Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Highland Dragon
by Kimberly Killion
Publisher: Zebra
Release Date: October 6, 2009

As a young lad, Calin McLeod witnesses the murder of his father at the command of his enemy’s leader, Laird Kinnon. To add to the horrific memory of watching the life leave his father’s eyes, young Calin also bears witness to the murder of the woman his father loves dearly, Lady Kinnon, immediately after she gives birth to the daughter of the evil Laird Kinnon. Even at the tender age of 10, Calin knows the creed of every Scotsman. No one messes with family!! Determined to avenge his father’s murder, Calin takes the newly birthed baby from the priest’s hands and brands the bottom of the baby girl with his father’s signet ring. Knowing this baby girl is the key to his revenge and that he will come back to claim her as his wife in the years to come, Calin gives the young infant to his best friend’s family to raise and protect.

Akira Neish has always known she would marry her benefactor, the man who has provided for her since she was an infant. But of late she is wondering what is taking the man so darn long to come and claim her. When a group of warriors believing she is a witch all because of a mark on her derriere kidnaps Akira and takes her to Tigh Diabhail to be sold to the highest bidder, Akira believes her savior will never show. But at the last minute, a man arrives with Akira’s brother Kendrick and bids an extremely high amount for her. Unbeknownst to her, this strange man is her benefactor and soon to be husband.

From the first meeting of Calin and Akira, the electricity between these two can be felt through the pages. Though it was not love at first sight, the first interaction between the two does set the atmosphere of frank talk in their relationship. Akira is a strong-willed young woman who thinks quickly on her feet, speaks her mind and at moments demands things her way. When it is revealed that Calin is Akira’s benefactor and has plans to marry her, Akira quickly demands a couple boons from Calin before giving her agreement to the marriage. The majority of her requests are simple and ones Calin quickly approves. But when she informs Calin that if he intends to kiss her frequently prior to their marriage then he will need to shave his beard, Calin doesn’t know what to think.

Calin’s eyes widened. “M’lady, a Highlander without a beard is as rare as a sheep with nay wool. I have nary a doubt, ye are testing me.”

Akira crossed her arms over her chest and raised both brows to challenge him.

“Ye cannae be serious. Ye want me to . . . shave. The bath is acceptable, even desirable at this point, I admit. But the beard? ‘Tis a most unreasonable request. Ye cannae ask this of me.”
Aghast at the demand by Akira, Calin questions himself. Why should the chieftain of Clan McLeod shave his beard? But at this point in the story, I believe that Calin has already given his heart to Akira. Though the words may not have been spoken yet, Calin’s actions speak louder than those words. This seemingly insignificant request proves to be the beginning of the true relationship between Calin and Akira. Though not particularly pleased with his clean shaven face, Calin’s compliance with Akira’s request shows his promise to listen and respect her opinions. As you can see from this passage in the novel, Calin realizes he is falling in love with this woman who is to be the tool of his revenge.

"Calin stood at the entrance to the kirk beside Father Harrald when Akira floated through the procession of people and into his view. His knees locked, and what felt like a small animal jumped inside his gut. When a constricting force clutched at his heart, he gave his head a quick shake. What was wrong with him? He was a leader. A warrior. He refused to believe the woman he was about to marry for the sake of protecting his clan shared part of his heart, but the undeniable weight pushing against his lungs challenged his theory. As the timeless moment whirled around him like Highland mist, he realized Akira would be more than just his lady wife. She would be his companion. His friend. His lover."
Kimberly Killion has done it again with this novel. I have to say this story kept me riveted the entire time. The relationship between Calin and Akira is one you would (or at least should) expect from any Highland medieval story – strong, passionate, opinionated, and sensual with utter devotion and conquering love as the threads that bind hearts and souls together.

The cast of secondary characters is second to none. From the despicable, creepy (really creepy!) Laird Kinnon to the adorable, young Andrew who grabs at your heartstrings to the older, feisty Aunt Wanda who gives the elders of the clan a tongue lashing to best friend Kendrick who is begging for his own story to be told (or at least I’m begging for his story!). All of these unique individuals add just the right amount of flavor to this story.

This is a book that now has its place on my keeper shelf. So leave some space on your keeper shelf and go pick up Highland Dragon. You won’t be disappointed!

Disclaimer: Even though I have a personal and business relationship with Kimberly Killion, I have reviewed this book with the same sense of fairness and objectivity that I bring to every review.


