Highland Chieftain is the twenty first book in the Murrays series by Hannah Howell. Each of these books can be read on their own, however having read at least one of the books in the series will give readers a feel for some of the surprises that the book is likely to offer.
Responsible for protecting her younger siblings from their abusive father, Bethoc Matheson is in no position to rescue another soul in Scotland. Yet when she sees a bleeding man on the verge of drowning, that's exactly what she does, securing him safely in a cave where she can return day after day to tend to his wounds. Sir Callum MacMillan can scarcely believe such a slight lass as Bethoc could save him from the grasp of death. But he knows the telltale marks of an angry fist on her skin, and he knows she has the soul of a fighter within her feminine frame. Raised to be a protector of the weak by his Murray clansmen, Callum would prefer to be the one saving her—and save her, he will. If he can first survive the treacherous attack that led him into her irresistible arms.
Highland Chieftain is a return to a series that I feel like I have not read in a long time. While only vaguely connected to the books I had read, I still knew what to expect. Both Bethoc and Callum have been through horrible things, and are fighting their way through another round of trouble. However, even after facing abusive beginnings and having the issues that that can cause, they are both people bent on helping and protecting others. I love that Bethoc is willing to trust others, though not in a way that puts her more at risk. Granted she is a lucky Murray family member with a special gift that helps with that. Callum's history is more brutal, and described in less detail, but his fears and issues are so real for those that have experienced such abuse. While so much of the relationship could be solved early on with talk and working through their issues, I found the resolution and the people they interact with on the way to be an enjoyable part of the story- while it normally makes me antsy to get to the conclusion. It offered me exactly what I was expecting- a wonderful weekend read that I was able to escape into.
Highland Chieftain was a nice return to the story of the extended Murray family and Howell's writing style. I know I missed a few books from this series, but this is a nice comfort read for me. Yes, bad things happen- but love, understanding, and family win out and true love is the victor. Howell offers another enjoyable, quick read that I enjoyed.