 11th. My review will be published on September 7th, before the publication date. Be on the lookout for my review then!!

Don’t Look Back – One of my books from last week. It looked interesting to me. A thriller/suspense romance. Yes, please. Don’t Look Back is set to be published on August 28th. Be on the lookout for my review around that date (hopefully on publication date but I can’t guarantee it).

Second Chance at Two Love Lane – I was approached by the publisher to review this book. This will be a change of pace for me. A nice traditional romance with no suspense. Can’t wait to read it. Second Chance at Two Love Lane is expected to be published August 28th. Be on the lookout for my review around that time.


So that’s it. Be on the lookout for the reviews of all these books in the near future.

Have you read any of these books?

Let me know what you thought of them!!

book review

Excerpt: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo

 

THE DUKE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Victorian Rebels (Volume 6)
Kerrigan Byrne
St. Martin’s Paperbacks

 

$7.99
Pub Date: 08/28/2018
ISBN: 9781250122568
384 Pages

 

Summary:

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

Lorelei 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?


CHAPTER ONE

If Lorelai Weatherstoke hadn’t been appreciating the storm out the carriage window, she’d have missed the naked corpse beneath the ancient ash tree.

“Father, look!” She seized Lord Southbourne’s thin wrist, but a barrage of visual stimuli overwhelmed her, paralyzing her tongue.

In all her fourteen years, she’d never seen a naked man, let alone a deceased one.

He lay facedown, strong arms reached over his head as though he’d been trying to swim through the shallow grass lining the road. Ghastly dark bruises covered what little flesh was visible beneath the blood. He was all mounds and cords, his long body different from hers in every way a person could be.

Her heart squeezed, and she fought to find her voice as the carriage trundled past. The poor man must be cold, she worried, then castigated herself for such an absurd thought.

The dead became one with the cold. She’d learned that by kissing her mother’s forehead before they closed her casket forever.

“What is it, duck?” Her father may have been an earl, but the Weatherstokes were gentry of reduced circumstances, and didn’t spend enough time in London to escape the Essex accent.

Lorelai had not missed the dialect while at school in Mayfair, and it had been the first thing she’d rid herself of in favor of a more proper London inflection. In this case, however, it was Lord Southbourne’s words, more than his accent, that caused her to flinch.

As cruel as the girls could be at Braithwaite’s Boarding School, none of their taunts had made her feel quite so hollow as the one her own family bestowed upon her.

Duck.

“I-it’s a man,” she stammered. “A corp—” Oh no, had he just moved, or had she imagined it? Squinting through the downpour, she pressed her face to the window in time to see battered knuckles clenching the grass, and straining arms pulling the heavy body forward.

“Stop,” she wheezed, overtaken by tremors. “Stop the carriage!”

“What’s bunched your garters, then?” Sneering across from her, Mortimer, her elder brother, brushed aside the drapes at his window. “Blimey! There’s a bleedin’ corpse by the road.” Three powerful strikes on the roof of the coach prompted the driver to stop.

“He’s alive!” Lorelai exclaimed, pawing at the door handle. “I swear he moved. We have to help him.”

“I thought that fancy, expensive school was supposed to make you less of an idiot, Duck.” Mortimer’s heavy brows barely separated on a good day and met to create one thick line when he adopted the expression of disdainful scorn he reserved solely for her. “What’s a cripple like you going to do in the mud?”

“We should probably drive through to Brentwood,” Lord Southbourne suggested diplomatically. “We can send back an ambulance to fetch him.”

“He’ll need an undertaker by then,” Lorelai pleaded. “We must save him, mustn’t we?”

“I’ve never seen so much blood.” It was morbid fascination rather than pity darkening her brother’s eyes. “I’m going out there.”

“I’m coming with you.”

A cruel hand smacked Lorelai out of the way, and shoved her back against the faded brocade velvet of her seat. “You’ll stay with Father. I’ll take the driver.”

As usual, Lord Robert Weatherstoke said and did nothing to contradict his only son as Mortimer leaped from the coach and slammed the door behind him.

Lorelai barely blamed her passive father anymore. Mortimer was so much larger than him these days, and ever so much crueler.

She had to adjust her throbbing leg to see the men making their way through the gray of the early-evening deluge. Just enough remained of daylight to delineate color variations.

The unfortunate man was a large smudge of gore against the verdant spring ground cover. Upon Mortimer and the driver’s approach, he curled in upon himself not unlike a salted snail. Only he had no shell to protect his beaten body.

