The second of the MacAllister brothers books by Kinley Macgregor, Born in Sin is the story of Sin MacAllister. Sin is dark and brooding, both inside and out, having lived a life filled with rejection and pain. The illegitimate eldest MacAllister brother, Sin was shuffled between his parents, with neither of them actually wanting him. When the MacAllisters were required to provide the English king with hostages, Sin was the one who was sent, and when he was to be released his father told them not to bother. Eventually through a series of events, he ended up being enslaved to Saracens, and trained as a highly effective assassin. He ended up being sent to kill King Henry but instead he asked Henry to save him, and eventually he became one of the kings closest advisors.
The book opens with King Henry trying to convince a very reluctant Sin that he must marry Callie, daughter of a powerful Scottish family, and bring an end to the land raids that have been ongoing. Callie has been captured along with her brother and has tried unsuccessfully to escape on numerous escapes. After Sin has had to rescue her a couple of times she realises that she is not immune to his charms. Sin agrees to the marriage only if the King can find a priest willing to do so, thinking that as he has been excommunicated several times there is no way that this can happen. The king however outsmarts him and Callie and Sin are married.
Callie realises early on that her husbands aloofness results from the painful childhood and the fact that he is still treated as a pariah nearly everywhere he goes, but it doesn't take her too long to break through the tough exterior to find the gentle and loving man underneath. Sin too comes to realise that his pretty young wife is one of the few people who he can relax around.
As a character, Sin is a painfully tortured and tormented man. The process of drawing him away from that darkness within is very touching and very well written. Another point of difference for this man, was that not only was Callie a virgin, but he was also, meaning that there exploration of each other was something new to both of them.
I loved Sin as a character - tall, dark, handsome and brooding, but with a good man lurking beneath, a man who needed someone to show him the love and affection that he needed to reveal his true self. Sigh!!!
I am on a bit of a glom now with Kinley MacGregor's books and have already finished the next book in the series. I am definitely looking forward to reading more!