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Showing 1-10 of 86 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on June 7, 2003
It takes a truly exceptional book in this day and age to really touch my heart and this book does it. By the third chapter, I knew that this would be one of those rare classic books like Jackson Rule, Wolf and the Dove, Whitney My Love or Keeper of the Dream. The kind that you put on your shelf and reread over and over again. Lord Sin was the first real hero I've read in a long time. He rises above his past and with the help of his brothers and the kind, carves a spot for himself. He is a man respected and feared by everyone. He wants nothing more than what he has until the day his best friend, the king of England makes him promise to wed Caledonia to stop the trouble of the unknown Raider in her clan.
Neither Callie nor Sin expect anything from the marriage. Sin expects to annul it as soon as possible while Callie true to her upbringing promises to uphold the church law and be a dutiful wife. But it's not duty that makes her welcome her husband, it's his strong, loving heart.
I think I fell in love with Sin while reading Claiming the Highlander, but I had no idea just how wonerful and touching his story would be. Thank you Kinley for writing this book. I have been telling everyone I know to read it. It is filled with lovable, real characters who I can't wait to meet in future books. I saw that Ewan and Simon's books are next and I'm counting down the days to them both.
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on February 27, 2003
The moment I finished this book I wanted to pick it up and read it again. This book caught me from the very first page. Sin's story is the saddest think I have ever heard. My heart hurt so much during this book. I loved the way Sin & Callie's relationship played out. I liked Callie's sence of humor and the way she made Sin laugh. In some parts you could almost feel Sin's heart opening up to Callie. This book was truly amazing it is my favorite out of all of Kinley MacGregor books so far. If you are looking for a wonderful story this is for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
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on January 7, 2007
I've read quite a few of Kinley's books and this is the best so far. This is a novel about the redeeming power of love.

Sin is the most tortured hero ever, yet he is a lovable tortured hero who thinks himself unworthy of love since no one has ever loved or accepted him. Despite his tortured life, he hasn't lost his humanity and is capable of great kindness and comes to care for Callie, the woman he is forced to wed.

Callie sees through his tough outer shell to the vulnerable, hurting man beneath and wants to soothe his pain. When he finally sleeps with his wife, weeks after the wedding night, she asks him if sex is always like that. He answers that he doesn't know because she's the first woman he's ever slept with.

In the end, Sin offers himself up for the ultimate sacrifice (death) all in order to avoid hurting Callie and losing her love. Spoiler: in the end, however, she's the one who rescues him and saves him from his sacrifice.

I can't say this about any other novel, but it was an emotional roller coaster ride that I enjoyed almost as much as Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander." The ending was satisfying too; it kept you guessing until almost the last page.

The part where he asks her to teach him what love is . . is simply heartrending.
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on June 8, 2006
Sin McAllister is a man haunted by his past. Bearing the stigma of his illegitimacy, his English mother couldn't stand the sight of him and sent him to his Scottish father the second she gave birth to him. He grew up being despised by his stepmother and treated with indifference by his own father. Years later, he would turn his back forever from Scotland when his father willingly handed him to the English and became one of their hostages. From then on, Sin would know and live only one kind of life: one of violence and solitude.

Now in his prime, Sin is one of the most feared and hated men in the English court. But with his freedom comes his duty to King Henry. Thus, when a group of Scottish rebels wreak havoc along the English border, Sin is ordered by the king to marry Lady Caledonia MacNeely and take her back home to Scotland where he must uncover the identity of the "Raider" and stop his rebellious acts.

By edict of the English king, Caledonia has no choice but to marry the mysterious English lord. Yet while others have warned her about the dangerous stranger, Caledonia cannot deny her attraction to him. And instead of fearing him, she finds herself drawn to and intrigued by him. With no choice but to marry him, she is determined to draw out the passionate man that she knows is hiding beneath the hardened warrior.

