Review: The Last Warrior by Kristen Kyle

The Last Warrior by Kristen Kyle
Release Date: July 9, 2012 (re-release)
Publisher:  Loveswept
Pages: 384
Source:  NetGalley

Captain Jake Talbert has come to San Francisco on an all-consuming quest for the precious samurai swords he once wore as a warrior in his adopted homeland of Japan. Jake will go to any lengths to retrieve the heirlooms—and the honor he lost along with them. He is prepared to fight if he must, but he does not foresee the battle he is about to face—or the spirited opponent determined to get in his way.

Meghan McLowry has come to the waterfront in search of the notorious Captain Talbert after hearing of his fondness for sword collecting and his ability to fight as no westerner can. She makes him a deal: If he can protect her father from the deadly vengeance of the Tong, she will gladly hand over the five exquisite swords she received as a birthday present from her father. Little does she know that Talbert is no crude sailor to be bent to her will, but a dangerously seductive warrior who will stop at nothing to get what he wants—whether it’s justice, respect, or a woman’s heart.

 

Review:  I’m not a big reader of historical romance novels but every once in a while, one catches my attention. This book managed that feat on many levels. First off, a woman sets out to hire a ship’s captain based on hearsay about a fight he was in – and single-handedly won. The story revolves around a set of beautiful Samurai swords. Lastly, the story takes place in San Francisco. I grew up near there and the city has always fascinated me. That one was pretty much the decisive factor.

In truth, the story lived up to my hopes. I was fascinated with the Japanese culture of the fading Samurai and Jacob’s conflict between his European heritage and his Japanese up bringing. San Francisco’s Chinatown also played an important role in the story, with Meghan setting out to protect her father from one of the Tongs.

Now here is one thing I did not like. Kyle brought several true-life people into her novel. This may not bother you but I have a hard time getting around it. These people were flesh and blood and the events depicted in the book are fiction. It just doesn’t mesh for me and when I get to a part of the book that features a true person, I always stop trying to figure out if they were truly there. Of course not! It’s fiction!

Other than that one issue (which did not come up more than a few times), I utterly enjoyed this book. The fight sequences seemed (to my neophyte understanding) accurate and were intense and action-packed. And I thoroughly enjoyed the iguanas and the havoc they wrecked on polite society. This book is well worth your time, especially if you love your heroines strong-willed and, well, heroic.