Lorelai swallowed profusely in a vain attempt to keep her heart from escaping through her throat as the man was hoisted aloft, each arm yoked like an ox’s burden behind a proffered neck. Even though Mortimer was the tallest man she knew, the stranger’s feet dragged in the mud. His head lolled below his shoulders, so she couldn’t get a good look at his face to ascertain his level of consciousness.

Other parts of him, though, she couldn’t seem to drag her eyes away from.

She did her best not to look between his legs, and mostly succeeded. At a time like this, modesty hardly mattered, but she figured the poor soul deserved whatever dignity she could allow him.

That is to say, she only peeked twice before wrenching her eyes upward.

The muscles winging from his back beneath where his arms spread were ugly shades of darkness painted by trauma. The ripples of his ribs were purple on his left side, and red on the other. Blunt bruises interrupted the symmetrical ridges of his stomach, as though he’d been kicked or struck repeatedly. As they dragged him closer, what she’d feared had been blood became something infinitely worse.

It was as though his flesh had been chewed away, but by something with no teeth. The plentiful meat of his shoulder and chest, his torso, hips, and down his thigh were grotesquely visible.

Burns, maybe?

“Good God, how is he still alive?” The awe in her father’s voice reminded her of his presence as they scurried to open the carriage door and help drag the man inside. It took the four of them to manage it.

“He won’t be unless we hurry.” The driver tucked the man’s long, long legs inside, resting his knees against the seat. “I fear he won’t last the few miles to Brentwood.”

Ripping her cloak off, Lorelai spread it over the shuddering body on the floor. “We must do what we can,” she insisted. “Is there a doctor in Brentwood?”

“Aye, and a good one.”

“Please take us there without delay.”

“O’course, miss.” He secured the door and leaped into his seat, whipping the team of fresh horses into a gallop.

As they lurched forward, the most pitiful sound she’d ever heard burst from the injured man’s lips, which flaked with white. His big arm flailed from beneath the cloak to protect his face, in a gesture that tore Lorelai’s heart out of her chest.

The burn scored the sinew of his neck and up his jaw to his cheekbone.

Pangs of sympathy slashed at her own skin, and drew her muscles taut with strain. Lorelai blinked a sheen of tears away, and cleared emotion out of her tight throat with a husky sound she’d made to soothe many a wounded animal on the Black Water Estuary.

His breaths became shallower, his skin paler beneath the bruises.

He was dying.

Without thinking, she slid a hand out of her glove, and gently pressed her palm to his, allowing her fingers to wrap around his hand one by one.

“Don’t go,” she urged. “Stay here. With me.”

His rough, filthy hand gripped her with such strength, the pain of it stole her breath. His face turned toward her, though his eyes remained closed.

Still, it heartened her, this evidence of awareness. Perhaps, on some level, she could comfort him.

“You’re going to be all right,” she crooned.

“Don’t lie to the poor bastard.” Mortimer’s lip curled in disgust. “He’s no goose with a defective wing, or a three-legged cat, like the strays you’re always harboring. Like as not he’s too broken to be put back together with a bandage, a meal, and one of your warbling songs. He’s going to die, Lorelai.”

“You don’t know that,” she said more sharply than she’d intended, and received a sharp slap for her lapse in wariness.

“And you don’t know what I’ll do to you if you speak to me in that tone again.”

Most girls would look to their fathers for protection, but Lorelai had learned long ago that protection was something upon which she could never rely.

Her cheek stinging, Lorelai lowered her eyes. Mortimer would take it as a sign of submission, but she only did it to hide her anger. She’d learned by now to take care around him in times of high stress, or excitement. It had been her folly to forget … because she knew exactly what he was capable of. The pinch of her patient’s strong grip was nothing next to what she’d experienced at the hands of her brother on any given month.

Ignoring the aching throb in her foot, Lorelai dismissed Mortimer, leaning down instead to stroke a dripping lock of midnight hair away from an eye so swollen, he’d not have been able to open it were he awake.

Across from her, Mortimer leaned in, as well, ostensibly studying the man on the floor with equal parts intrigue and disgust. “Wonder what happened to the sod. I haven’t seen a beating like this in all my years.”

Lorelai schooled a level expression from her face at the reference to his many perceived years. He was all of twenty, and the only violence he witnessed outside of sport, he perpetrated himself.

“Brigands, you suspect?” Sir Robert fretted from beside her, checking the gathering darkness for villains.

