Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Series: #1 in the Victorian Rebels series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½
Narrator: Derek Perkins
Run Time: 10hrs 54min
Audiobook Producer: Tantor Audio
Audiobook Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½
Audiobook Review Copy Provided by Tantor Audio
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?
It’s kind of weird, I would say that when you look at my romance reading (or listening) that I’m fairly solid in the historical romance realm – so it was kind of surprising to me that I’d never heard of (or if I had, I don’t remember), Kerrigan Byrne before. That being said, as soon as the nominations for the Audies were released, I observed several people mentioning her books on different forums (so maybe it was just a case of me not paying any attention…not that that should surprise people). Anyways, I was excited to check out both a new to me author and a new to me narrator to kick off my armchair audies listening and I wasn’t disappointed.
I’ll admit that I’m a junkie for heroes that seem to be undeemable, especially one who goes by the name of “the Blackheart of Ben More” as well as heroines who break the traditional mold that they are expected to fill, in particular, that of the proper lady, not one who works as a clerk in a prison. there was a bit of a mystery element to the story that I found to be well-developed, even if I did figure out whole the bad guy was on fairly early on. I will admit that the use of the name Farah for a female in a historical romance kind of struck me as a name that may have been too modern for the era, but my google-fu has been unsuccessful in finding an origin for it, aside from the fact that its a Muslim name. So I guess the potential for it to be period appropriate it plausible, but I’ll admit that it was a tad distracting for me.
Not only was Kerrigan Byrne a new to be author, but Derek Perkins was a new to me narrator – although he has a significant backlist. Overall, he had a nice melodic narration style that suited the story well, especially the portions where Dorian and the other male characters were speaking. But I will admit that I struggled a bit with his narration of Farah – while it wasn’t a horrible female voice, there were a few times where it just grated on me. It got a bit pitchy in places which was a bit irksome. But overall, a solid narration that I gave 3.5 stars for. The audio production of The Highwayman was well done, which is something I have come to expect from Tantor Audio over the years.
I’ll admit that i was intrigued enough by both the book and the narration to want to continue the series in the future. Overall, I gave both the story and the narration 3.5 stars.