Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: The Recruit

The Recruit
Monica McCarty
Historical Romance/England/Scotland/1306
Highland Guard/Book 6
Ballantine Books/October 30, 2012

Fiery, aggressive, and bold, Kenneth Sutherland is a true champion—skilled with any weapon and driven to win. Now Kenneth is ready for his greatest challenge: joining Robert the Bruce’s secret army to fight among the elite. Kenneth’s best chance to attain that honor is by winning the Highland Games.  Focused and prepared for victory, he is caught off guard by a lovely wisp of a woman—and a stolen moment of wicked seduction. Her innocent arousal and her shameless hunger fire his blood. He will win his place in the guard—and in Mary of Mar’s bed. 

The ruggedly handsome hero-in-the-making stirs a heart that should know better. Mary vows that her surrender will be sport only—no promises, no heartbreak, just one night of incredible passion. Nothing, she swears, will persuade her to give up her hard-wrought independence and put her fate in the hands of another powerful man. But with every gentle touch and heart-pounding kiss, Kenneth makes her want more. Now Mary wants his heart. But is this determined champion willing to surrender everything for love?

After having lost the mood for historical romances, I must thank Ms. McCarty for getting me back into the mood with The Recruit.  With the sixth book in the wonderful Highland Guard series, Ms. McCarty leaves off focusing on established members of the guard and instead gives the reader a hero who must prove himself worthy to be taken into the brotherhood of the guard.

It's an uphill battle but Kenneth Sutherland is ready for the challenge.  What he's not ready for is the attraction he feels for Mary of Mar.  A complication he doesn't need in his life right now but one he finds to hard to resist.  I liked how Kenneth is not easily welcomed into the guard.  Given  his family history of supporting England up until the previous year, it makes sense the other guard members would be wary.

Mary is this gentle, kind noblewoman who finds herself caught up in the volital politics between King Edward and Robert the Bruce.  It's dangerous, not only for her but for her young son.   Mary is a heroine of her time, meaning she is basically at the mercy of men.  She is controlled by her husband and then by her king.  She has no say in where she will live or when she may see her son.  It was so easy to not only to like Mary but to emphasize with her.  She is portrayed as a woman of her time who still has strength of character.  Which isn't always easy for author's to pull off without  making the heroine feel too modern.  McCarty did a wonderful job in keeping Mary true to her time period.

Mary and Kenneth are a couple that you really root for.  As the story progressed, I wanted so much for them to have their happy ever after which isn't necessarily unique when reading a romance novel but with them I felt they deserved it so much after everything they went through.

If you love highlanders, romance, history and suspense - give the Highland Guard series a try.

Rating: A-

Highland Guard Series ~

The Chief
The Hawk
The Ranger
The Viper
The Saint
The Recruit
The Hunter (June 25, 2013)


  1. LOL, looks like you've been reading a lot of good books lately, Leslie! :)

    I know how you enjoy this author and so I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

  2. Nath ~ It's a favorite historical series of mine so no surprise it got me in the mood for historicals again. :)