An injured highwayman with a bounty on his head. A lady determined to save his life. Who will sacrifice the most in the name of love?
Quentin Ellesbrooke has it all until he is betrayed by his lover, Katherine Prescott and her evil stepbrother Alastair. With danger nipping at his heels, the Ellesbrooke Bandit gets more than he bargains for when a beautiful lady saves his life. Soon the battle between honor and forbidden lust will begin.
Skyler Weston is about to embark on an adventure wilder than she could ever imagine. After rescuing a stalwart highwayman from the brink of death, she becomes entangled in a web of hidden pleasures, danger and intrigue. Can this highwayman be trusted or is he a gentleman rogue out for his own gain? Seduced by his mysterious past, she is torn between protecting her virginity and succumbing to the dark desires that lie dormant within her soul.
“Put me down!” Skyler squirmed and kicked. “Put me down now!”
“Be quiet before they hear you,” Quentin whispered, trampling through the brush.
“Quentin, I mean it,” she said softly, “Set me down.”
“Alright,” he said, turning the corner, “Just stay calm. We’re at the stables, and the horse is ready.”
Quentin lifted her off his shoulder and put her down gently. As soon as he released her, she tore off toward the castle.
“What the…” he started, bolting after her, “Skyler, come back here!”
“Get away!” she screamed.
Quentin wrapped his hands around her waist and tripped, throwing them both to the ground. Damn, he thought, grappling with her in the dirt. She was too high strung for her own good. Suddenly, her foot slammed hard into his gut, knocking the wind out of him. He doubled over just as she got back on her feet.
“Not so fast,” he coughed, reaching out to grab her ankle.
“No!” she squealed.
He dragged her back down to the ground.
With one swift motion, Quentin rolled on top of her, pinning her to the ground. He pushed against her and used his body weight as leverage.
“Get off me!” she yelped, wriggling.
“It’s foolish to fight, Skyler,” Quentin said breathlessly.
“I won’t go with you,” Skyler spat, gasping for air.
Quentin got up from the ground and pulled her up by the arm. “You don’t have a choice.”
“I need to go back,” she spouted, twisting her wrists.
“Are you mad?” he asked, pulling out a few pieces of rope from his pocket, “Prescott’s counting on that.”
“But I need to find…” Skyler paused, “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Tying your hands together, my lady,” he explained, wrapping twine around her wrists, “This looks familiar, does it not? Or have you forgotten how you had tied me to a bed a few months ago?”
“I should’ve left you there,” she countered, twisting the binds until it rubbed against her flesh, “Untie me, Quentin Ellesbrooke.”
“That’s better,” he whispered seductively, securing the knot in front of her, “Now you can’t get away.”
She tilted her head and challenged him, “Who do you think you are?”
He pulled her close, looking into her eyes. “Your hero.”
“I don’t need a hero."
Quentin smashed his mouth on hers determined to break her once and for all. She was so soft, so tempting in spite of her defiance. His imagination ran wild with thoughts of making love to her while she was bound and subdued. God, he wanted her—craved the wild passion that grew within his body. It was nearly impossible to hide the desire that stiffened within his breeches.
Skyler pulled away. She heard voices in the distance. “They’re coming.”
“Hold on,” Quentin said, hoisting her on the saddle, “Let’s go.”
“Where are you taking me?” she asked.
He mounted behind her and replied, “To your father."
With a crack of the reins, they were off. Skyler held her breath and grabbed onto the saddle as Jack tore through the main gates. She watched a misty cloud spew from the horse’s nostrils. The sound of hooves pounding against gravel rang in her ears. A cool breeze swept across her face once they made it to the meadow.
It was cold. The chill in the night air bit at her skin as they headed toward the forest. Skyler shivered uncontrollably, wishing she had a blanket to wrap around her. Despite her better judgment, she leaned back on Ellesbrooke and felt the warmth of his body against her flesh.
“It won’t be much farther,” Quentin said, bracing against her body with his torso, “We have to cut through the forest.”
Quentin slowed the horse to a trot and veered off into the woods. Darkness seemed to shroud them in mystery as they navigated through a narrow trail. It was black as pitch in there, he thought, wishing the moonlight would penetrate the clouds.
“I can’t see three feet in front of my face,” she said, looking up through the trees.
“At least Prescott’s guards won’t find us,” he added, “They rarely venture this far out.”
“Why?” she asked as a stream of moonlight cascaded down through the tree branches.
“Evil runs from all that’s Holy,” Quentin explained.
Skyler grew quiet, watching an eerie fog form in front of them. The grey mist seemed to take on a life of its own. It snaked around the brush and branches that lined the trail. Tendrils of vapor rose from the ground like fingers lacing around Jack’s legs.
She heard a shrill noise echo through the hollow and started to panic. “What was that?”
“It’s an owl, Skyler,” he explained, “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“No wonder Prescott’s men avoid this place,” she whispered. Gooseflesh peppered her skin. “The forest has to be haunted.”
“Don’t worry,” he murmured, “I’m here to protect you.”
As they journeyed down the path, Skyler saw a strange light flicker in the darkness. One, two, three…dear God, they were multiplying! Her blood ran cold as she looked around and saw them grow larger. Some of them would disappear only to emerge somewhere else. Perhaps they were demons or ghosts. No, she thought, they had to be red eyes of wolves watching them, waiting to attack.
“Quentin, what are they?”
“Don’t worry, love. They’re torches to help guide our way.”
“Where are we?”