After meeting Sin in the previous MacAllister book, CLAIMING THE HIGHLANDER, I couldn't wait to see him meet the woman who will finally bring him peace and happiness. Sin is such an enigmatic character, portrayed as a man who has carefully shielded himself away from anyone, knowing that reopening his heart and soul to anyone, especially a beautiful woman like Caledonia, can destroy him. It was sad reading about how he has banished any delusion of comfort and solace long ago, after first becoming a political hostage, then finally rejected by his very own parents. The author has done well in her portrayal of Caledonia; she's the perfect heroine for a lost soul like Sin. I liked how she embraced life and proved loyal to those she loved; her attempts to escape in the beginning show her strength and will, while her determination to make things right for Sin proves how much a worthy partner she is for him.

BORN IN SIN is a poignant and sometimes funny story, featuring well-drawn characters that will endear them to you. This is a novel that shows everyone that lost men can be found and brought home.

Next in the series is TAMING THE SCOTSMAN, featuring Ewan MacAllister.
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on February 21, 2006
This was my favorite of all of her books and I can guarantee that it will bring a tear to the eye of the most hardened historical romance reader.

This is the story of Callie (Caledonia) and Sin, one of the bothers in the MacAllisters series. As far as tortured heroes with the most horrific and unspeakable pasts and childhood - Sin wins the award. He doesn't have a proper name as his name is the sin that his mother made in keeping him and birthing him. The horrors that he has suffered will make your heart cringe and the overall sadness that he carries will really rip your heart out.

He is devoid of any emotion and has no feelings - he only existis to be the king's right hand - almost a hired killer performing all the King's most dangerous missions. He doesn't care if he lives or dies - all he has is his loyalty to his king and his sword.

Callie enters his world and Sin is perplexed why such a beautiful woman gives him the time of day. Callie's manner is delightful and her effervescent and enchanting personally eventually burrows under his skin and she starts to make him laugh and "feel".

This is one of the most poignant and heartrending stories you will ever read. The unspeakable horrors that men endured and the brutality that existed in that era is so well portrayed that it is almost heartbreaking that anyone could have survived such appalling conditions in ones early childhood. This is by no means a brutal book. On the contrary, you will sigh and may even grab that Kleenex as the beauty and glory of Sin's and Callie's love story will weave itself in your heart. This was one was a KEEEEEEPER and then some! It is a story that will stay in your heart for a long time and after you are done reading, you will want to start from chapter one again!

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I have!

Nanette
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on September 21, 2005
Captivating and poignant! A truly engrossing tale of beauty and her "beastie"! I loved this book! I'm a huge fan of this writer in both her names, but I have had a few disappointments along the way - 'BORN IN SIN' is not one of them! I could not put this book down - the story grabs you from Page 1, and never lets go! There is so much emotion in this book - from both Sin and Callie, as well as the secondary characters, that one comes away with a satiated feeling. I loved Callie and Sin, and their journey towards awakening Sin's battered and almost non-existent heart (romantically speaking, of course)! Callie is a heroine to remember - strong, patient, beautiful, and truly, truly, a good person. Sin is the lost soul - beaten down, trodden on, made into something almost non-human by his experiences in life. When hope first blossoms in his heart - when he first dares to begin to dream and hope, 'tis a really wonderful thing to behold! I loved Jamie! What a scamp! Simon and the MacAllister brothers are wonderful in their supporting roles. If you like the Scottish/English conflict, and the Heroes born of those times, then this book is for you! There is humour in this book, as well. Callie's final desperate bid for Sin's freedom makes one want to stand up and cheer! Go, girl!

Please buy this book! I venture to say you will not be disappointed! Also, don't miss out on the other books about the MacAllister brothers.
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on September 24, 2014
It is not often that a book touches me so deeply that I cry tears of joy. This story does just that. My heart broke for our hero, Sin. As the story progresses and you learn more about his childhood, how harshly he was treated, you can't help but wish nothing but the best for him. Calie was exactly what and who he needed.

