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 Beasta 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 barbariana 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?
About 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.
Read an Excerpt
The Beast of Clan Kincaid
By Lily Blackwood
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2016 Lily Blackwood
All rights reserved.
Seventeen Years Before.
Flames arose outside the castle, reflecting off the stone walls of the tower room and the faces of the warriors crowded there. Some of the men cursed. Others prayed. Most remained silent. The clash of metal echoed in the night, along with the braying of distressed animals and screams.
Twelve-year-old Niall Braewick stood rigid, his hand clenched on the pommel of his sword. Being so young, he had never seen battle, but he was tall and strong for his age and had trained diligently with his weapons master. Tonight he would do whatever necessary to crush those who had betrayed his father's trust — and through trickery and deception, unleashed an unexpected attack against his clann.
His father, Raghnall, the Laird of Kincaid, turned from the window, his expression grave. Like his Norse ancestors he stood taller than most men and had fair hair — now threaded with silver — that fell to his shoulders. He wore no armor, only the tunic and brat he had worn to the day's festival, a gathering intended to foster unity with two neighboring clans. Yet once night had fallen, the Kincaid's invitation of hospitality had been betrayed in the vilest way.
Without warning, the war-chieftains Alwyn and MacClaren — the leaders of two smaller, once-faithful vassal clans to the more powerful Kincaids — had betrayed them, taking advantage of the laird's long-standing dispute with the king, David the Second, their ultimate goal to seize Kincaid lands.
When the laird spoke, his voice did not waver.
"There is no alternative," he said. "I must surrender."
The mere utterance of the word caused Niall's heart to stop beating. His father and his clan were renowned for their battle prowess. The histories of the Highlands were replete with tales of Kincaid valor, and their ancient and illustrious line often celebrated as the royalty of the north.
Surrender? His heart surged back to life, thudding proud and fierce in his chest.
Voices clamored all around him.
"No, my laird!" shouted the man beside him.
"We will fight —" another roared.
"Let us show the Alwyn and MacClaren clans the road to hell!"
"We can defeat them!" Niall shouted, raising his sword.
Yet Raghnall raised his hand — and all voices hushed.
"Perhaps that is so," he said, his eyes bright with hate and fire. His gaze met Niall's for a long searing moment, before sweeping away, over his men. "Perhaps we could defeat them. But not in time to save our clanspeople."
Their clanspeople. The scores of villagers who had been captured and penned inside a large barn, just within sight of the castle. Old folk. Children. Women and babes. Those who had been unable to get safely from their village of Inverhaven and inside the castle walls before the gates closed. Thankfully Niall's mother, the Lady Kincaid, was safe inside the stronghold with his brothers, eight-year-old Faelan and five-year-old Cull. However, the wives and children and mothers and fathers of many Kincaid warriors faced certain death if the laird did not comply with his enemies' demands.
"They are your families," his father said with a solemn nod. "They are my people."
His captain, Fionnlagh, a barrel-chested warrior with grizzled red beard and braids, stepped forward and answered quietly. "But you are our laird."
The Kincaid answered softly, but no less resolutely. "Which is why I must do this."
Fionnlagh shook his head and implored, palms upward, "But my lord —"
"It is decided," Raghnall bellowed. His voice echoed off the tower stones.
No one spoke. No one moved. Indeed, Niall felt certain no one dared breathe, including himself. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. His father would surrender. Niall's eyes blurred, stung with tears, but he blinked them away because warriors didn't cry.
The laird walked the line, pausing to peer into the face of each man. The ancient bronze brooch pinned to his plaid shone in the lamplight. The emerald eye of its wolf glimmered.
"Our clan has possessed these lands for centuries," he said. "This night will not see the end of the Clan Kincaid."
"Aye!" answered several men, their heads nodding. "Never."
"Tha ... sinn ... Kincaid," Raghnall said fiercely, turning back to walk before them again.
Niall's throat tightened, hearing the words. We are Kincaid.
The laird lifted one fist — and pounded it against his chest. "Tha sinn bhràithrean."
We are brothers.
"Tha sinn seo talamh ..."
We are this land.