“Ravenshire Priory? This doesn’t make any sense,” she whispered, “Papa wouldn’t come here.”
Skyler peered into the distance and saw the outline of its imposing walls. Uneasiness came over her as they drew closer. Warning bells resounded in her head. Perspiration trickled down her temples. She didn’t want to go any further but knew there was no other choice.
Thick fog blanketed the drawbridge like a gnarled hand reaching out to seize them as they crossed. The sound of hooves pounding the wood sent a shiver down her spine. They finally reached the other side, stopping on the soft grass just beyond the path.
Ellesbrooke dismounted and said, “Let me help you down."
“Quentin,” she sighed, sliding off the horse, “You said that you’d take me to my father.”
Fantastic Read 4/5*
Skyler Weston and her friend Josie accidentally happen across an injured man on the road, they carry him to a nearby cabin in the forest where Skyler nurses him back to health. Skyler knew that he was some kind of highway man because of the way he was dressed but she didn't realise he was the infamous Ellesbrooke bandit.
Quentin had been forced into this life of treachery after he and his brother Douglas were conned out of their home and inheritance. Together they were determined to get it back but it wasn't an easy task with a bounty on his head and half the county out to kill him.
Innocent maidens, ruggedly handsome men on horse back, lust, danger and hero's OMG can the scene set be anymore romantic? I loved this book! I was totally drawn in and could not stop reading, finishing the whole thing in one day (With a totally ignored and grumpy family as a result!!) The Road to Dark Desire is full of action and adventure it's fast moving and there is constantly something happening to keep the reader turning the pages.
Brooklynn Rivers easy writing style drew me in and I was quickly lost in the plot, living alongside the characters feeling their mood and enjoying the ride. I loved the fact that when Skyler was in danger Quentin would do anything, even risk his life to save her, and I especially liked that Skyler wasn't some wimpy woman and was tough enough to do the same for him. The pair were a perfect match and the chemistry jumped off the pages. I would highly recommend this book to all fans of Historical Romance, you won't be disappointed!
Copy supplied for review by MJ
Fabulous story, packed with constant danger and vibrant passion! 5/5*
I've remained totally unsatisfied by the last novel I read featuring a highwayman and quite frankly didn't know what to expect .... right now, I'll only say one word: fabulous!
This very lively romantic adventure takes place in 17th century England. King Charles the First hasn't lost his head yet. From the very beginning, it's fast paced with an easy, light, crisp writing style. The dialog is intelligent, witty and sometimes humorous. It's a novel that keeps you in suspense as with each new page something new unfolds. Brooklynn Rivers provides just the perfect amount of details making her vivid descriptions come to life before your very eyes.
I found in this book absolutely everything I could hope for. There is danger, treachery and lies, love and passion. There are duels, wild escapes and let's not forget that there's also evil lurking in the shadow and even a hint of dark magic. All these elements combined to work perfectly. What more could you ask for?!
The two lead characters, Skyler Weston and Quentin Ellesbrooke are truly very engaging. Skyler is a good hearted, spirited and beautiful young lady. She has a very unusual friendship with a tavern owner's daughter, in fact, they are like sisters. Despite an obvious difference in their station, she has always remained loyal to Josephine. There are some funny moments between those two. No doubt this friendship allows Skyler to see some things from a different perspective and teaches her a lot, in particular about men, because her friend Josephine is a very cheeky lass.
Quentin and his younger brother Douglas were maliciously stripped from their inheritance and Quentin's goal is one day to recover Ellesbrooke Castle. They have had to resort to the perilous and harsh life of highwaymen to survive. Quentin is spontaneous, adventurous and determined. He's the type of man who likes to have what he wants but he has an honorable soul.
Given their very different circumstances they should never have met but by the merest chance they do. And when their eyes meet, their bodies catch fire ... I won't say more here, it is yours to read now. It's only the beginning of a very gripping adventure, packed with constant danger and vibrant passion. Absolutely nothing is missing.
I definitely recommend this book and I'm looking forward to reading her next novel. I give 5 big stars.
Wickedly Delightful!!! 5/5*
Historical romances were my first love. I love escaping in a different time and pondering the endless possibilities of seduction and love. It is so much more romantic than our own time. It is delightful novels such as this one that make me fall in love with the genre all over again. This book is a unique mix of Robin Hood, Romeo, and Rapunzel. And obviously, this is the formula for a great historical read!!
Quentin is a highway, not by choice, but by circumstance. It seems his heart caused him to forsake his good sense when he began having an affair with Katherine. She took him to the cleaners and ended up with everything that once was his, to include his estate. And then she came back for more. Instead of being suspicious and cautious, Quentin falls into her trap once again. This time the situation almost costs him his life. He barely escapes and lies bleeding from a gunshot wound somewhere in the middle of the forest. He is rescued by an angel that changes his life forever.
Skyler was out for a walk with her best friend Josie when she spies first the hat and then the man. She at first thinks his dead until she hears him moan. She convinces Josie to help her drag him to a nearby cottage where she can tend to his wounds. It seems luck had been with the man for the caked mud that covered the wound had stopped the bleeding. Skyler patched him up but could not help the stirrings of need tat sprang to life just by looking at him. This man was dangerous, not only to her jewels, but to her virtue as well.
Ah this was a great read!!! The story sucked you in and held you riveted on the edge on several points in the story!! The was fast moving and deliciously entertaining. Sky was my favorite character in the book. She was strong-willed and knew what she wanted, which of course was Quentin!! I highly recommend this book to all historical romance lovers!! This book really made my night!!