Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Raider by Monica McCarty

Synopsis: After consolidating his gains against the enemy English, King Robert the Bruce of Scotland sends his best soldiers to fortify the lawless borders. These legendary warriors of the Highland Guard let nothing come before king and country—except the calling of their heart.

Of all Bruce’s elite warriors, Robert “Raider” Boyd is the most formidable. A true patriot whose bare hands are a deadly weapon, Robbie is the fierce enforcer of the Guard, and his hatred of the English has been honed to a razor-sharp edge. But vengeance proves bittersweet when his enemy’s beautiful sister falls into his hands and he finds himself fighting temptation—a battle he badly wants to lose.

Lady Rosalin Clifford barely recognizes the rebel prisoner she saved from execution six years ago. Though her girlish ideals for fairness have matured into a passion for justice, Rosalin believes she betrayed her brother when she helped this dangerous man escape. Now her traitorous act has come back to haunt her. But she can’t deny the longing this tormented warrior ignites in her, or deny the passion that turns sworn enemies into lovers. Is the gentle love of a true English Rose enough to free Scotland’s most brutal warrior from a path of vengeance—before it’s too late?

My Thoughts: My second book by her and I'm wondering if Ms McCarty can do no wrong!

There is so much going on in my head about this book that I've started and restarted this review at least half a dozen times. All of a sudden I seemed to have lost my ability to put together something (anything) that truly makes sense. A review shouldn't be this difficult so I'm forgoing my usual paragraph review style and just doing bullet points.....

  • Robbie--an amazing hunka burning Highlander Love. The strongest man in Scotland and completely smitten with someone he should hate. A bit too pigheaded when it came to his hatred of the English.
  • Rosalin--a tad naive but in an endearing way, she quickly understood that the war between England and Scotland was not completely black and white. Her compassion for all, regardless of nationality or rank, was one of her greatest assets. She was smart and I never wanted to thwack her in the head because she did something to stupid to live.
  • The rest of the Characters--extremely real and well drawn. 
  • Rich in history--love McCarty's additional information after the Epilogue. She lets us know where she has taken liberties and why. Her usage of real places and people in her books add much more to the story than a typical historical romance. Those pale in comparison.
  • The Sensuality--I'd say through the 70% mark the sexual tension between the H/h was pretty amazing. There was one bath scene in particular that I thought was a whole lot of awesome sauce although it was not a typical sex scene as Rosalin remained fully clothed. However, once Robbie and Rosalin actually had sex they had so much of it during the last 25% of the book it no longer felt sensual but more gratuitous.
  • The Forever Be Thine Enemy shtick-- it made the book feel longer than necessary to be truthful.
  • Robbie's declaration of Undying Love--I would have liked to have seen him brought to his knees in a more literal way when trying to prove his love for Rosalin. As it is written, I think it's a bit lackluster.
  • Rosalin's acceptance of Robbie's declaration of Undying Love--she should have let him squirm more. 
  • The Ending--all resolved quickly with little fanfare. How did Clifford's and Robbie's negotiations effect the war? I'm not sure they did other than to help us get our HEA.
In A Nutshell: Such an enjoyable book despite some minor issues I had with it. I will 100% continue reading this series because I love me some Highlanders and Monica McCarty knows how to write amazing ones.

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