Highland Chieftain (The Murrays)

By Hannah Howell

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura carbonneau
I really enjoyed this series and am looking forward to reading more. Great author but would like to see some romance with pirates or Indian romance
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
charissa
Love to read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maha joma
This book had everything I love about Hannah Howell. Great storyline and action packed. This was a great addition to her collection
If He's Dangerous (Wherlockes) :: If He's Tempted (Wherlockes) :: Highland Guard (The Murrays Book 20) :: If He's Noble (Wherlockes) :: The Silver Chair
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
teodora
Great read hard to put down. Was great to catch up with others from previous books. Looking forward to many more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tawny
love this author
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
derek martin
The book is a lesson in a persons pass. You can carry hunt or release it. It is a good book to read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tptk
I have always enjoyed Hannah Howells writing and this book is no exception.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pamela milin
Loved it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
magnus s h
Excellent book. Love all of Hannah Howell's books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
daniel perez
A different perspective and a little darker for the Murray Clan. Interesting and complex, a really good read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mylene
All of Hannah's books are awesome! I can't wait to read the next one. However, when she can make you laugh in one chapter and on the edge of your seat the next, it's got to be good!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
eddie chang
Hannah Howell never disapoints her readers. Another enjoyable novel.I look forward to more of her books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marjan
Loved the story line.... Kept me interested...
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kv ta kv t kov
I generally enjoy this authors writing but she can get very "wordy" at times. Sometimes the dialogue between characters goes way more into detail than necessary.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hank ryan
Absolutely wonderful, can't wait for the next in the series. So glad we are revisiting the Murrays!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kirtland
Another Murray lass. I love the continuation into the next generations. Well written, with wonderful characters and beloved ones from previous books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vance
A good addition to the series. I am glad to see Callum get his happily ever after with a good story line.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lbernick
Love highland novels, this is a good series. I like this author and her characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda r
Well written loved every page. A great read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sharmaine dela cruz
Loved it so glad to have to have the Mallory family back on scene love when you write about previous characters grown up.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karin tazel
Enjoyed it very much. Like Hannah's books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
demelza
I enjoyed book very much and look forward to more Hannah Howell in the future
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
harpreet
I love anything by Hannah Howell and being able to keep up with her characters is always a good time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kirstin cole
Very good read. Lots of action, love and history.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kristy bowen
Not that good
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisalou
I was amazed aT the ease she drew me into the novel. Another win for Hannah, can not wait for the next novel to keep my winter comfortable
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa kelso
Love this book. Well worth it. Cant wait for the next one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
barry
It was great to get a marvelous story about the next generation. Just keep it up!!! just more about about the younger ones.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aydin
Hanna Howell has another hit. I can't wait for the next one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kim marino
Great story, happy to catch up with the Murrays.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michelle gray
Love the Murrays can't get enough.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
abdulwahab
I liked the different paths she took but I disliked the book. Not one of my favorites.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amber
Its been too long. Ms. Howell is a wonderful writer and the Murrays is one of my favorite series. Bethoc and Callom's story begins with the attempted murder of Callun. Bethoc, who like a lot of the Murrays has a special gift, FIDS him washed up on the shore and rescues him. Using her gift, she can tell that he is a good person , so she hides him and takes care of him. Bethoc has an unusual family of mostly brothers and one very special sister , Margaret. This story is filled with intrigue, kidnappings, murder, and of course love. In true Hanna Howell fashion you are entertained until the end. All said an excellent read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda linehan
Another fine Murray saga.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
trisha schmit
Zipped right through it! Loved it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
belkacem
Great book waiting for the next 1
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bhavyatta bhardwaj
Love the Murray's
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tejas sharma
Love all her books,
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rora
LOVE
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
raju
Thoroughly enjoy her books....have never been disappointed.....
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sherri dishon
I like Hannah Howell's books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarahjo
Was a very good book. Had not read any books by her.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
diane uhl
great book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
altaviese
Love the stories of the Murray's
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenn kunz
Very good reading
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brittney
Anything about the Murray clan.....just great.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
arnetra
Good book
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ryan monroe
?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laurianne
Her books are always good
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
khem
Yes good read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
royhand
This was another chapter in the stories about the Murray's and it was great. Callum and Bethoc have a hard journey to their happy ever after. They make it and all the children connected to both are safe and happy. What great way to let us know how others in the family are doing also.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
cathryn trinka
Having read numerous books by this author, this NetGalley reviewer always jumps at the chance to receive an ARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion. However, this one really missed the mark with me. As a big fan of Scottish historical romance that is loaded with brogue, I was surprised to find this one was overly done. So much so, I often found myself having to reread parts to understand the dialog.

But the real turn off happened about 30% into it, and ultimately I couldn’t put it behind me. You see, the main couple are intimate, after only sharing a couple passionate kisses. Bethoc, the heroine, is so innocent and naive she has absolutely no idea how the deed is done. So much so I felt embarrassed for her. Then, frankly, I felt angry. Why? Well, let me use the author’s own words: “He liked her, alot, and now they had made love, which he also liked a lot. Callum was just not sure if all of that equalled love, the one thing his foster parents insisted was essential for a good match.”...(Wow! I guess they left out the importance of respecting/not taking advantage of innocent women.)....Then he starts thinking about all the experience he has had with numerous lasses and starts to feel bad….“Callum cursed, shaking away the moment of doubt. He could not change anything in his past and he had done no harm. (Oh, really, big boy, she could be pregnant now!)...”There was nothing to feel guilty about.” (Yeah, keep telling yourself that laddy. Maybe you’ll start to believe it!)...”He was just put off his stride by Bethoc’s innocence. …He had hunted experienced ladies who would allow a mon in their bed for awhile then he could walk away. No bonds, just pleasant memories.” (Well, isn’t he a keeper, ladies! Think of the money he saves! No cards, no flowers, probably doesn’t even buy them dinner first!). This true romantic at heart couldn’t stop that inner monolog from replaying in my head every time the hero’s character appeared in the story.

**spoilers possible**

Well, I somehow pushed on. Honestly, mostly because I received an ARC and hate not finishing a book. Plus, I very much wanted to love this book, because I’m a fan of this author. By 46%, the nonsensical drawn out plot featuring Bethoc’s abusive fake father collecting young boys to use as child labor on his farm then having her charged with his murder, which was likely the result of a mysterious someone wanting the land, had my eyes glazing over from boredom. I also am not a fan of child abuse being written into a storyline, btw.

Too many characters and conversations that didn’t seem to have anything to do with the romantic plot had me throwing my Kindle loving hands up in surrender. I’m sure eventually they get around to traveling to Laird Callum’s home and pick up where I expected to be in the first place. I’m just too exhausted from trying to like this book and frustrated by the writing to stick around to see what finally happens.

Here’s to hoping others enjoy it. I usually love this author and will definitely continue to watch for her new releases. This one just didn’t work for me.

Title: Highland Chieftain, Series: Murray Family (Book 21), Author: Hannah Howell, Pages: 352, Pub. Date: 9/27/16, stand-alone but part of a series, could not finish, questionable romantic character of the hero, wasn’t well-written, synopsis didn’t appear to be accurate, VERY steamy scene, stopped reading at 50%.

