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Insolent by Kerrigan Byrne

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Insolent (novella)
Highland Historicals #7/The Moray Druids #1

Kerrigan Byrne
Historical Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal
Published in 2014

H/h - Bael Bloodborn/Morgana de Moray
Setting: The Highlands, Scotland, 1066.

Read in June, 2014.
My rating:

                                                  [spoiler alert] 

I’ve always enjoyed Kerrigan Byrne’s Highlander Historical novellas. So it was no surprise that I was elated to find another installment in the series, with another new sub-series too. Insolent is book 1 in The Moray Druids series, with a bunch of new characters that I don’t recall from the previous installments. To top it off, our sexy hero Bael was a berserker. YaY me!!

When we meet Bael in the beginning of the story, he was preparing for his own death. Nope, he wasn’t going to the gallows with a death sentence. It was more of a suicide. You see, Bael, a Norseman with a little Persian blood in him has lived long enough for it to stop. Though it’s meant to be a blessing from Goddess Freyya, and an honor to be one of her warriors, it’s nothing but bloodshed and pain for a berserker. Bael can validate that fact. His father was a King but his mother, a Persian woman, was a nameless prostitute who died birthing him. He had always been rejected by the people surrounding him for both his mixed blood and because he is a bastard. But it was when the woman he thought his mate finally rejected him, is when Bael lost all hope. He, in fact, began hating this non-stop living, promising himself never to be ‘snared’ into the charms of a woman again. Needless to say, he has no interest of finding another mate.

It’s been long since those days and Bael wants it all to end, which is why when he’s brought to a bloody battle to fight the Saxons on his own, Bael is overjoyed. Maybe finally he’ll have some peace.

But that wasn’t going to happen because Morgana de Moray, a powerful Druid princess with a high and noble ancestry, was there. Morgana was taken by the marauding Norse soldiers. She was trying to get back to their castle, where her brother, Malcolm reigns as the King. As Morgana finds a way to free herself and seek the nearest stream to use her magic that is based on the element of water, she’s entranced by a vision of a big, hulking warrior fighting on the bridge... to his death. Except, it was no vision. Soon, at her command, the river now red with the blood of the fallen, brings the warrior to her. Morgana is going to revive him in hopes that he’d help her cross this battlefield to reach her people. There’s a bigger trouble brewing, with her cousin Kenna missing. Morgana have to help Malcolm fighting the evil Wyrd Sisters and save a magical and highly powerful tome that, if acquired by the said Sisters, can mean the end of the world!

Now, Bael is anything but happy being revived. When he wakes to find a beauty bathing nearby, he thinks he’s in the Eden meant for Freyya’s fallen soldiers. LOL Lord, I knew there was fun ahead and I wasn’t disappointed. In the process of healing, what happened was, Bael’s beast made Morgana his mate. Damn! Upon sensing this truth (which will bind him to her as long as they both shall live) Bael is now as grumpy as a bear! What trickery is this?! Yet he can’t deny the attraction, especially for a man who has gone without a soft, female touch for a long, long time. Add that to the fact that she’s now his mate. Nooope, Bael is certainly not happy! To him, his worst nightmare has just come true.

But the palpable attraction couldn’t have been denied even if they tried. In the midst of their constant word-exchange, snapping and snorting at each-other, Bael gives into Morgana’s charms. He can be a crabby guy to be sure but I was not annoyed about that. Morgana certainly wasn’t when she finds out more about Bael’s past than she would’ve liked to. She knew she’s more protected with him than without him, now she’s certain that inside, this man craves not only her love but also her acceptance. And this fact, at last, brings them together.

When the trouble in the form of the Wyrd Sisters finds them, Morgana is forced to make a decision. She has to take Bael to her clan, and introduce to Malcolm, who just might kill him for being a Norseman and a berserker! Even though a promise of death was what initially made Bael accede to Morgana’s pleas of help, things have already changed as we find in the later parts of the story. Morgana has no intention of losing him, she only has to make this big oaf to realize that truth.

Insolent was as sweet and sexy as any of Kerrigan’s earlier releases, especially the conveying emotions between Bael and Morgana when he understood that he was accepted by her no matter what. Marvelous! There’s a reason why I love berserker heroes; it’s their absolute devotion to their mates. Even though in the beginning, Bael was a bit of a trouble, he was no exception.

I don’t know whose book is titled “Indecent”. I hadn’t read the excerpt. But I’m willing to be surprised and find out what’s next in this new series. Would it be Malcolm’s or Kenna’s? I know we haven’t heard the last of the Wyrd Sisters yet... so, there’s plenty left to explore. 4 stars.

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