Book Review: Highland Lion by Celeste Barclay

About the Book:

Title: highland Lion

Author: Celeste Barclay

Series: The Clan Sinclair Legacy

Publication Date: Feb. 8, 2022

Publisher: Oliver-Heber Books

Synopsis: A warrior determined to step out of his family’s shadow…

Liam Mackay journeys to Orkney to oversee the transfer of control from the Norwegian king to his grandfather, Laird Liam Sinclair, Earl of Caithness. Honored with the mission from his namesake, Liam is determined to prove to his parents, Tristan and Mairghread Mackay, he is no longer the “wee” lad they think. No one in the Sinclair or Mackay clans believed the transition would be smooth, but Liam never imagined he’d be caught in the midst of a woman’s perilous attempt to escape being ripped from her homeland.

A farmer’s daughter determined to control her future…

Elene Isbister never imagined her mother would remarry, especially not to the brutal Norwegian trader who visited their home on Orkney. Elene understands her fate if she’s forced to follow her mother and stepfather to Norway. Desperate to flee with her younger siblings, Elene turns to the one man she believes can save them. With rescue in sight, Elene believes she’s found a path to a peaceful future, but she underestimates how her life will change living amongst Highlanders.

A couple determined to follow their own path…

With an ever-present danger, can Liam and Elene overcome their cultural differences to nurture their budding relationship?

If you’ve loved Celeste Barclay’s The Clan Sinclair, The Highland Ladies, and Viking Glory series, you don’t want to miss how these worlds combine in the riveting The Clan Sinclair Legacy.

Descended from the legendary characters in Celeste Barclay’s Viking Glory series, STEAMY Highland Lion begins her spinoff from The Clan Sinclair and The Highland Ladies. This highly in demand new series takes readers back to where Celeste began with the next generation in The Clan Sinclair Legacy. This STEAMY collection will continue to prove that in the Sinclair family, the men are strong, and the women are fierce.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Highland Lion is a fantastic start to a new historical romance series. The story is filled with action, adventure, and romance, as Elene tries to escape from the evil clutches of her potential step-father, and Liam swears to help her. Liam Mackay and Elene Isbister are complex and richly developed protagonists, and I loved their journeys, both individually and as a couple. Liam, wanting to prove himself to his family, travels to Orkney to oversee the transfer of control over to his grandfather. Unfortunately, this transition isn’t completely amicable, and Liam must face the angry and potentially dangerous opposition. Liam is an honorable, just, and brave man with a strong commitment to his family, as well as a strong sense of duty and responsibility. When he sees how Elene is being treated, he struggles not to intervene.

Elene is equally brave and strong. She knows her mother’s fiancée Gunter is only marrying her mother for revenge. Gunter really wanted and was rejected by Elene, so he now plans to sell her into slavery. Elene has no one to depend on and knows she has to save herself. She not only fears for her future but also the future of her younger siblings, who only have Elene. Elene and Liam both face so many obstacles, yet they also have a wonderful, slow-building romance, and I like how their relationship and connection grew. Their feelings for each other run deep, and even when they can’t quite verbalize how they feel, their love for each other is clear. They have so many swoon-worthy moments, and I loved them all!!

Liam has a wonderfully loving family, all of whom were characters in several of Barclay’s previous series. Though they’re initially a bit intimidating and overwhelming for Elene, this close-knit family is everything Elene wished for in her family. This family is so large and welcoming and supportive, and the unconditional love and respect they have for each other is everything!! You learn a little bit about all of Liam’s aunts and uncles, as well as his parents, and I’m really interested in going back and reading their stories. Each is so compelling, and though they have secondary roles in this story, their characters are dynamic and well-developed.

I also really like Elene’s younger siblings. They are so brave and sweet, and they go through so much throughout the book. Like Elene, they are survivors, and they have such a lovely relationship with their big sister. Elene is really more like their mother than their sister though. Their love for each other is beautiful and very much resembles the deep love the MacKay’s have for each other. All of these wonderful characters stand in sharp contrast to Elene’s horrible mother and her mother’s fiancée, who prove to be vile in their words and actions.

Elene, Liam, and Elene’s siblings go through so much as they run from Gunter and try to avoid capture. It makes for a suspenseful read, and there are several nail-biting scenes as they risk everything to stay together and stay alive. Some parts are really emotional too, especially when Elene struggles and stresses and worries. She desperately clings to her failing hope, even when her future seems bleak. Her story highlights the fact that women, especially young unmarried women did not have much choice or control over their lives. Liam’s story, though not as intense as Elene’s, is very relatable. He is a bit insecure in his family, who calls him Wee Liam, and he is so determined to prove himself. He wants to feel worthy of these amazing people in his life and make them proud. I think a lot of people can relate to these feelings, and it definitely endeared me to his characters, as did his treatment of Elene and her siblings.

This is such a great start to The Clan Sinclair Legacy series, and though it’s a spin-off of several other series by the author, you don’t need to read them to enjoy this one. I didn’t read the other series, but I think I need to now! All of the stories sound fantastic. I would definitely recommend the book to readers of swoon-worthy and action-packed historical romance and am so thankful to NetGalley and Oliver Heber Books for providing a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The suspense.
  • The characters.

Favorite Line:

I asked you once before to be brave, and you asked me if it would make you a man like me. Bravery is only part of what makes a man. You wield power when you wield a sword. A man knows how to use that wisely.


Readers who enjoy historical romance with great characters, a lot of action and adventure, and a swoon-worthy love story should totally check this one out. I would also recommend check the content warnings, as there are some subjects that might prove triggering for some readers.

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