Friday, May 12, 2023

Review: Highland Beast by Heather McCollum

Highland Beast by Heather McCollum
Series: Sons of Sinclair, Book 4
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Genre: Historical Romance 
Highland Beast cover
ISBN: 9781649373441
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Entangled
Heather McCollum Reading Order

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.

Bàs Sinclair finally learns he can be more than just the Horseman of Death in Highland Beast. The quiet and somber youngest Sinclair brother stole my heart from the first Sons of Sinclair story and I was so excited to read his book. And who else could be a match for a man they call Death than a midwife who brings life into this world?

Shana Drummond doesn’t fear Bàs and doesn’t buy into all the whispers that his touch can kill. Shana has known death, heartbreak, and fear but she has survived. On the run and desperate to save her sister and nephew, she finds refuge with Bàs. Shana is strong, smart, and determined, but even she can use help sometimes. And Bàs…the poor man was raised since childhood to be Death, to be feared, to be a monster. He hides away from the world that would shun him, more at home among the beasts. I adored Bàs who was kind, considerate, and so tortured it could break your heart. Shana sees the true man for all he is and won’t stand for him treating himself as a monster when he’s got a heart of gold. They made a good match and I liked when they were alone together because we got to see their chemistry.

I struggled with rating Highland Beast because there’s a lot I like about the characters. Bàs and Shana make a good couple, but I would have loved more time for them to explore and develop their relationship without the interference of others. As much as I love the Sinclair family, they tended to take over the page. When you add in Shana’s sister and the plotline involving her evil husband and a baby in danger, not to mention politics, intrigue, and accusations of witchcraft, then you have so much going and so many vocal characters that it pulls focus from our less flashy protagonists. The story moved more slowly than I’m used to from Heather McCollum, which was a pity since I was so excited for Bàs to get his happily ever after. At the end of the day, I liked Highland Beast but didn’t love it. I was looking for the spark I so enjoy in McCollum’s writing, along with more focus on the central characters.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.