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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?
Blackwood's first Clan Kincaid novel, set in late 14th-century Scotland, builds a credible romantic story on a stock marriage-for-revenge plot. Niall Braewick was only 12 years old when his father, the Laird of Kincaid, was killed in a clan battle. Seventeen years later, Niall is a hardened warrior known as the Beast, and he has returned to the lands of his childhood to reclaim his ancestral home. Without disclosing his true identity, Niall quickly wins the favor of the current laird, Laird MacClaren. Niall is especially enamored with the MacClaren's oldest daughter, Elspeth, who attracts him with her beauty and her resilience. But while Niall had initially planned to use Elspeth as a pawn in his game to capture the castle, he starts to care for her and is unwilling to use her so cruelly, even to fulfill his lifelong quest. The romance between Niall and Elspeth develops gradually as their kind and caring natures are revealed in tender moments. 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.