The Beast of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood
Series: Highland Warrior #1
Also in this series: The Rebel of Clan Kincaid, The Warrior of Clan Kincaid (Highland Warrior #3)
Publisher: Macmillan, St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 31st 2016
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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?
When Niall was just 12 years old his fathers keep was attacked by clan chiefs he thought were his friends. In order to save his people the Kincaid had to surrender. His three sons were sent to hide until things calmed down. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and the boys were taken off in three different directions when they heard that their mother and father were killed.
It’s been 17 years and Niall is ready to claim back his birthright – his land and title. He has been working as a mercenary for many years and has hundreds of men who are loyal to him. He returns to the Kincaid keep that is now in the hands of the MacClaren clan. Niall’s plan is to infiltrate it as a friend, and eventually take over from within. He does manage to get into the good graces of the MacClaren but he also finds himself smitten with the MacClaren’s daughter, Elspeth. Elspeth, who is also smitten with Niall, is not free to marry him however, as she’s to be married in a political match to firm alliances with another clan.
When it comes down to taking what’s rightfully his, Niall has an issue with it that he didn’t think he would. He’s fallen in love with Elspeth but can he kill her father knowing how much it will hurt her?
This was an unexpectedly good story. I’m not a huge fan of revenge books but I love a good Scottish romance so picked this one up. I’m so glad I did.
Niall was a great hero and really made the book for me. Yes, he was initially bent on revenge and planned to kill the MacClaren but when he fell in love with Elspeth he realized that killing her father would kill any love she had for him. I loved the alpha man with the compassionate side to him – it made him much more likeable and that’s always a good thing.
Elspeth was a strong female character as well and a good match for Niall. I appreciated how she stood up to her father to a point. Obviously in medieval Scotland women normally did whatever their fathers wanted them to do. She was prepared to make a political match and do her duty until she met Niall. I was happy she made the right decision and made her father’s council agree to the reasoning behind it all.
Now I do have to say that I wasn’t a fan of how quickly Niall and Elspeth fell in love. Yes, they had spent some time together but I would have liked to have seen that romance blossom more before they declared their love for each other. Niall did save Elspeth’s life several times so that obviously brought on some hero worship but I just would have liked a bit more.
Overall the story was good, the writing was engaging and I really liked it. I’m very much looking forward to book two to see what’s up with the other brothers that were “lost” as well.
Rating: 4 out of 5