I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
After her parents died, Tara spent her childhood in a convent away from her sister. When her powerful guardian the Earl Buchan finally comes to get her, it's to deliver her for marriage. Attacked by outlaws on the journey, Tara is rescued and kissed by a man claiming to be her betrothed.
As the bastard son of the Laird Alwyn, Magnus has had to fight for everything in his life. Now with his real identity in question, he wants revenge. His supposed step-brother Hugh doesn't deserve Tara but Magnus can't make waves as he tries to find out who betrayed the Kincaids.
Tara and Magnus are smack in the middle of clan wars and betrayal but their attraction for one another can't be denied.
Book two in the Highland Warrior series, The Rebel of Clan Kincaid picks up right were the first book left off. You could start with this one but it would better serve you to read the first. We learn in the first that Magnus is really Faelan Kincaid, one of the three missing Kincaid brothers. The Laird Kincaid was betrayed and murdered with his three sons scattered in the wind to escape. Book one is about the oldest Kincaid brother coming back to reclaim his land and because of a matching tattoo, he learns that Magnus is his youngest brother. Magnus decides to stay with the Alwyns so he can figure out who else was responsible for betraying his family. The book picks up the story with the Laird Alwyn preparing for a battle with the returned Kincaid brother to try and get the land back.
With this continuing betrayal story, you can imagine we have a full plate, add in the mystery of what happened to Tara's sister and other various issues dealing with secondary characters and there was a lot going on; this didn't leave much time for Magnus and Tara. Their relationship doesn't even get going until around the 30% mark and even after that, they never really spend any time together; longest time spent together was their first sex scene. This lack of time together gave them an insta-love feel, especially with Magnus. I really liked Magnus and Tara separately. Magnus was strong and sweet with him being the leader of the Pit Warriors and allowing servant women to sleep in his room to avoid Alwyn men wanting to drag them to their beds. Even though she grew up in a convent, Tara was strong and sure of herself in her new environment; she was a pretty self-assured confident heroine. I just didn't have long or enough scenes with the two to grow in love with them as a couple.
Most of the story was about Magnus trying to position himself to learn whom and why betrayed his Kincaid father and while we don't get a complete answer, I imagine the missing third brother will have his own book and we'll get the final answers there. The answers we do get are extremely rushed at the end, I got whiplash from all the reveals and switching of sides. The secondary characters and their storylines were a bit untidy, the Alwyn son Hugh, Tara is supposed to be betrothed to, was over-the-top bad and kind of an empty vessel along with his mother and the sudden reveal of the part she played in it all. Magnus' friend Chissolm, the only Pit Warrior we are really introduced to, makes one or two shallow appearances. I thought Tara and Magnus were fully fleshed out characters but their supporting cast was lacking.
If you're looking for more heat and descriptive sex scenes in your historicals they can be found here but the emotional components I found lacking.