here to buy a copy~
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra Books (Mass Market)
(October 6, 2009)
A love born of fire…
A desire that defies all limits…
and a love that was meant to be…
It was a night the young Calin MacLeod would not likely forget as he witnessed the murder of his father. It ignited vengeance in his heart as it spread through his veins and burned in his soul. That night, his bride also took her first breath in this world. Only hours ago her birth promised hope for an alliance between the Kinnon and McLeod clan but with a coldhearted brute of a man that hope washed away with the blood of those who lost their life’s that night.
It sounds like familiar plot doesn’t it? It certainly isn’t something that hasn’t been done oodles of times before but if there is one thing the highlanders understand then it was vengeance. And if there is one thing Kimberly Killion understands, it is the spirit of the Scottish highlanders. Highland Dragon is the kind of story where the heart speaks, yearns and seeks a reciprocator for all its desires, and this made it easy for me to lose myself in the story.
Some stories just wrap me in a cocoon, make me snuggle a bit deeper in the couch and some would mark it as a comfort read, Highland Dragon was such a read for me. There were two things that I noticed early on. One, how the cast of characters played on my emotions and two, how the clan politics and intrigue fueled the romance to a higher level. The premise of Calin and Akira’s actual story held it all; betrayal, murder and a secret love. In that premise two youngsters life’s altered forever and it would affect them still in the present. There is nothing I wanted more for Akira and Calin then for them to aim for their own happiness. And so I started in their present story in the times of Scotland, Highlands 1502.
Colin needs to marry Akira so an alliance is formed and a plan is set in motion to unite the Isles and to defeat an old enemy. Calin is all confidence but from the moment he meets Akira nothing goes as planned. Calin is all highlander brawn mixed with the responsibilities of a Laird and a strong sense of Clan loyalty. A good, honest, virile highlander who wants what is good for his clan and a woman beside him leading it. Akira is definitely a woman who knows what she wants, how she wants it and is smart enough to get it. I loved the mix of faith, fury, intelligence and empathy in Akira. She became the heart of the McLeod clan by just being herself and she conquered the heart of Calin in the same way. Their interaction encompassed an area of emotions, from poised and tender to fiery and passionate, to the pain of grief and loss. Their journey is steeped in emotions and I instantly picked up on them, thoroughly rooting me in the story and the exhilarating journey of the main protagonists. This is largely due to empathetic and well drawn characters but also the easy connecting writing style of Kimberly Killion.
There were many supporting characters who became so important in how I experienced this novel. Especially Aunt Wanda with her straight forward, no-nonsense attitude and a romantic beating heart. Four year old Andrew who added such an endearing and funny touch in his display of innocent highlander pride. Kendrick Neish, friend to Colin, and he has six younger sister to take care of is certainly a man who I wanted to know more about. Isobel, sister to Kendrick and Akira, with her quiet grace but with a core of inner strength brought a lovely blossoming secondary romance to the main story. There are more who in some way contributed to complete the picture with lively voices. Opposing the good there are also characters who are innate bad, Laird Baen Kinnon was the epitome of evil and Catriona is just plain selfish and had to get what she wanted, consequences be damned. Both gave Highland Dragon unexpected twists and turns which were intriguing for me to follow.
There was an interchange between the romance, the sensuality, intrigue and character development that ran like clockwork. There is nothing overtly complicated in Highland Dragon, the writing style smooth, working with all the elements present to drive towards a conclusion that had me sighing and in tears at the same time. I just had a remarkable good time reading Highland Dragon. There is desire, highland brogues in abundance, treachery, romance, friendship and loyalty to be found in an authentic highlander tale that is delivered with a passionate voice for the genre.
What can I say more than Highland Dragon is a read for stormy nights and candle lit rooms to take you away to another time, another place, and make you feel romance as is should be, the kind that conquers all!