Jul 14, 2014

The Hawk by Monica McCarty (Highland Guard #2)

The Hawk by Monica McCarty
Genre: Historical Romance
Bottom Line: If you like seeing a cocky playboy finally brought to his knees, you'll enjoy this book. Oh, and the actual plot was good too. 

Highland Guard
1.  The Chief
2.  The Hawk
3.  The Ranger
4.  The Viper
5.  The Saint
6.  The Recruit
7.  The Hunter
7.5  The Knight
8.  The Raider
9.  The Arrow (August 26, 2014) 

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Handpicked by Robert the Bruce to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule, the elite warriors of the Highland Guard face their darkest days. When Bruce is forced to flee, his bid for freedom rests on the shoulders of one extraordinary warrior.

Erik MacSorley is a brilliant seafarer who has never encountered a wind he could not harness or a woman he could not win—until he drags a wet, half-naked “nursemaid” out of the waters off the Irish coast. Ellie’s ordinary appearance belies the truth: She is in fact Lady Elyne de Burgh, the spirited daughter of the most powerful noble in Ireland. Worse, this irresistible woman is determined to prove herself immune to Erik’s charms—a challenge he cannot resist.

Her captor may look every inch a rugged warrior, but Ellie vows that it will take more than a wickedly suggestive caress to impress her. Yet Erik will sweep away Ellie’s resistance with a desire that resonates deep within her heart. Still, he is a man driven by loyalty, and she is a woman with secrets that could jeopardize Bruce’s chance to reclaim his throne. As the battle for king and country sounds across the shores, will Ellie’s love be enough to finally tame the legend known as the Hawk?

My Thoughts:

Alright, I'm officially a fan of this series. It was a rough start with Tor "The Jerk" MacLeod in the first book, but I definitely enjoyed our second hero. McCarty has a way of taking obnoxious men and making me love them anyways. Erik "Hawk" MacSorley was chosen for Robert the Bruce's elite guard for his excellent seamanship. He's slightly crazy, way too cocky, and has never had to work for the attention of a woman in his life. Which is why I was oh so happy when he finally met his match in Ellie. Ellie is a nobleman's daughter, but decides to hide her identity from Hawk (who she believes to be a rugged pirate.) Ah, deception. Always makes for a great story.

Hawk was a major playboy. And while Ellie did her best to ignore his irresistible charms, she wasn't completely immune. Even after he realized that he felt differently about Ellie than the countless other women he had slept with, he was still way too cocky. And he kept mentioning how plain she was, and how grateful she would be for his attention! I would kick him in the face if I could. Maybe mess up his perfect bone structure a little bit. Really, some of these highlander hunks need to be brought down a few pegs. I certainly wouldn't characterize Hawk as "romantic" through the majority of the book, but my enjoyment in Hawk and Ellie's relationship came from seeing a man who had used his charm to get everything he wanted finally have to work to keep something he cared about.

I really like McCarty's writing. I think her stories really manage to pick at my emotions, and she's not afraid to stray from romantic heroes and give them a couple major character flaws. The heroes make me angry, but they also keep my face glued to the story. Nothing was half-assed in this story. The action was exciting and actually kept me interested in the politics behind the plot, which almost never happens. The tension between the characters was great and the sex was nice and detailed, if a little over the top at times (I'm looking at you boat-in-the-middle-of-a-storm scene...) I can't wait to continue on in this series and see what our next super secret highlander spy has in store!

Rating: 9

Find it on: Amazon | Goodreads Monica McCarty

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