Straight Through My Heart! The Arrow by Monica McCarty

Posted March 22, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 8 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Straight Through My Heart! The Arrow by Monica McCartyThe Arrow by Monica McCarty
Series: Highland Guard #9
Published by Ballantine on August 26, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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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 lay 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?


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Gregor MacGregor, known as the most handsome man in Scotland, is the archer for Robert Bruce’s Highland Guard, code name Arrow. When he begins to notice changes in his precision, he takes leave to return home to figure out and resolve the problem. Gregor also needs to determine what he’s going to do with his ward, Caitrina (Cate) Kirkpatrick, who he rescued five years before.

This is one of my favorite series, primarily because of the historical aspects. Unfortunately, there were numerous word usages and vernacular that were beyond the medieval period of 1312. Cate is repeatedly referred to as “cute,” which has its origins in the 19th century, as well as “nightmare” and “wow.” When I saw “chomping at the bit” instead of “champing,” it immediately threw me out of the story. I’ve not experienced so many period errors in this series and these were only the ones I chose to research.

The story has an exciting start but then changes to focus on Gregor and Cait’s relationship. Both are keeping some whopper of secrets and it was tough to connect with the romance because of them. When Gregor, in anger, retaliated against Cate in response to a misguided perception of a breach of trust, it was so awful I was ready for Cate to walk away permanently and that didn’t change. What he did was unforgivable.

I was hoping for a much stronger story for Gregor as Cait seemed the ideal woman for him. But her duplicity was hard to get beyond and it was too protracted. The best aspects were when the Highland Guard were in action on missions and when they were otherwise part of the story. Unfortunately, the romance and historical parts were a miss though there were some very strong moments that struck an emotional chord that kept me turning the pages. It was interesting in spite of all of its flaws.

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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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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8 responses to “Straight Through My Heart! The Arrow by Monica McCarty

  1. This is an amazing series but I totally agree with you – this on just fell short…Maybe my expectations were too high. I was hoping for more when it came to Gregor’s story. I just couldn’t get on board with Cate at all and I didn’t like how for most of the beginning he kept thinking of her as a child yet was also attracted to her – odd.

  2. I’m so behind in this series, but it’s a good thing I just picked up bk 3 and 4. Your review reminds me of how I felt towards The Hawk, hopefully The Chief doesn’t remain as the only book out of this series that I end up liking.

    • Be forewarned about #3…it’s really good but the middle gets bogged down with lots of romance angst. If you get past that, it’s exciting. And, #4 is truly spectacular.

      Hang in there because the payoff is pretty great. When you get to The Recruit, there’s a scene that I still can’t forget it was so romantic *sigh*

    • I LOVE this series! Felicia, the author loosely follows the true events of that era, including the characters. She provides explanations at the end of each book where she took liberties. I think you’ll enjoy.

      This one just fell short of what I normally have seen throughout the series. The journey here, though, has been wonderful.