Author: Kasia Bacon
Book: The Highlander
Series: The Order #2
Cover Artist: Marek Frankowski
Publication date: August 31, 2017
Length: 58 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
I, Lochan of the famed Féyes clan, know all about fighting.
As a half-breed Elf, I have struggled against prejudice and feelings of inadequacy.
A recluse by nature, I have battled my aversion to touch and interaction with others.
To become an assassin of The Order, I have learnt to overcome the limitations of my mind and body.
But denying the power Ervyn Morryés holds over me might be the one fight I lose. The truth is—damn it all—the relentless Highlander brings me to my knees.
Note: This novelette is the second in the Order Series, and not a stand-alone installment. Reading THE MUTT is crucial for its full enjoyment.
If you read The Mutt
then you know who Ervyn and Lochan are. If you didn't read The Mutt
you need to read that book first. The Highlander
is told in Lochan's POV and I was thrilled by this!
I love the world and character building the author has done and continues to do. Descriptions, emotions, all of it grows with each novella. Which brings me to my other point. For novellas, this book and the previous one pack a lot in. It's not rushed and doesn't feel like it's lacking anything. There's so much story that gets told and you don't feel you've been cheated. That's rare for me when I read novellas. I often feel they are too short and not enough is told. Not here.
There's that lovers angst thing happening here. The two characters face separation. Of course when Lochan feels he should begin to distance himself from Ervyn to make the pain less when it happens, I wanted to smack him. But I didn't. There's a secret that will make changes happen and I'm not telling you anything!
There's a terrific mixture of smexy, sweet, and suspenseful in this book and series! I very much recommend!
Cián's warm breath rushed in ragged gasps on my nape. Gods, he must've weighed over two hundred marks. I could feel the solid thudding of his heart at the back of my ribcage.
And his half-stiff shaft pressed flush against the side of my thigh.
“Let's see you wiggle out of this one, Féyes,” he rumbled thickly into my ear, his voice strained from the effort of holding me underneath him. Triumph rolled off him in spades. He believed he had eventually gained the upper hand.
Lying motionless face down on the ground, I hid my smile in the grass.
Like most of the physically stronger opponents I'd encountered, Cián over-relied on the fact that he out-muscled me, depending too much on his size to control me.
Unfortunately for Cián, my regular sparring partner back home used to be Sashê, my father’s trusted enforcer in the highest rank of a triple-banded assassin. He was built like a rich baker's stove, only wider and taller. A long time—measured in my bruised flesh and sprained joints—had passed before I’d begun winning some matches against Sashê. Since my sixth year in the Order, however, I hadn’t lost a single fight to him.
Right then, inspirited by his success, Cián shifted behind me and rammed his knee into my middle spine. The pressure on my lungs squelched my breathing. It would be easy to panic and tap out.
My eyes were streaming. It hurt. A lot.
Amidst all this, my cock decided to contribute by giving an interested twitch.
Instantly, my brain disagreed. The tang of Cián's sweat held the wrong scent. His grunts above me were too low. He felt overly heavy on me.
He wasn't Ervyn.
Irritated for no specified reason, I called a halt to pondering the nature of those conflicting sensations and forced myself to refocus.
I let Cián hold on to his delusions of glory and grandeur a while longer, lulling him into a false sense of security. Waiting for him to make a mistake.
And then he did.
While pinning me down and balancing on one knee, he'd spread his legs just a tad too wide.
I went for a dirty, precise manoeuvre, ideal for a flexible combatant. I kicked up and back as if attempting to kick my own arse. Only I wasn't blind flailing. I targeted a particular nerve cluster in his groin.
Having been on the receiving end of such a strike more than once, I knew it would hurt like fuck. Cián hissed and, as expected, reduced his grip on me. Not a great deal, but enough.
Taking advantage of the distraction, I pushed up with my arms. While twisting my hips, I rolled him off me laterally. Then I elbowed him under the chin.
He must've seen stars, yet he hardly groaned. Before he could get his bearings, I straddled his chest, my thighs trapping his neck on either side. My fingers closed on his carotid artery below the base of his ear, prepared to pinch down on it and render him unconscious.
The pulse in his throat thrummed a brisk rhythm.
We both remained still for several heartbeats.
“Well?” I said at last, glancing down with an arched brow.
“Shit.” Cián panted for a time. Then he threw his head back against the moss in a gesture that acknowledged his defeat. The corners of his mouth curled upwards.
I had to give it to him—a sore loser he was not.
“If you were after rubbing your crotch in my face, you could've just asked, you know,” he muttered. His grey eyes bore into mine, then narrowed. “That’s enough petting. Now get the fuck off me, Féyes.”
We barely rose to standing when I heard the clink of coin changing hands.
Our morning sessions never ceased to attract an audience. From what I could gather, only a few habitual underdog players still laid their silver on Cián these days. If he were troubled by his odds dropping with every match, he never showed it.
“Do you want me to find you fuckwits some shit to do?” he bellowed at the spectators.
Within a blink of an eye, the grounds had cleared.
He smirked at me and proceeded to dust off his clothes. “You ever fancy a more intense... training, come visit my tent.”
About the Author
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coffee and lemon tart addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.
Find Kasia online:
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