Highland Games by Laura Hunsaker
Highlander Reborn begins in Scotland, many centuries ago, where a blacksmith fights for his life and his people. His life is forever changed when Amalia, one of the Nightkind, makes the choice to save his life. But first, he has to die…
After Nevin MacLachlan’s wife was killed by a vampire, he made it his mission to hunt them all down. But one late Highland night, in a battle he couldn’t win, one of the Nightkind ripped open his throat. With his blood draining onto the grass, the last thing Nevin sees isn’t a white light; it’s the dark of night closing in on him.
Amalia has been enamored with the blacksmith ever since he first held a stake to her heart. Watching him die was unacceptable. Will he ever forgive her for turning him into what he hates most?
Nevin has lived his life alone for a reason. When Amalia walks back into his life seven centuries later asking for help, he wants nothing more but to turn his back to her. But something about her still calls to him.
Some of the Nightkind in Amalia’s seethe have been killed. It’s up to her to find Nevin and ask for his help. But how can she show Nevin that she isn’t the monster he thinks she is?
“You never used to play with your food.”
The smooth, cultured voice had Nevin dropping his prey and whipping around to face her. Amalia. He ignored the man running for his life.
“He wasn’t food.” Nevin tried to force himself to turn around and leave, but something about her held him in place. “And you just lost me ten grand.”
“Ah, he was a bounty, then.” So she knew he was a bounty hunter, did she?
“Yeah, and now I’ve got to catch him again.” This time Nevin did turn from Amalia, but her fingers on his arm stopped him cold. He glared down at her slim, pale hand resting on the black of his sleeve, hating that she could still affect him.
“No.” Nevin shrugged her off and kept walking.
She was in front of him in an instant. He’d forgotten how fast she was. Must be the only thing he’d forgotten, because in all these years he still remembered everything else. The way her lips felt against his, the way her blood tasted on his tongue, her scent…
Her voice pulled him out of his wandering thoughts, “You’ve lost your accent.”
“It’s been several centuries. I’ve changed,” he said flatly, once more turning from her. That scent was driving him wild, he had to move away from her.
“I need you,” she called after him.
He kept walking.
“You owe me.”
Now that had him stopping. “I. . .owe you?” Nevin slowly stalked forward. “I owe you? How the fuck do you figure that?”
Her stubborn little chin went up. Nevin narrowed his eyes. He did not find that sexy. At all.
“I saved your life.”
Nevin laughed, and he knew it wasn’t a pleasant sound. It was rusty and harsh. “You took my soul and damned me to this infernal existence. I owe you nothing.”
“I did save you,” she insisted. “You would have died on that battlefield and you know it.”
Her hands were on her hips, her dark eyes flashing at him. He wished she wasn’t so beautiful. She looked exactly the same as she had when he’d seen her all those centuries ago. He hadn’t been able to kill her then, and he knew she was a weakness he couldn’t afford. He had to make her leave. She needed to understand he couldn’t have anything to do with her.
“Sweetheart, I did die. You didn’t save me, you fucking turned me into the devil himself. And some poor bastard needs an escort to hell.” Sardonically inclining his head, Nevin turned once more to leave. “Have a good night, princess.”
“So that’s it? You’ll just leave and go back to hunting humans for money?” Amalia shouldn’t have said that. She could see his shoulders tighten, and in the next instant he was nose to nose with her. Goddess, but he was big. And fast. She hadn’t forgotten a thing about him, but seeing him up close was different than keeping tabs on him. She’d known he would want time away from her to adjust to his new life, but she hadn’t thought it would take over 700 years. She’d wanted him to come to her, but after seven centuries, her patience had worn thin.
There was something different about him. His voice was different. It was deeper, rougher. From many years in America, the smooth Scottish brogue was barely there, however it was the thick scar wrapped around his neck that caught her attention. Her eyes widened as she realized what that meant. Good goddess, someone had tried to behead him.
Nevin noticed where her eyes were and the smile that curved his lips held a hint of cruelty. It looked wrong on him; this man had never been cruel. He was honorable and he was a good man.
“I’m not a man anymore, princess. You made sure of that.”
Amalia hadn’t realized she’d spoken out loud. Her eyes met his and for a brief second she saw something more than anger in his gaze.
“What happened to you, Nevin?” Amalia asked softly.
She flinched. She should have expected that answer. Amalia was beginning to realize that this new Nevin was sardonic and aimed to hurt her.
“I couldn’t let you die, you have to know that.” Suddenly, Amalia felt the need to explain herself, something she’d never actually done. “You were lying there slipping away, a—and I wanted you to live. You were so strong and such a gifted warrior, I knew you were meant to do so much more.”
“So now you’re disappointed in me, princess? Is that it?” Nevin grabbed her upper arms in a punishing grip.
Amalia’s eyes widened. “No! Of course not. I only meant that…” he cut her off.
“You think I should be grateful to you for this existence you forced upon me, then? I have news for you princess.” Although he had no idea she was a queen, she hated how he sneered the title. His head dropped down to hers, his words a harsh whisper of breath against her lips, “You should have let me die.”
Amalia was left alone. He was gone.
Q: Tell our readers why you think they’ll enjoy Highland Games
A: two words: Highlander Vampire
A medieval blacksmith is turned into a vampire on the battlefield. Seven centuries later, the vampire who sired him needs his help. Her people are dying and she wants him to track the vampire responsible. But Nevin wants nothing to do with her, or with the Nightkind. He prefers to meet out his own brand of justice on rogue vampires. How can she convince him to help her?
Q: You may have noticed we like to include our favorite quote in our reviews of the books we read. What is your favorite quote from Highland Games?
A: My favorite quote from Highland Games is:
“And he had her taste now; she could never escape him. It was time for him to hunt.”
Laura Hunsaker would like to give away a copy of Highland Games. (ebook) To enter, just answer her question:
I love the idea of a Highlander-Vampire. Are there any genre mash-ups you’d like to see more of?
Giveaway is open to all (where allowed). You have until end of day Jan 18 to enter, winner will be announced soon after.
Giveaway sponsored by: Laura Hunsaker. No purchase necessary to win. You must be 18 or over to enter, void where prohibited. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. FVBR is not being compensated for this giveaway. If the winner declines to accept or fails to claim their prize within 72 hours of the announcement they forfeit their prize. Prize distribution is the sole responsibility of the giveaway sponsor. Fiction Vixen Book Reviews will not be held responsible for lost or misdirected prizes or for circumstances beyond our control. More information here.