To Tame A Highland Warrior
by Karen Marie Moning
Publication date: Nov. 4, 2009
Genre: Historical Scifi Romance
Only her love could gentle his savage soul—
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.
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….
We met Grimm in the last book and he was a bit of a mystery. You don’t really know much about it and there was a moment where he sort of just disappears without any excuse. When I found out that the next book was his story I was really excited to read it. Even still, the majority of the book leaves you clamoring to know more about Grimm. I mean, you know he’s a Berserker in the beginning of the story but you don’t really know what that means for him because Grimm himself doesn’t even know what that means. It isn’t until towards the end of the story that you start get the whole picture.
When Grimm was little his clan was attacked and in that moment, he summoned the Berserker to help him save his people. Once the battle was over he took off. He’s found sometime later by a young Jillian. She pleads with her father to take him in and kind of views the wild feral boy as a possible pet/friend. Pretty much from that moment on Jillian was besotted with Grimm. However, when her homeland is attacked, Grimm takes off after pretty much single handedly defeating the enemy. Years later he returns when her father summons him. Actually her father summoned three men in the hopes of Jillian finding a husband. The only problem is, the only man she wants to marry is the same man who is hell bent on keeping her at a distance.
Grimm is kind of a self-loathing character. He hates his family, he changed his name so no one would connect him with his clan, he hates that he summoned the Berserker, and he hates that he loves Jillian even though he knows he can’t have her. He knows the aftermath of what happens after his Berserker takes over but he has no control or memory of what takes place when he’s no longer in charge. He’s terrified that he’d hurt Jillian, so instead of courting her like her father had intended, she pushes her away. One thing that really bugged me was the fact that for a guy who’s pretty much 30 years old, he acted like an idiot. I mean, he was terrified of being honest with her and telling her that he was possessed by a Berserker because he felt she would be horrified and turn him away, and so his solution to keep her from getting close to him is to insult and belittle her at every turn. I mean, if you wanted someone to leave you alone because you felt you were too dangerous for them, why not just come out and tell her what you are? Seems to me that would be a foolproof way of letting someone know that it’s just not gonna happen.
“Even without summoning the Berserker, his father had killed his own wife. What would the inherited sickness of the mind, coupled with being a Berserker, make him capable of? The only thing he knew with any degree of certainty was that he never wanted to find out.”
When Jillian realizes that her father sent suitors with the intent that she marry immediately, she’s clearly put out. She’s been dodging suitors for years and this is yet another plot of her fathers to see her wed. However, when Grimm shows up at her door, she’s taken right back to her teen years. She finds herself mooning over him, following him around, and seeking him out at every chance. Given the fact that he calls you names and makes you feel like a petulant child, you’d think she’d back off and move on. Nope. She just keeps on throwing herself out there over and over again.
I think if it weren’t for the Berserker aspect of the novel, I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. I got why Grimm was so drawn to Jillian. It’s said that when a Berserker finds his mate he can no longer see anything beyond her. Which makes sense as to why when he left her home way back when he’s been celibate ever since. It also makes sense why when he pushes her away, the moment she shows interest in one of her other suitors, he comes charging back in. The Berserker refuses to allow another man touch his mate. I just wish that the way Jillian and Grimm danced around each other was different. Maybe less of Grimm being mean to her and maybe also less of Jillian following him around like a lost little puppy.
While this story doesn’t include time traveling like the previous book, it does have Berserkers. Which is something you don’t see all that often. This is kind of a mash up of a second chance romance, set in historical highlander era, with a Berserker to boot. Needless to say, I was entertained the whole time.
“The moment you say ‘never’ you’ve chosen not to try. Rather than worrying about what you can’t do, set your mind to thinking of ways that you could do it. You might surprise yourself.”
Previous reviews from Highlander
Beyond the Highland Mist