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The Rebel of Clan Kincaid
     

The Rebel of Clan Kincaid

4.5 8
by Lily Blackwood
 

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The second book in the breathtaking Highland Warrior series, get ready to fall in love with The Rebel of Clan Kincaid.

LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD

Since childhood, Magnus has been led to believe he is the Laird Alwyn’s bastard, and raised to hate the Clan Kincaid. But when he learns he is without a doubt the son of the murdered Laird

Overview

The second book in the breathtaking Highland Warrior series, get ready to fall in love with The Rebel of Clan Kincaid.

LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD

Since childhood, Magnus has been led to believe he is the Laird Alwyn’s bastard, and raised to hate the Clan Kincaid. But when he learns he is without a doubt the son of the murdered Laird Kincaid, his life as he has always known it is shattered. Now, hiding his knowledge and his fury, he returns to Burnbryde Castle, awaiting the chance to strike against the man whose treachery robbed him of his legacy. His first act of rebellion: to steal a kiss from the redheaded beauty who’s betrothed to the Alwyn’s eldest son and heir.

Since her arrival at Burnbryde, Tara Iverach has been confined to a tower to guard her virtue before she marries. But after a surprise embrace with a lean, bare-chested Highlander who claims to be the Alwyn’s oldest son, she can’t contain her excitement over her good fate. Unfortunately, he is the wrong eldest son, and she is set to marry his cruel and lecherous half brother, Hugh. Can Magnus conquer his rivals and claim his Kincaid destiny before the woman who’s captured his heart becomes his sworn enemy’s bride?

“Blackwood is a fantastic new voice in Scottish romance. Get ready to be carried away!”—New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty on The Beast of Clan Kincaid

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Lily Blackwood is a fantastic new voice in Scottish romance. Get ready to be carried away!” -- New York Timesbestselling author Monica McCarty

"Blackwood debuts with a nonstop read, brimming over with wonderful character portrayals and deep emotions. A realistic historical background and a plot fraught with unexpected twists and turns enhance the sensuality. Readers will be eager for the next installment in Blackwood's original series." -- RT Bookreviews

"It doesn't get any better than this lovely historical romance. This book had me captivated from the first page. This emotional story begins a journey of redemption, love and trust for three Highland sons and the remarkable women they fall in love with along the way. If I had to choose just one series in the historical romance genre then this would be my choice for this year. So I recommend it to all and eagerly await the next book." -- Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick

"The harsh realities of 14th-century life are offset by the raw beauty of the land and the stalwart nature of the people. The protagonists’ intense passion will keep readers riveted." -- Publishers Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250084750
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
12/06/2016
Series:
Highland Warrior Series , #2
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
59,698
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Rebel of Clan Kincaid


By Lily Blackwood

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2016 Lily Blackwood
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-08476-7


CHAPTER 1

Near about the same time.


"Awaken, child," said a woman's voice, low with urgency. The dim light of a lantern washed over the stone walls of Tara Iverach's small chamber. "Your guardian sends word that he travels near and wishes an audience."

Tara pushed up on the narrow bed. The drab blanket fell away, exposing her skin to the chill. She shivered and seized the wool back against her neck and shoulders. Sister Agnes's words echoed in her ears.

Her guardian ... Alexander Stewart, the powerful Earl of Buchan ... here, in this humble place?

To see her?

"You must be mistaken," she said, her voice thick with sleep.

She had never even met him. Her "guardian" had shown no interest in her in the five years since her parents' deaths, when he had become responsible for her and her older sister, Arabel. Almost immediately he had summoned Arabel to be presented at court, while Tara had been delivered to Duncroft Priory where she had remained ever since, with only a rare letter from Arabel — once, perhaps twice a year — to remind her she had not been completely forgotten.

"I wish that I were mistaken," Sister Agnes replied with a peevish lift of her brows. "I would much rather be sleeping than tending to you. Now hurry. You must be ready before sixth hour prayers."

Tara's heart jumped, beating faster. At long last, she would meet Buchan ... the man who controlled her destiny. But what did his visit mean? Would she be taken away from Duncroft? Would her life change somehow, from this day on? Or did the earl simply pass by in his travels, and seek to lay eyes on her for a brief moment before continuing on?

Sister Agnes took hold of her braid. Deftly unfastening it, she combed out Tara's hair with quick, brusque strokes.

Tara gasped, wincing, and rubbing at her temple.

