The Highlander by Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Victorian Rebels series #3
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 2nd 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Victorian
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They call him the Demon Highlander. The fearsome Lieutenant Colonel Liam MacKenzie is known for his superhuman strength, towering presence, and fiery passion in the heat of battle. As Laird to the MacKenzie clan, the undefeated Marquess has vanquished his foes with all rage and wrath of his barbaric Highland ancestors. But when an English governess arrives to care for his children, the master of war finds himself up against his greatest opponent... in the game of love.
Defying all expectations, Miss Philomena is no plain-faced spinster but a ravishing beauty with voluptuous curves and haughty full lips that rattle the Laird to his core. Unintimidated by her master’s raw masculinity and savage ways, the headstrong lass manages to tame not only his wild children but the beast in his soul. With each passing day, Liam grows fonder of Miss Mena—and more suspicious. What secret is she hiding behind those emerald eyes? What darkness brought her to his keep? And how can he conquer this magnificent woman’s heart... without surrendering his own?
Mena St. Vincent has lived a horrifying life for the past five years. She was raised in idyllic Hampshire by a father who loved and cared for her; educated her and only wanted the best for his daughter. He married her off to a new neighbor who seemed like a good man. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case at all. Mena’s husband beat her, used her body and then had her committed to an asylum when he didn’t want her around any longer. Mena is saved after writing to a friend. That friend helps dress her and prepares her to be a governess to a man in the highlands. This way Mena can hide from her husband and his family while her friends try to get her insanity judgment overturned by the courts.
Mena is definitely intimidated by her new employer – the man they call the Demon Highlander – but she also sees another side to him. She sees a man who would do anything for his two children, a man who has lived a hard life and a man who just wants what’s best for his clan. She starts to fall for him pretty quickly but obviously nothing can come of it as she’s already married – even though he doesn’t know that.
Liam MacKenzie has been off in battle for many years but is now back to keep his clan alive and thriving – as well as to be with his children. He knows that he’s not done right by them after being gone for so long but he wants to make amends. He knows almost immediately that it’s a bad idea to have Mena around as he’s incredibly attracted to her but he can’t make himself send her away. Liam’s children have also taken to her and that’s not happened with the last few governesses. He tries to deny his attraction but he soon can’t any longer. He knows Mena wants him too but he also knows she’s hiding something. He has no idea who huge the secret is but that won’t stop him from giving her his heart.
The Highlander is only the second book I’ve read by Kerrigan Byrne but I’m certain it won’t be my last. This author certainly knows how to write some intriguing highlanders and I loved reading about them. She also writes pretty great sexual tension and while things happened fast for the H/h it was all more than believable.
I really liked Liam and Mena together. Yes, they tried to keep away from each other but it was impossible. Mena knew that she shouldn’t let her heart fall for Liam but between what she saw underneath the gruff surface and how he treated his children she just couldn’t help it. Liam knew that Mena was in hiding but he thought it was just from someone who abused her – not from a husband. I have to say I was disappointed that he didn’t immediately believe Mena when he did find out the truth but with his dead wife’s background it was kind of understandable. He realized his mistake quickly and moved on and I liked that about him.
If you want a good highland romance then you should pick this one up. The first part of the book was a bit hard to stomach as it takes place in the asylum but after that it gets lighter so just keep that in mind. 🙂
Rating: 3.75/4 out of 5