The Beast of Clan Kincaid (Clan Kincaid #1) by Lily Blackwood #mf #review @LilyBlackwood @SMPRomance


The Beast of Clan Kincaid

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?addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16Angela_s PonderingsTAG

The Beast of Clan Kincaid was exactly what I needed in a historical romance right now. As the end of season six of Game of Thrones comes to an end, I’ve been in a bit of a blood thirsty mood. While Blackwood keeps most of the graphic violence off the page, there is no doubt that the events that led to Niall becoming an orphan were bloody – or at least they were in my imaginings. But it was the lies, the deception, the plotting, the planning, the usurping, and the lengths to which some men will go in the pursuit of power, that kept me glued to my Kindle. I had to know if our feisty Elspeth could tame the beast and find happiness.

 

Blackwood sucked me right into the book with the first chapter, as 12 year-old Niall and his brothers were forced to flee their parents and their home due to the machinations of two lesser lords who forced the Kincaid laird to either surrender or watch his people be murdered. But that dark day gets worse when Niall learns that his parents were slaughtered instead of being imprisoned and that the king disbursed the Kincaid land to the MacClaren – one of the two men who were responsible for his parents’ death. That he and his brothers were believed to have died that day as well, makes Niall’s plan for vengeance even sweeter, especially once he gains access to the castle by being invited through the front door. Hired to help protect the land from the Alwyn – the other man responsible for the Kincaid’s death. But Niall’s grand plan of vengeance gets altered when he meets Elspeth, the MacClaren’s eldest daughter, and finds himself torn between wanting to use her as a tool for exacting revenge against her father and wanting to protect her. As for Elspeth, she was the perfect combination of innocence, loyalty, and inner fortitude that insured that I would love her character. And I did. The manner in which she dealt with the potential suitors, including the Alwyn’s son, Hugh, was impressive, especially considering the attitudes toward women during that time. It is this inner strength that sees her through the discovery of who Niall really is and the part her father played in the Kincaid’s death, even as it rocked the very foundation of who she was.

 

The chemistry between Elspeth and Niall was great, and it made me appreciate that the book took place in the Scottish Highlands rather than in England, because we got a bit more steam in those stolen moments as they tried to ignore the connection between them. It made the romance between them even better because they were both trying to deny what their heart wanted in order to fulfill the duty they felt bound to. But what I enjoyed most about the book was watching Niall’s plan play out and seeing him try to balance his need to avenge his parents, with his need to make Elspeth his. My only complaint is that the ending felt as though it wrapped up a bit too neatly. I would have expected more angst and conflict from Elspeth. I actually understood why there wasn’t as much bluster and denial from the MacClaren, because dying men often seek repentance for their wrong doings. But Elspeth was torn between loving a man she felt had betrayed her in order to become her husband, and loving her father, who lied to her about the kind of man he was her entire life. Even though I agreed with the way she reconciled those feelings, I was surprised she did so as quickly as she did. That said, I loved the discovery that at least one of Niall’s brothers was still alive and I cannot wait to read book two to find out how that will play out. The Beast of Clan Kincaid has the Highland Warrior series off to a great start and left me wanting more.

fivestars

Purchase LinksTAGKindle | Nook