His father recited the Kincaid vow of fealty — and Niall did as well, his heart swollen with pride.
The men joined in. Their voices unified and grew louder as they repeated ancient words learned from their fathers, who had learned them from their fathers before them.
When they were finished, a long silence held the room ... until at last his father nodded to his captain. "Make the signal."
At the window Fionnlagh unfurled a swath of white linen so that it hung down the outside wall, and he secured it there with a stone.
A loud cheer arose in the night — followed by silence. Then came the rhythmic thunking of swords against wooden shields.
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
The ominous sound chilled Niall's blood. He feared, more deeply than he had ever feared anything before, that this night would change the course of his life forever.
Fionnlagh approached the laird, as did several others, and their heads bent in counsel. Niall caught just a few of the words spoken between them.
" ... ensure survival ... of the clan ..."
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
" ... not much time ..."
His father nodded, with a solemn glance toward Niall.
The room became a jumble of movement, with some assisting his father in donning ceremonial garb, while others fastened Niall into an overly large quilted leather jack and strapped a dirk to his hip, and another to his leg. His father touched the Kincaid sword, displayed on its ornate wooden stand, and then nodded, at which time it was folded into a dark cloth and carried away. Fionnlagh brought three tow-headed boys into the room — one of them the captain's own son, Ian, a friend of Niall's. The other two boys were younger, and close to Faelan and Cull in age and size.
"Niall," said Fionnlagh, without meeting Niall's eyes. "Be a good lad, and give Ian your brooch."
Ian grinned at that. Of course he did. He did not ken what was happening. Neither did Niall, exactly, but he knew he didn't like it. Something felt wrong here. Something worse, even, than surrender.
"Why?" He clenched his hand over the circular badge, a hard bump beneath the vest he wore.
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
"Because you must." Fionnlagh moved closer, scowling. "Just do it, boy."
"No," Niall refused, and stepped back. "I won't."
His badge was special because of the emerald in the wolf's eye, just like his father's and his brothers'. It identified him as a son of the chief, and a descendant of two centuries of chiefs before him. One didn't just give that honor away.
Just then his brothers were brought into the room, sleepy-faced and confused, followed by his mother, her face pale with fear. Fionnlagh relieved Faelan and Cull of their brooches. Faelan complained of the loss to his mother. Young Cull was more interested in the warriors and their weapons. Niall watched as the badges were pinned on the other two boys who had been brought in moments before. Boys very similar to his brothers in age and appearance.
Now he understood. Ian was to take his place in the surrender. Ian would pretend to be him.
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.
"Come, Niall," Fionnlagh urged sharply, his eyes intent beneath profuse eyebrows. "We haven't much time, now."
"No," Niall shouted, backing away. "I won't do it."
"You will," a deeper voice said, from behind. The Kincaid's shadow fell across Niall. "Because I command you to do so."
Large, calloused hands turned him by the shoulders and worked the badge from beneath his jack and his hand.
"I want to stay with you," Niall insisted, heartsick, feeling already half-torn away from everything he loved.
His father handed the badge to Fionnlagh. "You'll return when it's safe."
"In the morning?" he asked hopefully.
"Let us hope for that." The laird chuckled, deep in his throat, and looked at him long and hard. "But more likely, I'll be in the Alwyn's dungeon for a time. Not long, I vow." He nodded. "The courts will intervene and justice will be done. All will be as it should."
He rubbed his hand over Niall's head, ruffling his hair. The fear that banded Niall's heart loosened a fraction, because if his father smiled ... then everything would be all right. Wouldn't it? He wanted that reassurance more than anything.
Raghnall squeezed his shoulder. "For now you must go with Deargh and keep your brothers safe."
He nodded toward a hulking, red-headed warrior who stood nearby — the same man he had chosen to train Niall in the skills of sword fighting and combat. Niall had known Deargh his whole life and held him in the highest respect.
Even so, his heart still vehemently rejected the idea of leaving. But he could not defy his father. He could not be anything less than dutiful and brave for a man he loved so deeply.
"Yes, laird," he answered, his voice thick.
