Book Review-Highland Outlaw

Book Review-Highland OutlawHighland Outlaw by Monica McCarty
Published by Random House Publishing Group on February 24th 2009
Genres: Historical Romance, Medieval Era, Scottish Highlands
Pages: 370
Format: Paperback
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Handsome and dangerous, Patrick MacGregor is a wanted man, possessing the tough, tenacious spirit of his outlawed clan. He will stop at nothing to save his people from destruction, even if it means marrying Elizabeth Campbell, the daughter of his worst enemy. Yet the flaxen-haired beauty disarms him from the start. Her sweet, unspoiled softness touches the cold depths of his ravaged soul–and makes him want much more than revenge.Inside the shy and dutiful Lizzie is a passionate woman longing to emerge, a woman ready for love. So when the piercing emerald eyes and searing kiss of a stranger spark in her a desperate hunger, she surrenders to Patrick’s glorious seduction–unaware that his daring deception has just found its one and only chance for redemption: a love more powerful than hate.From the Paperback edition.

Elizabeth Campbell has a sweet tempered nature, but has a inner obligation to her family: duty which she lives every day and every night of her life. She dedicated her life to her family, even though most of the time they don’t take notice much of all that she does for them. She has had three past engagements, but neither pulled through to a marriage, of course the blame was not on her side. Both men thought her not up to their standards and so they left her high and dry. Lizzie has felt that she is less, that maybe there is some things that are wrong with her. She then hears word of her cousin that has land for her, but she knows that there is another man that her cousin desires for her to marry. So she goes to travel to visit him, on the way however they are severely attacked by outlaws, the MacGregors. Admist the attack, they are rescued by a band of fierce warriors, their leader claims to be Patrick Murray. Patrick, is the Laird of the MacGregors that are constantly hunted down and his people outcasts, barely able to survive. He desires his people’s land that have been taken from them, so he comes up with a plan, to fall into Lizzie’s good graces, to woo her, marry her so that he can obtain the land. He knows that it is necessary for both him and all that is left of his clan to survive. What he didn’t plan on was the enchanting woman that he finds his cold heart softening for. He knows that if he doesn’t succeed soon, that he is bound to fall in love with his worst enemy’s daughter.

I found this to be such a captivating love story, and its filled with such delicate matters that at times it just breaks your heart. I just fell in love with Patrick and his duty to his people. Having watched his parents be murdered and the rest of his people driven out of their lands at threat of extinction, he has found a way to make sure that they will survive, but it will take sacrificing the happiness of the one woman he loves more than life itself. Lizzie is a charming yet sweet willed woman, who is innocent really in every way you can imagine. She doesn’t believe that she is really attractive or desirable, but Patrick is the one man that makes her feel that one and the one man she finds herself falling in love with him.I think the one problem that I had, is that when the truth is revealed, Lizzie has a hard time accepting it. But one would think she would be more understanding of his situation, so that was really my only problem with the way she treats him after she finds out the whole truth, when its obvious that he truly loves her. I also found, especially toward the end, this to be a very emotional tale that had my heart spinning with exhaustion wondering how this would turn into a happy ending. It is a very satisfying read, one that if you like a good historical romance with handsome men in kilts with swordplay, wooing and a bit of danger and romance involved, then this one you will be captivated by.

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?

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