Others entered then, two sleepy-eyed sisters carrying a small hip tub and novices with steaming buckets of water. Oh ... a real bath — a rare luxury here. Most certainly she would be rushed through, and not allowed to enjoy it. Tara had learned early on that the sisters of Duncroft were not ones to waste time on indulgent pleasures, and she very much doubted her early-morning, harried bath would be the exception. After five years of living among them, each day very much a mirror of the day before, she'd learned not to expect special attention or coddling of any sort.

In less than an hour, she stood in the chapel along with the other inhabitants of the priory reciting prayers, her skin scrubbed pink and her hair tightly braided — and covered, as it was always covered with a veil. She dutifully murmured the words, but her thoughts wandered elsewhere.

She could not subdue her feelings of optimism. Might this be the last time she stood here? The last time she would wear this shapeless gray gown? It was almost too much to hope for. After years of the cloister's quiet, uneventful existence, she had come to believe she would be confined here forevermore, forgotten by all, her life unlived — her heart never having loved.

Not that the other women who resided at the priory served an unimportant or unfulfilled purpose. They had chosen to devote themselves to the Lord, striving each day to center their thoughts and energies on Him.

Well, most of them had chosen to be here. Some were here, not precisely by choice. There was Lady Gavina, a lively and intriguing gentlewoman who had been deposited here around the same time as Tara, but by a husband who claimed she was mad in order to repudiate her so that he could marry her prettier and much younger cousin.

Lady Gavina was not the only "mad" wife at Duncroft Priory. Indeed, there was a row of rooms, just beside Tara's, each one occupied by a raving lunatic who never raved, never lunaticked. Scattered among them were a few accused adulteresses.

Some of the sequestered ladies seemed completely content to exist in the peace and quiet, away from the turmoil that had committed them here. Indeed, some only left their chambers for prayers.

Others ached to return to at least some aspects of the life they had left behind — as did Tara. She remembered happy scenes of life as it had been when her parents were alive. Now, no longer a child, she wanted to attend festivals and tournaments, as her sister described in her letters. She wanted to gossip with friends, and dance and laugh, and be introduced to — and flirt — with young men, the sort of creature she'd not caught a single glimpse of in her five long years here. Her chest tightened with wistful hope.

She wanted to live.

And now Buchan was coming. Perhaps now that she was twenty, he would present her at court, as he had Arabel, and she and her sister could spend their days together in happy coexistence, as they had when they were younger. Maybe not every day, because Arabel would be married soon, if she was not already, as the last letter she'd written several months before had shared the news the earl had betrothed her to the eldest son of a powerful ally.

Alwyn. It was a name she had never heard, but she heard very little within these quiet walls. Unfortunately, Arabel had always been a disappointing writer of letters and as usual, her letter was maddeningly devoid of the details Tara craved. Was Buchan a kind and considerate guardian who acted with Arabel's happiness in mind? Was she pleased with his choice of husband for her? Would she have a new gown for the occasion. If yes, was it threaded with glass beads or pearls — or both? Instead, Tara was left knowing very little about the earl's temperament, and what she might expect from him as a guardian, and whether Arabel was even happy ...

Just as the prayers came to an end, from behind Tara there came a sudden, excited whispering of female voices. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw two dark-haired, angular-jawed young men in the doorway wearing fine leather hauberks belted with silver-studded scabbards, their boots splattered with mud. They peered inside, their cheeks ruddy, their hair ruffled as if from travel, smiling arrogantly, at least to her unpracticed eye, though she could not claim to be an expert on male expressions. Several of the younger ladies from the Mad and Adulterous Wives corridor smiled back at them.

An older man with a close-trimmed dark beard and imperious bearing joined them, shouldering between them, his features drawn with impatience. All three men had similar prominent noses and dark eyes that identified them as kin to one another. Tara's pulse tripped. It had to be Buchan. She had imagined someone older, and gray haired.

"Where is my ward?" he demanded testily, causing her heartbeat to ramp higher. "Come now, my time is important. Please don't waste it."

Sister Agnes approached him quickly, nodding and extended an arm toward Tara. "Mistress Iverach, this way."

Tara moved quickly as well, not wishing to be barked at for tarrying overlong. All along her way, the ladies stood back, watching the moment unfold. As she drew near, three pairs of male eyes latched onto her. It had been years since she had drawn the attention of anyone besides that of her fellow ladies. Her cheeks betrayed her self-consciousness, filling with heat.

Her gaze met the earl's for the briefest moment — and his eyes struck her through with their intensity.

