by Suzanne Enoch
Series: Scandalous Highlanders #4
Pub. Date: Oct. 6, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Munro MacLawry has always lived up to his nickname "Bear." Strong and brawny, he's known in his clan to be fiercely protective. Sadly for him, each of his siblings becomes "less highlander" as they get married, and Bear is left rowdy and alone with no one to protect. That is, until a routine hunt leads to the most alluring of creatures…
Catriona MacColl doesn't care to amuse the brash, strong, and sexy highlander she stumbles upon in the woods. She's too busy hiding with her sister from marriage into English society. Already well-equipped with a bull's-eye shot, she doesn't need a protector, no matter how badly her body burns for him. But as Cat's boyish nature gives way to her more feminine desires, she'll have to stop fighting the tide and listen to her heart…
This is my first read from Suzanne Enoch, and I am happy to have found another historical author to populate my TBR Pile. While this is the 4th book in the Scandalous Highlanders series, I have not (yet) read the first 3. I recognize that there is a lot of character crossover from the earlier books, but I did not feel lost or left out much. So don't be afraid to jump in if you are in the same boat. In a way, I am kind of glad that I didn't read them first, as I may have felt differently about our hero in this story.
Our hero is Munro MacLawry, known as "Bear" due to his size and gruff demeanor. I absolutely loved him. Although he presents himself as somewhat of a ham-fisted brute, there is much more to Bear than meets the eye. He is quite smart, caring and protective of his family. It's just a shame that no one in his family has looked past the exterior to really get to know this youngest sibling.
The heroine in this story is unfortunately awesome. What do I mean by that. It is unfortunate that her father wanted a son and raised her to be a boy. This goes past your typical tomboyish heroine... Catriona MacColl dresses as a man and does everything a man can do. Her only concession to femininity is her long red hair... that she doesn't know how to style other than in a ponytail. Because of the way her father raised her, everyone (even her own clan) sees her as odd, mannish, and laughs at her behind their hands. My heart really went out to Cat - its not that she wanted to be mannish, she just didn't know any other way to be. But my favorite aspect of Cat was that once her and Bear got together, she stayed to fight for him. She did not run away like so many annoying heroines are wont to do. Every time an opportunity presented itself for Cat to run, and she refused, I cheered out loud.
For me, the biggest villains in this story were Bear's family. They treated Bear and Cat poorly, and they didn't quite redeem themselves in my eyes. This is kind of why I am happy I read this 4th book of the series first. It will be interesting to see how I feel about the family when I go back and read each of their love stories. They were really unfair to Bear from the outset by trying to force him to do something that none of the older siblings were willing to do themselves. Of course in the end, Bear and Cat get their HEA together... but is it at the cost of his family?
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin's Press, in exchange for an honest review. 4 stars / 2 flames.
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