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?
I’ve never read a book penned by Kerrigan Byrne, so this was a new adventure for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It surprised me that this book started out with the hero and heroine as children. I haven’t seen many books open that way. Dougan struct me as a lost lonely little boy, using his gruff personality to shield his loneliness. You don’t get to see how he truly is until he meets his Fairy, Farah. She is his lightness in his dark bleak world. I thought their interactions were cute and I felt he ate up the caring attention Farah gave him. I did however thought it a bit off that they hand fasted at the age of 13 an 10. At that age, marrying never crossed my mind, I was all into dolls and animals. Anyways, soon afterwards they are separated from one another – Dougan hauled away to prison for killing a priest who tried to fondle and kiss Farah.
The book is fast forwarded to 17 years later with Farah now 28 and working for Scotland Yard. One day she meets Dorian Blackwell in an interrogation room. He is widely known throughout England and Scotland for being ruthless, taking whatever he seeks, and showing his enemies no mercy. His hands and soul is dark and tainted with blood and he isn’t afraid to add to it. He is often described as the devil who hides in the shadows, with a powerful build, ebony hair, onyx colored eye with one that is milky blue due to an injury, and is heavily scarred. No one messes with his man and lives to tell about it. Dorian kidnaps Farah and takes her to his Castle, Benmore, on Isle Mull in Scotland. There he tells her that her life is in danger and for him to help her and also seek revenge against Dougan, she must marry him, which she eventually agrees.
Dorian is somewhat cold and hard to Farah throughout the book due to his secret. His soul is dark and tarnished due to what he had to endure at Newgate prison years ago and that makes him afraid to get close or touch Farah, he doesn’t want to taint or stain her soul. He often distances himself from her and just settles for her being his.
As he promised, he kept her safe ans restored her secret past to her, but once that is done, he distances himself even more from her, by driving her away to her fathers estate. When danger comes knocking at Farah’s door, Dorian wakes up and realizes that he wants her and really needs her in his life. She is the light to his darkness, someone who could keep his demons at bay, his Fairy.
I don’t know about everyone else, but I guessed how this book was gonna go from very early on. I knew that Dorian Blackwell was Dougan Mackenzie and that somehow he traded his identity. It was fairly easy to guess as he often uttered similar phrases he did as a grown man that he did when he was a young boy. Plus there was plenty of easter eggs – giveaways – throughout the book.
I really enjoyed all the characters besides Farah and Dorian – Murdoch, Frank (Walters), Gemma, Argent, Morley, and etc. I loved how Dorian looked out for some of his prison mates, giving them employment to support themselves after getting released from prison. Even though he thinks his soul is all darkness, you can see where goodness peaks through every now and then.
After I finished reading this and writing this review, I can’t wait to start Christopher Argent’s story, The Hunter, which I am going to get on it immediately.