Dorian Blackwell, the Blackheart of Ben More, is a ruthless villain. Scarred and hard-hearted, Dorian is one of Victorian 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 already professed my Cover Love for The Highwayman; what I was most surprised by is how much I enjoyed the story behind the cover. The blurb tells part of the story, but Blackwell's true identity and how damaged he is based on his experiences aren't covered.
Blackwell is deeply scarred -- physically and emotionally -- and while he believes he needs Farah in his life, he isn't prepared to allow her to pierce the hard shell he's covered his vulnerable self with. Watching her do just that, while watching them fall in love again as different people, changed by time and circumstance, was truly magical.
(A very special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of The Highwayman.)