Book 11, Highland Guard
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New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty continues her Highland Guard series in this eleventh steamy historical romance set against the sweeping backdrop of the Scottish Highlands.
The first time he caught sight of Elizabeth Douglas, Thomas MacGowan thought she was a princess. To the son of the castle blacksmith, the daughter of the powerful Lord of Douglas might as well be. When it becomes clear that his childhood companion will never see him as a man she could love, Thom joins Edward Bruce’s army as a man-at-arms to try to change his lot. If he’s harbored a secret hope that he could close the gap between them, he faces the cold, hard truth when Elizabeth comes to him for help. She might need the boy who used to climb cliffs to rescue her brother from the hands of the English, but she would never see the son of a smith as a man worthy of her hand.
The Highland Guard series is superbly amazing!
I would have to say that out of all of the books though this one had me more frustrated than most. Both the hero, Thom, and the heroine, Elizabeth, seemed hardheaded and stubborn when it came to their feelings for each other. But isn't that how we all are in love?
He has in love with her since they were little and when he finally tells her and she doesn't react the way that he wants her to, he gets hurt and angry, then disappears for 3 years to become something more worthy than he believes he is. She on the other hand is completely naive to her feelings for him because she never looked at him as more than just a friend and her fear from being poor when she was a young girl has her not looking past their stations.
While it was frustrating to see them go back and forth with their feelings for each other, it was nice to catch a glimpse of what real love looks like. People get hurt, lash out at the one that they truly love, and make mistakes. This book is filled with a bunch of that which is what makes it wonderful!!
Another spectacular read that's is absolutely phenomenal!
Again Monica McCarty pens another spectacular brilliant read in book eleven of her phenomenal best selling "A Highland Guard Novel" series that I have absolutely loved each and everyone including this one titled "The Rock". Monica McCarty is one of the most talented writers in the entire Scottish historical romance fiction genre in my opinion. I can't get enough of her riveting, fast paced page turners that blend true factional history and her own fictional adventure about Robert Bruce bid and holding on to his crown in which he cannot do alone. As he has help as now the English are coming and Bruce plans to be ready for them with his special secret elite and powerful fierce warriors called the Highland Guard. The hero of the story who some will know as "Rock" eventually and of very humble birth will be essential and play a very key part for Bruce to soon to attain his goal moving toward the most significant battle in the near future.
The story begins in at Douglas Castle, Lanarkshire Scotland in June of 1296 and ends during the Scottish Marches era in 1314. . In 1296 this is when Thomas MacGowan known as wee Thom for when he is a lad and the son of the blacksmith and his father was the personal smith and armorer of Lord William Douglas. This is how he first meets Lady Elizabeth Douglas his wee daughter who to him looks more like a princess and this is how he first the child who would become the heart of his desire most of his life as he is only nine and she was six years old at the time. Lady Elizabeth Douglas that those close to her call Ella or El, is the heroine of this story. Then the day Ella comforts Thom after his mum dies giving birth to his little brother Johnny. It turns out she too lost her mum when she was born for the same reason and from that day and on they become the best of friends not realizing about class difference he the Smitty's son and she the Laird's daughter. Then he also became the best of friends with her brother Jamie and his friend Joanna who was more of the sister he never had. This book circles a lot on the four of them how the class and social difference affects all four of them as they become adults.
Thom has been in love with Elizabeth ( Ella) since the first time her and has had her on an unrealistic pedestal since they met as children. Also how Ella's brother Jamie and Thom, who had been the best of friends become bitter enemies, but you will have to read this story to find out the details to the why and when. Jamie now Laird Douglas, also plays an important key part in King Robert Bruces's war and and reaches hero status as well not that this changes Thom's opinion of Jamie no matter how high he climbed! Thom opens his heart to Ella and when Thom saves her from a mishap on a tree as a child Ella claims she will marry him one day! Sadly, when he is twenty and three and she twenty-one he opens his heart and assumes they really will marry one day, yet Ella only sees's their class difference and has only seen Thom as her very dear best friend. Plus the fact Ella has a fear of starving and not having a roof over her heard due to a dark time in her families past which again you will have to read this marvelous story to find out why. This rejection and heartbreak prompts Thom to join Edward Bruce's army to and raise his status to become a man-at-arms.
It's been three years and now Thom is considering marrying a titled and wealthy widow who has taken a shine to him. Ella is considering a betrothal to the handsome nephew, of Robert the Bruce and one of the richest men in the realm. Then Ella's teenage brother Archie is taken prisoner by the English! The only man that will be able to save him and able to climb that high rock of his prison is Thom, with his special cliff and rock climbing abilities. This also does not go unnoticed by King Robert Bruce and his elite warriors, the Highland Guards. Son of a smith or not Ella finally opens her eyes and realizes the most handsome and honorable man in Scotland has always been there right in front of her, but is it too late with her betrothal about to be announced? Will she break Thom's heart once again? Will she choose social status and all that comes with it or take a chance on love? You will have to read this beautifully written exquisite, fast paced riveting adventure, lined with factual history, betrayal, jealousy, heartbreak, prejudice of classes, suspense, drama, honor, sizzling passion and love and more to find out.
This book just dazzled me and honestly just took my breath away. I can't recommend it enough as its a story you won't be able to put down, that will pull at your heartstrings and you won't forget as it will stay with you long after you have read it. Sadly, only one more book in "A Highland Guard Novel" series! The next called The Ghost is book 12 TBR 5/31/2016. This is the last and final story in this exceptional, beautifully written, heart-melting series. A series that I plan to reread again and again. As each and every Highland Guard Novel has been a reading heaven for me, all memorable and such a joy and privilege to read, I can't thank Ms. McCarty enough!
Absolutely and unequivocally loved "The Rock" by Monica McCarty which was another absolute masterpiece in my opinion!
***I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review through netgalley.com.***