"Go then." The Kincaid urged him in Deargh's direction.
Everything happened too fast. Deargh took hold of his arm and led him toward the door —
"My boy —" said a woman's voice. A blur of blue came from the corner of his eye, and soft arms came round him, squeezing him tight. The familiar scent of rosewater filled his nostrils.
"Mother!" He groaned, embarrassed to be treated like a child in front of the men.
But no one called out teasing words. Indeed, when Niall glanced over his shoulder he saw the smile had dropped from his father's lips, and that sadness filled his eyes. For that reason he did not squirm free when his mother kissed his forehead and clung to him a moment more before Deargh gently pried him away and led him toward the threshold, her tears still wet on his cheek. His brothers, after being kissed and cried over as well, followed him, nudged along by three more men who remained close behind.
Thunk. Thunk. Thu —
As they moved toward the center of the stronghold, stone walls silenced the sound.
With his brothers following close behind, Niall followed Deargh from the room and down the stairs, into the great hall that was crowded with clanspeople, around corners, through a heavy door, and down empty, narrower stairs into the shadows below the castle where he had never been allowed to explore. The air was colder here and he shivered, his nostrils filled with the scent of damp and earth. He glimpsed the dark cavern of a dungeon and a storeroom crowded with barrels, heaps of root vegetables and rows of earthenware crocks.
Perhaps ... perhaps he had misunderstood and they would wait here until his father summoned them, when all was safe ... hopefully, yes — hopefully tomorrow morning. That wouldn't be so bad. It wouldn't be like leaving.
However Deargh searched the floor, kicking aside dirt and small stones and rushes to reveal a narrow indention, which he grasped and pulled, revealing a wooden panel that had been obscured and beneath it, a black hole of nothingness, the edge of which he sat upon.
He looked at Niall. "Follow me down."
Shoving off, he disappeared inside.
Niall did follow. They all did, only to be committed to true darkness when the last warrior did not join them, but instead, dropped the panel back into place. From above there came the sound of stones and dirt being returned into place so as to conceal their path of flight.
Niall's heartbeat increased. He was truly leaving his home. His mother and father. He didn't want to.
"All of you, follow me, now," Deargh's voice uttered from the dark. "You can't get lost, because there's only one way to go."
"I'm afraid," whispered Cull, pressing close against Niall's side.
Any other time he would have teased the little boy and told him to be a man, that real warriors didn't feel fear. Yet he too was afraid, so how could he tell the little boy not to be?
"Hold on to me," he answered, grasping his brother's small hand.
Sightless, Niall could only clench his teeth on his own apprehension and shuffle along the narrow crevice in the stone for what seemed an eternity, with Cull's face burrowed into his side, until at last their leader stopped and grunted, and with a fierce shove led them toward light. But only the faintest light, for they emerged just outside the castle through a concealed portal much like the first, onto a stony, uneven piece of ground enshrouded by mist. If his bearings were correct, they stood outside the northern wall.
"Wot was 'at?" said a voice in the darkness.
Deargh raised his hand and pressed a finger to his lips. Niall tensed, listening, and held tight to Cull.
"I dinna hear nothing," answered a gravelly voice.
Thunk, thunk, thunk.
The sound reverberated in the night, but duller and quieter on this side of the stone walls. Niall closed his eyes, and adjusted his grip on his sword, prepared to kill to protect his brothers if need be.
Suddenly a fervent clamor arose, voices shouting. The sound could only mean one thing. His father had emerged from the castle. The laird of Kincaid had made good on his intention to surrender.
Niall felt dizzied and sick.
A rush of footsteps sounded nearby, leather crunching on stone.
In the darkness, a voice said, "We doona want to miss this, lads."
"The fearsome Kincaid isn't so fearsome now, is he?" called another.
"The MacClaren will bring him to his knees."
The group of them laughed, their footsteps growing distant.
Niall exhaled through his nose, outraged. How dare those men laugh at his father, who had always been honorable and just in his dealings with all clans? How dare they set their filthy MacClaren feet on Kincaid lands. Hate twisted up from deep inside him and he lunged, sword raised —
Only to be snatched back, Deargh's hand in the neck of his vest.