(This review is based on ARC ebook received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion. No monetary compensation was made. There is no relationship/affiliation between the reviewer and the author/publisher.)
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ana karina
An extremely well written book. I especially like that is a continuation of the series.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
alan petersen
I've read a few Scottish romances by Hannah Howell and thoroughly enjoyed them. This one fell a little short for me. Bethoc's character was too good, too kind, too understanding. She never had bad thoughts about her abusive father, just took the punishment silently. While she did have thoughts of running away, to leave her brothers and sisters was unthinkable and so she stayed. The day she found Callum MacMillan lying injured on the beach, her whole world changed.

I thought Callum's character was a bit dense at times. He gave no thought to the consequences of taking a young woman's maidenhood or having her by his side at his ancestral home without any kind of commitment on his part. He seemed oblivious to what others would think about that. He did shine, however, when it came to rescuing women and children from violent homes. He gave no second thought to their station. If they needed help, he was there.

Of course, the character who stole the book was three year old Margaret. She was fierce little girl who took no prisoners. Whenever she was in a scene, she made me smile. While I did enjoy the book, I would recommend starting with one of the other Scottish romances from Ms. Howell, such as, "Highland Guard."

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jewel
The relationship between the heroine, Bethoc, and the hero, Callum, begins when she finds him badly injured and nurses him back to health. He had been attacked while protecting a young boy and then thrown in the river. Explaining more about the plot would give too much away and in any case there's a lot going on here. There are several story lines involving different conflicts that Bethoc and Callum need to help resolve. The action keeps the reader's attention pretty well but I was disappointed in the romance aspect of the book. First, Callum's recovery takes quite a while (almost a third of the book) which puts something of a crimp in moving things along. Especially since Bethoc's living at home and he's in a cave where she sneaks out to take care of him for short periods. SPOILER ALERT: Once he recovers and they become intimate, they both take that development in stride without it seeming to advance their relationship at all, except physically. Callum frequently states that he has no idea how he feels about Bethoc and just treats her as a friend with benefits. Once things are finally resolved between them, it is done with so little effort and has taken so long it all seems rather dull instead of romantic.END SPOILER ALERT I did enjoy their various adventures until things bogged down towards the end, so for the most part I enjoyed the book as an adventure with some romance thrown in.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
gvanca
I have enjoyed many Hannah Howell books set in the Highlands, this is not one of my favorites. Ms Howell tends to write some really great heroines and this one is not bad, although she does have a tendency to ignore facts. The problem with this story is the hero, who has trouble knowing his own mind.

This story almost reads like a three act play set in three distinct places with three differing problems. The first act though sets the entire story. Bethoc discovers a very injured man with a broken leg and somehow manages to hide him in a cave that she uses to seek some peace from her terribly abusive father.

The man she rescues is a knight, Sir Callum who must stay hidden from those seeking his demise. Callum admires the lovely Bethoc. He wants to be a protector to her when he discovers how awful she and her siblings are treated at home.

Without going into a lot of detail many unexpected events happen which provide plenty of action and reasons for Callum to save Bethoc. During these turbulent happenings, Bethoc is her sweet unassuming self, trusting and in many ways falling way too fast for Callum. I liked her but she really does not think through her actions terribly well.

Callum just cannot decide if he has deep feelings for Bethoc. Even though he has ridden to her rescue several times he wonders if he truly cares about her. He needs other people to interpret his own feelings about Bethoc who has been very open with him. Because he seems so clueless about his own emotions for so very long, I stopped believing he was truly heroic. He just cannot understand love and even though it has been demonstrated to him he is blind to it in his own life and I felt that poor Bethoc, who had endured so much, deserved someone who recognized his own feelings and hers too.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rodney
Bethoc has her hands full taking care of her younger brothers and baby sister while dodging the fists of her overbearing stepfather. When a gorgeous man washes up on shore near her safe haven, she does all she can to save his life. In the meantime her stepfather kidnaps yet another boy but this one is more than the street urchins he usually absconds with. And that's just the start of the story! So much weaves into the story from beginning to end that it's an instant page turner you won't be able to put down until you've read every last word. The love story is a sweet one that will have you smiling wistfully throughout the pages. There are more than a few plots to follow since this is one of a series. I haven't read the other books in the series yet, but I didn't feel I had missed out on anything reading this one out of order. We shall see, though, when I go back and start from the beginning.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
laleh
I liked the skeleton of this story. Sir Callum MacMillan is injured and fleeing from men determined to kill him. Unconscious and foundering on the shoreline with a broken leg he is rescued by young woman, Bethoc Matheson, who hides him in her secret cave retreat. A retreat necessary because she is frequently beaten by father.
Bethoc's father is a dark and fearsome person who brings home young boys he 'finds' to help run the farm. Bethoc has a houseful of young boys, 'brothers' she cares for and a baby sister.
As Bethoc's mother was dying she pleaded with Bec to always keep her baby sister with her. The reason why is later an important revelation.
It appears that Bethoc has strange special abilities that fit with who her real father turns out to be--one of the Murrays.
For me the mystery surrounding Bethoc and her special facilities just didn't quite cut it, but I went with it.
I definitely didn't like that Callum sexually entraps Bethoc. His attitude, 'you saved my life and I'll sweet talk you into giving up your virginity because I just can't control myself' is unworthy. 'I owe you nothing!' Hardly the act of one raised to protect the weak. A serious lack of integrity here on Callum's part.
In the end everything works out, but really, I thought that Callum seducing Bethoc was low. However we apparently need to forgive Callum because of his background and lack of knowledge about what love is.
A secondary story develops where women are being accused of murdering their menfolk, imprisoned by a dastardly sherif, then tried and hung. Their lands go to a mysterious buyer.
In the end there were more parts of the plot I enjoyed than I didn't, including the way Bethoc's 'brothers' care for her. Those relationships are tried and true and supportive.

