The Highwayman by Kerrigan Bryne
Description:They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster…
Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of London’s wealthiest, most influential men who will stop at nothing to wreak vengeance on those who’ve wronged him…and will fight to the death to seize what he wants. The lovely, still innocent widow Farah Leigh Mackenzie is no exception—and soon Dorian whisks the beautiful lass away to his sanctuary in the wild Highlands…
But Farah is no one’s puppet. She possesses a powerful secret—one that threatens her very life. When being held captive by Dorian proves to be the only way to keep Farah safe from those who would see her dead, Dorian makes Farah a scandalous proposition: marry him for protection in exchange for using her secret to help him exact revenge on his enemies. But what the Blackheart of Ben More never could have imagined is that Farah has terms of her own, igniting a tempestuous desire that consumes them both. Could it be that the woman he captured is the only one who can touch the black heart he’d long thought dead?
Review: When I started reading this book, I was surprised it was set in the Victorian period. The cover is neutral, historical and the title, The Highwayman, made me think earlier Regency, not later 1880’s. However, within the first few pages, and reading the childhood of Farah, the title quickly made sense. I had not been expecting the plethora of emotions I experienced while reading this book or the emotional depth.
I loved how the relationship between Farah and Dorian developed. He, one of the most powerful criminals in London, kidnaps her to keep her safe. Farah, who has her own secrets, works to help heal his emotional scars. As the reader, you sense that Dorian is keeping a big secret from her. Despite this, it was immensely satisfying to see Farah pursuing Dorian for an intimate relationship, not the other way around. His desire was to protect her, while Farah wanted to heal Dorian and convince him the blood on his hands did not mean he wasn’t worthy of a future.
This book has everything you would want in a book. There were reformed prostitutes, bohemian writers, highwaymen, a lost heiress, and small children in prison, all of which revolved around one of the sweetest love stories I’ve read in a while. The juxtaposition between the suffering that Dorian went through and the romantic relationship that developed between him and Farah shouldn’t have worked; but it did, momentously.
Rating: 4 out of 5!
Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.