Review: A Shadow’s Kiss by Kirsten Blacketer

A Shadow’s Kiss by Kirsten Blacketer
Series: Shadow Guardians (# 2)
Release Date: July 3, 2014
Publisher: Breathless Press
Pages: 186
Source: Book provided by the publisher for review



Torn between duty and desire, a knight and his lady must decide if their love is worth the price of treason.

Madeline Campbell has been whisked away from her uncle’s barony to be reunited with her family in the Scottish Highlands. Her happy reunion quickly sours when she realizes her father intends to present her as a bride to the winner of the Highland Tournament. With no one to turn to for comfort or guidance, Madeline chooses to do her duty to her clan as well as her father and marry the winner.

An English knight has no place on Scottish soil, but Alexander must complete the mission with which he was tasked. Find Madeline and ensure her safety. When he finds her, he must decide between his honorable duty and his love for Madeline.

No one can deny their attraction and their desire for one another, but when it sparks jealousy in the other clansmen, they have no alternative but to run. Secrets emerge from the shadows of the past and threaten to tear their happiness apart. How can one choose between their duty and their heart?


Review:  I’m always a bit leery to jump into a series without having read the initial book, but author Kirsten Blacketer made it a smooth transition in A Shadow’s Kiss.

In this intriguing tale set in the Scottish highlands, Madeline Campbell is informed that the winner of a tournament will win her hand in marriage. Meanwhile, memories of a kiss in the shadows dampen her spirits.

Alexander has been ordered to check on Madeline and in order to do so, the English knight draws on his mixed Scottish heritage. When he finds himself in the middle of the tournament, winning Madeline’s hand seems pretty attractive.

However, if his English roots are revealed, there is bound to be plenty of trouble. After all, no honorable Scotsman would allow an Englishman to steal away a beautiful treasure like Madeline.

I was impressed with the development of the characters. Madeline is not a traditional simpering maiden; instead she is a proud intelligent woman struggling with her fate. Alexander is a perfect match for her character. While definitely more sweet than sensual, the storyline moves forward at a good pace.

Given that the story takes place in the Scottish highlands, I was pleased that the author didn’t feel the need to make the language so difficult that the reader would have trouble following along. Instead, there is just enough flavor added to differentiate the time period and setting.

I found this to be a quick read with just the right amount of drama to keep my interest. The tournament games added a fascinating twist to the story while the characters danced around a growing attraction. For a historical romance, it was an enjoyable trip to the past.