The Ranger

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The Ranger

Highland Guard, #3

The Ranger is the third book in Monica McCarty’s Highland Guard series featuring Arthur Campbell and Anna MacDougall. When Arthur and Anna first meet, Arthur knows she’s on the wrong side of the battle but his honor and senses can’t let him allow Anna to be an innocent casualty to Robert the Bruce’s cause. Arthur doesn’t have long to think about the repercussions of saving Anna before he must focus on infiltrating the clan of his greatest enemy. The man who dishonorably killed Arthur’s father and is also a major key to the Bruce’s winning the crown of Scotland. When he manages to infiltrate the enemy camp it is only to find that Anna, the woman he saved and is drawn to, is not only aligned with the enemy she is his daughter.

Anna MacDougall idolizes her father and just wants the war to end. She longs for a family, a stable husband and children of her own. Although drawn to the mysterious knight that has recently joined her father’s men, Anna at first fights the attraction because Arthur seems to be everything Anna isn’t looking for in a man. However, as Arthur and Anna begin to interact she finds that she is more and more drawn to the mysterious knight’s side. As his inner self begins to show through Anna can’t help but reevaluate her initial feelings for Arthur even though he continues to push her away. As the battle for the crown draws closer and closer to her family, Anna and Arthur both find that they must make difficult choices. Both must learn what is the more powerful choice, love or revenge.

McCarty has woven a fascinating tale of fact and supposition taking her readers to medieval Highland Scotland and Robert the Bruce’s bid for the crown. The book is made more intriguing by the star-crossed romantic leads. Arthur is well developed and his back story both believable and tragic further underlining what has shaped him into the man he is today. He is honorable and dedicated to his cause and oath. At the same time, falling in love with Anna makes him vulnerable in a way he never has been before leading him to make difficult choices.

Arthur Campbellis a likable character and like Arthur of Camelot the reader finds themselves hoping that Arthur can overcome all odds and find a happily ever after in his future. Anna is a strong character and loving daughter. She’s not meek and mild, and though she could blindly follow the father she idolizes, Anna has a mind of her own. She’s not afraid to face up to the difficult questions and find her own way.

This book is thoroughly enjoyable and engaging. McCarty just keeps getting better and better. Readers will not be disappointed in the intrigue and romance between Arthur and Anna. The Ranger is a superb read.

Book Blurb for The Ranger

Chosen to help Robert the Bruce in his quest to free Scotland from English rule and claim his crown, the legendary team of warriors known as the Highland Guard battles on.

Embedded deep behind enemy lines, Arthur “Ranger” Campbell is prized for his razor-sharp senses and his ability to blend into the shadows. But when Arthur infiltrates the clan of the chieftain who murdered his father, his heart is locked on revenge. Inside he faces unexpected resistance from the sweetest of obstacles—a honey-haired siren who is his enemy’s daughter.

Intrigued by this ruggedly handsome newcomer to her father’s forces, the vivacious, enchanting Anna MacDougall is a woman whose skill at uncovering deception rivals Arthur’s own. Though yearning for a quiet life with a good man to love, Anna is drawn to this mysterious knight whose eyes devour her but whose words push her away. As danger, treachery, and the threat of looming war draw them closer into each other’s arms, a warrior made of steel must make a choice from the heart: love or revenge.

Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2010 4.00