A NetGalley ARC
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ismael
This book was truly awful for many reasons. Thing that I did it for me was the fact that in this book multiple women were raped and little concern is shown, in fact most of the time word rape isn't even used to describe RAPE! More concern is for the men who might have to deal with fact that their "friends" could've done something so horrible. I am disgusted by this casual brush off of a truly heinous crime.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alantria
I just love the Murray clan. Callum is beaten so bad it will take him months to heal if he doesn't drown first. Bethoc finds Callum and brings him to her place of haven, her cave. As she helps him her father accuses her of whoring around and beats her severely until her brothers jump in to stop him. Bethoc realizes that over the years her mother was never pregnant and then wondered where the boys came from. She then realizes her father took all 7 boys including the last Cathan whom Callum was trying to protect. The children them realize that the man pretending to be there father was hiding a secret and they dug all 4 secrets up. He had killed at least 3 of the babies that were girls.
There father then was torchered to death for info on where Cathan is. Bethoc is arrested for his murder. When they realize the sheriff and several other men are involved with killing women's husbands or family and having the women accused of their murders so they can get there property. 3 of the innocent women have been hanged. Callum calls upon Sir Simons the Kings Hound to help free Bethoc and the other women. When the get the proof, they confront the local Laird whose youngest son was involved.
Once Bethoc and Laurel were freed and the sheriff and his men were arrested they could start to heal.
Robbie, Callums best friend decides to stay and woo Laurel.
Callum then takes Bethoc to meet her real father Brett Murray. She learns so much about her new found family and the gift she has about smelling people who are good and bad. Callum also goes through a realization that what happened to him as a child was not his fault. So much happens before these two can claim the love they have for each other. Another wonderful read by the author. I would love to read a book written about our young hellion Margaret!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nicole eredics
This was an excellent highland story by one of favorite authors. MS Howell sure can write steamy words with lots of fire and intrigue. I was very enthralled with this latest of the Murry Family and can be read as a stand alone. Lots of action, adventure and of course romance.
Sir Callum MacMillan has been wounded and left for dead near Bethoc Matheson's home. Her sister Margaret and her take the man and hide him from those who would finish the job.
Bethoc is a sort of mother figure to all her brothers and little sister. She often takes punishment from her abusive father when he gets drunk. She manages the best she can since her own mom died giving birth to Margaret.
Callum has always protected those who were left in his care from people who are mean to children. He gives them safety and love at his home. When he sees the kind of family that Bethoc lives in, he makes his feelings known. He cares for the beautiful woman who shines with love towards her brothers and little sister. Once he is well to go home, he takes them to his own family to show her how others live.
There is so much love that Bethoc gives the handsome highlander but she's not sure of his actions once they become lovers. She knows that she has choices in her life but love keeps her with Callum.
I think these two need each other to balance out their lives. Soul mates who were brother together during trying times, but as they say "love is all that matters".
I appreciate Net Galley and Kensington for this ARC title in which I gave an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
darrin
HIGHLAND CHIEFTAIN
This is an historical romance with some violence, killing, feudal times, and explicit sex scenes, which seems quite common during novels these days. Bethoc is a young woman whose mother has died and her step-father, Kerr, is prone to heavy drink and gets means when in his cups, knocking Bethoc around. There are young boys ranging from four to fourteen in the household, whom Bethoc assumes are her brothers. She also has a two-year-old younger sister. Kerr shows up with young boys and works them on his farm. Some of these boys appear to be homeless and others don’t remember if they once had another home. Kerr gets so mean beating on everyone, the boys just try to do what he demands and not rile him.
Because Bethoc’s mother is deceased, having also been abused by Kerr, Bethoc has found a cave that she has supplied with some comforts and when her work is done and it is before supper time, Bethoc escapes to her cave. In essence takes care of all the boys as if they are her sons and so she is tired much of th time. Then one day she watches as a man is tossed in the river by some rough looking men and he almost drowns because he has a broken leg. He manages to get to shore, and Bethoc helps him crawl to her cave and splints his leg for him. He is in this cave about three months while the leg is healing. The man she saved is Sir Callum MacMillam.
Callum soon becomes aware that Bethoc is beaten by her father because the bruises show. Eventually Bethoc learns that Kerr isn’t her father, but her step-father and her brothers are actually stolen either from their homes or because they are homeless and this is how Kerr increases his work force.
The story contains many love scenes and Callum can’t decide if he loves Bethoc or not, but he is most infatuated with her and their love making and Bethoc loses heart because she wants to be more than a mistress. There are scenes where Bethoc and other women are arrested after their husbands have been killed, viciously treated and then hung, being charged with murdering their husbands, which they are innocent of.
This is an interesting romance, some new ideas in this plot and is enjoyable. There is no high drama, but entertaining. I was given a complimentary copy for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
eli nunez
3.5 Stars

he first thing I said when I finished this book was, "Wow, a lot happened!" And that's the truth of it, there was never a dull moment and at times I wondered if there would ever be a moment of calm.

The story starts of with Callum being beaten, and thrown overboard a boat. He manages to drag himself to sure which is how Bethoc finds him. Being injured and with the men who attacked him still out there Callum goes into hiding while Bethoc nurses him back to health. Bethoc also faced a lot of danger by helping Callum, she helped him even though she had a lot to lose. With 4 younger brothers and a 3 year old sister to take care of, all while trying to calm an abusive and insane father it took its toll on her.

I can't help but feel too little time was spent on the couples relationship, I think to much happened in this story and it didn't leave enough room for Callum and Bethoc. Now that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it just I would have liked more detail. So according to Goodreads this is the 21 book in the series but I honestly didn't feel like I had to read the previous books and I could honestly see the author writing the children's story when they're older. Especially Margaret.

All in all this book was quite enjoyable, a strong but broken hero, a virginal heroine (but not stupid) and a host of other characters to keep the reader interested.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
smw2020
Book: Highland Chieftain by Hannah Howell
Reviewed by: Barb Massabrook
Release Date: 9/27/2016
Heat Rating: So hot it sizzles off the pages!
Overall Rating: 5 Stars

Another “Hannah Howell” winner that reader fans and followers will be will be absolutely mesmerized! I was was so excited to find out some of my favorite characters from book 2003 book “Highland Angel” are in it too! For example -”Sir Payton Murray” and “Kirstie MacLye”. who make a few appearances in this book...yay! Payton is one of my all-time favorite characters that Ms Howell has written about! Highland Angel which was and is book seven in “The Murrays” bestselling series. This current release “Highland Chieftain” is book 21 of the same series, which can be read either as stand alone book, or Highland Angel and Highland Chieftain can be read a duet. If this is a new author for readers or reading out of book series order. I being a loyal follower of Ms. Howell for over twenty five years, again was totally captivated. Another heartstring puller so have some tissues handy, but also heartwarming and humorous moments as well. A delightful read from start to finish. Overall an enjoyable and satisfying read, in other words a delightful read from start to finish!

Scotland
This novel’s heroine is Bethoc Matheson a young woman who recently lost a mother due to complications during childbirth. Her mother who had lived in a fantasy world with a heart broken from a past love. Which often resulted in Bethoc caring for herself and her foster brothers and being ignored and basically raising herself. She knows she could leave but knows she must protect her brothers and sister no matter the cost. Plus her step father Keir was extremely brutal and abusive since her mother's death. Oh he still gave them his occasional beating she and her mother mostly but since her mother's passing it seemed regular and more brutal and frequent. In addition plus he was drinking excessively all the time. The one promise her mother asked of Bethoc was never to allow her now two year old sister out of her site. So now Bethoc always her wee sister Margaret strapped to her back. She also protected her six younger brothers from ages six to sixteen the thing was she could not remember her mother carrying any of them beside the four she lost. Bethoc was wondering why it took until now question where her brothers came from was her memory just faulty or had they been stolen

The hero of the story is Sir Callum MacMillan, Laird of Whytemont. Callum who washes up ashore, nearly was murdered and drowned, except an angel named Bethoc Matheson and her wee sister Margaret had healed him. He was in bad shape with a broken leg, lacerations plus other wounds and abrasions. the leg was the worst of his injuries. Bethoc goes to the business of setting his leg even though not a healer, but did the best to her ability and bring him to her secret hiding place. Bethoc innocent of the world as she has never been anywhere. She has a special gift where she can smell people's scents like their auros whether they are good or evil. Though she has never been trained in her gift, but somehow she senses he is good man and very Bonnie as well.