  1. Buffie~ *Smacks forehead* I just realized that the stars at the top of the post are a rating. I put them off as a decoration when I saw them on PJ's post.
    I catch on quick, really.

    Thank you for the great review, and the little excerpt. Along with the excerpt that Kimberley put up, on day 2 of the grand opening, I can't wait to get my hands on this book!
    When I called the book store on Nov. 3rd to see if they had any in, they said they only had 2 copies left. I hope by time payday comes they will still have one for me, or have gotten more in.
    Anyway, thanks again for a look inside this book. :-)

  2. I haven't read a medieval in quite some time and this book sounds like exactly the right one to refreshen my memories.

    I had to laugh out loud at the beard thing. *g* Talk about smartass heroines!

  3. Hey ya'll!
    Great recap of the book! And I love that beard scene. I once had a writer friend tell me I was overly obsessed with keeping my character's clean. LOL I do tend to put them in the bath or send them to the stream to wash them up more than the average author. ;)
    I have this thing with smells and I just find it hard to believe that my hero would smell like wood and spice and everything nice after traveling on horseback for 2 weeks. Hehehe...

    Thanks again for a tremendous review and I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. :)

  4. LOL, Dorothy! Glad you realized our star platters are our ratings of the books. :-) Don't worry, I catch on really quick too - ha!

    As you can tell from my review, I really enjoyed this book. Medievals are my first love! I'm sure come payday if the book store is out, they can order one for you. You will have to let me know what you think of the book after you read it.

  5. LisaK, it's always time for a good medieval at my house ;-) Yes, Akira is a pretty tough cookie. There are quite a few moments in the book that you will be saying "dang, that girl has guts". Let me know what you think after you read it.

  6. Thank YOU Kimberly for writing such a fantastic book!!!

    Personally, I like my heros to be thoroughly clean too. And it never hurts to help them get clean ;-) he he he

  7. Hi, Kimberly & Buffie! I love a good medieval, especially one where the main characters bathe alot. :-) That's always my issue with historicals--I get stuck on hygiene questions. Toothbrush, please? But I do love a good Scottish/Highland warrior tale, and I've been hearing good things about this one!

  8. Kimberley is such a talented writer - I'm really looking forward to reading this book. If my massive TBR pile doesn't fall over and crush me first, that is!

  9. After Kimberly's visit and Buffie's review, I can hardly wait to get my hands on this book. I love a good medieval!

  10. I'm with PJ -- between Kimberly's visit and Buffie's review, I'm sold!

  11. Hey Susan, thanks for stopping by! I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks about toothbrushes :-)

    Vanessa, be very leary of a leaning TBR pile!! We sure don't want you to get hurt by a falling pile of books. Of course, if they did all fall on you, then the only way to get up is to read them all. Hmmm, good logic there, huh? LOL!

  12. PJ and Andrea, I know you both will enjoy this one!

  13. Speaking of cleanliness in Medievals, I have a scene in this book (I think) where the hero chews on a mint leaf and I can remember someone commenting about it being a Medieval tic-tac. LOL

    They were actually cleaner than most people gave them credit. However, there is that sterotype that they were filthy and without a doubt some of them were, but you will always find my characters verra clean.
    In fact, this is odd timing because I'm writing a scene in my new book right now. Guess what they are doing????
    The heroine is "grooming" the hero. LOL

  14. Yes, Kimberly, Calin does munch on a mint leaf :-)

    And that scene you are writing sounds verra, verra nice ;-)

  15. Great review! This sounds like another winner for Kimberly! :-)

    Gorgeous cover, too!

  16. I'm with PJ -- between Kimberly's visit and Buffie's review, I'm sold!

    Me too! Excellent review, Buffie!

  17. Buffie
    What a fantastic review I have this book on the TBR pile and am really looking forward to reading it.

    It won't be long and I will loose myself in this story love it

    Have Fun

  18. Cheryl, it *IS* another winner for Kimberly.

    Thanks, Isabel!!

    Helen, I am so happy that you will be reading this book soon. You will have to let me know what you think of it afterwards.

    Vanessa - LOL! I thought you just might agree with that logic.

  19. Great review, Buffie! I'm reading it right now and loving it!

    I hear you on the cleanliness issue, Kimberly. Every time I watch Braveheart, I think to myself, "I bet they smell!" LOL

  20. Oh man!!! This book is sitting on the stand by my bed. I am trying to get through November, THEN I can dive in. You guys are making it hard to be good (and focus on school)!

    Thanks for a tempting review.