Review | The Highwayman


About the Book: 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?

Victorian Rebels #1
Historical Romance
St. Martin’s Paperbacks | September 1, 2015
amazon2 bn2

As a teenager I was crazy about Historical Romances.  I read them obsessively and voraciously.  (Regency was my favorite.)  Then, over time, I found my interest dissipating.  I think some of it was just because I was growing up and discovering different genres, and I also think part of it was I discovered Outlander.  Outlander takes Historical and expands it.  It was romance.  It was adventure.  It was so much more than just two people falling in love and getting it on, though there was a bit of that.  After Outlander everything else felt vapid.

Now, that’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed HR recently.  Far from it.  I love Lisa Kleypas.  I really enjoy Maya Banks Historical books… I just read them far less than I used to.  Which brings me to Victorian Rebels…

Angie fell in love with this series and has been dying to get me to read them, and Article 1, Section 4 states I will take recommendations from my friends and that’s practically a contract…

I was really happy with The Highwayman.   There was a lot of depth to this story, and I believe that is the foundation for a good Historical Romance.  The characters, both Farrah and Dorian, were well developed and had unique personalities, which is something else I think can sometimes fall flat in this genre.  I’m usually critical of women in fiction, so I was even more excited when I preferred Farrah’s character.  Farrah was awesome!  She was bold and fearless, but she was also kind and compassionate.  I loved how she wasn’t ruled by fear and stood up for herself.  I loved that she was a woman who worked in a respectable job.  She was the sunlight in a story filled with darkness.

And it was dark.  Everything about Dorian was villainous.  He’s violent and aggressive, glowering and enormous.  He’s got a presence that makes you want to flee.  He’s also proud of it.  He has no intention of being anything other than a criminal.

In fact, the story felt an awful lot like Beauty & The Beast.  Dorian roars and Farrah stiffens her spine and digs in her heels, wearing him down with her awesomeness.  I think it was the fairy-tale feel that I loved the most.

There were some issues I had, and why this book would rate a 3.5 rather than the full four feathers you see below.  First, this book was long.  That’s fine, I like long books.  It just didn’t feel like it needed to be so long.  I hit 56% and turned to my coworker and complained, because I felt like even at nearly sixty percent nothing had happened yet.  The story could have been paired down and tightened up, and it would have been even better.

I also thought the last quarter of the book was incredibly predictable.  It was the ending I’ve read in 50 other historical romances.  I’d hoped the book would surprise me with a completely fresh ending and stand out from the crowd.  It didn’t.

All in all, I’d still call this read a success.  I absolutely adored the overall premise of The Highwayman, and I thought the author did a great job of writing a powerful first chapter the readers could latch onto.  There’s a secret inside these pages, and I’m so glad I held on through all the turbulence to get to their happy ending.

“Love is quite like reading, I expect. Once you know how, you can’t ever imagine not doing it.”


About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

9 Responses

  1. Megan @ bookslayerReads

    Ooh, you’ve got my interest with this awesome review! I love Historical Fiction and throw in some romance and I’m ready to go! Plus yellow is my favorite color. Lol 😂 Thanks for the great review! I’ll definitely be checking this one out!


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