The Recruit (Highland Guard #6) by Monica McCarty

 Published: October 30, 2012

Publisher’s Blurb:

Scotland’s King Robert the Bruce is retaking his kingdom from the invading English. To win, he’ll need all the grit and courage of his elite band of warriors, the Highland Guard, men who fight without fear and love without limits.

Fiery, aggressive, and bold, Kenneth Sutherland is a true champion—skilled with any weapon and driven to win. Now Kenneth is ready for his greatest challenge: joining Robert the Bruce’s secret army to fight among the elite. Kenneth’s best chance to attain that honor is by winning the Highland Games. Focused and prepared for victory, he is caught off guard by a lovely wisp of a woman—and a stolen moment of wicked seduction. Her innocent arousal and her shameless hunger fire his blood. He will win his place in the guard—and in Mary of Mar’s bed.

The ruggedly handsome hero-in-the-making stirs a heart that should know better. Mary vows that her surrender will be sport only—no promises, no heartbreak, just one night of incredible passion. Nothing, she swears, will persuade her to give up her hard-wrought independence and put her fate in the hands of another powerful man. But with every gentle touch and heart-pounding kiss, Kenneth makes her want more. Now Mary wants his heart. But is this determined champion willing to surrender everything for love?

Tags: Romance, Historical, Highlander

Time Frame: England/Scotland 1309-1310

Rating: 4.5 stars

Heat Level: 2.5

REVIEW BY LEE ANNE:

This is the 6th book in the Highland Guard series by Monica McCarty. I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though I have not read any of the other Highland Guard books. While this book is part of a series, it is not necessary to have read the other 5 to enjoy this one. This story is complete in itself. Ms. McCarty gives you enough history from the other five to know and understand what is going on in the overall story of the Highland Guard.

Both Mary and Kenneth are based on real historical figures, Ms. McCarty admits to taking a few liberties with events and people.  This literary freedom in no way hinders the story, in fact it enhances it! Ms. McCarty explains her literary freedom in detail at the end of the book and her reasons for doing so.

From the very beginning my heart broke for Mary. She lost her sister, her husband and her son in such a short time. Her husband was hung as a traitor and her sister was killed trying to flee England. Her son, while alive, was out of her reach. He was taken from her at 6 months of age to be raised in another English household. I can not begin to imagine the depth of her despair. Instead of falling into depression and becoming maudlin, Mary became stronger and made an independent life for herself. Her courage and strength are amazing!

Kenneth is a fierce highland warrior trying to find his way into Robert the Bruce’s elite Highland Guard. He’s also very sexy and popular with the women. One chance encounter with Mary and his life is changed forever.

When Mary and Kenneth are reunited on English soil, the sparks fly. She’s no pushover and refuses to give up her independence. She has no desire to be dependent on a man or fall victim to his decisions. Kenneth is in England as a Scottish spy, not fall in love or get married.

Kenneth and Mary’s love affair is sweet, fierce and passionate. Mary slowly lets Kenneth into her heart. When she finds out the truth about Kenneth she will be crushed.

This is an amazing story. The love affair is sweet and full of passion. Mc. McCarty does an amazing job of drawing the reader in and keeping you on the edge of your seat wondering what would happen next. You get a real feel for what women went through in that time.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Highlander stories. Even though most of the story happens on English soil, I was definitely rooting for the Scots! Now I just have to go back and read the other five in this series. I’m definitely looking forward to more!

Bio:

I am a happily married mother of three very busy children.  Most of my time is spent chauffeuring my kids to their various activities. I cram reading into any spare moment I have. Some days I can have an hour or two and others I’m sneaking in quick reads while waiting on the kids to finish their soccer or gymnastics practice. I like to read a wide variety of genres but I definitely prefer romance. I can’t really pinpoint a favorite author as it changes on a regular basis. I absolutely love finding new authors and giving their stories a chance to be heard. We all have a voice in our heads writing stories and those voices should be given a chance to be heard.

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