The Highland Outlaw by Heather McCollum

The Highland OutlawBarbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Campbell’s #4
Publication Date: 10/21/19
Number of Pages: 400

WOW! What a fast-paced, interesting, breath-holding chase across Scotland this story was! From the first page to the last there are fearsome Highland warriors – of the male and female sort. The entire series has been that way, so I was sure this book would follow suit – and it did.

Shaw Sinclair, Chief of the Sinclair clan, has had a hard, miserable life – and he has the scars – inside and outside – to prove it. After Shaw’s father died, his wicked uncle took over as Laird. He abused Shaw, his sisters, and his mother. Not only that, he ran up huge debts from drinking, gambling and other debaucheries and ended up giving up the Sinclair castle and lands to the northern Campbells. Since then, the Sinclair clan has been homeless and the vindictive Campbells constantly runs them out of their cottages – even in the dead of a harsh Scottish winter. So, it is no surprise that Shaw jumps at the chance to have the crown restore his home and lands. All he has to do is deliver a newborn baby girl to a boat in St. Andrews. Except, when he finally receives the babe, her wet-nurse has died and there are English soldiers pursuing the baby – to put it to death. He has to find someone to care for the babe – especially someone who can feed her – all while avoiding the English soldiers. Piece of cake for a braw highlander.

Alana Campbell, sister to the Laird of the southern Campbells, is one of the older members of the Highland Roses school. We’ve met her in the earlier books in the series and she is an intelligent, lovely young woman who just happens to be a trained warrior as well. Imagine her surprise when a huge, fierce warrior appears in her tent – and abducts her so she can care for an infant girl. Of course, once she discovers that their destination is just north of Edinburgh, she decides to willingly go along. She needs to get to Edinburg to rescue her mother that all of them had thought dead.

Somewhere along the way – dodging soldiers and caring for an infant – Alana comes to care deeply for both the Highlander and the babe. How will she ever have the strength to put that sweet babe on the boat? She doesn’t care much for the idea of separating from the Highlander either.

How will their love survive once all of the treachery, lies, and deceit are revealed? What will happen if Shaw cannot regain the Sinclair lands and castle? Why in the world are the English soldiers out to murder a tiny, innocent, defenseless babe?

NOTE: Possible spoilers below – so don’t read if you don’t want to know

Is it a sign of a really good story when, at the end, you keep wondering what happened next? I hope we will see some of that in a future book – maybe Kirsten’s book. I have to wonder how they got the Campbells off their land. Are they still being harassed by the Campbells? Can Shaw learn to trust Alistair and Logan again? Will they get there in time to save the Sinclair’s from the harsh winter? Will they actually start a second Highland Rose shool?

One thing that seemed confusing to me is that although they got the proclamation from King James – they were still talking about paying the northern Campbells for the debt Shaw’s uncle owed. Did they just want to pay it off because they felt the clan owed it? It sounds fair to me for them to pay it, but it just wasn’t made very clear.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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