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?
Click on title below for direct Amazon link: The Beast of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior)
Niall Braewick was only twelve years old when his world was shattered. His clan, the Kincaids, were living in peace, when a surprise attack caused the death of his parents, and the keep being taken over by the MacClaren clan. Niall’s father was Laird, so he and his two younger brothers were separated and smuggled out to safety. Now, seventeen years later, Niall is ready for revenge. He has honed his skills as a warrior, and has been living as a mercenary. He has formed a small army of loyal men, and returns to claim his birthright.
The MacClaren Laird is ill, and fears that a former ally has turned against him and plans to take the keep from him. MacClaren is anxious to form an alliance with another strong clan, and will use his daughter, Elspeth, as a bargaining tool. Niall appears, and offers his services to MacClaren, soon impressing everyone with his skill, while at the same time, learning the MacClarens’ routines, strengths, and weaknesses.
Elspeth is willing to marry for the benefit of her clan, but she is not happy at all with her choice of suitors. The handsome mercenary catches her eye, and he seems to find her attractive as well. A few stolen kisses, and Elspeth finds herself totally infatuated, while Niall has decided that seducing the MacClaren’s daughter will make his revenge even sweeter. What Niall doesn’t count on is actually falling in love himself, and having his honor surface. He initially tries to encourage Elspeth to marry another, and leave the MacClaren keep, but fate has other plans.
While I generally am not a fan of revenge stories, I felt that Niall was justified in reclaiming his home and lands. When attacked, his father surrendered, yet was still brutally murdered, as Niall would have been if he hadn’t been hidden. Niall showed strength of character by showing mercy, and treating the daughter of his enemy with care and respect.
My enjoyment of THE BEAST OF CLAN KINCAID really ramped up in the second half, when the romance got steamy, and we find more details of what really happened on that night seventeen years ago. Lily Blackwood threw in a bit of a twist near the end, which I didn’t see coming, and that always delights me. Generally, I’m not fond of reading about the medieval period, but fortunately, the characters and the situation were the focus, not the primitive living conditions. I enjoyed this book one of the Highland Warrior series, and look forward to the upcoming installments.