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  • Writer's pictureClaudine Gandolfi

All Scot and Bothered - Kerrigan Byrne

Date Read: September 5, 2020

Review: I am covered in tears and snot. In a good way. How is this the first Kerrigan Byrne novel I've read? GAWD. Strong, smart, sweet and chubby heroine - love it - burly, protective, "What are feelings?" hero who admits when he's wrong and apologizes. A dash of suspense, a twist, a whole lot of darkness and soul torturing, and some time spent by a cabin near a loch. How can you go wrong? Cecelia Teague is perfection. Ramsey is so hard in the beginning but she softens him, much to his dismay. There's a lot to unpack in this book but it's worth it. I now plan to go down the Kerrigan Byrne rabbit hole and read everything I've missed. The secondary characters are terrific.

Series: Devil You Know #2

Type: Victorian

Heat: 9/10

Tropes: Enemies to Lovers, Plus-Size Heroine, Strong Heroine, Only One Bed-ish

Premise: Cecelia, the tortured "daughter" of a Vicar, who kept her locked in the basement and blamed her for all female vices ever. Back to Eve, even. She's rescued by a smart-mouthed southern woman who works with her aunt Henrietta, who has passed away and left Cecelia everything - her fortune, her adorable ward, a school for women, and a gaming hell that comes with a slew of powerful enemies including the Vicar of Vice - Cassius Ramsey. There's a little short romp of hidden identity as Cecelia dresses up as The Scarlet Lady. But that's not important. Cassius can't stop thinking about her, nor she him. It's angsty greatness. Ramsey is the half-brother of the Duke of Redmayne from the first of this series. He's a self-made man, with an iron spine, the tall and strapping Lord Chief Justice of the High Court. He's determined that The Scarlet Lady has been an accomplice to the secret kidnapping of young girls for the sick use by those in power. He may not have noble blood, but he's noble and stubborn as hell. But there are reason's why he's this way, just as Cecelia has reasons for needing to save the girls at her school. There's twists, explosions, attempted murder/abductions, child prostitution (ick), a secret codex to unlock a list of names her aunt kept track of in her business... with royalty on it. The Crimson Council and another twist.

The Good: Steamy as hell. Great chemistry between characters and I always fall hard for guys who love big girls unabashedly.

The Bad: Phoebe, the ward, sounds like she's four in some scenes and she's supposed to be nine. The missing young girls who are given as gifts to the wealthy plot reminded me of something from Jeffrey Epstein's island or QAnon. Blech. And second... Hey St. Martin's... when a heroine is a big girl USE A LARGER COVER MODEL. That's so annoying.

**Many thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC in order to write this unbiased review.**

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