Highland Justice (Sons of Sinclair #3) by Heather McCollum
ABOUT THE BOOK
As the new chief of Clan Mackay, Gideon Sinclair knows the importance of maintaining order at any cost. To keep the conquered clan in line, Gideon must mete out ruthless justice or risk losing their precious new peace. But from the moment he meets Cait Mackay—aye, from the moment the sweetness of her lips captures his—all of Gideon’s careful objectivity is well and thoroughly compromised.
Cait knows that kissing the brawny Highlander is a dangerous game. It was bad enough she picked his pocket to feed the children in her care, but sometimes a desperate woman must disguise her crimes any way she can. Only her act of deception has made things worse… Because one kiss with the Highland’s most brutal chief leaves her breathless and out of her depth.
Now Gideon must choose between his duty and his heart when his lovely thief is accused of treason against the king himself.
Gideon Sinclair, The Horseman of Justice, is fair, precise, fastidious, and likes order and obedience. Cait Mackay is kind, stubborn, bold, and thrives on disorder and chaos. Two opposites attract as they battle wills and slowly convince each other they are not the enemy. However, there is treason afoot that threatens Cait and Gideon’s budding relationship when King James of Scotland comes to visit and one of Cait’s orphan children is falsely accused of thievery. It seems that someone is testing the loyalty of the Sinclair brothers for the King, but with Gideon’s excellent sleuthing skills and brilliant deductive reasoning he will find the evildoers… hopefully, before Cait decides to take matters into her own hands.
The Sinclair brothers were dubbed the Four Horsemen by their grieving and angry father. Cain is the Horseman of Conquest, Joshua is the Horseman of War, Gideon is the Horseman of Justice, and Bas is the Horseman of Death. They were trained by their father to be feared by their people, but they are not what they seem. It’s the women in their lives that know the men behind the masks. This is Gideon’s story and his heart will be stolen along with his coins and his ring, by a fearless widow and advocate for orphans who challenges Gideon’s every move.
Cait and Gideon surprise each other at every turn as they stand by their word and learn to trust. The constant challenging and verbal sparring is fun and enlightening, the passion is sensual, and their fight to better the world with justice and decency is admirable. Cait is fearless when she owns up to her transgressions and confronts the formidable Gideon head-on. Gideon treats Cait as an equal by being amenable to her needs and even amending laws for her. Gideon’s awkwardness of trying to set the Mackay Clan at ease by organizing an end-of-year festival is hilarious. His dry wit and menacing facial expressions as well as his commanding tone get him in trouble more than not and Cait’s annoying award/penalty point system keeps him on his toes. Cait’s surprising agility of scurrying down ropes and welding knives is refreshing and a big turn-on for the big chief. The little “thief” coaxes her way into his heart and the kind “tyrant” woos her with his unrefined charm and mindful clemency. He breaks the rules for her. It appears another horseman has met his match.
Cait’s orphan children are adorable and her friends are loyal as they testify to her good character and best intentions. Gideon’s brothers Cain and Joshua are happily married to strong women and Bas is questioning his purpose in life as much as Gideon. I can’t wait for Bas’s story.
The ancient laws added at the beginning of each chapter are a clever look at how justice was served throughout the ages as Gideon deals with his conscience and mediates punishment after listening to Cait’s logical arguments for fairness and equity.
I recommend this book to people who love historical romances set in Scotland, enjoy strong, independent lasses that can verbally challenge the biggest and most formidable warriors, delight in humorous and sensual trists, and thrive on intrigue and surprising twists and turns.
Book 3 in the Sons of Sinclair series can be read alone, but I suggest you read all of the books to learn what makes all of The Horseman tick. Please read my reviews of Highland Conquest and Highland Warrior for more Highland heroes.
Thank you to Ms. McCollum for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello! I’m a mom of three spirited kids, dog-mom of one rescued golden retriever, and a sugar glider-mom of a rescued marsupial. I love chai lattes, homemade hot chocolate, baked goods that I shouldn’t eat, dragonflies, and the British Baking Show. When I’m not running around being “Mom” or writing Scottish historical romance, I’m usually educating women about ovarian cancer. I’m a 9-year survivor and very fortunate to be alive to love my family.
My first publication was in my local, small-town newspaper when I was in second grade. My Christmas story had the word “tiptoed” in it which amazed my teacher and sky-rocketed me to publication. But I wasn’t sure that I wanted to be a writer. After all, there was baton twirling, hula dancing, comedy, and all sorts of other careers vying for my attention.
My grandmother gave me my first romance novel when I was fourteen, The Flame and The Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. The heroine’s name is Heather and I fell in love with Captain Brandon Birmingham. I read it over and over and then began to devour all of Ms. Woodiwiss’s books. Not only did I fall in love with her stories, but I also fell in love with the romance genre. In a teenager’s world, where so many events seem like tragedies, whether they really are or not, romances guaranteed a happy ending. So I sat in our pre-Civil War Virginia farmhouse with my five rescued dogs and the ghosts (fodder for my ghost stories to come) and read.
Every essay I had to write in high school had a happy ending and a kiss. Most of my teachers advised me to major in English, including my chemistry teacher who still remembered the time I accidentally sparked a small fire in his room. So people were surprised when I flew off to a small college in Maine to major in Marine Biology. I was set on saving dolphins, snails, and ecosystems. Writing was too subjective, I said. With science, answers were right or wrong.
I met my Captain Brandon my second year up in Maine, a six-foot-four-inch dark-haired Scot. After four years of being muddy, wet, and frozen while I tromped across mudflats with him, I earned my degree in Biology and headed to Grad school in the Southeast with my then fiancé. It didn’t take long before I realized that I liked working with people more than Petri dishes and I dropped out, found a job, and continued to read happy endings.
I married my Captain Brandon and settled down with two spunky Yorkshire Terriers. It was just before Christmas and we’d moved into a rental house. The front living room stood empty since we didn’t have enough furniture. So my DH set up a computer in the corner.
I sat down at that old computer . . . and began to type. Once the gates were opened I couldn’t stop. I continued to work, read romance, cuddle my dogs, and love my DH. But something had changed. I could sit before the screen and transport back in time to sweeping Scottish landscapes, and all the anxieties of the day would fade.
Now twenty+ years later, I am fortunate to be able to write every day, creating adventures full of love and happily-ever-afters!