My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There was a time when I used to devour bodice ripper romances and the more tortured the hero saved by the kind-hearted heroine, the more I enjoyed it. C’mon guys, what’s not to like in a dark hero turning to light coz of love from the heroine? And I do believe this familiar trope of a tortured and troubled hero changing into a messiah (erm, not exactly, but u know what I mean) with the love from his soulmate is the primary reason why 50 shades became such a raging hit. But of course, sensibilities change and some parts in these books began to feel revolting but they are still most enjoyable in parts.
The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne is the first book I have read by this author and she did blow me away with her writing. The entire spectrum of love was on display beginning with the sweet and touching to the intense all-consuming flavor that was enthralling to read. The intensity of the love shared between Farah and Dorian gave a feel of otherworldliness, usually found in vampire or shapeshifter romances.
Farah is such a gentle soul and her kindness and generosity to Dougan, when they were just wee children, was enough to consider her as the fairy that Dougan wanted and vowed to protect all his life. 17 years later, she is a widow and working in Scotland Yard as a clerk when she first sets eyes on the infamous Blackheart of Ben More. His ruthlessness and cruelty are well-known but she never expected to be kidnapped by the man himself. But there are secrets to be unraveled, along with the real identity of Farah Leigh.
Things definitely become interesting between Dorian and Farah including being ordered to marry off all places whilst taking bath. LOL! Dorian hides his tender feelings behind a mask of disdain but his ardent love was evident with the desperate ways he makes loves to her, loathing himself, refusing Farah to touch him. The abuse during the incarceration is thankfully just mentioned between them but the after-effects in Dorian leave a bitter taste. There are a couple of twists in the story that keeps the reader waiting for that HEA but I loved that ending where Farah orders Dorian to stop being noble. Honestly, by that point, I was thinking the same thing.
The kind of immersive storytelling is enough to convince anyone to read and sample more and I have taken a small bite of the juicy red apple, so will definitely go for the whole fruit!
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?
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