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The Hunter by Kerrigan Byrne
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The Hunter

by Kerrigan Byrne

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Victorian Rebels (2), The Victorian Rebels 2

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739255,780 (4.33)None
When he is hired to kill actress Millie LeCour, famed assassin Christopher Argent is unable to complete his mission as he succumbs to the passion that grows between them, and he fights to keep Millie safe as danger closes in.

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Summary

Christopher Argent, is one of England’s most elite hunters and assassins. He has learned over the years to not care about anything but himself as means of protection. He is cold and he is ruthless and nothing and no one can stand in his way. He has never let a target go unmarked and killed. His latest target, is the beautiful actress Millie LeCour. Their first meeting in a ballroom, where they dance and share a searing kiss changed everything for Christopher. He has three days to kill Millie, but each time he attempts—he fails. He can’t resist her taste, or seeing the life flee from her brilliant and passionate eyes. He soon realizes that instead of killing her, he decides he will be her and her son Jakub’s protector. Soon Christopher and Millie realize the searing desire they would uncover together, but also a powerful love. But can Christopher protect Millie from their enemies and get to the source of why they seek her demise.
The Hero

Christopher Argent, had a rough upbringing. He was born and raised in prison where his mother was kept prisoner, forced to be raped and beaten just so he could have food and safe shelter. But when she is killed right in front of him, when he was just a boy, he seeked training for retribution from a chinese master who taught him how to be like the water…fluid and powerful and unstoppable. Over the years he has honed his skills, and has become ruthless and has a well known reputation. Christopher is one powerful alpha male personality and whew…he just about blew me away (but in a good way). I haven’t read a hero like him in HR in such a long time, and he definitely had a powerful aura while reading him. He hasn’t allowed himself to feel emotion since his mother was killed. Where an innocent boy had to become ruthless and cold to survive. Christopher is overwhelmed by the power of emotion that Millie and her son bring out in him. For the first time in many years, he is feeling genuine affection and love. It was quite an adventure to see him work through his issues and come to terms with who he is becoming.
The Heroine

Millie LeCour, along with her best friend born in Whitechaple, became stars in the acting world of London. Millie wanted to become famous and to share her talent. But then her best friend was killed, and her son became her own. Millie is such a wonderful human being, and a mother too. I love how protective and caring she is with Jakub. She treats him as her own and she will die for him if necessary. Millie has worked hard to build her acting career, but she also has a sweet and gentle spirit. Despite how fearful she is of Christopher, she also sees a man worthy of love and affection. She sees something deeper in him, that no one but those closest to him know. I grew to love Millie as the heroine, because we see how she accepts Christopher as he is and doesn’t let her fear of him waste what they have together. She has spunk and is spirited, but also understands her place in society as well. I loved the balance we see in her character.
Plot and Story Line

The Hunter Is such a brilliantly written romance and I just want to applaud Kerrigan Byrne for writing yet another spectacular romance and honestly, she is ranking up my list to my favorite romance authors, and most especially when it comes to historical romance. This is a author I recently discovered early last year, and what great talent she has. What I also love about this book, is how she has made historical romance come alive with vivid emotion and detail and historical accuracy. It is obvious she has done her homework on the time period. There is a tone of grit in this book, just like in her previous book, but I soaked every delicious moment. I couldn’t put this one down, it was so dang good. If you love Lisa Kleypas or Julie Garwood —this is a must read for sure!!

It starts off with a emotional prologue (that is a must—-PLEASE do not skip this or you will miss out on important detail on Christopher’s character and what shapes him). I just about burst into tears reading it, this little boy that we get introduced to is reared into a world of hardship but also love too. Then we skip ahead to when he is an adult and has become quite popular for his reputation. Now techinically this could be a enemies to lovers trope, but it didn’t have that full angsty feeling to it that I was expecting. Nope, this author blew me away with events that unfold and expectations that I had and she changed gears on me and brought me into a story that was full of shocks and delights, sensuality and a heartwarming story of the changing power of love.

“It’s why I had to make this bargain, I expect. Why I must have you. Because you make me want to—” he paused, eyes moving in their sockets as though searching for a word. “You make me…want.”

