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Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Highland Guard Series Book 11
Monica McCarty
Pocket Books
ISBN# 978-1-5011-0870-9
Dec 2015
Historical Romance

When Eoin (pronounced Owen) "Striker" MacLean sets eyes on Margaret MacDowell, he can't get her out of his head. Beautiful and spirited, she is also the daughter of his enemy. Try as he might, he can't stay away from her, giving her his heart and his name, even as he plans on never telling her he's with Robert the Bruce's Highland Guard. After he secretly marries her, he leaves her with his family as he heads off time and again for Robert. He never thinks one day she would betray him.

Maggie fell hard for Eoin, loving him with all she had. Yet, each time he leaves her, his family and his friend make it impossible to stay. So she leaves to go back to her home, unaware the chain of events that are set in motion, one of which leads to Eoin's death. Pregnant and in heartbreak, she is forced to raise her son alongside her father, who teaches him how to hate. Maggie agrees to marry again after six years, but on the day of the wedding, she comes face to face with her long dead husband, Eoin, who is very much alive.

Eoin has so much bitterness over his wife's betrayal, he's let her believe he was dead all these years, but now, he cannot let her marry another. Forced to come to terms with their past, their heartbreak and their subsequent reunion, Eoin and Maggie work together to try and get their son away from her father. Being together also makes them realize that they never stopped loving each other, but surrounded with so much misunderstanding and heartache, will they be able to open up to each other, or is it too much to overcome?

I enjoyed reading some previous books in this series about the Highland Guard. McCarty has done a lot of historical research of Robert the Bruce (who incidentally is an ancestor of mine) and it shows in her plots and storylines. Eoin is a hard man, sworn fealty to the would be King. However, keeping his wife aside, not talking to her, leaving her to fend for herself makes him a little less likable. Maggie is a bit of a wild child, often mistaken for a loose woman by her manner of dress and appearance. This is one of the things that draws Eoin to her. I found that if these two ever talked to each other at the beginning, it would have saved them six years of heartache and their marriage. The story opens up present day, switches to seven years prior, and then swings back to present. A lot goes on in this historical romance, especially historical elements, which may or may not be everyone's cup of tea. All in all, a good read that I couldn't put down.

Reviewed by Jennifer Jones
Rating: 4

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