BEST BOOKS 2015.
LJ Reviews 2015 August #1
Widowed Farah Leigh Mackenzie has worked quietly as a clerk for Scotland Yard, knowing she will never love another as she loved her handfasted husband, Dougan. But Dougan is dead, and Farah is at peace with her life—until Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More and London's most notorious crime lord, sweeps her off to his castle on the Isle of Mull and makes her an offer she dare not refuse. A disenfranchised, compassionate heroine and a seemingly irredeemably flawed hero work to avenge the past and secure the future. Lyrical writing, insightful character development, and seamless descriptions bring the darker side of the Victorian Era to vivid life in all its violence, squalor, corruption, and unimaginable childhood cruelty. VERDICT An undying youthful love comes to fruition in a sensual, soul-searing story readers won't want to see end. Fortunately, this is the first in a new linked series featuring men who live by their wits and the canny women who are strong and fearless enough to teach them to love. Brilliantly done. Byrne (Invoked) lives at the base of the Rockies.[Page 70]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2015 August #2
Byrne's gritty first Victorian Rebels novel doesn't flinch from Victorian London's darker side. When Farah Mackenzie is unexpectedly abducted, the last thing she expects is a second chance at love—especially with Dorian Blackwell, a shadowy figure in London's criminal underground. Dorian learned harsh lessons of survival from his youth in Newgate Prison alongside Farah's childhood sweetheart, Dougan. He knows all of Farah's secrets, even her true identity as an heiress, and he offers her the opportunity to reclaim her inheritance and to avenge Dougan's death. But all Farah wants is a child of her own. The romance is raw, edgy, and explosive. There are no flowers, soft words of poetry, or gentle strains of music. Farah alternates between fascination with and hatred for Dorian, simultaneously drawn to his ugly past and repelled by the violence and anger surrounding him. Dorian cannot deny Farah anything, but he also resorts to cruelty to keep her at a distance. Gradually they grow closer; Dorian offers her protection and all the resources at his disposal, and Farah reminds him of the softer, kinder, gentler side of human nature. Theirs is not a pretty tale, but the path they take through adversity makes the triumph of love deeply satisfying. Agent: Christine Witthohn, Book Cents Literary Agency. (Sept.)[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC