The Chief By Monica McCarty

Posted October 22, 2012 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 3 Comments

The Chief By Monica McCartyThe Chief by Monica McCarty
Series: Highland Guard #1
Published by Ballantine Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
five-stars

An elite fighting force unlike the world has ever seen . . . Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Robert the Bruce handpicks ten warriors to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. And to lead his secret Highland Guard, Bruce chooses the greatest warrior of all.

The ultimate Highland warlord and a swordsman without equal, Tor MacLeod has no intention of being drawn into Scotland’s war against the English. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one—especially not to his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his command of the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. The treacherous chit who made her way to Tor’s bed may have won his hand, but she will never claim his heart. Although her husband’s reputation is as fierce as his manner, Christina Fraser believes that something softer hides beneath his brutal shell. But the only warmth she feels is in their bed, in glorious moments of white-hot desire that disappear with the dawn. When Christina’s reckless bid to win her husband’s love goes awry and thrusts them into danger on the eve of war, Tor will face his ultimate battle: to save his wife and to open his heart—before it’s too late.

Tor MacLeod, renowned for his skills with a sword and being a formidable Highland chief, is determined to stay out of Scotland’s war against England. His first dedication is to his clan and he doesn’t see the need to risk their livelihood in someone else’s fight. He gets entangled in a scheme where he ends up with a wife and an agreement to train an elite group of warriors for the Scottish cause but has no plans to command them when complete. His new bride, Christina Fraser, turns out to be more than he anticipated, determined to win his heart in spite of his efforts to the otherwise.

This is a fascinating story, entrenched in historical fact but made even more interesting with the fictional characterizations. The relationship between Tor and Christina is very complex. He agrees to take her as his wife because of a number of factors, none of them having to do with love. She, though initially repulsed by the fierceness of this warrior, is enamored of this man and works hard to gain his approval not only as a wife but a lover.

Meanwhile, the intrigue abounds as loyalties to England and Scotland aren’t always clearly delineated and there is a traitor in the midst of Tor’s clan. The warriors assembled for the elite force aren’t all on the same page and have divided allegiances to other clans. It takes all of Tor’s skills to accomplish his goals (in secret) for this group while also managing his clan. He’s also struggling with emerging feelings for his new wife that he’s just as determined to fight off as he is to fulfill his role as chief.

The story is so well written and effectively weaves fact and fiction. The tone of the dialogue is in keeping with the region and the era and every relationship is carefully developed. I loved the evolution of Tor and Christina’s relationship and while there were many steamy moments, you also experience her heartache as Tor refuses to commit anything more than physically. The ending is extremely exciting and satisfying and I definitely will continue this series.

About Monica McCarty

Like most writers, I’ve always loved to read. Growing up in California there was always plenty to do outside, but all too often I could be found inside curled up with a book (or two or three).

Law School was where I fell in love with Scotland. In my third year, I took a Comparative Legal History class, and wrote a paper on the Scottish Clan System and Feudalism. So I immediately dropped out of law school and went on to write Scottish Historical Romances…well no, not quite. You see, I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. My father was a lawyer, I was a “poet” (i.e., not into math), and I love to argue. It seemed natural.

So I finished law school, got married, passed the CA bar, moved to Minnesota (with a few stops along the way), waived into the MN bar, worked as a litigator for a few satisfying years, moved back to CA, had a couple of kids, realized that a legal career and being a single parent for most of the year (due to husband’s career) would be extremely difficult, and THEN decided to sit down and write.

And how did I end up writing romance? It’s not as divergent as it seems. What I loved about being a lawyer are the same things I love about being a writer—research and writing. The only thing missing is the arguing, but that’s what a husband and kids are for, right?

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Jonetta

Co-Blogger/Full Time Reviewer at The Book Nympho
I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

I also love to talk about books. There’s nothing more exciting than to finish a great story and cover it A to Z with other people, exploring different perspectives and points of view. So, if you see something on my shelf you’d like to talk about, send me a message and we’ll talk!

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3 responses to “The Chief By Monica McCarty

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