The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne
The hero and heroine meet as children respectively of 11 and 8 years old.
Reading about them interacting with each other? THE CUTEST THING EVER!!!
“I was thinking,” he said some time later as she paused for a drowsy yawn. “Since ye doona have any family to love anymore, ye could love me…” Instead of meeting her gaze, he studied the way the pristine white of her petticoat bandage made his hand look that much grubbier. “That is, if ye wanted.”
Farah buried her face in his neck and sighed, her lashes brushing against his tender skin with every blink. “Of course I’ll love you, Dougan Mackenzie,” she said easily. “Who else is going to?”
“Nobody,” he said earnestly.
“Will you try to love me, too?” she asked in a small voice.
He considered it. “I’ll try, Fairy, but I havena done it before.”
“I’ll teach you that, as well,” she promised. “Right after I teach you to read. Love is quite like reading, I expect. Once you know how, you can’t ever imagine not doing it.”
Dougan only nodded because his throat was burning. He put his arm around his very own fairy, reveling in the fact that he finally had something good that no one could take away from him.
OMG… I was all “AWWW” and “AHH!” while reading about their exchanges *_*
She launched herself at him, puckering her wee mouth artlessly against his, and then letting go with a loud smack. “You’re the best husband, Dougan Mackenzie,” she announced. “I don’t know of any other husbands who can make a frog jump so high, or come up with such clever names for the foxes that live under the wall, or skip three stones at a time.”
“We musna tell anyone,” Dougan said, still reeling a bit from the kiss. “Not—not until we’re grown.”
She nodded her assent. “I’d better get back,” she said reluctantly.
He agreed, lowering his head to kiss her on the mouth once more, softer this time. It was his husbandly right, after all. “I love ye, Fairy mine,” he whispered as she silently padded back down the aisle, clutching her plaid and crowned with the vibrant flowers.
“I love you, too.”
Unfortunately they’re not destined to grow up together.
When a priest molests little Farah, Duncan is ready to do anything to protect her and he ends up in deep troubles.
Seventeen years later there’s nothing left of those children’s innocence expecially Dougan’s.
Tortured and raped, that proud little man dies in prison right along with his best friend (a boy he meets there).
“There are immense differences between the Count of Monte Cristo and the Blackheart of Ben More. Edmond Dantes was given his treasure. He never had to stoop to the things I did in order to take it. In prison, he was only whipped on his anniversary. He was isolated in his own cell, which Alexandre Dumas never imagined would be preferable to what we had to endure. He was never stabbed, raped, publicly flogged, humiliated, beaten within an inch of his life, or taken ill and left for dead.”
The man that leaves prison seeking revenge, has let cold set into his soul. His heart was left in the little hands of his Fairy, a precious dream that had kept him and his brothers from prison dreaming of better things outside the hell they were living in.
Nowhere to be found, the girl has become a woman.
Blackheart has spent 17 years looking for her and making pay tenfold all the people that kept them apart.
Little did he know she’s build a life for herself right under his nose.
Farah’s never forgotten the love of her life.
After 17 years she still feels bound to that boy even if her mind tells her to make her dream of having a family of her own come true and give Corlton, a good man she’s called friend for years, a chance.
Just when her mind is beginning to win over her heart, a man everyone fears enters her life changing it forever: Blackheart.
Plot and writing are engaging but, toward the end, the plot becomes too contrived and OTT in my opinion.
– the way he finally stops believing the nonsense in his head and rushes back to her is sudden
– everything that comes after that is too perfectly timed.
Those are my only complaints about these book.
I loved the characters, the story overall held my attention throughout and their sweet happy ending made me so very happy.
“The darkness you see in your touch is only in your mind,” she said gently. “Perhaps we can fix that.”
“It’s impossible,” he lamented, shaking his head.
“Come closer,” she entreated.
He didn’t move.
“If I’ve learned anything in my life, it’s that there is no darkness so absolute that it cannot be dispelled by the faintest of light,” she explained.
His face softened as his eyes touched her, and his boot slid forward. “My sweet Fairy.” He exhaled on a painful breath. “You can’t imagine darkness. You are the only light I’ve ever known.”
His tender words didn’t match his pitiless features, but Farah still found hope. “You must believe that my light is more powerful than your darkness. And so let me touch you, instead. And everywhere that my fingers touch your flesh, they will clear away the blood and filth that you see, and will leave behind the light I’ve always wanted to give to you.”
I enjoyed this book as much as “The Duke with the dragon Tattoo” (the first book I read by this author) that made me curious about Blackheart’s own story 🙂
⭐ 4 Stars ⭐
The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne is book #1 in the Victorian Rebels series. Can be read as a Standalone.
You can also read my review of The Highlander (Book #3) and The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo (Book #6)
~ My Ratings ~
Writing: 3.5 /5
Plot: 3.5 /5
Hero: 4 /5 a tortured hero seeking revenge.
Heroine: 4 /5 independent, not an helpless damsel in distress.
Secondary Characters: 3.5 /5
MC’s chemistry: 4 /5
Steam: 4 /5
– Heroine acts like a chaste widow for 17 years but moments before meeting the hero she has believed dead, kisses another man.
– Hero was abused when he was a boy and cannot stand being touched therefore, at first, he restrains the heroine during sex.
– No Ow/Om drama or intimacy beyond that brief kiss.
– Hero mourns his bff’s loss.
Recommended to: Historical Romance Readers looking for a second chance romance and a revenge plot.
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