Release Date: Apr 14, 2020
Series: Renegade Lords
Heat Level: Hot
Publisher: Kris Kennedy
Kris Kennedy’s heroes are beyond swoonworthy.
Máel, a gorgeous, not-too-brutish Irish warrior, is exactly that kind of hero, and it took me all of ten seconds to fall hard for him. And the rest, as they say, is history. 😉
The story starts off with a bang—a bang him up that is. A betrayal that Máel should probably have seen coming earlier on. I very much appreciated that Ms. Kennedy didn’t describe the hero’s pummeling in detail. That’s the stuff I tend to skim over if they happen to show up in a romance. Tell me he was beat to a pulp, describe a couple of kicks and punches and I’m good. No need to get into the weeds of it.
Fast forward several months and we find our hero set on a course for revenge. He also wants the money he’s owed and the sword Baron Ware stole from him before he left him to die. Which is how Cassia d’Argent figures into the mix. She is Lord Geoffrey d’Argent’s daughter, whom he is essentially selling to the highest bidder—or in this case, the winner of a private joust. Yay her! 🙄Yeah, she’s absolutely thrilled at being sold off like chattel. Seriously though, her father is awful but she doesn’t know just how awful he is. She’s going to find out soon enough though.
I loved Máel and Cassia together. From their first meeting at the grand tournament when he gave her raw strawberries—or as I like to say, plain strawberries—to when he holds her for ransom until her father returns with Máel’s legendary sword. The chemistry between them is immediate and red-hot, and I loved every bit of it. The chess playing, their first kiss and the second one that’s way hotter than the first. As I was reading Forbidden Warrior, I was reminded again that Ms. Kennedy really knows how to write emotional, scorching-hot love scenes and to-die-for heroes. And this is coming from someone who very rarely reads medieval romances. Kris Kennedy and Margaret Mallory are two of the few exceptions because I find the balance between romance and suspense/adventure in their books are exactly to my liking (heavier on the romance).
Although he didn’t figure largely in the story, I grew quite fond of Odin, a street urchin who offers his services to Máel. Always for a price though. 😜 He does end up helping him a lot. Actually, I don’t think Máel could have gotten as far in his quest to retrieve his sword without him. Odin knows the ropes.
This book is category-length, so it’s not very long, but it read longer than a category-length book, if you know what I mean. There was a lot of adventure packed into the story as they trampled through the woods to escape Máel’s enemies and then trekked to Cassie’s home to retrieve the sword. And they did all this while falling madly in love and ruining each other for any other.
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t want their romance to end but I hope to catch glimpses of them, or at least find out how they’re doing in the third installment of the Renegade Lords series. Forbidden Warrior is also the first in a seven-book series called Midsummer Knights, a multi-author Tournament World. If you’re a medieval romance reader, I encourage you to check out the other books in the series. And if you’re a Kris Kennedy fan, like I am, you must check out the first book, King’s Warrior, in the Renegade Lords series.