Book 10, Highland Guard
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New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty continues her Highland Guard series in this tenth steamy historical romance set against the sweeping backdrop of the Scottish Highlands.
When Eoin MacLean decides to fight with Robert the Bruce, he knows he will earn the enmity of his new bride’s father, but he doesn’t expect Margaret MacDowell, the spirited girl he’s fallen in love with, to betray him. Blaming her—and himself for trusting her—for the disaster that led to the death of Bruce’s two brothers, Eoin cuts her out of his heart and leaves her behind with no intention of ever coming back. But when Bruce puts him in charge of conquering the troublesome southwest province of Galloway—ruled by his wife’s father—Eoin reconsiders. Especially after he learns that his treacherous wife who thinks him dead plans to remarry. That’s one wedding he has no intention of missing.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Can I rate this as a six star please.
Wow, just finished and what an amazing read this was. Monica McCarty last couple books were good but this, this one was excellent!!! Trying to gather my thoughts and emotions here as I write a review.
We begin the first chapter in the present tense with Eoin "Striker” planning an attack and capture of Dugald MacDowell. MacDowel was one of the last important opposition against Bruce and Striker was going to make sure that he was captured with no mess ups this time. Oh, one more thing, MacDowel was also the Father of his wife, who Striker hasn't seen in six year. His wife Margaret, who was about to marry another man was the perfect revenge for what he believes she did to him and his friends. In this opening scene we are given a hint of some terrible betrayal that Eoin has suffered at the hands of his wife and the deep hurt and bitterness he's still wrestling with. Margaret's thoughts are also on display and as well as her deep emotional turmoil as she is about to marry a man she cares about but doesn't love. We find her talking to her son, Eachann and thinking how he looks so much like her husband who she believes is dead because of her and a terrible misunderstanding. The emotions that emanate from this first chapter is gripping. I felt each characters pain, heartache and anger. The scene that unfolds is so full of emotion and is so gripping that you become immersed into these two characters worlds. The author did a beautiful job of setting the scene in present tense and transitioning to the past in the next chapter and how these two meet and fall in love.
The first half of the book is the story of how Eoin and Margaret meet and fall in love. Margaret is young, strong, confident, beautiful and considered a "wild" child. Eoin is handsome, intelligent, a great strategist and cousin to Bruce. He is working on becoming part of this elite group that Bruce has formed and that has has consumed Eoin life. He's considered serious, intense and reserved. When these two first meet they are shocked by the intense and strong pull they have for each other. We then witness the two fall into deep attraction and then a sweet first love. The relationship has challenges from outside forces as well two families with opposing sides to the war.Both Margaret and Eoin make young foolish mistakes that make you angry but yet you totally get and understand. And the amazing thing for me was I understood both sides and was equally sympathetic with each. And that I have to give credit to excellent writing and character development by the author (very rare for me, most times I end up taking a side). And then the unfolding of the suppose "betrayal" and the heartache and sorrow each character endures is gut wrenching.
Then the second half of the book we are taken back to the wedding/surprise attack scene. We witness how each character is in for quite a shock. Eoin seeing Margaret again and realizing his feelings aren't dead and he has a son. And Margaret seeing her "dead" husband standing in front of her. Her realizing that she has never stopped loving her husband and could never love anyone else but him. A brief moment of happiness that he came for her and then her heart is shattered. Heartbroken because she realizes he's back to capture her father, he didn't come for her and then seeing the anger and bitterness that is emanating from him as he looks at her. Her father then escapes and he takes Eoin and Margaret's son with him. The two must now join forces to find their son and Eoin needs to capture her father. Both begin to face past hurts, realize that not all was at it seemed, learn to forgive and most important to trust each other again. As beautiful as the first half of the book was in the two of them fall in love the second half was a deeper, more emotional journey of second chances and forever love. This love story was a complete package, everything just came together and had you experiencing every emotion. And the best part was the epilogue, beautiful and was the icing on the cake.
It was nice to see some of the past characters and revisit the world of the highland guard. I loved the pacing, not at anytime did I want to skim or put the book down. The plot was full of suspence, the history was engaging and interesting. I felt like I was transported and immersed back to Scotland in 1305. Thank you Monica McCarty and well done. And now waiting for the "The Rock"
A must read!!!!
A few weeks back I was at my local library and happen to come across The Chief by Monica McCarty while browsing the romance section. Oh yes, I am a sucker for romance novels and anything Scotland so what did I do?? Well I checked out the book and was blown away! I finished all 9 books of the series in about 3 weeks because they were just THAT GOOD!! So of course I was beyond psyched when I saw book #10 of the Highland Guard series pop up on NetGalley!
You guys have got to check this book series out!
FYI…this is a VERY emotional story. I seriously cried like a baby throughout most of it but it was sooooo good! You really feel for Margaret MacDowell, the main female character. And while Eoin MacLean was a little frustrating with making her wait over, and over, and over again as well as not fully trusting her til the end (their families are enemies, on opposite sides of the war), I still loved his character. I’ve been waiting for his book to come out since McCarty gave us little snippets of him here and there in the other books. You could just feel the vibe that his marriage was pretty rocky and boy did I want to know the story behind it!
The only thing that threw me off about the book was when it started off in 1313 and then left you hangin’ at the end of chapter one by jumping back to 1305 for half of the book before then coming back again to where chapter one had left off. I was like ‘WTF is gonna happen?!??’. But while I was pulling my hair out with anticipation, I understand that in order to grasp the depth of the two main character’s relationship, you had to travel back in time to get the jest of how they fell in love and where their marriage went array.
It takes place during the time of Robert the Bruce on his journey to obtain the crown of Scotland using his special ops Highland Guard and it was absolutely fantastic! If you like historical romance, with some good ol’ Scotland thrown in, then this series is totally for you!
Every time I say to my self this time Monica will go easy on me .... Who am I kidding