I love these books! Kerrigan Byrne has such a way with her heroes. They are dark and deadly and so very broken. Liam Mackenzie is all of that and more.
We met our heroine, Mena, earlier in the series. She was abused by her husband and wrongfully admitted to an asylum. But she was rescued by the heroes of the previous books, and now she is in hiding, sent to live with Dorian’s brother, Liam, as governess to his children. You really don’t have to read The Highwayman or The Hunter to enjoy this story, but I would recommend them, just because they are so very good.
Anyway, Mena has been through hell, but despite her suffering and her fears, she is determined to be stronger as she takes on her new identity. Liam is intimidating at first. After all, he has a brutal reputation as the Demon Highlander. But sometimes the most violent men can be the fiercest protectors, and Mena discovers a life and happiness she’s never dreamed of at the MacKenzie keep. The only cloud hanging over her head is the secret of her past.
So generally, I hate the Big Secret trope. But it didn’t really bother me here, because I knew Liam wouldn’t turn on her. Not once did I worry that he would disappoint me, and I guess that makes all the difference. I believed 100% that he could and would kill without mercy, that he earned his terrifying reputation. But he also has honor, even if he doesn’t see it himself. I knew that Mena would be safe in his keeping, both body and soul.
The romance is a slow burn, which was the only way to go here, with all Mena has endured. The tension between her and Liam was palpable and their reticence was realistic. It gave me a chance to root for them to get together, to need them to finally act on their feelings. And the payoff was totally worth it.
On top of that, there’s a richness to the story with all the side characters and their connections to the couple. We got a taste of the previous couples, yes, but also whole MacKenzie clan. Their father, though gone, was a driving force. As was brother Hamish. I cared about the children and Jani. And I wanted more Gavin. I want more of all of it.
Like the first two books, this story has some dark times. It touches on rape and serious abuse. But this is also about hope and new beginnings. It’s the darkness that makes us appreciate the light. I’m so glad there is more of this series to come. Byrne is becoming an auto-buy author for me.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Kerrigan Byrne
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin’s