The Highlander: Liam MacKenzie and Philomena
(Victorian Rebels #3)
Expected publication: August 2nd 2016
Can the fiercest master of battle conquer a woman’s heart?
They call him the Demon Highlander. The fearsome Lieutenant Colonel Liam MacKenzie is known for his superhuman strength, towering presence, and fiery passion in the heat of battle. As Laird to the MacKenzie clan, the undefeated Marquess has vanquished his foes with all rage and wrath of his barbaric Highland ancestors. But when an English governess arrives to care for his children, the master of war finds himself up against his greatest opponent... in the game of love.
Defying all expectations, Miss Philomena is no plain-faced spinster but a ravishing beauty with voluptuous curves and haughty full lips that rattle the Laird to his core. Unintimidated by her master’s raw masculinity and savage ways, the headstrong lass manages to tame not only his wild children but the beast in his soul. With each passing day, Liam grows fonder of Miss Mena—and more suspicious. What secret is she hiding behind those emerald eyes? What darkness brought her to his keep? And how can he conquer this magnificent woman’s heart... without surrendering his own?
I have mixed feelings about this book, on one hand I loved the writing: it was beautiful, descriptive and everything I would expect from a Kerrigan Byrne novel. Hell the prologue itself gave me some serious chills. The characters were engaging and flawed. I liked all of them. Mena really came into her own throughout the book. She found her backbone that had all but been beaten out of her by her husband. She survived and started thriving. Liam has his own internal struggles, a quick temper and a tendency towards violence but underneath it all he is a protector. He struggles with controlling his anger and his violence but he would never do what his father did to him. I liked Mena's relationship with Liam's kids, they had some good interactions. There were also some really great quotes that really resonated. K. Byrnes quality of writing is never in question.
My problem with this book was the pacing. Until about 15 or 20% of the book we were chugging along quite merrily and then we kind of seemed to hit a lag from then until about 65% or so. It's not that nothing happened but it didn't seem to move the plot along to anywhere and I wasn't feeling the "romance" between Liam and Mena. She was mostly just afraid of him or he was yelling at her and there wasn't enough sexual tension to really overcome that. and then all of the sudden in the last 30% or so of the book everything started happening. The were a couple of sub plotlines that were a bit anti-climatic but the romance picked up. Im still not sure by the end of the book I truly bought into it but we were in a better place than I thought we would be. Maybe it's Byrnes experience at writing novellas that she was able to pull off so much in the last part of the book, but I just wished it had been spaced out better.
*ARC was provided through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.