The Devil of Dunakin Castle by Heather McCollum

The Devil of Dunakin Castle (Highland Isles, #4)The Devil of Dunakin Castle by Heather McCollum

Series: Highland Isles, #4

Release Date: November 13, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before I begin my review, I have to say that this book had the absolutely best dedication I have ever read and that dedication is reiterated in the note from the author at the end of the book. It was beautifully done and really touched my heart.

This book has all the elements I love in a story: humor, action/adventure, a misunderstood hero, steamy love scenes and a heroine that you can’t help rooting for.

Grace has been a secondary character in the previous books in this series, she is the sister of Ava, the heroine of the first book ( The Beast of Aros Castle ). Grace has always been portrayed as meek and even a bit weak, she has many fears and considers herself a coward, but inside she longs to be strong and have adventures of her own. When an opportunity to leave Aros arises, she jumps at the chance to leave and secretly hopes that she will find her own adventure. She leaves with an escort to travel to Barra to help Mairi with the birth of her child. But on the way, she and her escort are caught in a storm and take shelter at the inn. When her escort Thomas becomes ill, the healer in Grace takes over and she ventures out in the storm to find herbs to treat Thomas. But she gets turned around in the blizzard and soon finds herself lost and alone.

Keir MacKinnon is on a mission, he is on his way to Aros to bring back Mairi MacLean the famed healer. Keir is the brother to the chief and his nephew is gravely ill, he will find the MacLean healer and bring her to the Isle of Skye – no matter what. Keir is known as the Devil of Dunakin, the fierce warrior and executioner of his clan. When Keir hears a scream while on the way to the village, he tells his friend Brodie to go ahead to the inn and turns back to investigate.
What he finds is Grace surrounded by wolves. Injured while trying to save her and then knocked unconscious, Grace knows she cannot leave him to die. She tends his wounds and those of his horse and then begins to make a shelter to protect them from the storm. When Keir awakes, he is shocked to find Grace on him and asks if she is an angel. When he realizes that he is not dead, he leads them to a deserted cabin. Over the course of the storm, Grace cares for Keir and when he finally wakes, she is smitten. They spend time to together and the attraction grows. Just as things begin to heat up between them, Brodie shows up.

Grace learns that Keir is planning on taking her with him and is furious. But along the way, she learns much about Keir and is shocked by the way people treat him. She tries to stay angry, but her heart goes out to this man.

When they arrive at Dunakin, Grace faints at the sight greeting her, but when she recovers, she agrees to treat Keir’s nephew, Lachlan. But the news is not good, not only is the boy sick, but now his father, Rab is also showing signs of the illness. When Grace learns the cause, she has no one she can trust except Keir. And she is not sure she really knows who Keir is, is he the sweet, gentle man who saved her or is he the killer his clan deems him to be. Grace decides that she does trust Keir and together they form a plan to weed out the villain.

The plan works perfectly, except it also implicates Keir’s sister and Rab orders Keir to execute her. Grace is horrified for Keir and seeks him out. When she finds him, she learns his deepest secrets and knows that she loves him. She begs him to refuse to kill Dara, knowing that it will be the act that finally destroys him. Keir loves Grace, but he feels there is no future for her with the “Devil” and tells Brodie to return her to her family.

Desperate to save Keir, she seeks out the one person she believes will help her and learns of a clan legend – that the Devil will be killed when an Angel pierces his heart. To save the man she loves, Grace will have to overcome her own fears.

This was such a great story, the book is well written and flows great, has lots of action, steamy love scenes and a great ending. While this book is the fourth book in the series, I think it could easily be read as a standalone title with no real problems. But, if you would like a better understanding of Grace’s character, I would recommend reading the first book (The Beast of Aros Castle ), before you read this story.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

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