Sunday, April 9, 2017

Review: The Chief (Highland Guard #1) by Monica McCarty

The Chief (Highland Guard #1
Author: Monica McCarty
Published: March 23rd 2010 
Publisher: Ballantine Books, 405 pages
Genre: Historical Romance

An elite fighting force unlike the world has ever 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. And 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 against the English. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one—especially not to his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his command of the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. The treacherous chit who made her way to Tor’s 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 that something softer hides beneath his brutal shell. But the only warmth she feels is in their bed, in 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, Tor will face his ultimate battle: to save his wife and to open his heart—before it’s too late.

Hi everyone! It's been a while since we've had a review no? I'm sorry for the lapse - life, busy, blah, blah. I've been in such a reading rut for the past few months. I've had this book for YEARS, and it's never really grabbed hold of me. Not sure why I've kept it around so long - but I'm glad I did! 

Like I said, I've had this book for quite some time. I usually got through the first chapter, put it down and forgot about it for another few months. 

Right now, however, I am rockin' a head cold and have nothing better to do besides for sit around and read and try to get better in time to go back to work. So, The Chief got another shot. 

He didn't disappoint. 

First off - cover! My inner feminist despises how this character didn't get a face on the cover. It's just rock hard abs. I mean, like, come on! Although, it might have been hard to find a model to live up to the description we get of Tor. On more than one occasion we're told just how beautiful he is. As we're told just how beautiful Christina is. They're both beautiful. So pretty. 

As you might be able to guess, that annoyed me just a teensy bit throughout the book. I also think it's what took me so long to get into the book. The more of an activist and feminist I become, the more I despise these books that just dumb all relationships down to sex, good looks and brute strength. 

Once you get into the book, however, you'll probably be hooked in by the political mystery and there is a plot twist that I wasn't expecting. So, kudos to McCarty for that. 

Tor is a man that is used to being alone, and Christina is just too foolhardy to leave him be. I mean, if she weren't there wouldn't be much story, now would there? 

I will admit at times she annoyed me. She wants him to talk to her. Talk talk talk. Talk. Tell me your feelings. Talk to me. TALK TO ME. The weird thing is, we never really see her offering up too much information about herself. She wants to know all of Tor's plans, but we don't get the same from her. 

She tries to "help" which just makes Tor's life a lot harder, and still the man is there for her. 

Either way, 4 out of 5 triquetras. You'll like this if you're a sucker for typical Scottish Highlander romances, relatively explicit sex scenes and some historically based characters (which I thought was way cool.) Another cool thing is that the locatiosn are real - Tor's castle (Dunvegan castle) actually exists!  

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