Book Review, Spotlight on

Spotlight on Kerrigan Byrne and ‘The Highwayman’!

My road to writing

I’ve always been someone whose interests are vast and varied.  Though I snuck into a Nine Inch Nails concert on my sixteenth birthday, I never missed a Monday youth symphony practice because of a voracious zeal for Bach.  I’d be the one in the “Goth” smoking circle behind the school at 14 trying to explain that the Brontës were technically, like, waaaaaay more “Goth” than Ann Rice.  I mean, it’s called the “gothic novel,” you guys. God.  *insert eye roll here*

I know. I want to punch my teenaged self too.

However this is where I began to prolifically fill stacks of notebooks (black, like my soul) full of hand-written stories inspired by an amalgamation of a few emerging passions. History, literature, horror, and…men.  Not boys. Not those smelly, mouth-breathing troglodytes I was forced to spend my day with.  Men.  Cynical men, like Shakespeare’s Benedict. Tortured men, like Mr. Rochester.  Dark horses, like Mr. Darcy.  And for sure dangerous men, like Edmond Dantes or Batman. Wait what? Batman? *nervous laugh* How did he get in there? You’re not supposed to know about my comic book hero fetish!  That has nothing to do writing historical romance novels. Like at all.  I need you guys all to ignore the fact that Nick Fury has black hair and an eye patch and is the mysterious leader of a bunch of morally ambiguous vigilantes while you read THE HIGHWAYMAN, mkay?

Anyway…One thing our you-can-be-anything-you-want-when-you-grow-up culture forgets to prepare us for is the rank skepticism you get from everyone when you announce you’re going to be a romance novelist when you grow up.  They almost talked me out of it.  I found myself ten years later working for the investigations division of a prosecutor’s office.  I wrote search warrants and Affidavits and court documents.  Sometimes I did something exciting, like evidence collection at a shooting, or taking notes for a high-profile polygraph. But I went home at night, between dinner, and bed times, and date night, and life… and I wrote.  I still wrote about men, and history, and maybe a bit of horror. Not only the paranormal kind that’s expected and forgiven because that’s what you get when you love a monster like Dracula or the Wolfman.

Man can be monstrous enough. I saw that every day at my job, and sometimes the monsters are the “good guys.” I wanted to write about that.  But I wanted my characters to always get their happy endings.

I had to commit.  I had to go to conferences that I couldn’t afford so I could learn the craft.  I took a pay cut to switch to a secretarial position so that I could free up mental bandwidth to be creative at night. I read blogs and books until my eyes bled.  I found the right critique partners after sifting through a few and listened to their honest criticism. I proved to myself that I could finish a project and self-published a few novellas. The revenue from those novellas more than replaced my income.  So I quit my job and tried to get an agent. I was rejected a few times until I found one through one of my crit partners who agreed to read an unfinished book.  She signed me on THE HIGHWAYMAN and sold me to St. Martin’s once I finished it.  It’s been a whirlwind. Equally terrifying and amazing.  All I can say is that I’m thrilled to share my debut novel, THE HIGHWAYMAN with you.  I hope you enjoy reading about Farah and Dorian’s happy ending as much as I loved writing it.

TH KBBOOK BLURB: They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster…

Stealing Beauty
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…

Courting Desire
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?

BUY LINKS: Amazon / B&N / Kobo

REVIEW: This is the first book in the new Kerrigan Byrne’s series Victorian Rebels, and my first read of this author.

I just loved the introduction to our heroine as she was a child in an orphanage as she’s pledging herself to another orphan and then they get separated.

Seventeen years later we meet our heroine again and she has become a strong and resilient woman.

As our hero kidnaps the heroine, we all find out, along with her, what happened to the little orphan she pledged herself to.

As much as this story was predictable, I still found it fascinating and heartbreaking. But then I’m such a sucker for a broken down hero!

If you’re looking for a new author, like I was, I think you should try this one because this story had a bit of everything a romance should, and it was very well written.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Kerrigan ByrneAUTHOR BIO: Kerrigan has done many things to pay the bills, from law enforcement to belly dance instructor. Now she’s finally able to have the career she’d decided upon at thirteen when she announced to her very skeptical family that she was going to “grow up to be a romance novelist.” Whether she’s writing about Celtic Druids, Victorian bad boys, or brash Irish FBI Agents, Kerrigan uses her borderline-obsessive passion for history, her extensive Celtic ancestry, and her love of Shakespeare in almost every story.

She lives at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her handsome husband and three lovely teenage girls, but dreams of settling on the Pacific Coast.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Website / Facebook / Twitter


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