Bethoc soon realizes these bad men were trying to kidnap the five year old boy her step father Keir recently brought home. She starts asking her brother's questions she never thought to ask before. Bethoc has much guilt over it, as they were all stolen to help in the fields. Keirs comment about her mother only birthing lassies makes her starts to question. As the four deceased babies her mother did bare. Plus she does not remember her mother miscarrying.The guilt surrounds her, though her brothers seem okay with it as most were orphaned or living on the street. To them it was better than starving, plus her brothers truly did seem to enjoy working,cultivating and watch things grow. Well until they discover some untruths and one of her brothers is beaten badly and Bethoc herself is beaten for not answering questions about a man. Keir is suspicious, drunk and seems to have problems of his own that could put all of their lives in jeopardy!

As for Bethoc and Callum their attraction seem to grow instantly! She was surprised that they have both grown up with abusive, unhappy childhoods. Although she knows she is way beneath him. As he is a Laird and expects him to leave her as soon as he is healed. Yet the bad men are still looking for the boy Callum feels responsible for. The boy is best at Bethocs home as her father recently addicted him. Callum is aware and knows protective Bethoc will keep the lad safe until he is healed. At the moment Callum is useless with a broken leg and hopes his men will find him soon and they can retrieve the lad.

Bethoc stays to protect her brothers, even when she finds out who her true father is. She knows what a different life she can have, she won't abandon the boys as they are her family to her.

Then thing just turn worst! Bethoc is framed for a murder she didn't commit! The bad men are still out looking for the young lad and to finish the job and murder Callum!

It seems the people in authoritative positions running her village, are falsely accusing female relations and or wives of horrible misdeeds! These are women who are wrongfully being accused, which can turn deadly! As these female relative heirs and or wives are innocent! They are legally entitled and left by the deceased original property owners! Who is the mastermind giving orders of this evil scheme? Whose pockets are they filling? The kind elder Laird or someone else?

The definite scene stealer who knows how to get a kiss from pretty mon, is two year old Margaret. A female with a limited vocabulary that knows how to get what she wants,

This books is plot within plot and so much more filled with in this riveting emotional adventure and so much more. It is layered with mystery, suspense, murder, mayhem, treachery, brutality, lies, betrayal, heartbreak, abduction, and intrigue. In addition is is filled friendship, healing , loyalty, title difference, family, trust, hope, healing and love!

A book I couldn't put down! All Murray series worshippers and Scottish romance readers do not want to miss. For me this read was a bit of heaven on Earth! Well done Hannah Howell as you penned your 21st Murray book! It is an exquisite read I plan on revisiting. So off to my keeper bookshelf!

This book was absolutely phenomenal and so much more! I definitely recommend Highland Chief by Hannah Howell.

I was give this eARC from the Kensington Publishers in exchange for an honest review through netgalley.

This review are completely my own words, thoughts and opinions with no other outside influences.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shelley fletcher
Highland Chieftain (Murray Series #21) by Hannah Howell

** I received and e-ARC of this book through Netgalley and the publisher in return for my honest evaluation **

I have read several Hannah Howell books and am sure I have read other books in the Murray series, but I can’t say that I could name any of them. This can certainly be read as a stand-alone book, but I believe there are some couples from previous books who make appearances in this book.

To begin – my favorite character in this book is Margaret who is the heroine’s almost three year old sister. She absolutely steals the show. Not that the H/h aren’t good characters – they are – it is just that no character – no matter how good – could outdo Margaret!

The hero, Sir Callum and the heroine Bethoc Matheson, are both gatherers and caregivers mostly because of their abusive childhoods. He gathers and cares for abused children and even mistreated women and brings them to his clan where he is the Laird. He seeks good homes for those children and thoroughly looks into the prospective parents before he will ever turn a child over to them. It doesn’t matter how well he might know the prospective parents – he still investigates. While Bethoc doesn’t actually do the gathering herself, she cares for those children her ‘father’ has stolen and loves them like her own brothers. So, the hero and heroine actually have much in common.

The book begins with Bethoc finding Sir Callum washed up on the banks of a river. He’d been badly beaten and his leg was twisted and broken. Bethoc had been escaping her abusive homelife for a little while by going to a secret cave. Bethoc manages to get Sir Callum up to her cave and sets his leg. She discovers that he had a young boy with him – one who was under his protection and was stolen from him. Beth realizes that the young boy that her ‘father’ had just added to their family was, indeed, the young boy who was with Sir Callum. The men who attacked Sir Callum and tried to steal his ward were still in the area trying to find the boy and to assure themselves that Sir Callum had actually died when they tossed him in the river.

Bethoc’s mother had been married off in disgrace when she was found to be expecting. The family bribed a man to marry her and take her far away from them to avoid the shame. Bethoc’s real father never knew anything about the pregnancy. The man Bethoc’s mother married became more and more abusive over the years and did some really, really bad stuff – like murdering girl babies. He’d go out to various villages and steal young boys and bring them home to work his fields. Bethoc’s mother had died almost three years before the story begins while giving birth to her ‘father’s’ only actual child. Bethoc loved the boys her ‘father’ stole as brothers and undertook the care of the household and her baby sister.

There are actually two ‘villain’ plots going on in the book, but they get tangled together. One plot involves the young boy who was traveling with Sir Callum. The boy’s father, his clan’s Laird, had been murdered by family members and they wanted the boy murdered as well so they could take over the clan as Laird. The second plot involves the same villains who had attacked Sir Callum to get the boy. Those villains needed to make some money, so they became involved in a series of murders in the area. The husbands were murdered and then the wives were blamed, convicted and hung, thus leaving their homes open to be taken over.

The love story is very sweet. Bethoc loves Sir Callum unreservedly, but he has some issues from childhood to work through.

Bethoc also has a ‘gift’ because she is actually a member of the Murray clan (thus the series). Her real father was a Murray and they do get to meet. It seems all the Murray’s – especially the females – have special ‘gifts’ or ‘talents’. Bethoc’s is being able to ‘smell’ the essence of a person. For instance – a man she meets smells like foul, spoiled meat and she knows he’s evil – but Sir Callum smells like cinnamon when he is feeling amorous.

I did thoroughly enjoy this book and hope you will too!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
james k
The Murray series has been around quite a long time, over fifteen years if I am remembering correctly. While I haven't read the whole series, I am a fan of Hannah Howell and do pick up one of her books occasionally when I'm in the mood for a lil' bit o' Scotland. This latest installment of the series surprised me a bit with darker tones than I remember reading from her other books.

Bethoc (Bay-thog) Mattheson, having grown up in an abusive household, is a meek and frightened mouse of a girl. She began taking care of the many younger children of her household after her mother's death, and it seems she has had to bear the heavy hand of her father for all of her life. Ker Mattheson is an abusive brute who has been bringing home boy children for years to work the fields on his land. Despite the fishy circumstances of the boys' appearance, Bethoc never questioned her father when he said they were now her brothers. My heart went out to Bethoc - she was certainly a pitiable heroine who had to deal with much strife in her short life. However she was just a little too beat down for me. Even when she doesn't have to worry about Ker Mattheson anymore, she rarely questions anything and never loses her temper - she just goes along with whatever the people around her tell her to do.