"I'll kill them!" Niall hissed, struggling to be free. "All of them."
Faelan leapt forward. "Give me a sword. I'll help you!"
"Me as well!" said Cull, swooping out from under Deargh's arm.
"Quiet, all of you," the man growled, jerking Niall in place, as his companion warriors seized hold of his brothers. "We shall face them when the moment is right."
Deargh dragged him in the opposite direction, down the craggy incline until they and the others entered the forest. Over his shoulder, Niall peered up the hillside where wane moonlight illuminated the stone tower, above a swath of mist. An Caisteal Niaul ... the castle in the clouds. His father had said he would return home soon, so why did this feel like good-bye? His brothers crowded close to his side.
"It's cold. I want to go back to the castle," said Cull, yanking on his sleeve.
"We will," Niall answered firmly.
"When?" the little boy pressed.
"Soon," he answered, but part of him doubted the words.
"I don't believe you," Faelan blurted, his face white in the night. "We're never going back."
"Never going back?" exclaimed Cull, halting, his eyes wide.
"That's not true —" Niall retorted, startled by the magnitude of fear that barreled up inside him at hearing the words spoken aloud.
"It is true, and you know it." Faelan glared back at him, stricken. "Why else would Mother have cried —?"
"Silence, all of you," commanded Deargh, suddenly standing amidst them, his large hands gripping their shoulders. "Do not speak again until I say otherwise. It is time for you to be men now, not boys. You must make your laird and lady mother proud. Do you understand?"
For so long Niall had wanted nothing more than to be a man, full grown. Now, he just wanted to be a boy, returned to his home. To his family. But they were all in danger now, and he must set an example for his brothers.
"Aye," he responded. "We do."
He strode past Deargh. His brothers followed in silence.
They walked for what seemed an age, venturing deeper and deeper into the forest, over stones and fallen, lichen-covered trunks. The air grew colder, and Niall drew his woolen plaid closer around his arms and shoulders, and helped Cull do the same as well, while Faelan scowled and refused any brotherly care. At last, Deargh signaled that they should stop. In the darkness, Niall perceived a half wall of stones, the remnants of an ancient structure.
"Rest," said Deargh, who stood watchfully, staring into the forest as did the other men, their hands never leaving their weapons.
Niall, however, could stand no longer. Och! How his legs ached, and his lungs burned. He slid down, his back against the wall. Cull slumped next to him, and within a few moments snored softly against his shoulder. On the other side, Faelan held himself apart, but over time inched closer until at last Niall grabbed the sleeve of his tunic and pulled him under his arm.
"We'll be warmer this way," he explained gruffly.
Faelan nodded. Soon he dozed as well.
Niall did not sleep. He missed his father and his mother. He missed his hound and his warm, soft bed. He stared into the mist, his
Excerpted from The Beast 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The story could be very good but for boring way it comes across...Elspeth's father seems uncaring of his daughter despite that the story says she is his favorite. Elspeth's stepmother is vulgar and evil and her father cant see it at all; especially when itt comes to his daughters. Very disappointed in this book so far and dont know if i can finish it...my first book by this author.
3.5 Stars rounded Few stories exist without one of the key components of love, family, vengeance or loss. Lily Blackwood managed to mix all of these elements into her debut offering, and created a fun and clever story. Drawn in by the prologue that explains Niall’s history and need for vengeance, and sets readers up for a mix of intrigue and danger. Elspeth is almost too good to be true: you just know that the little sparrows dress her each morning. She’s not entirely without development, although I wish she had more edge – she does lose some of this sweetness with her second thoughts and guilt over her attraction to the man who is foremost, her clan’s enemy. Niall, after a seventeen year hiatus from his home lands, is back, and a few unexpected moments where he rescues the endangered Elspeth, fueling their mutual attraction and intrigue. He’s got plenty to worry about, much of which is shunted to the side with each new moment with Elspeth, where he seems to lose all sense of purpose unless that purpose is having her. Secondary characters move through the story and most add elements of intrigue, dialogue and some clever misdirection that only started on some plot lines that were never fully resolved or justified with behavioral changes. Mostly the ideas were unique and clever, the story was engaging and characters were amusing but everything was needing a bit more development. Blackwood has skills – her writing is solid and readable, but she did get mired with some overly complicated plot twists, an insta-love connection that was mostly sweet, if immature, with a couple of sensual scenes that felt as if they were added in to amp up the H/h connection. Not a bad start by any means, with a style that promises more good things to come with time and focus paid to each character’s development in terms of maintaining their personality in ways that feel natural and organic. 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.
