MOON BURNING - Lucy Monroe
Children of the Moon , Book 3
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-23980-3
February 2011
Paranormal Historical Romance

Scottish Highlands - 12th Century A.D.

In the past month, Barr has learned just how much work he has to do as the new laird of the Donegal clan.  When the old Donegal laird died, his son, Circin was too young to lead the clan, so Rowland is acting laird until Circin is old enough to assume the role.  Rowland is an ignorant bully who segregated the Crechte warriors from the humans in the clan and has spread distrust and fear through them all.  During a hunt, a young warrior with Barr fires an arrow at a raven, further illustrating that Rowland hasn't instructed his warriors properly in any aspect of clan life.  Yet when Barr comes across an injured and naked woman while searching for the raven, Barr's wolf makes itself known with the claim “mine”.

A warrior for her people, Sabrine will infiltrate the Donegal clan, hoping to find the sacred stone necessary for the Éan rite of passage.  The ravens (Éan) have been warring with the wolves (Faol) for centuries, so she cannot trust the laird, in spite of what her raven instincts tell her.  That Barr is the laird of the Donegal clan is only the first of the surprises that Sabrine is in for, though, when she allows him to take her back to his keep.  Never had she thought that she could find friends among the enemy Faol—or her sacred Crechte mate.

Since the betrayal by MacAlpin of the Crechte, the shapeshifting wolves have assimilated into human clans and believe that legends of other Crechte are nothing but that…legend.  In MOON BURNING, Sabrine proves that they are more than myth.  The murder of her parents prompted her to become a warrior and protector of the Éan, and her latest mission involves the survival of the Éan itself.  Her distrust and repugnance of all things Faol is hard to overcome, but Sabrine doesn't deny her attraction or bond to Barr for long.  Accepting his wolf or that he's her future is something else altogether—he'll never be welcomed by the Éan, and if the Donegals were to ever to find out about her nature, she would be hunted by them.  At the king's edict, Barr replaces Rowland as laird of the Donegals and quickly realizes how badly Rowland has led the clan.  The Crechte warriors are poorly trained and the humans—ignorant of the Crechte—have not been allowed to train with them, and the women can't even defend themselves.  It's not long before most of the clan has accepted Barr and are eager to learn all he has to teach.  Accepting the fact that he claims as mate a woman who was found in the forest and has no memory is a little more to ask of them.

The legend of the Crechte is one of the commonalities in the Children of the Moon series; some of the characters are another.  Barr was the second in command of the Sinclair clan until the king sent him to the Donegals, and he was a prominent secondary character in the last novel, MOON CRAVING.  The heroines of the first two novels (MOON AWAKENING being the first) are step-sisters, so the stories are connected through family, but otherwise they each stand well on their own.  MOON BURNING introduces another group of Crechte and hints that there may be others, so hopefully this won't be the last we see of these fascinating characters.  A book that should not be missed, be sure to pick up your copy of MOON BURNING.

Jennifer Bishop