Sir Callum Macmillan was taken in by the Murray clan as a young boy, after being rescued from a horrible situation. Now he is a strong strapping adult, and a laird in his own right. One day while Callum is attempting to escort his ward home, he is set upon by mercenaries who were hired to kidnap the boy and return him to his murderous family. With a broken leg and nearly drowned, Callum is found by Bethoc and her infant sister, who hide him away in a cave and nurse him back to health. Callum was quite the tortured hero, having suffered immeasurably during his childhood, even beyond what our heroine has endured. He seemed to be a great listener, and he made both Bethoc and her sister feel safe. However, because of this past, Callum believes himself incapable of love and that effected his relationships quite a bit. While I liked Callum, he wasn't quite "take charge" enough for me. He seemed to need rescuing more often than he rescued, and he missed out on some of the more dangerous situations.

The relationship between Bethoc and Callum was definitely not insta-love. They got to know one other over a period of months as they talked during Callum's convalescence. Then one day they fell into bed rather easily given Bethoc's lack of experience and total ignorance in the ways between men and women. However, unlike most historical romances, the progress from friend to lover did not signify marriage for our couple. Things were drawn out for quite some time without any kind of definition of the relationship. I found myself getting annoyed with the relationship - I wanted to see things more defined or heading down a certain path.

This story wasn't just about romance, there was also a sinister side plot in which women were targeted in heinous ways. There was murder, false accusations, wrongful imprisonment, and torture to contend with. This dark side plot was quite interesting and helped advance the plot where the romance seemed to drag.

I will say that the secondary characters in this story were fantastic. Bethoc's sister, Margaret, was a hoot! You don't expect such a precocious little girl to come out of such an abusive situation. I also liked Bethoc's oldest brothers, Colin and Bean. The boys so wanted to protect Bethoc and their siblings, but they weren't old enough or strong enough to fearlessly stand in Ker's way.

I was reading this book while traveling so I switched back and forth between the ebook and audiobook formats. I am no stranger to this narrator, Angela Dawe. She does a good job with character voices and affectations, and she did an excellent job with Margaret's character. I am used to hearing her narrate another series with strong heroines... so sometimes I did have a hard time reconciling her voice with Bethoc's downtrodden character.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book which I received from the publishers, Kensington and Tantor Audio.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aarti
Out of all Hannah Howell’s books, I really enjoy reading about the Murrays the most. I don’t know what it is about the Murrays but each and every book I think is a must read for every hardcore romance reader.

In Hannah Howell latest book, we are introduced to Sir Callum MacMillan. If you have follow the series, you know that Callum MacMillan grew up hard, until the day his grandfather found him .

All through Callum’s life, he had to fight to survive, and protect to protect those that were helpless to do so themselves. Now the shoe is on the other foot.

Bethoc Matteson can’t take any more of the abuse she receives at home. If she didn’t have responsibility of protecting yer young siblings, she would have walked away a long time ago. But as it stands she was trapped. Or so she thought….

Highland Chieftain rates right up there with the other books in this series…excellent. It was fast pace, well developed characters and plenty of passion between the two main characters.

If you ever read this series, you know that each Murray has a special gift. What until you find out what Bethoc gift is…I can say that its very unique.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amanda miao
**I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

I liked this book, but I didn't love it.

Callum was a good hero with a dark past, but despite (or maybe because of) his past, he is a very good man. He was injured and left for dead while attempting to rescue a child. Bethoc finds him, tends to his wounds and hides him.

Bethoc was a very interesting heroine, she also has a dark past, filled with pain and abuse, but it doesn't stop her from being loving, generous and protective of those she loves. She has been raised by a man who is not her father and since her mother has passed away, she has been the primary caregiver to all her "siblings". She never imagined finding her true family and is shocked when Callum suggests it.

Callum and Bethoc grow closer and he insists on bringing her back to his home, once they solve the mystery of who and why the men of Bethoc's village are being killed.

There is a lot going on in this book - several different mysteries to unravel and a budding relationship between Callum and Bethoc.

The book is well written and is very interesting, but I started to lose patience with Callum and his inability to commit to Bethoc - I personally felt his interal conflict dragged on way too long. I also felt a bit sorry for Bethoc - no one seems to be watching out for her - Even her biological father tells Callum - Don't hurt her - I may have seeded her, but I am not her father - it made me upset - I know what he meant, but it felt like no one was really protecting Bethoc.

If you have been following the Murray family series, you will not want to miss this book - but if you are just starting the series, it could easily be a stand alone title.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joe oxley
Description
The Murrays are back in this thrilling new tale from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell . . .

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 . . .

My Thoughts:

This was another well written book by this Author. There was a time when I couldn't get enough of her books. I did however burn out on them. This was a refreshing reintroduction to Ms. Howell's books.

I found I liked the characters and the storyline was a good one even though I felt it was a little long and could have ended much sooner than it did. There was a great deal of violence throughout the first few chapters but this element tapered off as the story went on and the villainous characters were killed off. There were characters nearer to the end that I remembered from previous Murray titles and enjoyed getting a wee glimpse of them again.
I would give it 3.75 stars and recommend the read.

I received a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vineet rai
It had been quite a while since I'd read a historical romance, and even longer since I'd read a book by Hannah. I'm glad I took the time to read this one as it did not disappoint. To the best of my knowledge, I don't believe I have read any of this particular series prior to this book so it can be read as a stand-alone if desired.

A strong - if young - heroine... an equally strong hero who both respects and admires her... a brood of needy kids... danger, intrigue, and romance - all the ingredients for an enjoyable interlude in the past. Bethoc ,who has beaten the odds of illegitimacy, a weak-natured mother and an abusive step-father to become a beautiful, compassionate, and strong young woman responsible not only for herself, but for her baby sister and the many brothers who have been brought home over the years. Callum despises men who use their strength to abuse women and children... and is saved from a rather desperate situation by Bethoc.

I love the imagery Hannah's writing invokes, and was easily able to "lose" myself in this story.

**I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
roberta kagan
As usual, Hannah Howell has written another entertaining Highland story that I could not put down until I finished it. We have the trademark hero, Callum, who is sensitive with a heart of gold and our heroine, Bethoc, who gives love with an open heart. And my favorite is the assortment of villains who get their comeuppance in a most satisfying manner.

Someone has tried to kill Callum and left him for dead when Bethoc finds him and takes him to her own special retreat for healing. As she is caring for Callum, she meets several groups of bad guys including her stepfather who “found” young boys to farm his land. Along the way, Bethoc finds out why these villains were sent to kill Callum which leads to more evil doing. There is adventure scene one after another to keep the reader thoroughly engaged in this romance. We even have cameo appearances of past heroes from earlier books for happy reunions. I love how the author interweaves the new stories with old favorites. Ms. Howell's character development is just superb. I can't wait for little Margaret to grow up and get her own story.

I enjoyed how Callum evolved and learned to accept himself. He has grown so much since being adopted by Sir Payton Murray. Bethoc made him appreciate and respect the person he has become. I enthusiastically give this book 5 stars and thumbs up review.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
trish
Sometimes what we want isn’t what we get. Sometimes when it seems like all is lost, it’s really just the beginning and sometimes it really is just some times.

Bethoc Matheson tried her hardest to protect her siblings. She knew what could happen if she didn’t. That didn’t mean that she didn’t think about the what if’s and the possibilities of life outside of her small world though.

Callum MacMillian knew the world could be dark, but he had worked hard as he had grown up to protect the young, the innocent and those who had no protection. He was always seeking something though, even when he didn’t really know what it was he was seeking.

When Bethoc and Callum met both of their worlds are forever changed, but neither knew just how much but as trials and tribulations come forth will they make the most of them, or fall back on old habits?

