The Highlander’s Pirate Lass by Heather McCollum

Series: The Brothers of Wolf Isle #2

Publication Date: 8/23/21

Period:  Tudor – 1547 Highlands

Number of Pages:  271

Barbara’s Rating: 5-Stars

It has been about two/three years since our last visit to Wolf Isle and the Macquarie brothers.  Adam and Lark (The Highlander’s Unexpected Proposal) are still in newly wedded bliss – driving the rest of the brothers, Beck, Drostan, Callum, and Eagan, to distraction with their canoodling.  Beck has spent the last two years in a labor of love – he’s built his own ship – a three-masted carrack — and she is a thing of beauty.  Beck loves The Calypso more than anything else – well, anything except his brothers.  The Macquarie curse is still in full force.  The half-dead willow tree still has the newly formed buds on it from Adam and Lark falling in love, but those buds haven’t opened or progressed in healing.  It appears that ALL of the Macquarie brothers will have to find love before the curse is broken.

Beckett (Beck) Macquarie is happy to be on his new ship – flying through the water.  She is tight, sleek, light and plies through the water like a hot knife cutting butter.  The mission he has set for himself and the Calypso?  Find and destroy the French pirate Jandeau because he caused harm to Beck’s family.  Jandeau kidnapped Lark and had every intention of torturing her and selling her into slavery.  Beck won’t rest until he destroys Jandeau.

While Beck and his crew are out patrolling, Beck spots a woman signaling from a rock formation on an uninhabited island.  Beck and some of his trusted men row over to the island and find two women and three children who all tell him that a pirate took over their ship and abandoned them there.  After some observations and a few questions, that story just doesn’t ring true, but Beck cannot leave them on the island with no food.  His only option is to take them back to their family seat, Gylin Castle on Wolf Isle.

When she was twelve-years-old, Eliza Wentworth endured a horrible tragedy.  The pirate Jandeau attacked the ship she, her brother, and her parents were on.  They murdered her father outright, violated her mother beyond belief before killing her, and took Eliza and her 3-year-old brother prisoner.  She was so fortunate.  She was rescued by Captain John Pritchert, an English privateer – and she has sailed with him since then.  Captain John’s mission is to rescue women and children who have been taken by pirates, so Eliza has quite a little family now.  Yes, they are all her family – the sailors on the ship as well as the other woman and three children who live aboard ship with them.  When Captain John dropped them off on the uninhabited island, he left them with enough food to last for two weeks.  He’d be back for them before they ran out of food – except – he wasn’t.  Eliza is so very worried about him.  Had Jandeau attacked the ship?  If so, did any of them survive?  She has to find him!

Beck is immediately smitten with Eliza.  She’s unlike any woman he has ever met, but he also knows he has to keep his distance.  First, if he tried anything, she’d gut him.  Second, if they want to break the curse, he absolutely cannot father any by-blows.  Since Eliza fully intends to resume her life aboard Captain John’s ship, Beck knows there is no chance for them to wed.  So, he’ll just have to keep his distance.  HA!  We all know how well that is going to work out.

This fast-paced story will keep you reading well past bedtime.  You’ll absolutely adore Beck and Eliza and you’ll hold your breath right along with them as Jandeau makes an appearance.   There is a heartwarming romance, scurvy pirates, jealous wenches, ship theft (is there a word for that?), sacrifice, and fierce loyalty.  You can’t get much better than that.  I hope you’ll love this story as much as I did.  I can hardly wait for the third book featuring Callum Macquarie and Anna Montgomerie!

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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