The Highwayman's Bride
Author: Jane Beckenham
Publisher: Scandalous, Entangled Publishing
Release Date: 9 December 2013
Forced into a marriage...
Compelled by her uncle to marry a man who has a predilection for violence, Tess Stanhope resorts to a ploy from her favorite novels to fund an escape - highway robbery. But her attempt is botched by a maddening, handsome rogue named Aiden.
Driven by revenge...
Aiden Masters, the Earl of Charnley, is hell-bent on avenging his sister's brutal treatment at the hands of the criminal Florian Nash. He single-mindedly seeks vengeance at the expense of all else - even by furtively roaming the highways at night.
Blackmailed for love...
At a London party Tess meets up with Aiden once again and blackmails him... marry her or she'll divulge to society his clandestine life as a highwayman. She desires a marriage in name only - but the more time they spend fighting their desire, the closer they come to giving in.
Tess is desperate to escape her violent Uncle and a marriage to a man cut from the same cloth. She devises some pretty reckless schemes in order to accomplish this escape. On the one hand, I liked Tess' feistiness and her determination to change her future. But at the same time it was very frustrating to watch her throw herself into situations that she clearly hadn't though through. Overall though, she's a fun, sassy heroine who's a good match to bring our hero from the pain of his past to the possibilities of the future.
Aidan is very sweet when he wants to be, unfortunately he is fairly grumpy and tends to lash out at the people closest to him. He holds onto the past and his plans for revenge, which means he doesn't always see what's right in front of him- Tess and his son, Alexander. I did like Aidan, but he really did need a good slap sometimes.
Tess and Aidan have a very passionate connection, they're both drawn to each other. But they each fight their attraction for their own reasons, especially Tess. They're very good together, as a couple, and tend to bring out better qualities in each other, which is very endearing.
I really liked Mary, Aidan's sister, and Alexander, Aidan's son. Alexander is such a little sweetie, and I'm intrigued to see if Ms. Beckenham has any plans to write Mary's story.
I really enjoyed the plot, there were some fresh plot points that kept me entertained and intrigued. I was especially interested to read about Tess' attempt at highway robbery.
Overall, this is an enjoyable romance, with two characters who have their flaws but come together for a sweet ending. Definitely worth checking out for lovers of historical romance.
*I received a review copy from the publisher, for my honest review. Thank you!