(Highland Guard, #9)
By: Monica McCarty
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: Aug. 26, 2014
Genre: Historical Fiction
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?
Cate was rescued by Gregor and his fellow Phantoms when the English attacked her village. Since her mother was killed in the raid, Gregor took in Cate as his ward. However, because he is part of Bruce’s secret elite army, the Phantoms, he doesn’t spend much time at home. So he has no idea how much Cate has grown or how beautiful of a woman she’s become over the time apart. However, Cate is determined to make him see her as a woman. A woman who he can;t live without.
I love this series. There’s so much rich history in the books that it’s hard not to be taken back in time. The author does a lot of research for her books that it’s hard to remember that it’s technically a work of fiction. Even though the series is amazingly entertaining, this one just didn’t hold up to the others. The story was still entertaining but I had some problems with the main characters.
Cate has been in love with Gregor since he saved her. She’s been anxiously waiting for his next trip home from the war so that she can woo him with her womanly charms. I could see her wanting him to see her as a woman but some things she did just didn’t really work for me. She claims she knows how he loathes being looked at as a prized trophy husband for his looks alone. She claims she knows him for who he is. However, her advances towards him were all wrong for what she claims. She corners him, forces herself on him and just doesn’t take no for an answer because he’s surely just fighting his love for her.
Gregor was a likable character at first. He does everything he can to stay away from Cate. She’s a nuisance sure, but he can’t deny her gravitational pull. He tries to discourage her advances by parading around with other women. However, when he is good and “trapped” into marrying Cate and finds out how she manipulated everything to get her way he decides to prove to them both that he doesn’t truly love her. So what does he do? He seeks out another woman. That was when I lost all respect for him. He stopped being the hero in the story and instead became a douchebag.
It’s true that these were not my favorite characters from the series. However, I am still a huge fan of the series and will continue to the next book. I like how the epilogue shoots forward in time. It makes me wonder if maybe the next book will have a whole new list of people to follow.
“That is, if you can bear to tear yourself away for a few hours from the bevy of admirers. ‘Oh laird, I brought you this tart because I know how much you love figs,’ she mimicked, “Or ‘Oh, my laird, have you had this cheese from our farm?'” She made a sharp scoffing sound. “Their ploys are so obvious. Does ever woman think the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?”
He crossed his arms and grinned at her. “Well, I do like figs and cheese.”