Rating: 3 Stars
Type: Historical Romance
Talking about not likeable characters earlier: This is the review to Arrow. A book most of us were eagerly awaiting because it featured Gregor McGregor (he is hot, he is allowed to have a stupid name). A book most of us thought might be better than the last instalments. A book that shattered my hopes but at least it has a nice cover now (it didn’t even have that at the beginning). Here is my review that contains spoilers (albeit minimal ones):
What the official synopsis reads: As King Robert the Bruce of Scotland plots to retake his English-occupied castles, he needs the stealth and skill of his elite soldiers, the Highland Guard. Fearless and indomitable, no men are more loyal to their king, or more cherished by the women they love.
The talents of legendary marksman Gregor “Arrow” MacGregor are crucial now, as Bruce moves to reclaim his Scottish holdings. Gregor is considered the most handsome man in Scotland, and his fame as an archer is rivaled only by his reputation with the lasses as a heartbreaker. But when his infamous face is exposed during a covert mission, Gregor is forced to lie low. He returns home only to find a new battle waiting: a daring game of seduction involving his now very grown-up and very desirable ward, Cate of Lochmaben.
A born fighter, Cate was clinging to life when Gregor rescued her after a vicious English raid on her village left her mother dead. But five years later, the once scrappy orphan Gregor took under his protection has become a woman. Brave, strong, and skilled in warfare, Cate is determined to lay claim to the warrior who refuses to be trapped. The heat in his eyes tells her she has his attention . . . and his desire. But will Gregor allow his heart to surrender before danger finds them, and the truth of Cate’s identity is revealed?
What I read: Oh pleeeeaaazzzzzeee give me a break.
This is the 9th instalment in the Highland Guard series*. Monica McCarty is an excellent writer and the first instalments of the series were brilliant. She does her research very well and does not shy back from portraying the medieval ages as they were: rough, brutal, full of murder, rape, starvation, shattered hopes, betrayal, etc. Monica McCarty takes this rough background and next to dropping some historical facts, takes actual historical figures and spins a romance story between them. Ms McCarty creates gorgeous scenes and Geez this woman knows how to build up romantic scenes. I remember when I first read one of her novels my knees were wobbly when the hero and the heroine finally kissed.** It is all in there. A bit of history, romantic scenes, funny scenes, tragic scenes – albeit in contrast to the other books not that many battle scenes – with great writing and well developed characters. Because of this I will not rate the book as low as it actually deserves. If it wasn’t for Ms McCarty being such a skilled author I would rate the book with one star because of the main characters and the romantic story.
The heroine is AWFUL. The romantic story is AWFUL. The hero was okay in the beginning but became a jerk. This is what basically happens:
She is totally into him.
He is not. Like really not at all. Like it freaks him out in the beginning that she is into him.
She hits on him.
He says no.
She tries harder.
He hurts her (not physically) in order to make her understand that he is not into her.
She has obviously no pride at all and tries even harder.
He thinks he is into her.
She does something stupid.
He is pissed.
She is pissed because he is pissed.
He does something rrrreeeeaaally not cool. Like unforgivable.
He is now into her. She is still into him.
What is the message here?*** Swallow your pride girl and throw yourself at his feet? He says no but he means yes? That is such a pity. Usually Monica McCarty’s books are real gems. If you haven’t read the first books of this series, please do they are wonderful. Just don’t read the last ones. They spoil the series. Sadly.
* For those who haven’t read or heard about the series, the official synopsis sums it up pretty good: Scotland, beginning of 14th century, Robert the Bruce, elite warriors, all highly secretive, rough Highland warriors falling in love – need I say more?
** Yes kissing, imagine what the other scenes are like 😉
*** Well, as far as romantic novels have messages, that is.