I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Striker by Monica McCarty
Series: Highland Guard #10
Published by Ballantine on November 24th 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
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Six years ago, Eoin "Striker” MacLean endured the greatest betrayal of his life, a disaster that led Robert the Bruce to a crushing defeat and left Eoin without the spirited woman who ruled his heart. Eoin knew that falling in love with his sworn enemy’s daughter was risky, dividing him between a possessive desire for beautiful Margaret MacDowell and an undying loyalty to his king. He promised Bruce that he would keep his fiery bride in the dark about the elite Highland Guard, but he could not predict the dire consequences his secret would have on his young marriage. Nor could he foresee how surrendering to temptation could cripple Bruce’s cause, forcing Eoin to blame his wife—and himself for trusting her.
Now, as Bruce prepares to challenge the resistance’s remaining strongholds, Eoin finally has his chance for revenge against the woman he once loved so fiercely and her entire clan. But when ferociously independent Margaret reveals a surprise that unites her with Eoin, neither of them will let their love go down without a fight.
Monica McCarty’s Highland Guard series is one of my favorites across the romance genre. The historical aspects and the rough and tumble highlander vibe of her heroes is spot on. This time, McCarty based her story around a second chance at love, though the characters have more of a lust-at-first-sight relationship. I can’t knock the book for taking the lust approach, many romance novels start with sexual tension that later builds and evolves into love.
Eoin MacLean (love the spelling) has been in the background of previous books and I’m happy to see him move to the front. Like the rest of highly skilled Highland Guard, Eoin is a warrior through and through and he’s got a bit of an ego. At times he was on the verge of being too stubborn. However, he takes one for the team and marries Margaret MacDowell, the enemy’s daughter. She is strong-willed and considered to be a bit of a “wild child”, but Eoin isn’t one to shy away from a challenge. Naturally, the marriage is intended to bring peace to the Clans, but misunderstanding, outside loyalties, and suspicion tear them apart.
The main characters have their faults. Eoin is no Prince Charming and there were times when Margaret’s personality made me want to slap a b*tch. Their romance was not easy and they had to work together to over come some serious obstacles.
To be honest, there were times I doubted the two could ever have a happy ending. Monica McCarty has a talent for creating imperfect characters (realistic characters) and designing a story line that suits them, which is why I enjoy this series so much! I can’t wait to curl up with the next book, The Rock.
If you’re not familiar with the Highland Guard series I would not recommend reading The Striker as a standalone. Pick up The Chief, the first as still my favorite of the series. If you a lover of Highland romance, you won’t be disappointed.