"My lord," she murmured, bowing her head and curtsying as her mother had taught her to do so many years before, arms slightly extended.

"Mistress Iverach," he said in a low voice. "How ... lovely you are."

"This way," said Sister Agnes.

Tara held back, waiting for the men to follow, but they only stared at her in darkly amused silence.

The earl gestured that she should go before them. "I insist."

She lowered her gaze and followed Sister Agnes. The heavy fall of their boots sounded on the stones close behind her and she felt their stares on her back. Perhaps it was only her lack of familiarity with men, but there was something distinctly unnerving about the earl and his companions. Though handsome and clearly schooled in all manner of noble manners, they cast an intimidating ... predatory energy that put her on her guard. Was it intentional? Her instincts told her yes.

Her guardian was a powerful man — the king's youngest son. She realized that. Still, she had hoped to be meeting a different sort of man, someone warmer and kinder, who she might look upon as a fatherly sort of figure.

Yet ... wasn't it wrong of her, and more than a little foolish, to render judgment based on just a few moments spent together? She was only nervous, having never met them, and unused to the company of men. And most certainly Arabel would have warned her if the earl was anything less than honorable.

No doubt Buchan and those who accompanied him were simply travel-worn and hungry, and not at their best, just as she would not be under the same circumstance. She must express gratefulness that he had traveled out of his way to visit her, and more importantly, keep her heart and mind open. Her mother, if she were still alive, would insist upon it. Also, if she impressed him perhaps he would allow her to leave the cloister for a life outside the walls, if that was not already his intention.

Sister Agnes led them to a room, in which a large table had been laid out with an extensive breakfast. Only as Tara and the men went inside, the sister drew back, remaining near the door like a sentinel statue, silent and watching. The scent of baked bread, meat, and eggs hung in the air, driving a stab of hunger through her stomach as she had not yet eaten, but she assumed they would break their fast together after introductions. Tara moved toward the hearth until she felt its warmth through her clothing, and turned to face her visitors with what she hoped was a welcoming expression.

"Welcome, my lord," she said. "I am so pleased to finally meet you."

"Hmmm, yes," the earl answered. He approached her, coming to stand so close she smelled the scent of earth and mist carried on his garments. "And I, you."

He smiled, his mouth drawing back on one side, enough to show teeth ... something that struck her as a display of arrogance rather than a greeting of sincerity and warmth. His eyes, sharp and scrutinizing, moved over her face — and then her person — in a way that made her want to step away. To turn away. Instead, she forced herself to hold still, her arms at her sides, and her shoulders straight.

She heard one of the earl's companions chuckle, though she knew not which.

Inside, she bristled, for the laugh offended her. It was neither noble nor gentlemanly to make a young woman feel as she did now, as if she were the object of some private jest.

She looked at her guardian, with all hope and expectation that he would, in the next moment, redeem himself.

But Buchan's smile widened by a degree — as if he too were deeply amused by her — and then dropped from his lips completely. He peered down his nose at her as he removed his leather gloves, one by one.

"As you have surmised, I am your guardian, Buchan. These are my sons ... Duncan Stewart, my elder —" With the hand that held the gloves, he gestured to one, with a wider face and a lock of hair that fell across his forehead, who nodded solemnly — and then to the other, who boldly held her gaze like a sharp-eyed, overconfident wolf. "And that is Robert."

They were indeed related, then, as she had surmised. Although she had already decided she did not like either of them very much, Tara acknowledged each of Buchan's sons with a nod.

He tucked his gloves into a wide belt at his waist — but his eyes ... his eyes consumed her.

"And you, Mistress Iverach are ... a child no more," he murmured. The earl moved closer to her, slowly circling her, coming so near she could feel his breath against her cheek and the heat of his body through the leather he wore. So close the skin at the back of her neck pricked in alarm. "A woman full grown."

He stood too close. And the way he looked at her ...

"A woman full grown indeed," he growled, low in his throat.

He made her very uncomfortable. She looked to Sister Agnes for reassurance, but the woman stood motionless and stone faced, watching in silence.

All of a sudden, his arm came up behind her, and he caught her by the shoulder. She gasped, startled.

"Don't be frightened," he murmured intimately.

"I am not frightened," she answered, between clenched teeth.

Should she be?

At the moment she was merely appalled. She just did not like his touch — a forceful half-embrace, which joined her to his shoulder and his hip. It was too abrupt and intimate, and clearly intended as proof of his power over her.

