When he was 12, his name was Branan Strickland. He was the heir to the Wardenship of Inglewood, a title to govern a Royal Forest and the land around it. But Branan's father was an abusive sod, beating Branan and his mother for sheer sport.
©2012 Kathryn Loch (P)2015 Kathryn Loch
Until the night when his father's fist landed on the side of his mother's head - a wound that would kill her in a few short hours. Devastated, Branan spent those last hours with her. Just when he thought his world couldn't shatter any more, his mother told him the truth of his heritage.
Branan was not Strickland's son, he was the son of a Scottish Laird, Ralf MacTavish. Strickland had murdered Branan's true sire and forced his mother into marriage.
Raina MacTavish had just learned she was pregnant when Strickland killed the man she loved more than life. Had she not carried Branan, she would have willingly died. Raina had told no one but Ralf of her gravidity. After Strickland bedded her, a couple of months later, Raina announced her pregnancy. She did so only because she feared if Strickland knew Branan's true sire, the blackguard would slay her babe - the last link to her beloved husband.
But now she is dying. Raina knows she must tell Branan the truth. Her heart grieves, she can no longer protect him, but there is a family nearby who once called Ralf and Raina friend.
Raina also knows Branan is growing into the spitting image of his true sire. Soon, Strickland will see his old enemy staring back at him.
Branan has one chance to reclaim what was stolen from him, his title and his father's stolen sword, a huge Scottish claymore with an emerald set in the pommel and a thistle engraved on its hilt. He knows he must learn the ways of a knight and grow stronger.