The Highwayman

St. Martin's Paperbacks. Sept. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9781250076052. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466887404. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
OrangeReviewStarWidowed Farah Leigh Mackenzie has worked quietly as a clerk for Scotland Yard, knowing she will never love another as she loved her handfasted husband, Dougan. But Dougan is dead, and Farah is at peace with her life—until Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More and London's most notorious crime lord, sweeps her off to his castle on the Isle of Mull and makes her an offer she dare not refuse. A disenfranchised, compassionate heroine and a seemingly irredeemably flawed hero work to avenge the past and secure the future. Lyrical writing, insightful character development, and seamless descriptions bring the darker side of the Victorian Era to vivid life in all its violence, squalor, corruption, and unimaginable childhood cruelty.
VERDICT An undying youthful love comes to fruition in a sensual, soul-searing story readers won't want to see end. Fortunately, this is the first in a new linked series featuring men who live by their wits and the canny women who are strong and fearless enough to teach them to love. Brilliantly done. Byrne (Invoked) lives at the base of the Rockies.

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