But he was her guardian, and she must submit ... mustn't she? It was what she had been taught, since birth, as a well-bred young woman. To respect her father, and those men her father respected, and her father had chosen this man to be her and Arabel's guardian.

"What do I see here?" he said, as his other hand came up.

She flinched, knowing he intended to touch her again.

"Sir," she protested softly, but firmly.

"Be still," he commanded.

He caught her chin, and forced her to look into his eyes, their faces so close she tasted his breath ... smoke tangled up with ale, and night. Yet then he released her face and with a turn of his wrist deftly removed her veil.

She stood rigid and unmoving as his gaze moved from her face — to her hair.

His eyebrows rose, as he looked.

"How very ... uncommon," he breathed, nostrils flaring. His grip tightened on her arm. "The color ... so unlike your sister's."

It was often remarked upon that she and Arabel looked nothing alike, but that wasn't true. Their features were similar. It was only that her hair was red, like their father's, while her sister's was brown. Red hair was common enough, but she had been told more than once that her particular shade —

The earl's voice grew husky. "Hair like that puts wicked thoughts into a man's mind."

Her stomach clenched. The sisters of the cloister had expressed similarly mortifying opinions.

Still held in his powerful vise, Tara's cheeks flamed as the earl's gaze raked over her with far more interest than proper, given that he was her guardian and, last she knew, a married man. Her head pounded with the wrongness of the moment.

Dangerous.

Yes, he did frighten her.

She wrenched free from his grip, and stepped back several steps, turning toward the fire. She breathed deep, trying to calm herself. Trying to think of how she must speak to him, to instill a proper space and manner between them. Respect. She must command his respect.

She turned toward him, imposing a placid expression on her face.

"My lord, tell me, how does my sister fare?" she asked, her voice only slightly unsteady. "Arabel. What news can you share of her?"

Perhaps she ought not to have met his gaze again — for what she found there sent a strike of dread through her bones. Something beastly and cruel stared back at her, from the nether reaches of his dark eyes.

Behind him, his sons observed in sharp-eyed silence.

The earl's attention shifted over her shoulder, to Sister Agnes. "Could you ... leave us alone, please? So that we might speak privately?"

Tara rarely prayed outside of morning, midday, and evening prayers, but she prayed now, and fervently. Under no circumstance did she wish to be left alone with this man and his wolfish sons.

Sister Agnes responded unwaveringly. "Forgive me, my lord, but I cannot. It is not convent practice to leave a young lady alone with any man who is not her father or her husband."

Tara held in her sigh of relief.

A sour expression flickered across the earl's face. His nostrils flared, further conveying his displeasure.

"I am her guardian," he answered imperiously.

Her relief evaporated. Would he demand and argue until he had his way?

The nun answered, with complete composure. "Which is not ... her father or her husband."

Tara decided, in that moment, that she loved Sister Agnes.

Buchan squinted his eyes menacingly, and scowled. "Must I remind you of the generous support I provide to the sisters of this abbey, in exchange for the care of my ward?"

Tara's pulse rose as he continued to insist.

"No, my lord," Sister Agnes replied, her expression unchanged. "You need not."

The earl smirked in triumph. "Then —"


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Rebel of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood. Copyright © 2016 Lily Blackwood. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Since her earliest days, Lily Blackwood has found a friend in books. Raised an Army brat, her family moved often, and books were constant companions who always smoothed the transition to a new location and a new set of friends. Now, Lily lives Texas where she writes sexy historical romance novels about fierce Highlanders looking out over a garden tended by her own handsome, dashing husband. She suffers endless (fun and always welcome!) interruptions by her two children. And like many authors, she writes with a cat-or two-wrapped around her legs.

