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 Rock by Monica McCarty
Series: Highland Guard #11
Narrator: Antony Ferguson
Published by Tantor Audio on February 23, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Length: 13 hours
Audio | Goodreads
The first time Thomas MacGowan saw Elizabeth Douglas, he thought that she was a princess. To the son of the castle blacksmith, the daughter of the powerful Lord of Douglas might as well be. Despite their differences in rank, they become inseparable-until Thom confesses his love, and the humiliation of realizing that Elizabeth has never considered him a potential suitor drives him to battle.
Elizabeth is devastated. She never meant to hurt Thom, but her only hope for security is to marry for the betterment of her clan. When the English capture her younger brother, she turns to the quiet, steady former protector who can climb anything. But the merciless, muscled warrior is not the companion she remembers.
Though Thom has made it clear that he wants nothing to do with Elizabeth, can he truly refuse the alluring woman who makes his heart race?
Thom MacGowan and Elizabeth Douglas became friends as young children. What made it unusual was the difference in their status: she’s the daughter of the Lord of Douglas and he’s the son of the Castle’s blacksmith. When Thom becomes of age and his feelings transform to something deeper, Elizabeth doesn’t see things the same way and his friendship with her brother, James (The Black) Douglas fractures. Thom decides to pursue his dream of becoming a Knight, creating a path for his worthiness to ask for Elizabeth’s hand.
You may remember Thom and James from The Knight where their animosity was pretty clear. I didn’t like James then and it didn’t get any better here. Thom continued to be so admirable, steadfast in his goals and love for Elizabeth, despite her lack of worthiness for him. If you can’t tell, I wasn’t a fan of Elizabeth’s either.
It is historically accurate that people of different stations rarely married and that is just a fact. However, I thought Elizabeth lacked empathy for a man she’d adored as a child. And, James was just hypocritical given his marriage to Jo, a woman in a similar status as Thom.
I liked the story primarily due to my affection for Thom and his extraordinary skills. There was very little Highland Guard action here so everything fell to the romance, which came up short for me. One other wonderful highlight was the narration by Antony Ferguson. He made an average story a really good listening experience on every level.
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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