his story is a Scottish Highlands historical romance set in the fourteenth century. The popularity of Outlander on television seems to have unleashed a new wave of books in this genre. As a young boy, Niall Braewick, son of the Laird Kincaid, lost his whole family and ancestral home to the MacClarens. Now, seventeen years later, he is back to extract revenge on that clan and take back his home. Niall has been a mercenary building an army of men loyal to him with one goal in mind. His plans take a big shift when he saves Elspeth, the daughter of the MacClaren, from drowning, and is immediately drawn to her. Niall’s whole life from age twelve to the present has been focused on vengeance and reclaiming his heritage. As he spends time working for Elspeth’s father to infiltrate the castle, Niall becomes more conflicted between wanting Elspeth and wanting to destroy her family and people. Elspeth is being forced by her father to choose a husband from among their allies as his health is failing, and he has no male heir to succeed him. She falls for the “beast” as Niall is known, but knows she must do her duty in marrying well. Niall does not want to give up on his quest for retaliation, but his feelings for Elspeth cause him problems and for the first time, give him pause about his intended goals. More than once he becomes her rescuer; Elspeth comes to look on him with an ever growing intensity of feeling. Despite Niall’s growing feelings for her, can love overcome his years of hate and a thirst for blood? Overall, I enjoyed this story though it lagged a bit in places. There are some important issues that are not resolved and serve as a catalyst for the next in the series. Niall and Elspeth are both likeable characters as are their supporting family and friends. Fans of genre should find The Beast of Clan Kincaid an entertaining read. ARC provided by NetGalley
I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next one.
Slow moving plot, cardboard characters, stupid dialogue. If I could give minus stars I would.
Great book favorite new author can't wait for next one
250 pages of a very good book. Always ready for a good Highland romances adventure. Love them thar Scots. Well worth the money and time. Off to start book two. And no more listed.
Honorable lead characters. Great read with no unnecessary twists. Well written.
Niall has come back to claim his inheritance, but he finds himself falling for the daughter of the man he has come to destroy. Elspeth knows that she must marry, but her step-mother is determined to find her the worst possible choices. She soon finds herself falling for her father's new warrior who is wildly inappropriate for her. Can these two find their way to their HEA? I loved this story! The banter between Niall and Elspeth had me laughing out loud and kept me reading the entire book in one sitting. The attraction between the two was red hot and not for the faint of heart. Definitely a must read! I'm excited for the next book in the series, The Rebel of Clan Kincaid, which features Niall's brother Magnus.
I loved this book. I'm n to the second one
I came across this book and added it to my collection of Highland romances. I took a chance on this unknown author, but enjoyed the book immensely. It was well written and had a good pace throughout. Pick it up!
Loved this story had a little bit of everything, can't wait for the next book.
I loved reading this book and can't wait to read the next in the series
This was a nice first-effort for this author in a new genre. (She has written Regency novels under the name Lily Dalton.) We have a strong hero, and the feisty heroine. The prologue for this book lays the groundwork for the entire trilogy – and it had me reaching for the nearest box of tissues. There were a few rough spots (the historical references are too vague regarding the current King of Scotland, some of Niall’s past is hinted at, but never actually described, and the transformation of Bridget in the last chapters is too sudden) but all in all, this was definitely worth the read. I look forward to the next book in the series, hopefully some of the rough spots will be smoothed over.
