King of the Isles by Debbie Mazzuca
Kennsington (Jan. 2012)
Mass Market: $6.99; ebook: $5.99
Favorite Lines: “You’re just like your mother. Evil is in your blood.” (p. 100, ARC)
Some men are born to rule…
She’ll find him a bride if it’s the last thing she does.
And it very well might be. Evangeline may be powerfully persuasive in her way, but convincing the notoriously wild Highland king Lachlan MacLeod to strengthen his alliances with a strategic marriage seems to be asking the impossible. Stubborn and proud, Lachlan seems determined to go against her will, even if it means endangering the people he’s sworn to protect and the enchanted isle that has already seen so much discord.
Yet the battle-scarred Highlander cannot ignore his sultry advisor for long. When his mentor is kidnapped, forcing him to ride into combat alongside the beautiful Evangeline, he must choose between her safety and his own independence. It’s a choice he makes in an instant…but once wed to the woman he could not resist, he’ll soon find that his heart is in even greater danger than his kingdom…
Okay, I’m really sorry but I have to tell you something right now before you read this book thinking you’re getting a straight up Scottish romance like I did. It’s not. Not your classic historical Scottish romance. It’s a historical paranormal romance set in Scotland with little to make you think of Scotland. It’s a good book, but not the one you want if you’re feining for a Julie Garwood Highland warrior romance.
I think there are two other books in this series, but from the blurbs I’m not positive. Those books are Lord of the Isles and Warrior of the Isles.
Now that that’s out of the way you should know that Debbie Mazzuca’s King of the Isles is a romance about the fae and mostly takes place in the fae realm in 1607. The fae realm basically sits above the mortal plane if I understood correctly. In it is a young woman who is feared and hated by not only her father, but most of the fae people. The high king of the Seelie Council knows better and has placed her in the position of royal advisor. Determined to prove the fae wrong about the evilness they feel she houses, Evangeline strives to be analytical and always puts the fae as a whole above herself or any one individual.
Her hero is the Scottish king. A man who is half mortal and half fae. He has no magic, but he is a powerful and strong male specimen. He is so different from the powerful Evangeline that it takes a while to figure out they belong together.
Thrown into a situation with a man she feels is lacking, it’s amusing to watch her learn the man she disdains is multifaceted. On the flip side, it’s rather irritating waiting for the hero King Lachlan to figure out there is a tender woman underneath the pragmatic heroine. Like the general fae populace, Lachlan makes assumptions or only sees the surface of important issues until someone else points them out to him. Usually those misconceptions are focused on Evangeline.
The hidden gem within King of the Isles is Evangeline. She is a strong, stoic woman who thinks about issues before jumping into situations. This doesn’t mean that she always makes the right decision, but her ability to remove emotion from her actions is just as exciting as a passionate highland hero. I just really liked her character, especially after some secrets were exposed.
There are twists and unexpected turns which force the action into a fast pace, but my favorite part of the book revolves around a birthday celebration. It’s super sweet, but paired with information that makes me want the next installment ASAP.
If you decide to read it now you should know that there is an ebundle packaging Lord of the Isles, Warrior of the Isles and King of the Isles together for $13.99 (as I write this it’s available for $10.21 at B&N).