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.The Arrow by Monica McCarty
Series: Highland Guard #9
Published by Ballantine on August 26, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
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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?
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.
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