A Highlander's Passion (Highlander's Beloved #2)
by Vonnie Davis
As a bear-shifter in a pack roaming the Scottish countryside, Bryce Matheson embodies brute force and untamed abandon. As a widower, he's running scared. When Bryce attempted to open his scarred heart to another, she grew tired of waiting for him to state his intentions, and the unearthly beauty spurned him for someone who wasn't worthy. But now that fate has conspired to set Kenzie Denune free once again, Bryce vows to finally win her love.
Kenzie is a witch who summons her powers to protect those too weak to care for themselves. After surviving an abusive husband, she swears off men—even men like Bryce, whose iron muscles make her knees weak, and whose piercing eyes fill her with longing. Her life's purpose is to help others. However, dark forces have different plans for her gifts. To save herself, Kenzie must team up with the shifter who has always stirred her soul—and trust in a passion powerful enough to set her blood aflame.
Themes: shifters, witches, paranormal
Rating: 4 stars
There seems to be a trend in this series that is unique, but interesting--stuffing every possible type of paranormal being and dramatic edge into one story. Davis throws them all at us in this second installment of her Highlander's beloved story. In book one we had to deal with a psychic who falls in love with a bear-shifting highland laird, who is currently dealing with an abusive and drug-dealing bear in his clan and in the second book there is even more going on, believe it or not. While I will say there is a lot mashed together, Davis has a way of making everything flow smoothly and in the end you don't even realize just how much has been uncovered and thrown at you in the story. I enjoyed seeing Kenzie come in to her own and find a way to let Bryce back into her heart even with all the trauma and sadness tearing them apart. With beautifully vivid and detail characters, settings that will take your breath away, and a plot that will keep you twisting and turning until the very end, A Highlander's Passion takes us on a journey of love, discovery, and forgiveness that I personally will never forget.
This story picks up shortly after the previous one ends, with Kenzie moving on with her life to the best of her ability after the trauma of her husband beating her almost to death and miscarrying her child. Every time she turns around though, she is faced with the man she has loved since she was five, the man that broke her heart TWICE already and she is determined to keep him at arm's length. But when she begins to learn more about herself and her family's true past, Bryce is there to give her the support and strength she needs. Bryce regrets his idiotic decision to push Kenzie away in the past and knows that he will have his work cut out for him if he ever has a chance to reclaim her love and earn her forgiveness. But hidden truths slowly come to light that could force Bryce and Kenzie even further apart, if they let it. So the question becomes can they find a way to get past their tragic history and find a way to love again, or will they be forever unable to come together? And if they can come together, will Kenzie survive the danger stalking her so she can have her HEA with her big, strong, and sexy as hell alpha-bear?
Poor Kenzie has had a really really bad few years. But she is determined to move on and find a way to have some semblance of happiness even if she cannot have the man who holds her heart as her own. I loved seeing her embrace her newfound destiny and OMG seeing her mentor teaching her the magick she never knew she possessed was beyond amazing. It was a lot for the woman to take in as she learned about herself, dealt with new powers, a demonic killer out to get her, ripping apart old wounds so she and Bryce could heal together, and of course finding a way to build a life with Bryce. I can be a big enough woman to admit that every time she revealed a new secret and showed a new wound I cried for her and her loss. I don't know many women that could handle what she has at such a young age and still leave herself open for the damage that Bryce seems unable to prevent himself from causing her. Kenzie was the perfect woman to stand up to and with Bryce as they battle their demons--both inner and external.
Bryce, oh Bryce, whatever shall we do with you. The man was obviously sweet and sexy, but he was oblivious to so much of the drama going around him all his life, that really you had to almost feel bad for the big bad bear-shifter. I liked Bryce a lot in the previous book, mainly because he has such an interesting sense of humor, one that sometimes others just don't appreciate. When Bryce begins to learn secrets, we get to see the truly soft and vulnerable side of Bryce, breaking your heart a little more each time, but when he begins to support his woman, being the strength she needs to overcome the pain, you fall a little more in love with him just like Kenzie does. In the end, Bryce has to come to terms with all the mistakes that he has made and find a way to earn Kenzie's forgiveness and her love back. I loved getting to know more about him and seeing Bryce interacting with his young daughter Colleen and of course his family, proving that he really is just a big old teddy bear.
A Highlander's Passion really revolves not only around the romantic love that Kenzie and Bryce finally get to embrace, but also the familial love that so often is neglected in novels. Bryce is a man that has been protected from many hard truths in his past, but now he is forced to deal with all the pain and fear that comes along with those missing pieces of his history. Kenzie is a beaten woman, but she is not broken and refuses to allow herself to dwell on the tragedies that have left her heart surrounded by a wall of ice so thick it is almost impenetrable. But thankfully the heat of the passion between Bryce and Kenzie is able to melt that wall and allow for Bryce to sneak by her defenses. The intensity of their love leaves me wondering if I need to find my own Scottish bear to be able to feel that passion. Even though there is a lot going on in the world of these Bear-shifters I find myself liking this series more and more with each book and I cannot wait to read the new book in the series, most likely revolving around the third and final brother in the family. And I really wonder just what Ms. Davis will pull out her hat next and throw into the mix for these sexy Highlander's to deal with. If you love highlanders, shifters, witches, magick, family drama or really any type of romance you are bound to find something about this series to love,so take my advice and give it a try, I am certainly thrilled I followed my instinct and picked up these books.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.