Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Book Release Day Review: All Scot and Bothered by Kerrigan Byrne

They are a dangerous duke, a fierce lord, and an infamous earl—dark, bold, brave men who know exactly what they want. And there is only one woman who can bring them to their knees...

He is first and foremost—at everything. A man who's made his own way in the world through ruthless cunning and sheer force of will. A strong and imposing Scot who can turn on the charm but does not suffer fools. His title: Lord Chief Justice of the High Court. His name: Cassius Gerard Ramsay. His mission: To investigate the goings-on at London's most notorious gaming hell, owned and operated by one of the most intriguing and desirable women he's ever met.


Cecelia Teague was an orphan facing a rather dire future—until a secret benefactor from her mother's scandalous past swept into her life. Sent to prestigious boarding school and later to university, Cecelia believed high society was at her fingertips...Then, from out of nowhere, she became the inheritor of a gambling establishment. Now Cecelia must live two lives: one as a proper lady who finds herself undeniably drawn to Lord Ramsay and the other as a savvy gaming hell owner trying to save her business from the very same man. He has no idea she is both women...and Cecelia would like to keep it that way. But what happens when consuming passion and escalating danger threaten to reveal the truth?


Kerrigan Byrne's second book in the Devil You Know series and my first book by the author and an introduction to the Red Rogues. 

I appreciate the author has chosen to write a character like Cecelia as the heroine. She's a woman who is refreshing in mind, body, and soul; articulate, intelligent and charming. As an orphan, she benefited from a stellar education, paid for my her mysterious benefactor. As an adult, she's thrown into an unknown world and encounters Cassius Ramsay, yet he's her enemy for reasons she's yet to discover.  

Cassius Gerald Ramsay, also known as The Lord Chief Justice of the High Court isn't someone you want to cross and neither does he want to be crossed. That's until he meets Cecelia Teague, a woman unlike any he has met before. However, she's a person of interest in his current investigation into a gaming establishment, which conflicts with his carnal desires for this young woman. Yet, when she needs to escape from danger, he's the one to offer her shelter, revealing his true persona, hidden under his steely reserve.  

This was a slow burn read for me as neither of the protagonists caught my attention when we're introduced to them. However, as their personalities and backgrounds are revealed, I warmed to them as individuals because I'm someone who champions an underdog and Cecelia and Cassius are two such people who have had to forge their way in life after challenging childhoods. As a couple, their attraction and then lust for each was more complicated. Ultimately it works but not before drama conflicts with mixed feelings and desires. 

I jumped into the series full of expectations due to reader recommendations. Admittedly, it took time to settle into this intriguing narrative, but the more I read, the more I became absorbed into these characters. There's a lot going on and as someone unfamiliar with the series, I might have fared better had I read book one first.  

Overall, it's an action-packed historical romance leaving me with a desire to read the whole series to fully appreciate the connection between the three women known as The Red Rogues.  

***arc generously received courtesy of St. Martin's Paperbacks via NetGalley***