A Woman’s Tender Touch: He was born to a clan of warriors of supernatural strength, but Gavrael McIllioch abandoned his name and his Highland castle, determined to escape the dark fate of his ancestors. Hiding his identity from the relentless rival clan that hunted him, he called himself Grimm to protect the people he cared for, vowing never to acknowledge his love for ravishing Jillian St. Clair. Yet even from afar he watched over her, and when her father sent an urgent summons, “Come for Jillian,” he raced to her side—into a competition to win her hand in marriage.
A Warrior’s Steely Heart: Why had he run from her so many years before? And why return now to see her offered as a prize in her father’s manipulative game? Furious, Jillian vowed never to wed. But Grimm was the man she loved, the one who urged her to marry another. He tried to pretend indifference as she tempted him, but he could not deny the fierce desires that compelled him to abduct her from the altar. She was the only woman who could tame the beast that raged within him—even as deadly enemies plotted to destroy them both….
My Rating: 4½/5 stars
To Tame a Highland Warrior, book two of Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series opens with Grimm Roderick wondering just what in hell the Hawk’s wife wished for him and him receiving a letter from his old friend, Gibraltar St. Clair. Few things in the world have the power to tear Grimm from the Hawk’s side but the missive “Come for Jillian” is indeed one of those things.
Jillian St. Clair has had enough of this shit!! She loves both her father and mother dearly but their insistence that she marry is just getting out of hand. The one man Jillian would have married with no protests or complaints made it clear years ago he was not the man for her and would never marry her. From that moment forward, Jillian has done everything in her power to discourage any and all suitors. To date, her gambit has worked but now her parents are travelling and she has been left in the care of three men, one of whom she is to take as her husband. Well played, parentals, well played.
Grimm wasn’t sure life could get any worse but his arrival at Jillian’s home and the discovery that he is meant to be one of her suitor’s pretty much pushed it all over the edge. No matter how much Grimm cares for Jillian, and he does, he won’t subject her to his secret torment. Grimm is a berserker and when the rage overtakes him, he has no way of controlling himself or his actions. He is a legendary warrior and more than capable of protecting himself but to harm Jillian would be unthinkable. Grimm refuses to allow Jillian to remain unprotected and though he has vowed not to compete for her affections (he already has them!) he will stay with her until her parents return. Or until his enemies attack and he is forced to leave. You know? Whichever one comes first.
Jillian is constantly perplexed by Grimm. One minute he is by her side and barely controlling his attraction to her and the next he is turning away from her. Jillian wants Grimm with every fiber of her being and so, with the help of her father and one of the other suitors, a plan is hatched to bring Grimm around, to make him her own. True to form, Grimm waits until the last possible and most dramatic minute to claim what is his. Unfortunately, a leisurely life is not meant to be for Grimm and Jillian as the two ride fast and furious toward Grimm’s ancestral home. The enemy is at the gates and it is time Grimm had some answers. Going home was never in the cards for Grimm but that is where the enemy is leading him and where he will finally be able to lay old ghosts to rest.
The Bottom Line: I enjoyed this read far more than the first installment of the series. Grimm is a legend among the living and to hear of his exploits is to both fear and respect him. Unfortunately, misconceptions and misinformation have kept him away from his ancestral home and his family for too many years. With Jillian by his side, Grimm is able to face his past, forgive his father, and fight for the future he desperately wants to embrace. Jillian is my favorite kind of heroine, a strong, intelligent woman who is well ahead of her time and place. Jillian doesn’t fear Grimm but fears for him and knows if he will only accept her, she can help him heal and move forward. The legends of the berserkers, the meeting of the past and the present, the complications and battles, the solidly written characters, and the naughty bits all come together in a most entertaining way in this read.