I now have a new author to add to my 'all-time favorite' list. Ms. MacGregor is now second only to Julie Garwood. I am looking forward to reading more of Ms. MacGregor's historical romance novels.
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on March 23, 2016
"The ghosts of the past are hard to exorcise..."

Sin was born a bastard and cast out to live and survive a cruelty no child should have to endure. He takes a chance on saving the King of England's life, and becomes Lord Sin, one of the most feared and powerful knights in the realm.

Callie is taken hostage by the King, who is looking for peace between the English and the Scots. He forces a marriage between Sin and Callie to help strengthen his cause for peace.

Sin and Callie's romance is a story of beauty and the beast. I loved it!! Highly recommend!

Fav quote:
"One day I am going to find the heart you have buried away from the world."-Callie
"And what would you do with it if you found it?"-Sin
"I would hold it safe and keep it from the hurt that has shriveled it."-Callie
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on April 5, 2012
Caledonia and her young brother, children of a deceased Scottish laird, are held hostage in England by King Henry II. At the time the story begins, Callie is determined to escape in order to save her young brother Jamie from a miserable life being mistreated by the English.

Sin, although technically the son of another deceased Scottish laird, refuses to acknowledge the connection because of how said deceased laird treated him while he was alive. Sin has lived a torturous life since his birth and has long since given up hope for anything else. How has he suffered? Let me count the ways:

He was conceived out of wedlock during his father's first year of marriage. His unwed mother blamed him for her shame and rejected him TWICE (a third time during this story). His father refused to acknowledge him or address him because of his wife's resentment and malice toward him, and he was only given a name when his stepmother called him "Sin" because he was conceived in sin. He was fostered with an evil knight who abused him (and everyone else he was around) and said knight sold him as a slave to a Saracen when on Crusade. Sin spent five years with the Saracens, forced to kill and do horrendous things just for enough food to keep him alive.

He was finally rescued at the age of 18 by King Henry II, who he had been sent to kill. For Henry he was a coldblooded soldier and assassin, but also a friend. And it was Henry who had the good sense to order Sin to marry Caledonia and accompany her to her Scottish home in order to seek out the Raider, a Scotsman who has been attacking the English in Scotland.

Of course, Sin knows he cannot risk a real marriage, nor does he deserve one. But Callie sees through his facade to the honorable man underneath and determines to convince him that he is a man worthy to be loved. Of course, she knows her clan will never accept him as the Englishman he appears, having rejected his Scots heritage. And Sin knows that she will never forgive him once he roots out the Raider, certain to be one of her clan, and turns him over to the English to be executed. But as much as Sin tries to deny his growing attachment to her, Callie refuses to give up her claim to his heart.

I love this book! I know it isn't perfect. It's far too optimistic to be a "true" medieval; however, that is a mark in its favor for me, since I don't usually care for medievals (except for Kinley MacGregor's, that is). I know that Henry II was not nearly as nice in real life as he is portrayed in this series, but that doesn't bother me either. I admit my addiction to HEAs, and this one was one of the best I've seen. I liked it even better than the first book--and much better than the second since both the hero and the heroine were stellar characters. On to Book Four! Will it be Ewan or Lochlan or Simon? I can't wait!
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on February 1, 2003
For those who had read Claiming the Highlander might remember Sin, the dark brother who had been treated harshly by almost all people in his life (excluding his brothers). And for those who had read Master of Desire might be happy to find Draven's little brother Simon presence in this book.
I really shouldn't reveal too much about the story. However, I really enjoyed this book and I loved the hero and heroine.
What can I say about Sin? He was hurt too much by people around him since childhood thus he never expected any kindness from those around him. Callie was a really stubborn girl who wanted to crack the ice of Sin's cold heart. She used several weapons to do so: courage, kindness, good humor, sweet smile, patience (a lots of it!!!), herself and love.
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