“Entirely possible,” Mortimer said flippantly. “Or maybe he is one. We are disturbingly close to Gallows Corner.”

“Mortimer,” their father wheezed. “Tell me you haven’t pulled a criminal into my coach. What would people say?”

The Weatherstoke crest bore the motto Fortunam maris, “fortune from the sea,” but if anyone had asked Lorelai what it was, she’d have replied, Quid dicam homines? “What would people say?”

It had been her father’s favorite invocation—and his greatest fear—for as long as she could remember.

Lorelai opened her mouth to protest, but her brother beat her to it, a speculative glint turning his eyes the color of royal sapphires. “If I’d hazard a guess, it would be that this assault was personal. A fellow doesn’t go to the trouble to inflict this sort of damage lest his aim is retribution or death. Perhaps he’s a gentleman with gambling debts run afoul of a syndicate. Or, maybe a few locals caught him deflowering their sister … though they left those parts intact, didn’t they, Duck?” His sly expression told Lorelai that he’d caught her looking where she ought not to.

Blushing painfully, she could no longer bring herself to meet Mortimer’s cruel eyes. They were the only trait Lorelai shared with her brother. Her father called them the Weatherstoke jewels. She actively hated looking in the mirror and seeing Mortimer’s eyes staring back at her.

Instead, she inspected the filthy nails of the hand engulfing her own. The poor man’s entire palm was one big callus against hers. The skin on his knuckles, tough as an old shoe, had broken open with devastating impact.

Whatever had happened to him, he’d fought back.

“He’s no gentleman,” she observed. “Too many calluses. A local farmhand, perhaps, or a stable master?” It didn’t strain the imagination to envision these hands gripping the rope of an erstwhile stallion. Large, magnificent beasts pitting their strength one against the other.

“More like stable boy,” Mortimer snorted. “I’d wager my inheritance he’s younger than me.”

“How can you tell?” With his features beyond recognition, Lorelai was at a loss as to the man’s age. No gray streaked his midnight hair, nor did lines bracket his swollen lips, so she knew he couldn’t be old, but beyond that …

“He’s not possessed of enough body hair for a man long grown.”

“But he’s so big,” she reasoned. “And his chest appears to have been badly burned, the hair might have singed right off.”

“I’m not referring to his chest, you dull-wit, but to his coc—”

“Mortimer, please.”

Lorelai winced. It was as close to a reprimand as her father ever ventured. Mortimer must have been very wicked, indeed. It was just her luck that he did so on perhaps the first occasion Lorelai had actually wanted her brother to finish a sentence.

A rut in the road jostled them with such force at their frantic pace, Lorelai nearly landed on the injured man. His chest heaved a scream into his throat, but it only escaped as a piteous, gurgling groan.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” she whimpered. Dropping to her knees, she hovered above him, the fingers of her free hand fluttering over his quaking form, looking for a place to land that wouldn’t cause him pain.

She could find none. He was one massive wound.

A tear splashed from her eye and disappeared into the crease between his fingers.

“Duck, perhaps it’s best you take your seat.” Her father’s jowly voice reminded her of steam wheezing from a teakettle before it’s gathered enough strength to whistle. “It isn’t seemly for a girl of your standing to be thus prostrated on the floor.”

With a sigh, she did her best to get her good foot beneath her, reaching for the plush golden velvet of the seat to push herself back into it.

An insistent tug on her arm tested the limits of her shoulder socket, forcing her to catch herself once more.

“Lorelai, I said sit,” Lord Southbourne blustered.

“I can’t,” she gasped incredulously. “He won’t let me go.”

“What’s this, then?” Mortimer wiped some of the mud away from the straining cords of the man’s forearm, uncovering an even darker smudge beneath. As he cleared it, a picture began to take shape, the artful angles and curves both intriguing and sinister until mottled, injured skin ruptured the rendering. “Was it a bird of some kind? A serpent?”

“No.” Lorelai shook her head, studying the confusion of shapes intently. “It’s a dragon.”


Copyright © 2018 by Kerrigan Byrne


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kerrigan Byrne


Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan Byrne uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in every book. She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast. Her Victorian Rebels novels include The Highwayman and The Highlander.

Buy Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-a-Million

IndieBound

Powells

 

Social Links:

Author Website: http://www.kerriganbyrne.com/

Twitter: @Kerrigan_Byrne

Facebook: @KerriganByrneAuthor

Instagram: @KerriganByrne