The Hunter

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The Hunter

Highland Guard, #7

The Hunter is a great continuation of the already stellar Highland Guard series. As a devoted fan of Monica McCarty, I have been faithfully following this series since the beginning. Never missing a release day, and never failing to be amazed at how the writer keeps the long running series fresh and unique. Rich in historical detail, each novel is different in plot and circumstance. For these extraordinary warriors and the remarkable women they love, it is a world of exciting adventure as they fight for Scotland's freedom. McCarty's Highland Guard series takes place during the most intriguing eras of Scottish history. It is set against the stunning backdrop of Robert the Bruce's campaign to free Scotland from England's tyranny.

Just in case you're new to the series, the following was taken from Monica McCarty's website. It explains the plot that is the common thread of the Highland Guard series.

Introduction to the Series:

What's sexier than a man in a kilt? How about special ops in kilts. The Highland Guard series marries Monica's love of strapping, sexy Highland warriors with her love for Navy Seals and black ops. Think Suzanne Brockman meets Braveheart.

Where the legend of the Highlander began...Journey back to the time of Braveheart, when Scotland was fighting to free itself from English tyranny, and Robert the Bruce was fighting for a crown. To defeat the superior forces of the heavy mounted English knights, Bruce knows he needs a new kind of warrior. He looks to the barbarian lands, to the most feared warriors in Christendom, to the ultimate guerilla the Highlander.

Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Bruce handpicks eleven warriors to form a secret elite fighting force like the world has never seen. They are the ultimate "special forces", the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare and brought together into one elite fighting force known as the HIGHLAND GUARD. Bound together in a secret ceremony, they are a phantom force, identifiable only by their extraordinary skills, their war names, and the lion rampant tattooed on their arm.

Vowing death before surrender, Bruce's band of shadow warriors will stop at nothing but invincible warriors will face the one thing they can't defeat: love, and the remarkable women who claim their hearts.

Doesn't that sound exciting? That's because it is. Each novel is an adventure in love, honor and integrity. But back to the book at hand and how AWESOME it is.

My plot summary will be short because, really, the blurb sums it all up quite nicely. Ewan (Hunter) is known far and wide as the best tracker in Scotland. That's why he is the only man for the job when a courier for the cause goes missing. It happens that the courier is a nun (or so Ewan thinks), so he rushes off to the rescue, only to find "Sister Genna" right in the midst of trouble. Sister Genna isn't like any nun Ewan's ever seen. She's a sexy spitfire, and Ewan keeps having sinful thoughts.

"Sister Genna" is actually Janet of Mar, the missing sister of Mary, the heroine of The Recruit. Janet has lost a lot during her countries bid for freedom. Her brother was killed, and to her knowledge her sister and nephew are being held hostage in England. So it was totally believable that she never hesitated to risk her own neck for the cause. Janet's been in seclusion since her botched attempt at rescuing Mary and her son went horribly wrong. She feels that it was her own impetuousness that got so many people killed and made her sister’s situation even worse. I could see how she saw her work as a penance, as well as a way to win the war. She's a head-strong woman, and she can't see herself as chattel to any man. She'd rather take the veil in truth, and that's just what she plans on doing. Then why does she get all hot under that nuns get-up when she looks at the hunky Highlander who rescues her?

I loved Ewan and Janet. They were both strong characters with deep integrity, who shared a powerful attraction. It made the story interesting how circumstances kept getting in the way. Ewan thought that Janet was a nun, and then he discovered her identity, only to learn that she is meant for another man.He is trying to guard his heart against her, while she is trying to win his respect as well as his love. Then there is the mission that ends up putting Janet and Ewan's lives in grave danger.

My thoughts: Just like the previous books, The Hunter features wonderful characters. Sexy alpha warriors and the beautiful, courageous and sometimes misunderstood women. An engaging plot, abounding with passion, action and intrigue. Steamy love scenes are a high priority, and McCarty always delivers on that part.

I felt that if there was one flaw in this story... it was that Ewan kept pushing Janet away. Given his history and how he never wanted to repeat his father’s mistakes...I knew he was bound to push her away a few times. Hell, I could've forgiven him just about anything. But he did it too many times, and it made me want to reach right into the pages and slap him.

McCarty is keeping her Highland Guard series fresh, with spectacularly riveting plots and fabulously romantic couples. I'm already anticipating the next novel in the series. If I'm right about who the protagonists may be, then the next one promises to be well worth my wait.

Monica McCarty is a master at writing Highlander romance, and I was hooked the first time I discovered one of her books in the aisle of my local book store. Being the ravenous romance fiend that I am...I quickly worked my way through her entire backlist. Fortunately for me, The Highland Guard series was just about to debut with The Chief, and I was saved from some serious withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, she keeps this addict happy and well supplied by not making me wait too long in between getting my fix. At the end of each book I am left satisfied with my HEA.

If you've not read this series yet, then I strongly suggest that you do. The Hunter is a must read for all historical romance readers.

Book Blurb for The Hunter

The war for Scotland’s freedom continues as King Robert the Bruce battles on. At his command is an elite army of trained warriors, soldiers dedicated to their king, their country—and to the remarkable women they love.

Prized for his unbeatable tracking skills, Ewen “Hunter” Lamont accepts a dangerous assignment: locate a missing undercover courier. But this is no ordinary target. Ewen has met his prey before as “Sister Genna,” a fiery, forbidden woman forever etched in his memory after one stolen, sinful kiss. Now that he knows her real identity, he’s more determined than ever to keep her safe. But without the protection of the veil between them, fighting the allure of the beautiful lass may be the toughest battle this extraordinary warrior has ever faced.

After her ill-fated attempt three years ago to rescue her twin sister, Janet of Mar has found salvation acting as a royal messenger—until she surrenders to a darkly handsome warrior whose rough, sensual kisses stir feelings the woman in her can’t deny. But when betrayal leads to danger, and a crucial communiqué is put in jeopardy, Janet has no choice but to put her faith in the hunter who can find anything—perhaps even her heart.

Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2013 5.00