Series: Highland Guard

Audio Review: The Ghost by Monica McCarty

Posted January 23, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 0 Comments

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

Audio Review: The Ghost by Monica McCartyThe Ghost by Monica McCarty
Series: Highland Guard #12
Narrator: Antony Ferguson
Published by Tantor Audio on Oct 18, 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Format: Audiobook
Length: 12 hours, 20 minutes
Source: the Publisher
Audio | Goodreads
four-half-stars
four-flames

Joan Comyn swore allegiance to Robert the Bruce the day she witnessed England's barbarous king torturing her famous mother, Scot patriot Bella MacDuff. Now the mysterious beauty slips into men's hearts like a specter and entices England's most illustrious barons to unwittingly divulge their secrets, then shares them with her king. Known only as the Ghost even among her Highland Guard brethren, Joan has become the most wanted traitor in England. The man determined to uncover her identity poses her biggest threat yet. Alex Seton once stood with Bruce but now fights for the enemy. Though Joan knows she must avoid the handsome warrior or risk discovery, his knightly chivalry touches a place in her long since buried. When his suspicions grow apparent, Joan realizes she must do everything in her power to stop Alex from revealing her mission and convince the powerful fighter to join forces with the Highland Guard once more. But as the ultimate battle in the great war approaches, will Alex choose love or honor?

 


When she witnessed the inhumane treatment of her mother at the hands of the English, Joan Comyn silently vowed her allegiance to the king of Scotland. As soon as she was old enough, she used her wiles to extract vital information from powerful men and delivered it to Robert Bruce and his Highland Guard. She became known only to them as the Ghost, her identity secreted. But she was infamous to all as the effect of her treachery was damaging. Alex Seaton, formerly a member of the Guard before her time, is now working on behalf of King Edward and is committed to squirreling out the spy. However, he’s beguiled by Joan and she with him.
This series is ending on the highest note as the story returned to its roots in history. There’s high intrigue, suspense and action with the developing romance as more of a backdrop. The war strategies of both sides were shared so I felt like I was part of the adventure. Alex’s internal conflict regarding his ill-advised decision to leave the Guard made the story even more interesting as it illustrated the pertinent issues of the period.
I really enjoyed Antony Ferguson’s narration as he mastered all of those Scottish names and words I have only guessed at in the past (who knew McKay was pronounced Ma-kīe). His performance was skillful even if the female voices were a little strange as he captured the emotions perfectly for each scene.
I loved this story with the poignant twist of having the final member of the featured Guard be a woman. It has every element that drew me to the series and kept me coming back. I loved the ending and am satisfied with how the series concluded. Very well done.

 

Listen to a clip!

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?

Review Breakdown
Characters
four-half-stars
Narration (Audio)
four-stars
Overall: four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


The Rogue by Monica McCarty

The Rogue by Monica McCarty

Posted November 14, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    I wasn’t a big fan of Thomas Randolph but was very interested in learning more about him after Ella broke off their betrothal. Isabel (Izzie) Stewart was someone I wanted more from as she was more spirited and intriguing than her cousin, Ella.   I liked the story but was hoping for more action involving the Highland Guard, which just doesn’t happen here. The one action event was covered in the last story so this was limited to the developing relationship and romance between Randolph and Izzie. Since my primary attraction to the series is the focus on the historical elements, it fell short of my expectations.   Thomas isn’t the most likable character but Izzie draws the best out of him. It’s […]


Audio Review: The Rock by Monica McCarty

Audio Review: The Rock by Monica McCarty

Posted August 15, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 4 Comments

    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 […]


The Ghost by Monica McCarty

The Ghost by Monica McCarty

Posted May 27, 2016 by Amanda in Book Review | 1 Comment

What an amazing series! The Ghost, sadly, is the last installment within the Highland Guard series. The author, Monica McCarty, has taken her readers on a magnificent journey and she ended it with a wonderful story. Not to mention, I’ve been anticipating Alex “Dragon” Seton’s book for some time now. He appeared in previous works and I always enjoyed his chivalric character. Two years prior, Alex left the mysterious Highland Guard and returned to England. Viewed as a traitor by the Scottish he once aided and untrusted by his fellow Englishmen, he struggles to find a common ground and peace. He is also interested in discovering the identity of the spy within the English camp that has been feeding intel to Bruce. Joan Comyn is […]


Audio Review: The Striker by Monica McCarty

Audio Review: The Striker by Monica McCarty

Posted April 19, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 2 Comments

    Highland Guard Eoin MacLean is completely captivated by Margaret (Maggie) MacDowell, despite her unconventional behavior and her being the daughter of Dugald MacDowell who opposes Bruce’s claim to the throne. After their whirlwind marriage, he has cause to believe she betrayed him and Bruce’s warriors to her father. Thinking Eoin had died in that fateful clash, Margaret prepares to remarry six years later, only to have him show up at the moment she’s to take her vows. But, she’s also got a surprise in store for him, too.   I loved this story, even when Maggie and Eoin’s relationship woes would alternately make me want to scream or cry. Their behavior, however, was completely realistic given the circumstances. I enjoyed having Robert Bruce […]


Straight Through My Heart! The Arrow by Monica McCarty

Straight Through My Heart! The Arrow by Monica McCarty

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

    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” […]


The Rock by Monica McCarty

The Rock by Monica McCarty

Posted January 13, 2016 by Amanda in Book Review | 2 Comments

The Rock is another great book! I love this series. For someone who enjoys history (so much so, I went for my degree), Monica McCarty’s stories are rich in detail and historical goodies. Her writing style is wonderful; she has a real talent for drawing the read to her characters. Thomas MacGowan and Lady Elizabeth Dougal come from different worlds. He is the son of a blacksmith and she is nobility, yet they were childhood friends. While growing up, Thomas hoped that he and Elziabeth could be together one day, but social status and her fear of being disowned by her family kept them apart. As they grew older, Thomas confesses his love for Elizabeth, but she refuses. She feels that she has a duty […]


The Striker by Monica McCarty

The Striker by Monica McCarty

Posted November 13, 2015 by Amanda in Book Review | 1 Comment

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 […]