I can’t express enough of amazing this story is, and I want to shout to the rooftops how necessary this book is to every romance lover out there!!
The Cover

What a cover we have here. I don’t like it as much as the first book’s cover. However I love the purple, and what graceful flow it seems to have…almost has if they are in the middle of a dance.
Overall View

The Hunter is stunning in detail, brilliant in showing the reader true redemption and the healing power of love in a world of no emotion. TRULY A TREASURE!!! ( )
  addictofromance | Mar 17, 2019 |
3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Christopher Argent is a name that is only whispered. He is London's underworld premier assassin and born in Newgate, he has no mercy in his soul. It is when he has his hands around Millie LeCour's neck that the first crack of emotion starts to reveal the man underneath the darkness that has encased him all his life. Born in Whitechaple, Millie has become an actress only wanting her name to be shouted about and feel important. When her bestfriend is murdered, she takes on the responsibility of the friend's now motherless son. This seemingly innocuous act will however, put her into the sights of London's most dangerous men and hopefully, into the heart of the deadliest.

There was no denying that he was beautiful. Beautiful in that way that a lightning storm was beautiful, or a tidal wave. Awe-inspiring and utterly dangerous.

Second in the Victorian Rebels series, Byrne takes us on another journey into the lives of London's more on the fringe of society citizens. Introduced in the first book, we get Argent's full story here and what a beginning it was. Argent's mother was imprisoned for various charges and laws being what they were then, Argent ends up being born and growing up in Newgate. The prologue was powerful with its look into the events that shaped and molded Argent, it's dark but there is also such a prevalent thread of sheer human survival that you'll grit your teeth with anger and hopefulness. As with the first book, I was impressed with how well the author could write the scenery in such a way that I could easily visualize everything. Whether it was Newgate, the fighting pits, or the bath house, her descriptions took me there; her ability and talent to do this is one of my favorite aspects of her writing and my favorite part of this story.

"You make me…want."

Argent was the dominant force and at times this felt more like his story rather than Millie and his. His story and demeanor reminded me a lot of the character Bane from Batman. The whole "You think darkness is your ally. You merely adopted the dark. I was born into. I didn't see the light until I was a man." Argent had going on, is how I drew the similarities (or I'm just obsessed with Bane). Millie becomes his light with how she brings out feelings in him. I wouldn't call it insta-lust or insta-love but insta-attraction, it felt more real without the usual eye-rolling verbiage or actions typically associated with the first two. Millie was a good character but the heroine keeping secrets for more suspense tripped her up at times. As with the couple from the first two books, I liked the humor (a bit more stark and sparse in this one) and lightness that shone through from our couple's interactions. It adds a layer to their relationship and helps to make them feel more real.

What I missed in this book that I loved from the first, was secondary characters. Jakob, Millie's son, was the most prominent and had great scenes with Argent but I missed a fuller cast. The hero and heroine from book one make a solid appearance, with Argent's friendship with Dorian adding a great layer to them both but the main villain and the lesser villains weren't quite rounded out or maybe I felt their motives and revealing were a bit rushed towards the end; the pace of the story was uneven. The middle of the story became a bit self-indulgent with Argent's misery and not being able to love; it became repetitive and slowed everything way down. The ending also became too cliché with the easy out of Millie being in danger and Argent realizing he now wants to act on his feelings.

I liked this story with its walled off hero learning not only to love but how and its bold and brash heroine but it seemed to get lost in its own emotional turmoil. There are a couple heroes hinted at who seem to be waiting in the wings and I'm a fan of Byrne's writing style, so I'm definitely staying with the series and hoping for a return of the magic that featured in the first book.
( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
*Crawling under a table for a few days, see you later* ( )
  RachelNR | Jul 29, 2018 |
In this second book of the new Kerrigan Byrne’s series Victorian Rebels, we meet an unlikely hero that was so broken down, I was sure he would never be redeemed. Boy, was I wrong!

With a heroine like Millie, I should have known this man had no chance but to fall for her.

From the prologue to the last page, this was a book I just couldn’t let go off. It is so well written and paced that there was no room for boredom. And the love scenes were so sensual, you may just need a cold shower! No joke!

I also loved catching up with Dorian and Farah, hero and heroine from the first book. But what brought me to tears (besides the Prologue) was Millie’s son, Jakub. The author even made this character complex and interesting. I fell in love with him from the moment he showed up.