I couldn't put it down! Lily Blackwood, aka Lily Dalton, has written a wonderful book to start this Highland Warrior series. The series is about 3 brothers who, as children, are forced to leave their home, family and each other as their castle is attacked by other clans. This is Niall's story. He is the eldest of the three and carries the most guilt. Revenge and love for his enemy's daughter war within him. He falls in love with Elspeth at first sight, thinking her a serving girl. As he continues his plan to regain his family home, he struggles with how to keep her love while destroying her father. I do not like to spoil the story so I will say there is a lot more going on then what I've mentioned. I hope you will read this complex well written book. I can't wait for the brothers' stories!
The Beast of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood is #1 in the exciting "Highland Warrior", series. WOW!What a way to enter into a Scottish adventure! A spell-binding, thrill ride of a tale. Featured with revenge, sizzling passion, clan war, adventure, seduction, vengeance, Highlanders, feisty lasses and Highland romance. Niall Braewick, aka, the Beast, son of the Laird of Kincaid, whose parents were murdered, when he was a young lad. He and his two younger brothers survive with a few trusted warriors and a vengeful heart. Elspeth MacClaren, is the Laird’s daughter and one of the Lairds who murdered and scattered Niall's clan to the winds, changing his life forever. He has roamed the land and became known as the "Beast", a ruthless, fierce Warrior. Now he seeks revenge and the wish to reclaim his rightful place as the Laird of the Kincaid clan. Can he find his HEA with his enemies daughter, Elspeth, or will he lose more than he already has, for revenge? Can he find his brothers or are they truly lost forever? One may be living with another enemy, as his illegitimate son. Fast paced, from beginning to end, held my attention to the end and beyond. Twists and turns, passionate kisses, powerful attraction and seeking revenge, will have readers turning pages and reading in awe. I can't wait to read more of the "Highland Warrior" and the Clan Kincaid. What a breathtaking Scottish Romance. Compelling, powerful and awe-inspiring! A must read Medieval Scottish Historical Romance! Fans of Scottish Highlanders, Warriors, fiesty lasses and powerful adversaries, pick up "The Beast of Clan Kincaid". Awesome read! Received for an honest review from Net Galley. Rating: 5 Heat rating: Mild Reviewed by: AprilR
Certain events shape your life. That is certainly true for Niall Braewick, the eldest son of the Laird of Kincaid. He will always remember the night his parents were murdered. He will get revenge for them and for his clan. Now seventeen years later, he can accomplish his mission, but can he betray the one woman that he has fallen in love with? Elspeth is the eldest daughter of the MacClaren lord. Her father was one of the two men responsible for the death of Niall's family. Now this murderer lives in his family's castle surrounded by his loved ones. Niall is a fierce warrior and mercenary. He won't stop until he takes back what belongs to his Clan and make his enemy pay for their crimes. I loved that in his heart he treasures Elspeth and will keep her safe. She is an amazing woman. She cares for her family and will fight to save them. I wasn't sure if their love could survive. They are being pulled apart by their loyalties. Lily Blackwood wrote an amazing story. Her characters leap off the page. They are so amazing that I couldn't stop reading. I needed to know if Niall and Elspeth could be together after all that happened. The Highlands provide the perfect setting for this deeply emotional tale of love, deceit and treachery. This story is filled with so much passion and suspense that I was overwhelmed. This is the first book in the Highlands Warriors series. I can't wait for Faelan's tale. I received a copy in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
It is always fun to read a book by a new author to me and this was as good as I was hoping it would be. This book opens dramatically and continues to expand on the drama between clans when Niall comes back to reclaim his lands. The authors robust descriptions of the landscape and scenery is done in a manner that the reader can almost touch, smell and taste it. The enemy's were very evil and created enough drama to make this an edgy read. I was drawn to Niall's pain over the lose of his father, land and clan. Though he was a mercenary I admire the compassionate side that he hide. His character was interesting and multi-faceted. Elspeth was a surprise as her character was a cross between demure and outspoken. I like that the balance wasn't even or over much in either direction but appropriate for the moment. The emotions between the lead characters of Elspeth and Niall kept me drawn to the storyline as I pondered how this could end satisfactory for anyone in this story. Though I had in my mind how I wanted this to end the author created a non-expected ending that will thrill the reader. I give it 4 STARS and recommend it to everyone. a copy was gifted via Netgalley
