Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: The Beast of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior #1)

The Beast of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior #1)

by Lily Blackwood 


A Highland warrior battles to reclaim his birthright in the first of a new series filled with seduction, revenge, and soul-stirring passion…
They call him the Beast—a hardened mercenary whose heart seems as cold as his icy blue gaze. They do not know his true name: Niall Braewick, son of the Laird of Kincaid. It has been years since he escaped into the forest the night his father was murdered. Now he has returned, ablaze with a vengeful hunger. He will gain the MacClaren chief’s trust, gather his clan, and take back his lands. And take the MacClaren’s daughter as well…
Though he pulled her from the river, saving her life, Elspeth has been warned to keep her distance from her father’s hired warrior. He is a barbarian—a shame, as he is far more compelling than the lechers and fools competing for her dowry. Little does she know that, like the castle itself, she is a prize Niall intends to claim…but will he extract blood for blood and possess what is his, or will his enemy’s beautiful, innocent daughter tempt him to forsake his dream of conquest?
Themes:  Historical, Highland
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Being a first time reader of Ms. Blackwood’s work, I went into this story not really knowing exactly what to expect, but the promise of a great read was certainly there based on the blurb. In general, I love just about any story set in Scotland, whatever the era, and have found that the characters are just that bit more interesting because of their fiery Scottish personalities and of course you cannot deny the sexiness of their accents in your mind as you read their words.  So when I began reading Niall's story, set seventeen years in the past, when he was pushed into a path of a fate that would seem inescapable I knew I would like getting to know him and seeing how he handled getting justice for his fallen family and stolen heritage.  Niall’s life changed forever that night, but the ideals that his honorable father and loving mother instilled in him lived on even as he became a mercenary set on vengeance.  When he arrives at his childhood home, disguised but not unnoticed by the local lasses, there is no denying that the pain he is dealing with is deep and unbearable at times.  Elspeth sees Niall simply as a warrior there to help her clan, her mind wrapped up in finding a way to escape a treacherous stepmother and the impending requirement of her arranged marriage.  But soon Elspeth cannot get the sexy warrior out of her mind and her heart leads her directly into his arms again and again.  I loved getting to know Niall, even if at times I wanted him to find a way to let go of his quest for revenge in order to be whole, but in the end he turned out to be even more honorable and likable than expected, finding a way to keep everyone happy and get his HEA with the woman he loved.  Elspeth was frustrating sometimes, mostly because even though it is obvious she has a strong and rebellious spirit she insists that she must cave in to the pressures of her father’s wish to see her married for the good of the clan.  I LOVED seeing her finally stand up for herself and demand what was truly the best for both herself and her people.  The passion between these two people, though they both struggled to hide it, was blatant and when they finally give in to their desires the heat between them is astounding.  I enjoyed reading this story and look forward to the next (two?) novels in the series about Niall’s two younger brothers.  Packed with intrigue and action, angst and emotional upheaval, Beast of Clan Kincaid hits all the high notes of a perfectly constructed romance novel while giving readers a few laughs, lots of tears, and the hope for all of us to find our perfect match, even in the most unlikely of places and circumstances. 

*eBook provided by publisher (via Netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.

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