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Book CoverSandy M’s review of The Chief (Highland Guard, Book 1) by Monica McCarty
Historical Romance published by Ballantine 23 Mar 10

When I heard about the premise of this series early last year from the author herself, I was definitely intrigued. We even posted a Duck Flash about it since it’s so unique. Special ops with superhero characteristics meets the bravest Highlanders in Scotland to save their country from English rule. I was fascinated from the beginning.

William Wallace is dead. Scotland needs a new leader to keep Wallace’s forward momentum heading away from English tyranny, full steam ahead. Robert the Bruce is the likely candidate and he’s already looking to the future, hatching a plan with Harry Lamberton to create an elite fighting squad of warriors that will have ability to go head to head with a superior English military.

Tormod MacLeod is their top choice as leader of this squad. He’s known for his skill on the battlefield, but the one thing standing in their way is Tor himself. He has no interest in involving himself in Scottish/English politics; his only goal is keeping his clan safe from harm after the blood and sweat he’s expended since the death of his parents, which he witnessed, and the near destruction of his clan.

Wanting out from under her father’s cruelty, Christina wants to marry, and her father is finagling to use his daughters as leverage to better his clan alliances. The man is as devious as they come and Christina walks right into his trap along with Tor, forcing a quick marriage. Tor reverses his decision and agrees to train Bruce’s warriors, which will take place near his home, but he will have no other involvement.

Christina is excited about the start of her new life, but she is quickly disappointed when her husband does not change his routine and she sees naught of him except in their bed, where they enjoy themselves immensely. She also discovers that Tor doesn’t spend the night with her, leaving to sleep among his men in the great hall. Her determination to make him sit up and take notice, to help out where she can only leads to trouble every time.

I enjoyed watching Tor’s feelings change toward his wife. Even her inadvertently bad-timing helpfulness can’t keep him from falling for her, though heaven knows he tries. When danger and death hit much too close to home, Tor finally realizes what he has in Christina.I also enjoyed the training scenes and byplay between among the chosen warriors. Tor puts them through some grueling paces.

Ms. McCarty has a winner on her hands with this new series, and this book is one terrific start to it. I’m anxiously looking forward to all of the upcoming books. The Hawk is due to be released at the end of this month. I can’t wait!

SandyMGrade: A+


An elite fighting force like the world has never seen…

Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Robert the Bruce handpicks ten warriors to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. To lead his secret Highland Guard, Bruce chooses the greatest warrior of all.

The ultimate Highland warlord and a swordsman without equal, Tor MacLeod has no intention of being drawn into Scotland’s war. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one—especially not his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his agreement to command the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. The treacherous chit who made her way to his bed may have won his hand, but she will never claim his heart.

Although her husband’s reputation is as fierce as his manner, Christina Fraser believes something softer hides beneath his brutal shell. But the only warmth she feels is in their bed, in the glorious moments of white-hot desire that disappear with the dawn. When Christina’s reckless bid to win her husband’s love goes awry and thrusts them into danger on the eve of war against England, Tor will face his ultimate battle: to save his wife and open his heart—before it’s too late.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:

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