This is the first of a new highland series and The Beast of Clan Kincaid was a perfect beginning. It had the feel of a good highland romance (think Julie Garwood or Maya Banks.) It was captivating and rich and completely addictive. It starts off with a bang and plunges you right into a time and place that comes alive through the pages. It has a roguish warrior, a beautiful lady, a decades old mystery, and captivating intrigue. Niall, a fearless and battle hardened mercenary has fought all his life with one purpose. To avenge the ruthless killings of his family and to take back his legacy and reclaim the honor of Clan Kincaid. For years he has dreamed of nothing but the means to achieve this and nothing will hold him back. With nothing but painful memories and a hunger for revenge Niall plans to hide in plan sight among his sworn enemies in order to find out the truth of what really happened that long ago night that results in his lonely and barren existence. What he didn't plan on was to fall for a spitfire woman who made his heart beat with longing and who matched him so passionately. Elspeth knows that the time will come when she will have to leave all she knows to enter into a loveless marriage arranged to strengthen her clan. She might dream of love and a caring husband but she knows that when duty calls she will answer. She didn't expect a dark eyed warrior to rescue her or her ignite her buried dreams of true love. This was such a great love story, definitely angsty and with a lot of push and pull between the MCs but so intense. It wasn't hard to believe that Niall and Elspeth were two driven people who love as fiercely as they fight. When you swear to destroy your enemy it definitely throws a kink in a well laid plan if you fall for the enemy's daughter! This was one fantastic read. It was engaging and fast paced. The writing style was flawless! Highly recommend if you love highland romance with a generous dash of hot and steamy! Niall was a great MC and Elspeth was his perfect other half! Can't wait for the next in this series!!! *** ARC provided for an honest review ***
I always love trying out new authors. Some you love, and some not so much. When I started The Beast of Clan Kincaid I wasn't really sure what I thought. The heroine kept thinking about how hot the hero was and after awhile it started to become old. Finally the author moved on and I started to really enjoy the story. I found that I really liked both Elspeth & Niall. Right away you see how much they care for each other. You want them to be together. Of course life isn't always that easy as they soon found out! Since this wasn't really a new story line I couldn't wait to see how Blackwood would handle it. I will tell you that she did a great job. I found myself not being able to put the book down because I couldn't wait to see what happened next. The whole story moves quick, especially the ending. I really loved the surprise she gave us at the end.
Great Historical Read! Naill Braewick is back to claim vengeance for his family. His parents murdered, his two brothers he is not sure if they are dead or alive. He has come back home to take what is rightfully his, becoming a hired soldier for the MacClaren chief he begins to gain his trust. The only problems is the chief’s daughter, he wants her as well, and the chemistry between them is on fire. What will happen when she discovers the real reason he is there? I was hooked from beginning to end. Lots of drama and suspense. Naill is one sexy Beast and I loved the twist at the end. Looking forward to more from this series!
This was another book from NetGalley, that I had also heard about on a fellow book bloggers site or was recommended to me on Goodreads, I decided to take a gamble on. I'm leery of trying out new authors; I already follow more than I can keep up with, and I never know what I will get, but I'm glad I took this gamble. It paid off in an exciting read with two strong main characters, a conflict that was emotionally real and powerful, and a antagonist that was more a horrendous act in the past than an actual person. Niall has returned to his ancestral home 17 years after his father and mother were betrayed and murdered to seek vengeance against one of the two men who stole his home and life from him. What he didn't expect was Elspeth, an innocent beauty with a kind heart and passionate eyes. When he realizes she is his enemy's daughter, he sets out to possibly use her in his plot for vengeance. What he doesn't plan for is growing to care for her deeply, to the point where he even for a short time considers giving up his vengeance so he doesn't have to hurt her. But he does stay with his course and tries to send her away to find a husband, but instead rescues her from a violent attack and ends up being her choice for husband (no surprise there). What is a surprise and an emotional scene is when all of the truth is revealed and the betrayal she feels towards the man she loves deeply. Great story, well written, passionate, and a fun adventure. I couldn't put this one down at all.