He ruthlessly vanquished his enemies; he could rid her of hers, as well.
Published: September 1, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 356 (Mass Market Paperback)
Series: Victorian Rebels #1
But who would protect her from him?
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?
Oh my GOWD. There’s a reason this is one of the top raved about historical romances of the last five years! This was an absolutely enthralling read; I couldn’t put it down once I started it. I don’t know why I let this linger on my shelf so long.
The novel centers around Mrs. Farah Leigh Mackenzie, a widow working with Scotland Yard. She’s been a widow for over ten years, hiding her secrets for even longer, and just starting to contemplate moving on with her love life. Then in walks Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More. Notorious bastard and menacing rake. Dorian kidnaps Farah and takes her to his home in the Highlands. He knows her secrets and claims to be able to protect her from coming danger… if she’ll marry him.
This novel had everything I wanted a more; a sexy and scarred antihero, a smart and capable heroine, witty sidekicks, danger, STEAMMMMM, a little darkness and gothic vibes. It was perfection, simply put. This was my first Kerrigan Byrne novel and I’m happy to say that after I finished this I promptly ordered the rest of this series through eBay (they were impossible to find elsewhere!!!!) and I am so excited to get them next week. I loved her writing, it was so eloquent and atmospheric, it was easy to put myself in the moment when I picked up her book and I loved the darkness she weaved in this love story. It definitely had it’s darker moments and I always believed the threat of violence that lurked behind Dorian’s voice, but it was such a passionate and lush romance.
The characters were really what carried this story aside from the top notch plot. Both Farah and Dorian were perfectly flawed and so right for each other, it was so much fun to be able to read their story and get to see each of them learn new things with and from one another. Farah gains more confidence in herself and Dorian learns that being the coldest in the room isn’t always necessary. There’s a lot of healing that happens in this novel and that also entails there is a lot of emotion, so this is a bit deeper than just the romance on the surface. I think there’s a stigma that romance novels are just the romance and nothing more, but this one dispels that; it’s an emotional roller coaster… that just so happens to be steamy as hell.
But while there is that touch of darkness and emotion, this was so much FUN! There was banter galore and I found myself smiling like a maniac and giggling relentlessly. Dorian and Farah just go back and forth with the snarky comments and I AM HERE FOR IT! Also, Murdoch was hilarious and always broke in at the best moments. While the romance and the gothic vibes were the reason I picked this up, the wit and charm were my favorite parts of this book.
I can’t say enough good things about this novel. It was fun, witty, sexy, emotional, thrilling, and just all around a well written historical novel. I can’t wait to get the others in the mail and continue the series, and this would be a great historical to start with if you wanted to get the know the genre! It’s not too heavy on the historical aspects and has a really good, intricate plot to go with the steam. Loved it!
The Victorian Rebels Series (2-6)