About the Book:
Title: Highland Beast
Author: Heather McCollum
Series: Sons of Sinclair #4
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: April 25, 2023
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Synopsis: Bàs Sinclair is the cold and brutal hand—and sword—of justice across the Highlands. He has one destiny: to bring fear into the hearts of guilty men. But when he is called to execute a midwife for her crimes, he cannot raise his weapon. For Bàs already knows this lovely, part-wild creature. After all, she gave him his first and only kiss…
Shana Drummond will do anything to protect her beloved sister. Now her cruel, merciless brother-in-law has called upon Bàs to have Shana killed for crimes she didn’t commit. She can’t reconcile the cold, lethal warrior before her with the gentle one she met—nay, kissed—only days before.
But mercy from Bàs can only lead to one thing: war among the clans. A war that will test allegiances, tear families apart, and challenge everything Bàs knows about himself and his heart. Because once this Highlander knows love, nothing will stop him from keeping Shana safe…even if it means destroying his own destiny.
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I’ve been eagerly anticipating Bàs’s story since the very first book, and I’m so thrilled that I received an ARC of Highland Beast, the fourth book in the Sons of Sinclair series. Bàs’s story is a fabulous and moving addition to the series, and I adored Bàs as much as I had expected.
Bàs has been shrouded in mystery since the first book in the series, and I knew there was more to this brutal man than was revealed. His character arc was fantastic. A solitary man with a lot of torment, Bàs slowly starts to see himself as more than just an executioner. This is a man who was forced from childhood to become something he despised, and it takes him a long time to reconcile the different parts of himself. It was heartbreaking to read his story as a sweet young boy who liked to pick flowers being told he killed his mother (she died in childbirth) and being forced into a ruthless and brutal existence. There’s a deep sadness in this man, and his unfeeling, heartless, and distanced outward persona is very different from the guilty, lonely, and sensitive man he is inside. I love that we see the tender more vulnerable side of him, like when we learn he keeps a monument to all those he had a hand in killing, or when he patiently and compassionately helps a dying man live his final moments the way he wishes, and when we see how lovingly he treats animals. I also love how his growing relationship with Shana changes him.
Bàs does not let people in, not even his brothers, so he is surprised and confused when Shana gets under his skin. I thought Shana was great!! Brave, kind, and stubborn, Shana helps Bàs see himself as more than just a killer. A healer who will do anything to protect her sister, Shana finds Bàs as she flees from her brother-in-law with her sister’s newborn baby. Her brother-in-law, the vile leader of a neighboring clan, believes the baby is not his and is intent on killing it. Shana is terrified for her sister and her baby nephew, and she finds safety for herself and her nephew with Bàs. It was interesting to see these two develop feelings for each other. Shana, a midwife who brings life into the world, and Bàs, a man who ends lives, balance each other well.
The story also has a lot of suspense and intrigue, as Shana is desperate to free her sister from imprisonment. Afraid of murmurings of witchcraft, Shana knows her brother-in-law won’t stop until he finds the baby, but Shana isn’t giving him up, and she will do anything to reunite the bay with her sister. Shana is pulled into danger and murderous plots that go way deeper than she imagined. Luckily she has Bàs and his brothers to help her. And, I have to mention Bas with the baby. So adorable! I love how tender and sweet he is. He is kinder and more compassionate than he ever gives himself credit for, and his gift with animals is also very special.
Speaking of animals, I adored all of the animal additions to the story. Bàs has a menagerie of non-human friends, and he has a gift for caring for, befriending and understanding these creatures. I think my favorite was the squirrel. That little guy was so cute! Though Bàs’s wolf is also amazing!
The story is a nice mix of action, intrigue, character growth, and romance. I would recommend checking out the content warnings since there are elements, including violence and abuse. Special thanks to Entangled: Amara for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance.
About the Author:
Heather McCollum is an award-winning, historical romance writer. With over twenty books published, she is an Amazon Best Seller and a Readers’ Choice winner.
The rugged beauty and rich history of Great Britain captivates Ms. McCollum each time she visits. The country’s history and landscape have been a backdrop for her stories since her very first book.
When she is not dreaming up adventures and conflict for brawny Highlanders and feisty heroines, she spends her time educating women on the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. She is a survivor and resides with her very own Highland hero and three spirited children in the wilds of suburbia on the mid-Atlantic coast.