Book Review-The Arrow by Monica McCarty

Book Review-The Arrow by Monica McCartyThe Arrow by Monica McCarty
Also in this series: The Raider, The Viper, The Saint, The Recruit
Series: Highland Guard #9
Published by Ballantine Books on August 26th 2014
Genres: Historical Romance, Scottish Highlands, Medieval Era
Pages: 416
ISBN: 0345543955
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As King Robert the Bruce of Scotland plots to retake his English occupied castles, he needs the stealth and skill of his elite soldiers, the Highland Guard. Fearless and indomitable, no men are more loyal to their king, or cherished by the women they love.  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?

Gregor “The Arrow” is considered the best marksman, and after seven years of fighting with and for Bruce…he is dedicated all the way. But when he is almost spotted and his position is compromised, Bruce sends him to his home to lay low for a while, and to deal with his ward. Cate has been in love with Gregor for years. She knows him inside and out, and she knows she can show him. She was rescued after her village was raided and her mother was killed. Cate has worked hard to learn to fight and defend herself. But she is also willing to fight for Gregor. Even though he is known the “Most Handsome Man in Scotland”, she sees beneath the gorgeous exterior, to a man that deserves to be loved for who he really is and not another notch on a bed post.  As Cate starts her seduction of Gregor, there is secrets that they both hide from each other…secrets that could tear them apart unless their learn to trust in the love they share…but will Gregor’s enemies gain the upper hand and destroy everything?

The Arrow is the 9th book in this astounding series by Monica McCarty. I just want to say that this story was such fun!!! My goodness…did I have such a good time with this story. The story begins with seeing some of the team together on a secret mission, when Gregor makes a mistake, and he is compromise and has to go into hiding for some time to protect himself and the guard and his family. Gregor has devoted everything to Bruce, a man who has a dream and the willingness to fight for it. Gregor will do anything his King commands…even if it means going back home to deal with a young woman he would rather avoid. When he arrives home he finds that his young ward, is a young woman, with a gentle beauty and fierce passions. He is captivated, and for a man who is always being chase for the wrong reasons, we see a woman chase him for the right reasons. Cate has such a deep devotion and love to Gregor, even if he treats her not worthy at times. I love how she continually has faith in him and never gives up. She is tenacious and strong and I loved how she is willing to do anything to win him.

There are some shocks and surprises and some that really shook me they shocked me so much, and I never saw them coming at all!! I love how this author has a way to write a story with such telling results. There was so much that I enjoyed about this one. Not my favorite, but definitely up there in top favorites of the series. We see more of Bruce in the story…for a good reason. We also see quite a bit of Erik “The Hawk” who is hilarious and adds a certain dramatic flair to the story, and boy what humor!! I LOVED it.

Overall a fun and adventurous romance, set in the historical Scotland, where you see a fight for freedom, a powerful love, and quite a bit of conflict to have you on the edge of your seat!! I love how this author compound a mixture of passion, history, and great wit to create a tale to captivate your senses!! TO DIE FOR!!

About Monica McCarty

What do you get when you mix a legal career, a baseball career, motherhood, and a love of history with a voracious reader? In my case, a Historical Romance Author.

Like most writers, I’ve always loved to read. Growing up in California there was always plenty to do outside, but all too often I could be found inside curled up with a book (or two or three). I started with the usual fare: The Little House on the Prairie series, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Watership Down, Nancy Drew, and everything by Judy Blume. Once I cleared off my bookshelf, I started swiping books from my mom. Some, like Sidney Sheldon’s The Other Side of Midnight, probably weren’t the most appropriate choice for a pre-adolescent—although they were definitely illuminating. I can still remember the look of abject horror on my mom’s Catholic-girl-face when I asked her what a virgin was. After that rather brief conversation, she paid a little closer attention to what had disappeared off her book shelf, and steered me in the direction of Harlequin and Barbara Cartland romances. I was hooked. I quickly read through the inventory of the local library and was soon buying bags of romances at garage sales.

In high school, with the encouragement of my father (who I think was a little concerned about the steady diet of romances), I read over eighty of the Franklin Library’s One Hundred Greatest Books ever written—including Tolstoy, Confucius, Plato, and the entire works of Shakespeare. Some of them were tough going for a teenager, but the experience would prove an invaluable foundation for college. After reading War and Peace, I wasn’t easily intimidated.

For some reason Monica decided to go into writing and not fashion.

After graduation, I loaded up the VW (Jetta not Bus) and trekked down I-5 to attend the University of Southern California, majoring in Political Science and minoring in English (see why all that reading helped!). I joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and when I wasn’t studying or at football games, did my best to support the local bartending industry. Ah, the good old days.

With that kind of fun, four years of college wasn’t quite enough. So leaving Tommy Trojan behind, I traveled back up north to Palo Alto for three more years of study at Stanford Law School. Once I survived the stress of the first semester, law school proved to be one of the best times of my life—garnering me a JD, life-long friends, a husband, and an unexpectedly intimate knowledge of baseball. (See “The Baseball Odyssey” below).

Law School was also where I fell in love with Scotland. In my third year, I took a Comparative Legal History class, and wrote a paper on the Scottish Clan System and Feudalism. So I immediately dropped out of law school and went on to write Scottish Historical Romances…well no, not quite. You see, I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. My father was a lawyer, I was a “poet” (i.e., not into math), and I love to argue. It seemed natural.

So I finished law school, got married, passed the CA bar, moved to Minnesota (with a few stops along the way), waived into the MN bar, worked as a litigator for a few satisfying years, moved back to CA, had a couple of kids, realized that a legal career and being a single parent for most of the year (due to husband's career) would be extremely difficult, and THEN decided to sit down and write.

And how did I end up writing romance? It’s not as divergent as it seems. What I loved about being a lawyer are the same things I love about being a writer—research and writing. The only thing missing is the arguing, but that’s what a husband and kids are for, right?