At this point, I am so vested into this series that I’m gobbling it all up! My recommendation is GET IT! You’ll be glad you did :)

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
( )
  bookworm2bookworm | Mar 30, 2017 |
I am totally digging the latest series from Kerrigan Byrne, who has proven to be exceptionally adept at writing complex and damaged heroes who will steal your heart like a thief in the night.

The plot of [b:The Hunter|25398324|The Hunter (Victorian Rebels #2)|Kerrigan Byrne|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1436215907s/25398324.jpg|45151102] follows a similar formula to [b:The Highwayman|23723798|The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels #1)|Kerrigan Byrne|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1423771854s/23723798.jpg|43333417] in that we have a tortured hero ensconced in the criminal underworld, and a lovable heroine with a big secret that puts her life in danger. Don't let that worry you though, for all that the plot formulas were similar, each installment has stood on its own merits with captivating characters, beautiful prose, and a bit of suspense. The plot conflict in The Hunter is of a darker nature than we saw in The Highwayman, and involves a necrophiliac serial killer assassin that gave me the creepy chills. Yeesh. He is definitely not someone I want to meet on a dark night.

We met our hero, Christopher Argent, in the first book where we knew him as the menacing and silent assassin for Dorian Blackwell, the Black Heart of Benmore. However, in this installment we are taken back to Christopher's beginnings as a shackleborn bastard at Newgate Prison. Byrne certainly knows how to hook you into the story with a heartwrenching prologue to get you invested in the damaged boy before you see the dangerous man he has become. The concept of innocent children being raised in a prison is an eye-opening one, particularly as they remained inmates until their majority, when they were released into the world without money, skills or education. While at Newgate, Christopher trained under the tutelage of a Kung Fu Master. Given his size, coloring and scars, my imagination painted a vivid picture of Christopher in his silk pants going through a martial arts routine. I loved having all this back story for our hero because it allowed me to understand Christopher's thought process and reasons for his actions without having to be told every single time... this is what I am always harping about, the show vs. tell... Kerrigan Byrne knows how to do it.

So now as an adult, Christopher is a threatening giant, as sinuous as water and as dark as the shadows. He turned off his emotions way back in the prologue and has been existing as a hollow killing machine ever since. A boy born in a cage, taught little but cruelty and survival. Then he was thrust into this world and had to make his own way, falling upon the only skills he'd ever mastered.
Violence and death.

It was as though darkness sought him out, as though shadows settled upon him, recognizing one of their own, and he siphoned strength from them. This was where he belonged. Cold, eerie nights full of danger and blood.
He is impervious to all emotion until he first sees Millicent LeCour, whom he is being paid to kill. There is something about Millie that starts to crack the stone encasing Christopher's heart and he is not quite certain how to handle it. As Dorian so wisely imparts: Men like you and me, we don't love like other men do. With patience and poetry and gentle deference. Our sort of love is possessive - obsessive even - and passionate and consuming and ... well, fucking terrifying sometimes. Now that I have went on and on about our hero (or anti-hero as it were), I have run out of words for our heroine, Millie. But let's face it, this series is all about the men. The women being likable heroines comes as a bonus.

The darling of the London stage, Millie mesmerizes her audience and our hero. She has a special light that draws people to her, and that light certainly startles Christopher right out of the shadows. While he may step into the light, however, that doesn't mean that he will act like a civilized individual. Millie is acosted, assaulted, threatened, and coerced to submit - but she finds she doesn't mind all that much when its Christopher doing the manhandling. Millie also has a son, Jakub, an intelligent and inquisitive little boy who added a sweetness to the story that Christopher was incapable of. Millie and Jakub created a perfect package to start healing that wounded little boy that Christopher's psyche brutally suppressed in Newgate. Seeing Jakub draw Christopher out with his curiosity was especially touching.

I am enjoying this series immensely and am looking forward to meeting Kerrigan Byrne at the RT Convention this year. She has definitely moved onto my auto-buy list with her ability to craft such captivating and complex characters.

I received an advanced copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 stars / 3 flames. ( )
  Bambi_Unbridled | Mar 19, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kerrigan Byrneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Audio, TantorPublishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkins, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I kiss'd thee ere I kill'd thee. No way but this,
Killing myself, to die upon a kiss.
-- Williams Shakespeare, Othello
Dedication
To Janet Snell
I couldn't do it without you.
First words
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Newgate Prison, London 1855
This was nothing short of torture.
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