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cover84867-mediumBeauty and the Highland Beast

A Highland Fairy Tale

by Lecia Cornwall

Powerful and dangerous highlander Dair Sinclair was once the favored son of his clan, The Sinclairs of Carraig Brigh. With Dair at the helm, Sinclair ships circled the globe bringing home incredible fortune. Until one deadly mission when Daire is captured, tortured and is unable to save his young cousin. He returns home breaking under the weight of his guilt and becomes known as the Madman of Carraig Brigh.

When a pagan healer predicts that only a virgin bride can heal his son’s body and mind, Daire’s father sets off to find the perfect wife for his son. At the castle of the fearsome McLeods, he meets lovely and kind Fia MacLeod.

Although Daire does his best to frighten Fia, she sees the man underneath the damage and uses her charm and special gifts to heal his mind and heart. Will Daire let Fia love him or is he cursed with madness forever?

We actually pick up the story after Daire is brought home, broken in mind, body and spirit.  And there is a lot more going on than what the blurb suggests – full of mystery, suspense, danger and romance, it is quite a compelling package 🙂

I have to say that Fia is much more forgiving that I ever would be.  There’s some evil afoot and she’s caught in the middle of it, fear and accusations from being turned her way.  I don’t know that I would be as quick to be OK once everything is cleared up but maybe she’s just a better person than I am 🙂  She is definitely a better person than a lot people she meets – smart, inquisitive, and caring.  While she may be a little strange, she’s comfortable in her skin thanks to the love of her family, and at heart she only wants to help the wounded.  And that includes Daire.

He survived absolutely horrible experiences that left a lot of scars both inside and out.  For a man raised to be responsible for those in his care, the torture that he experienced isn’t nearly as crushing as surviving after not being able to save his men and cousin.  While we don’t meet him until afterward, as he is slowly brought out of his shell by Fia (and she hears stories of the man he was before), we get an idea of the devilishly handsome and charming rake he was.  While he wasn’t a bad person before, maybe a little too full of himself, he’s definitely changed into a more serious one by his experiences.  Cornwall does a great job of making him into a man who looks deeper into the world around him.  It helps him to be more open to the quirky Fia and be charmed by her uniqueness.

I’m not sure what I expected but I definitely got something more, a page turner that pulled me in from the prologue and made it difficult to put down.  I usually avoid Scottish historicals that go this far back, but I am very glad that I picked this one to read.  With unusual characters and a multi-layered plot, Cornwall’s writing shines.  I’m definitely adding her to my author watch list to see what other goodies she brings!