Title: Beautiful Darkness
Series: Daughters of Highland Darkness Trilogy #1
Author: Victoria Zak
Format: Kindle, 186 pages
Published: November 29th 2016 by Dragonblade Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: ASIN: B078Z96K3N
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Contest win
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Step into the sexy world of the Fae Vampire sisters from the Scottish Highlands....
The Highlands are full of magic and fae trickery. Adaira, Leana, and Masie Keith know this all too well. Destined to change their fate, but unprepared for the truth, their journey begins as the sisters grow accustomed to their dark sides—forever beautiful—forever blood drinkers—forever Baobhan sith.
Accused of murdering their laird’s son, Masie and her sisters flee their home.
Masie is immediately conflicted, especially after she's captured by Clan Gunn and falls in love with the laird's brother. Her true identity must remain a secret. For if she tells her Highlander who and what she really is, she could be burned as a witch. And Masie would never endanger her beloved sisters.
The last thing Commander Kerr Gunn saw in his future was falling in love with a lass from Clan Keith, his greatest enemy. The moment he laid eyes on her, he was under her spell. With the woman he loves wanted for murder, will he surrender Masie to her clan to stand trial or protect her with his sword and fierce heart?
The three sisters sat together, Masie in the middle, gazing at the twinkling stars. Wee Masie squeezed her eyes closed; praying hard to the gods a shooting star would magically appear. Please, if ye grant me this one wish, I promise to eat all my cabbage. She wrinkled her nose but her promise was good.
Beautiful Darkness marks my first foray into Victoria Zak’s books, but it won’t be the last as I’m hooked! This debut installment in her Daughters of Highland Darkness Trilogy is a humorous, mysterious and addicting adventure! This fast-paced, well-written story introduces three otherworldly sisters: Adaira, Leana and Masie Keith forever cursed by the winter queen on a full moon night to be Baobhan sith, requiring blood to survive. Masie, the youngest, is our heroine for this initial story.
As the story opens, we meet the three sisters who are not having a happy childhood. They make a wish upon a star only to find the consequences of their action not to be as they intended. Fast forward ten years later and Masie and her sisters are fleeing the only home they’ve ever known when they are wrongly accused of murdering the laird’s son. While making their getaway, the sisters come upon a battlefield teeming with dead and dying soldiers. Do they save those they can or allow them to die? The sisters are separated in the melee and Masie is captured by Clan Gunn where she falls in love with Kerr Gunn, the laird’s brother. Hoever, if Masie cannot keep her identity a secret, she risks being burned as a witch.
I found Victoria’s characters easy to connect with. Masie is a pure soul - sweet, warm and caring. I enjoyed watching her evolve into a strong-willed fighter for those she loves. Kerr is the commander of the Clan Gunn. Clan Gunn has historically been at war with Masie’s Clan so distrust is the name of the game. Kerr finds that he’s uncharacteristically the one at war with himself as he’s torn between his duty and his feelings for Masie. He’s a rough and tough alpha who surprises himself at how he can’t help but be sweet when he’s with Masie.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from Beautiful Darkness:
In the distance, the mist parted and a woman slowly rose from the ground. She had creamy white skin and her hair was black as night. Her sheer gown was covered with leaves and ivy. Twigs shimmered and twisted into a high collar which looked as if they had sprouted from her shoulders. With magical grace, as if the woman floated, she made her way forward.
“The winter fae queen,” Leana whispered.
“What brings such tender creatures to my woods?” the queen asked.
Where there’s blood, there must be a body.
“My angel of mercy.” The gut-wrenching words stabbed Masie in the chest. It wasn’t the first time she’d been called that.
She looked down, horrified by what she saw. He was lying in a pool of blood, his hand out-stretched. “My angel,” he wheezed as he struggled to breathe.
He was a warrior, strong and fearless. She bent down and whispered softly in his ear, “Close yer eyes and I’ll end yer pain.”
She paused just before her teeth sank into his flesh. Something within his essence held her back. He had to live.
Beautiful Darkness is a dark Scottish historical paranormal fantasy romance intertwined with age-old faerie lore and with an interesting take on vampires, fae, witches and other out-of-the-ordinaries. Add in brave, brawny Highlanders, castles, and mystical intrigue, and I was enmeshed in this story from the first word through to the last. It had me alternately sighing, giggling or on the edge of my seat and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys fresh dark fairy tales. Next up is Adaira’s story in Deadly Darkness!
Suggested Reading Order:
Beautiful Darkness – Masie’s story (Book #1)
Deadly Darkness – Adaira’s story (Book #2)
Wicked Darkness –Leana’s story (Book #3) – The Finale!