Ms. Howell has returned to the Murray family and while this seems like such an amazing thing as the original Murrays have such an amazing set of stories and are books you want to read and reread over and over this particular novel doesn’t live up to the standard that Ms. Howell had set for herself. To be honest with you though it’s the plot that doesn’t. The charaters and most of the descriptions are still well done and well thought out, the story just doesn’t move as the others have. While the story is a Murray it just doesn’t feel like a Howell.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shahriar karim
'Highland Chieftain' by Hannah Howell is book twenty-0ne in the "Murray Family" series. This is the story of Bethoc Matheson and Sir Callum MacMillan. I have been jumping in and out of the series so for me this is a standalone series I thought. Callum is one of the children in the previous book 'Highland Angel' by Hannah Howell..I just wanted to add that in case you have been keeping up with the series. I did loved this book and all of Ms. Howell I have read so far but this one is a little slow with Callum coming around to knowing if he loved Bethoc. Which I know is related to his childhood but I just so love when the hero knows what he wants and does not let go.
Bethoc mother died a about two years ago leaving her with a man she thought was her father but he is very abusive to her and her 'brothers'. Bethoc is staying to protect the young children from the evil father. While trying to get a breather from the house she and her little sister run into Callum who has been beat up and thrown into the lake. She saves him and they form a friendship while she keeps him hiding and he heals. But the people looking for him are still out there and when her father is killed Bethoc is brought in for the murder. I couldn't put this one down and read it until the end!
I received an eARC, from NetGalley and the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cindylu
I am completely sold on this series. I haven’t read any others, but that’s being said with a big YET. I was totally engrossed in this book from start to finish. I loved Bethoc as a character; although fairly sheltered and somewhat naïve, she possessed much intelligence and strength when it came to her family and in her eventual relationship with Callum. Callum was such an honorable man, but fighting his own past and the feelings involved with it that was preventing him from fully committing to Bethoc. Throughout the book, they overcome many obstacles and learn so much together. I have been skimming through a lot of books lately - tired of the same plots or predictable storylines, but Highland Chieftain completely held my attention. I fully intend on reading more from this author, and this series.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jason ocampo
I love Hannah's Highlanders. I have most of her books. I like the Murray series. I will say here that this book is full of some graphic scenes of murder and sex. I fell for this story so check out this story. Callum was beaten and thrown in the ocean. This is where he meets Bethoc. Major Spoiler. She lives nearby and helps him to a cave so her rough father, Kerr, won't find him. Spoiler. Kerr finds boys to work in his fields. Now the area is murders of husbands and then charge and hang the wives. Among other things. Major Spoiler. This book is a hard book to read. You will bounce all over the book. I like this book. I am now waiting for Hannah's next read. I hope you check this one out. Keep tissues close! You will even have to put it down and walk away a few times. Give this a chance! I have this book for an honest review for NetGalley.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ant nio fonseca
ARC received for a review

It's been a lllloooonnnggg time since I've read Ms. Howell like since her book Beauty and the Beast in 1992. And needless to say I had no idea this was book #21 in a series. But it is a stand alone with some interaction with (what I assume are) previous couples.

Callum collects stray children and takes care of them and helps find them a new home. Bethoc's "father" also collects children to work his farm, but only boys. Callum is hurt and Bethoc helps him and hides him till his friends arrive. Through a broken leg, digging up graves, a murder or two, prison, waterboarding, traveling, meeting family they fall in love. Callum is a typical male and takes forever to realize it.

I know I'll probably never have time to go back and read the previous books, but it's nice to have a dream. Have you got a dream? Some come true, some don't but keep on dreaming. (Line from Pretty Woman one of my favorite movies)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
eviltwinjen
Highland Chieftain is an up and down read for me to review. While I liked the idea of doing good by saving children, I am not so sure I like Callum as a person. Of course, the time period is different but in many ways he seemed to take advantage of Bethoc, a young woman who helps him. I thought Bethoc was brave at times but also very naïve. She needed a protector not someone who would use or take her innocence.

When I am wanting a historical Scottish romance usually Hannah Howell is my go to author. Usually the brogue is strong in her books but I expect that so it does not affect my rating. This time the characters and some of their actions did not click for me. There is much else that goes on in this plot with enemies and the children that did made it an interesting read, just not my favorite.

3.5 Stars
Copy provided by the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rebecca moss
I really enjoyed Bethoc and Callum's story!

Bethoc finds an injured Callum and of course does everything in her power to nurse him back to health. But because of her home situation and the men that attacked Callum, they must keep him hidden. As they spend time together, they of course, develop feelings. Callum feels the need to protect Bethoc and between trying to find his attackers does his best to help her situation. Can these two get through all their issues to find their HEA?

This was a great addition to the Murray Family series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nabila
An historical romance NOT set in the Regency! How refreshing! I have not read any other books in the series, so I can only speculate if it is enough of a standalone volume even though it is the latest in The Murrays. My vote is that someone such as I can read this book without having to go back and read from the beginning. The two major characters, Bethoc and Callum, are appealing, the plot is serviceable, my biggest quarrel is with the dialogue, which could have toned down the Scottish dialect. I tend to shy away from dialogue that becomes too "foresoothy" ...in other words, establish the dialect early so you can ease up on it so it doesn't become distracting. I think I will go back and pick up the first volume in the series when I have the time.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
greg forrester
I had a tough time getting into this book. The auThor goes out of her way to try to create dialogue that sounds Scottish, but I found myself verra, verra distracted by this.

The story itself wasn't bad, but I found that it took forever to get started, and it seemed to be more about the mystery of the heroine and her siblings than about the romance between the hero and heroine.

I felt like their relationship moved too fast for what we see. The interactions between them are very superficial. She is helping him to recover, but they really know nothing about each other, and that made me not really care about them as a couple.

The writing either gets better or the Scottish brogue gets less emphasis as the story moves on. But it was a bit of too little too late for me to really enjoy the story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mahesh gondi
Hannah Howell was one of the first historical authors I had ever read, in fact you could say it was reading her Murray books that gave me the love I have for Scottish Historicals.

I have been waiting for another Murray story and here it is with Payton Murray's foster son Callum and wait for it .......... Brett Murray's daughter, Bethoc. Though Bethoc and Brett don't know each other.

The events all start when Bethoc finds Callum injured after an attack and helps him heal, whilst he is healing the young lad he was protecting finds his way to her family where Callum decides he should stay until he is fully healed and can protect him from the men who want him and go home, but circumstrance change and Callum finds himself protecting Bethoc from the very men who attacked him.

Marvelous, I couldn't put it down, and one I'll read again and again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bobbyliu
A hardscrabble life with an abusive father and no mother present means Bethoc Matheson has to care for her siblings to keep them safe. While out of the house taking a break from her dad she finds a bleeding man washed up beach with a broken leg. She helps hide the highlander, Sir Callum MacMillan, until he heals and then he wreaks vengeance on those who wronged his family. The Scottish brogue conversation style was a bit overdone and annoying to read and the love story took too long to develop and it was a story that's been done before overall but I am a sucker for historical romance so I would read another book by this author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
blythe
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.

