Victorian Rebels #1
Published in 2015
H/h - Dorian Blackwell/Farah Leigh Townsend
Setting: London/Scotland, 1872.
Read in November/December, 2015.
I’m a big fan of Kerrigan’s Highland Historical novellas so I wasn’t surprised to find that she was getting a full-length novel published by a publisher. She’s good at what she does; her stories are intriguing, heroes hot, heroines smart and strong, smexy times superb. The Highwayman had everything and more. It was also a lot darker read than my expectation but it was an interesting read nonetheless.
The Highwayman is the first book in the brand new Victorian Rebels series. It’s not connected to her Highland Historical novellas in any way. The prologue sets up a dark yet magical tone to the story that only makes you wanna turn the pages to know what happened next. Two young children– a boy of 12 and a girl of around 8– meeting in a long-forgotten abbey, which also served as an orphanage for the illegitimate children of the high-ranking families. Dougan and Farah’s first meeting was quite haunting, especially when a tragedy was waiting to happen soon and force them apart...
Dougan is the illegitimate son of one Laird MacKenzie, who hated his bastard; just how much is revealed much later in the story. Dougan hasn’t known anything close to affection since his mother’s passing when he was young. And this orphanage is the last place a child should expect any. Corrupt priest and sisters run this place; who not only keep the children hungry and dirty, but prey on them as well. Dougan’s life was no exception. Being the rebel he was receiving beating was a daily thing for him. His life though, changes one day when a beautiful blonde girl sidles her way in. She not only finds out his hiding place where he went to vent his tears of anger and frustration, but also, gradually, claims his heart. Farah isn’t scared of his scowls and rudeness. Even at that tender age, tending to the wounded seemed to be her thing. Soon, the secret meetings turn into be something different. A strong bond out of love and necessity forges between them. Dougan even ends up handfasting himself with Farah. I know they were very young even to know what marriage or handfasting was, but Dougan felt an almost inhumane urge to protect Farah from any danger even then. He knew the corrupt priests and what they can do to the unsuspecting young children. He had to grow up early. Farah was so beautiful even at that age that it was a given that she’d be preyed upon sooner or later unless something was done. That apprehension soon becomes reality, and though Farah manages to escape, they get entangled into a mire of tragedies which saw the priest murdered, Dougan to prison and Farah somewhere else.