The Irish Warrior
Author: Kris Kennedy
Pub. Date: June 1, 2010
Inhibited, accountant-minded Senna de Valery comes to Ireland to finalize a deal that will save her faltering wool business. What she gets instead is a cunning English lord with dangerous ulterior motives.
Forced to rely on her wits, not her ledgers, Senna frees an Irish warrior chained in the prisons, and together they flee across the war-torn land of medieval Ireland. But Finian O’Melaghlin is much more than a charming, roguish warrior. He is councilor to his king, on a grave mission to recover military secrets, and has a dangerous agenda of his own.
Neither is prepared for the powerful forces arrayed against them …
Neither can resist the fiery passion igniting between them …
Neither can imagine the sacrifices they will face, nor the choices they will be forced to make …
King and outlaws, weapons and war: Can love indeed triumph over all?
Kris Kennedy’s star is rising at warp speed with her To Die For Hero in this super sexy, heart stopping medieval, The Irish Warrior.
Admittedly, I don’t normally read medievals. I’m not much into violence or political intrigue in my romances. That said, last year I read an excerpt from The Irish Warrior and was champing at the bit the read the rest.
The story begins with some violence. Okay, perhaps a lot of violence. Our hero, Finian O’Melaghlin, an Irish noble, warrior, and chief to the O’Fail king, is being tortured by Rardove, an English lord who is evil with a capital E. Rardove wants to use Finian to secure documents, a blueprint to create the Wishmés dyes. These legendary dyes have the power of chemical weaponry. The side who possesses them would be indestructible. Rardove wants them. Finian is out to make sure he never gets them.
Our heroine, Senna de Valery, arrives in Ireland to meet with Rardove to finalize a deal for her wool business. What she finds instead is Rardove intent on marrying her and utilizing the gift he believes she inherited from her mother, who was a Wishmés dye witch (as they called them). This is not what Senna came for so she refuses him and is quickly and violently shown that no one refuses Rardove.
Desperate, after seeing Finian shackled and sharing a silent potent exchange with him, she connives by drugging Rardove and the prison guards, escaping with Finian, whom she needs as a guide in this unfamiliar land.
But on the run, they are wanted fugitives with bounties on their head, for Rardove will stop at nothing to get Senna back. Their flight from Rardove is both taut with sexual tension as well as breath-stealing suspense. They have to evade Rardove’s men, English soldiers and anyone else who might be inclined to turn them in. I have to say my heart was in my throat half the time and the other half the time, I was literally swooning at the hotter than hot love scenes. These love scenes are only part of the reason that Finian is a HERO TO DIE FOR!
In one of the more light-hearted moments of the book, Senna and Finian hide out in a brothel is a village where one of Rardove’s men just announced a bounty on their head and then proceeds to lock the gates to the village (locking them inside). There, in the brothel, the woman are complaining that the men use their services and then leave without paying. Senna intervenes and proceeds to instruct the woman in the matters of shrewd commerce.
“And this business of collecting payment after the service is rendered…?” Senna shook her head sagely. “That is a poor practice indeed. You collect beforehand. In your business—not that I know much of it,” she added quickly, “but I’ve a brother and a father, and I know them rather well. You simply cannot expect their assessment of the value of the goods…to remain as high after they have …sampled.”
I read the last fifty pages of the book with my heart in my throat, I swear to you. It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten emotional like that over a book. I think the last time was when I was reading Stephen King’s Misery and Annie (the crazy antagonist) was chopping of the protagonist’s foot. I was in complete agony! And my goodness, if I wasn’t already crazy in love with Finian then (which I was), I fell fathoms deep in love with him then. I swear he’s the kind of hero we need to find a way to bring to life. I’ve reread the end countless times just so I can swoon over him again and again and again.
It’s hard to believe this is only Kris Kennedy’s second book. She is one medieval author who’s managed to make this reader, who was never very partial to medievals, into one that will pick up any medieval—any book—with her name on it. I’m eagerly anticipating her next book (I pray it’s about Senna’s brother) and getting a physical copy of this one for my keeper shelf. ~ Beverley
Rating: 9 (Excellent)
Heat-Level: 4 (Hot)