I’m so absolutely thrilled to be back with the Murray Family, despite the fact I mostly enjoyed my sojourn with the Wherlocke-Vaughn family. It is slightly insane that I haven’t actually reviewed one of these here since they were such a staple of my romance diet and I still have an enormous stack of dog-eared (yes I was one of those-you dead tree lovers can be grateful for the advent of digital so hooligans like me no longer deface books) and well-loved books chronicling the lives and loves of the Murrays and MacEnroys.

For the most part I think these can be read as stand alones. Yes there are characters from previous books, but with no centralized arc, jumping in just anywhere is entirely possible, even here with the 21 book, though I do tend to recommend the rest of the series. I suggest no hard long gloms though as it can all be a bit predictable.

This is another of Howell’s damsel and knight in distress books, where they each save each other, with a passel of plot moppets to round it out. I adore it.

We have two mysteries circling around to entertain us, and of course a delightful push-pull of romance between our two main characters. Callum is one of the rescued boys from Highland Angel, and it is good to see those poor boys grown up and getting the happiness they deserve. And he has grown up to be such a sweet man, and Bethoc is a fitting mate for him. There are some heartbreaking events but overall it is a sweet and happy book.

We also got to check in on the lives of beloved characters, though as I said this can be read as a stand alone, so I don’t think they are overly intrusive if you haven’t read them. You can depend on what you’ll get from this series though, good kind people doing good kind things even in the face of heartbreak, and even though they are a bit muddle headed about love. I am really pleased to be back with the Murray’s and hope to keep visiting with them for years to come.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sethgehrke
Bethoc Matheson lives in an abusive home, raising her siblings. On her mother’s deathbed, she swore she would take care of her little sister, forcing her to stay with her father. Walking to the cave she hides in, she comes across a severely wounded man. She’s able to help him get to her cave, where she slowly nurses him back to health.
This was a decent book. I felt bad for Bethoc as more and of her father’s deeds become unraveled. I loved how, almost right from the beginning, Callum could sense the abuse and wanted to protect her. Good story. I recommend.
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer daniel
I actually enjoyed reading this book and felt it was a solid 4 stars. It's wasn't a can't put down book but it was a book I always wanted to pick back up. I liked all of the characters. They all endured much but managed a loving family environment in spite of the sufferings. The heroine was so sweet and caring I couldn't help but like her and root for her. Some of the situations didn't seem to be a likely course for the circumstances. Yet I found myself not caring and just enjoying the characters and feeling curious about their fate. If you want an easy read with some heavy circumstances and enjoy Scottish romance, this is worthy for a quick read. I will read more from this author in the future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
verona
Bethoc finds a man washed up on the shore. Callum has a broken leg and many bruises. She hides him in a cave and continues to help him when she can. She is responsible for her younger brothers and sister and doesn't really need another person to care for, but she does. Then her father is murdered, she is blamed and Callum has to get her out of the jail with some help from friends. Bethoc decides that she needs to go with Callum to his holding because she really does have feelings for him. She just isn't sure he feels the same way. Callum does love Bethoc, but he is afraid to tell her because he has some old issues that keep surfacing. Can he let her know his feelings before it is too late?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nicola smith
A spellbinding story that hooks you right from the first page of the book. I adored Callum and Bethoc's characters, so scarred and come through adversities but still very brave. The other characters in the book are also very intriguing and I cannot wait to see them have their own books, especially adorable little Margaret. The only complaint that I have with the book is that it dragged on a little towards the end. But nevertheless, great read and was very hard to put down. This is another novel from her series, the Murray family and is book number seventeen in the series. It was the first one that I had read from the series but I believe it can be read as a standalone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
chichi
I enjoyed this novel of the Scottish highlands very much overall. Overall the adventures and romance were well written. Bethoc is quite the heroine and Callum a true hero.

The secondary characters of Callum's friends and Bethoc's brothers and sisters were written well.

What I didn't like was some of the violence. It seemed to be written just to sensationalize the story and not with any real point.

Without giving away any spoilers, you would like this story if you like adventure, romance and violence as well as torture but you might not care for it if you need a bit less violence!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
victoria dvorak
Callum is wounded and left for dead when Bethoc and her little sister find him and manage to hide home away in a cave while he heals. These two have many obstacles to overcome to find their happiness.
This is the next book in the Murray series and can be read by itself but it is much better read in order to immersion into the Scottish life and flavor of those times. Always enjoy the characters and family connections with this author along with the humor intertwined in the story. Looking forward to see who is going to have his tale told next.

Ebook from netgalley and publishers with thanks.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
irene money
Another great addition to the Murrays series. Bethoc is out for a walk along the river, escaping her abusive father if even for a little while. She finds injured Sir Callum injured on the shore, binds his wounds and helps to hide him away while he heals. As the weeks pass they grow closer, once healed can Sir Callum rescue her and the children she cares for from her cruel step-father? This is a fast paced story with plenty of drama and suspense. Bethoc is very innocent and Callum can’t seem to resist her. I really liked it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
katy johnson
Bethoc is a strong young lady who lives a life of beatings, yet loves those around her. She is trusting and has a gift for knowing things about people. Callum also came from a brutal past, but he is loving, honest, loyal, and loved by his people. He battles through his own fears to realize that Bethoc is what he needs and loves. They journey together is full of danger, but they come through it together. I enjoyed this story and recommend it.

I received a copy of this story through Netgalley.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
iulia diana
Hannah Howell never disappoints! This book was amazing and you can't help but fall in love with her amazing characters! This book brought us back to romance's number one favorite family, the Murrays! Opening the pages is like returning home from an extended leave and discovering new family members you can't help but love! If you have not read this book or entered the beautifully written world Hannah has created, do so. You will not be disappointed. ~Amelia Hutchins, owner of Erotica Book Club. A five star read, and an adventure you can't help but love!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lauren acampora
Hannah Howell writes another Scottish family saga that is a good read. I like how headstrong and independent her female characters are. If you wait long enough, there will be a happy ending though there are many plot twists to work through till that arrives. Likeable characters populate this book and others in this series. I enjoyed it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura mazzola
I received an ARC from netgalley.com...

Mystical, hidden, and lovely. Bethoc while on an escape to her secret cave took the time and risk to help save a man from death. She took him to her her cave and feed him and fixed his wound. It is very sexy story even if it is a very difficult subject matter to deal with. Callum goes from just being the injured man in the cave to her hero. Can he protect her enough? Will he protect her siblings too?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
susan rodgers
I realize this is book #21 of a series but I had never read any of the prior books. This worked just fine for me as a stand alone. The author did a good job working me into the canon without overstating the backstory. I liked the characters, accepted the violence as a historical truth and enjoyed the slow build of the romance. I felt the dialect was overdone and Bethoc's story over the top. Otherwise a very pleasant read which I enjoyed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nichole wintheiser
Before I start my review, I would like to thank Kensington Books and NetGalley for allowing me to review Highland Chieftain by Hannah Howell.

**All opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone. I received Highland Chieftain from Kensington Books through NetGalley as an ARC for my honest review**

Now onto my review:

Bethoc is a young woman (I believe that it was mentioned that she was 21 ish) who is a virtual slave and punching bag to her father. Her mother died in childbirth and unfortunately, Bethoc took her place. She was afraid that it was going to turn sexual because he was starting to look at her like a woman and not a daughter. On top of it all, she protected her 6 younger siblings from him, including Margaret, a precocious 2-year-old. Bethoc’s mother died giving birth to her and made her promise to take care of her and never let her out of her sight and Bethoc has followed her orders closely.

