The Beast of Aros Castle (Highland Isles #1) by Heather McCollum
Overview by Publisher:
On the run from a dangerous man, Ava Sutton flees to the Isle of Mull off the coast of Scotland. Masquerading as a titled, English lady, Ava must convince the cynical and darkly handsome chief of the Macleans of Aros to wed her before the devil tracks her down.
Tor Maclean, the new chief of Aros Castle, has sworn off marriage after his first wife tricked him into it. Despite his efforts to scare away the Englishwoman, his father arranged for him to wed, Tor is drawn to her fire, courage, and beauty. But when truths are revealed, and hearts as well as lives are on the dagger’s edge, Tor doesn’t know if he can forgive or if he will truly become the solitary Beast of Aros Castle…
There is SO much to love about this book! It reminded me a lot of Monica McCarty’s books, which definitely means it was a great book!
Ava and her friend Grace are on the run to Scotland to get away from a dangerous Lord who has perversions in mind when he lurks in the shadows. Ava is a natural leader and therefore she pretends to be Grace, who has a marriage contract with the Laird of Aros. You know right away that concealing one’s identity will lead to big problems, but it creates some great complications.
Tor has no desire to marry. He definitely doesn’t want to marry an English lass who tempts him like no other. It becomes a battle between the two. Ava must get him to propose and fast.
What works so well in this book is the development of the characters. Tor and Ava are not one dimensional. They are lush, sensual characters who create sparks when they interact. I didn’t want to miss one scene where they match wits, or kiss or fight.
What also works really well is the complications of the English and politics. Like all Monica McCarty’s books, the tensions with the English soldiers in Scotland lead to many problems that force the characters to react and often with interesting consequences.
Seeing Scotland through the eyes of Ava and Grace made me fall more in love with the Highlands and Isles. Scotland is such a wonderful place to set a historical romance novel. When done well, it becomes like a character in the novel. This story is true to Scotland and every nuance of Scottish life infuses the plotline.
I have to come back to the romance between Tor and Ava. It’s passionate and steamy and I loved every passage and word. Tor is a magnificent lover and with Ava, they literally set the pages on fire. It’s passionate scenes like this that make the romance even more exciting to read.
If you are a fan of Highlander romances, Outlander or men in kilts, then this is a book you will definitely want to check out!