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The Rebel of Clan Kincaid 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
gaele 4 months ago
Best read if you are already familiar with the first in the series, this book moves on to answer more questions that were unanswered from the first, or threads that felt simply dropped, as the author did seem to get a bit mired in the multiple twists and turns. Fortunately, this book was mostly devoid of those lost threads and the overload of red herrings and plot twists, much to the betterment of the story. But, we are now dealing with the story of Magnus, who has just learned that he is actually the son of murdered Laird Kincaid, and his life as he knows it is a lie. Reeling with that information, and furious over the deceptions, Magnus needs to discover why the lie was perpetrated, and what advantages can claiming the title bring him. The better of the two “brothers” Magnus has the honor and personality to best suit a Laird, but unfortunately Hugh, lecherous and cruel, is soon to wed. Tara and her sister have been ‘managed’ by their guardian, the Earl of Buchan a brother of the King. Separated after their parent’s death, Tara’s sister went to court while Tara has spent the past 5 years living with the nuns in relative safety. But news of her sister’s death and Buchan’s announcement that she, the second sister is now betrothed to the man who was to marry her sister. Confused? Yep – there were again several competing elements in this one, but the threads, at this point are reasonable to follow. Bundled into a carriage and taken from the convent to her new home, the journey is disrupted by brigands and Tara is in peril. Expecting the final death blow, Tara’s attacker is suddenly struck down, and she is rescued by a man she never sees. A short conversation ends with a little flirting, and the two are left with many questions and thoughts. From here, the connection between Tara and Magnus proceeds rapidly, as Maguns seeks to protect her from Hugh and discover just why he was raised in the Alwyn household, not knowing his true identity. Tara, for her part, had unanswered questions about her sister’s death. Both need and deserve answers, and there are still plenty of twists in the struggle for power as the question about the Kincaid legacy and who will lead the clan come to a head. Better reading than the first, there were issues with too many secondary characters and undeveloped threads. Several from the first book were simply left there, and a few in this didn’t resolve either. For me, I’d prefer a few less twists and red herrings in favor of developing some of these ideas more fully: for example, just what part does the death of Arabel influence or play into these struggles? Furthermore, for a young woman of the time, 5 years into life with the nuns, she is far too immodest and modern for this setting. With the efforts made to highlight the era, the struggles and the social structure, this diversion was glaring and felt more than a bit inconsistent. Ignoring that issue, however, the story is gripping and a real page-turner, even if I still have more unanswered questions than I would like at the end. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous 16 days ago
I just finished the second book of the series. I enjoyed it even more than the first one. It kept me entertained throughout. Great characters, and I liked the twists and turns at the end.
DebDiem 4 months ago
The Rebel Of Clan Kincaid is my first book by Lily Blackwood, but won't be my last. Ms Blackwood's impressive writing had me hooked from page one. The Rebel Of Clan Kincaid is a well written, action filled book. Magnus and Tara's story is a fantastic historical romance that is loaded with drama, suspense and sizzle. The characters are perfect for this story and my favorite part of the book. I enjoyed reading The Rebel Of Clan Kincaid and look forward to reading more from Lily Blackwood in the future. The Rebel Of Clan Kincaid is book 2 of the Highland Warrior Series but can easily be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I received from NetGalley.
sportochick 4 months ago
A phenomenal second book to the Clan Kincaid series by author Lilly Blackwood. The author continues the Clan Kincaid series with The Rebel of Clan Kincaid using a solid storyline filled with intrigue, danger, revenge, love and forgiveness. There is nothing in this book that feels repetitive from the first book with the exception of Clan Kincaid wanting revenge. In fact it is a fully developed story taking place in the enemy's clan this time where the reader will want to settle in to read this book in one seating. Don't get me wrong the main characters from The Beast of Clan Kincaid are throughout this book but they don't dominate the story. This book is about Magnus aka Faelan Kincaid the second son and his life from when their parent's were murdered to the present. Magnus is truly a hero the women readers will fall for. Not only is he graced with looks but he is caring and a dominating warrior. Tara, as the main female character, at first seemed meek and nun like but wow she surely comes to her own by the end of the book. Portrayed as a gentler women she has a stronger backbone than people are aware of. For me she didn't take center stage because Magnus filled the page with his personality but I really liked her character and felt she was the perfect women for Magnus. One of the things I love about this author is how she wove the storyline so intricately creating a story that jumps off the pages and comes to life. I give it 5 STARS and recommend it to everyone. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Hfowler 4 months ago