One day, she is walking the shores of the loch by her land and she finds a man on the shore, half drowned and with a broken leg. After she makes sure he was safe, she helps him to a local cave and sets his leg. She leaves him, goes home and finds out that her father acquired another child. See, her father would bring home boys that were orphaned or living on the street and have them work in his fields in exchange for a roof over their heads and food. In total, there were 6 boys, with ages ranging from 6 to 16. The newest boy was very young, around 4.

In between stepping between her father and the boys, keeping herself from being beaten, taking care of Margaret, Bethoc has no time for herself. She stretches herself even thinner when she decides that she is going to nurse the man she found back to health. While she is doing that, she finds out that he is looking for a little boy who had been kidnapped and that his name is Callum MacMillan of the Murray Clan. He also seduces Bethoc on the one rare occasion that she left Margaret with the oldest of the boys and takes her innocence.

Once Callum’s men finds him, they are planning on taking him and the boy back to Murray land. Callum decides that he is going to take Bethoc, her sister and the boys back with him after finding out that Bethoc’s father beats her. But when Bethoc went back to the house to gather up the boys, she witnesses the murder of her father and when she returns to bury him, she is arrested by the sheriff of the village for his murder.

I am not going to go into what happens after that but let’s just say that things get a bit hairy for Bethoc.

I honestly felt really bad for her. She had so many things go wrong in such a short period of time that I thought, while reading the book, why can’t things go right for her….jeeze. But things did end up changing for her about halfway through the book and that’s when I felt like cheering.

I do think that her “witchy powers” (ie her sixth sense) should have been mentioned in the first half of the book. Because introducing it halfway through really confused me. But in a way, it worked.

I liked Callum a lot. The more I learned about him, in the book, the more I liked him. He went through a lot when he was a boy and made immense strides to get over it. He was very honest with Bethoc about what happened to him (if you want to know, read the book). That scene in the book made me cry.

Bethoc and Callum’s relationship was pretty much sex from the get go. No Instalove on either side. But the feelings were there and they grew to the point where Bethoc was in love with Callum and well, he didn’t know what he was with her. For being back in the day, their relationship was pretty modern. He refused to call her his mistress (because she wasn’t) but he also refused to put a name on their relationship until he was called out on it.

The sex scenes in the book were perfect. Just enough detail given to keep your imagination going but not so it crossed that boundary into erotica. The only complaint I had was when Callum deflowered Bethoc. There was no build up accept a couple of kisses and then, bam, he was on top of her telling her what he was going to do.

The ending was perfect and I loved the epilogue!!!

*I do want to note also that this is 100% a standalone book, even if it is #21 in a series!!!

How many stars will I give Highland Chieftain? 3.5-4

Why? A wonderfully written Scottish romance. I did have a small issue with the dialogue (it was written how Scottish people actually talked back then). Other than that, an engrossing read.

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex (not graphic), Violence, attempted drowning and attempted rape
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
heidi giglio
I am giving an honest review in exchange for this ARC. Who doesn't love a great Scottish romance?? This one is a bit different than most as there is not the clan fighting however it is a wonderful story. Two people that have suffered so much abuse in their younger days turn to protecting those who can't protect themselves. So when those two people meet the story will warm your heart. Lovely story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alina balusescu
Another fabulous read with the Murrays and their extended family. Bethoc finds Callum hurt by the river and nurses him back to health. Sadly Bethoc's home situation is the best but she cares for the children left in her care by her father. Callum is drawn to Bethoc and soon he can't seem to let her go. Callum needs to learn that he is worthy of Bethoc as she is just what he needs in his life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
c sar
Callum and bethoc are very strong character's in this story about a woman who takes care of six children and keeps them safe. She gets in to trouble and the man safe her. Hannah Howell has done a excellent job on this story I have loved her story and have tried to get all of her books.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
brent eysler
This does not measure up to the other books and short stories by Ms. Howell. I've read dozens of her stories and this one is just not as good. It drags for the last few chapters after the sheriff has been dealt with. It takes a long time to get to the climax of the story and then doesn't finish up for too long.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ava petrash
Another wonderful book from Ms. Howell. Part of the Murray series, but can be read as a stand-alone story.
This one was filled with a lot of dark moments, but just as many good/happy moments.
So happy to be able to read the latest in this series.

*I received my copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sylvanaire
It reminded me a little of Outlander and that is why I liked it so much. He even resembles Jamie on the front cover which I don't think was an accident. It was a good book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mandymilo
Another absolutely delightful book. Love the way she captures their speech and the depth of all characters. Could not put this one down, just like all the rest. A must read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michelle jenkins
I have been reading books by Howell for years. She writes wonderful stories. She's one of my favorites. You will never be disappointed with one of her books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
daisy leather
A wonderful host of characters to become enamored with! I cannot wait to see how these courageous and loving people shall continue to grow! Looking forward to the next book!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jadeshadow73
while I love Hannah's books this one felt like such a repeat of other books. I couldn't find anything original about it. It was the same story of so many other books. I found the plot weak and the characters mediocre. The one highlight was seeing Gillyanne again. she is still my favorite character.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cely maimicdec ttrei
I enjoyed this story. It's story of a young woman overcoming a lifetime of domestic abuse to find an enduring and loving relationship. It has hints of mystic with the Murrays special gifts.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
edward hilton
Bethoc and Callum have a lot to overcome. Ms. Howell adds mystery and humour to all her stories. This one really grabs the heart. This was an exciting read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
maureen family
This starts as Callum is beaten and left for dead in the woods. Bethoc hears a disturbance and investigates. She hides the man in a cave in her families property.
It was an ok read. The H/h dynamic seemed disjointed and stiff. I feel that this book was written because the H character was in a previous book and some readers wanted to know what happened after he grew up. Again, it was well written, just stiff.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karen c
Callum might be a Laird, but he thinks he's damaged and not worthy of Bethoc. Bethoc is a very sensible woman with the patients of a saint. She is a rock and has no problem reassuring Callum when he needs it.
There are a few story lines all connected in Highland Chieftain. This makes the book a quick read, I couldn't put it down because there was something new almost every chapter.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bahar tolu
Hannah Howell has great books! I like her writing style. This book wasn't as fast pace as the others but it stil good. I wish there had been more chemistry between the characters but overall it is a good book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
peggy h
I thought it was a good book. The brogue was hard to understand at times. I had to go back and reread it to understand it. I love Hannah Howell's writing this was some what a disappointment to me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
janet rosfeld
Huge Hannah Howell fangirl here. This is part of a series and should be read in order. There is action, adventure and a whole lot of love in this book. I love the character connection Ms. Howell gives me, I always feel sucked into her stories. I love the sexy highlanders and I hope there are many more in the future. When you want a romance that will stay with you I highly suggest this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
fhrell cee
I had strayed from my reading of historical books. This book reminded me of how much I love them. It's incredible and I enjoyed reading it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laureen nowakowski
Had an easy read with great story line. Fits in with the Murray story line. Enjoy the book and looking forward to more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elizabeth benoit
I think this book was a little flat.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
april schiltz
Another great Murray book.
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