Book two was just as wonderful, passionate, and intense as book one. Loved it from page one to the very last page. The battle at the end was perfect and the surprises throughout the plot kept me on my toes. Tara has lived the last 5 years in a convent, forgotten by her guardian and separated from her sister. When her guardian suddenly shows up and tells her that her sister is dead and she is now to marry her sister's betrothed she isn't happy about it. When she arrives, she is attacked and saved by a man she cannot see in the dark. The man steals a kiss telling her he is her betrothed. When she finally makes it to her new home she is greeted by Hugh, her future husband who is quite drunk and not the man she kissed. While there dreading her marriage and wanting to escape, she comes to realize that the nature of her sister's death was very suspect. It was definitely a who-done-it mystery thrown into a passionate, romantic tale of two unlikely allies. From the moment Magnus steals the kiss as the "wrong eldest son", their story just gets better and better. I loved it. The conflict and villains were well-crafted and the next chapter in the Kincaid saga for vengeance stacked right up there with book one. I highly recommend this series.
TammyS32 4 months ago
Great Historical Read! This is the second book in this series but can be read as a stand-alone. I really like the characters as well as the story and am looking forward to the next in the series. I liked getting to know Magnus better and was shocked at the end of the first book when we found out he was a Kincaid. Tara is outspoken and tough and I loved their chemistry together. Entertaining read!
CathyGeha 4 months ago
The Rebel of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood Highland Warrior #2 In book two of the series Magnus is told that he is someone entirely different than he has always been lead to believe he is. Why? To keep him save because the man who is REALLY his father was killed by the man he THINKS sired him. Add onto that he finds out that he has two brothers that he can’t remember and one despicable half-brother that he is not related to at all. What does he want? Revenge! Tara is on her way to marry despicable Hugh and is not happy about it. She is less happy when she is accosted and robbed while on the road and then kissed by the man who saves her. She is the sister of the woman who died suspiciously while married to despicable Hugh and she wants answers related to that death AND she definitely does NOT want to marry Hugh! There was plenty happening in this book with stolen kisses, fights, a damsel saved, friendships made, evil men thwarted, escapes, intrigue, murder and steamy scenes BUT for some reason the interaction between Magnus/Faelan and Tara seemed too abrupt and highly unlikely and it left me disbelieving. Everything was neatly tied up with problems solved easily without too much worry or bother and at the end I wondered whether or not the third son, Cullan was still alive and if so where in the world he might be. After meeting Robert Buchan I wonder if he might get a book of his own. I also wonder if the men who killed The Kincaid will ever pay for the crimes they committed. Did I enjoy the book? Yes Would I read it again? Probably not Do I want to know what happens in book three? Definitely Did I like Magnus and Tara? Yes Would I read other books by this author? Yes Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC. This is my honest review. 3 Stars
MoniqueD 4 months ago
Laird Kincaid, a highlander, who opposed the Crown and died under mysterious circumstances, along with his wife and three sons, and Magnus, was led to believe he was Laird Alwyn’s illegitimate son. However a visit to his friend Elspeth Kincaid, née MacClaren, upends his life: Magnus just learned that he is one of those hated Kincaids, and the brother of Elspeth’s husband Niall. Magnus is confused and angry, and he vows to have his revenge against the Alwyn. Tara Iverach’s guardian, the Earl of Buchan, has just come to see her at the Duncroft Priory, where Tara has lived for years. Tara is to marry the eldest Alwyn, the dreadful and frightening Hugh! Tara doesn’t understand: her sister Arabel was to wed the sinister Alwyn, but Arabel has died, and Tara’s heart is broken. On their way to Castle Burnbryde, they are attacked by brigands, where Tara is rescued by a gentle man with a lovely voice, but she never saw his face, even if she kissed him. Upon reaching the Castle, Tara is promptly imprisoned in a tower so she doesn’t escape her sordid fate: Hugh is a nightmare, and Tara knows she must flee, she cannot wed this uncouth and dissolute boor. THE REBEL OF CLAN KINCAID is a complex story of treachery and double-crossing during the reign of Robert II of Scotland, in the late Middle Ages, and I thought Ms. Blackwood perfectly captures the colour, and the atmosphere of the era. The author also respects the customs and appropriate behaviour of the times, and I really appreciated that, especially when it came to intimate scenes, which were scalding, gorgeous, and very tender and realistic as well. I loved the tone of the book: danger lurking in the shadows, ferocious rivalries, a lot of tension without fanfare, and a delicate touch that never felt precious or stilted, whether in the romance or the dialogue. Hugh is revolting in an unfortunate very realistic way, and he is an ideal foe for Magnus, a most splendid hero; he is, in fact, so honourable and chivalrous, that it nearly has catastrophic consequences. There is an understandable misunderstanding and my heart broke for Tara, so strong and brave, and all this was superbly well handled by the author. And the romance! Be still my heart! Everyone should be so lucky to experience the true love that Tara and Magnus share! The ending to this epic medieval story is fabulous! THE REBEL OF CLAN KINCAID is the second instalment in the series, and although there is a continuing storyline that began in the first book, it reads perfectly as a standalone, and believe me, I am waiting with bated breath for the third book! I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.