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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars

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on 25 June 2017
Loved this book. Captivating from the outset, I love that the protagonists are loosely based on real historical figures and that the events of the book happen in a "real" period of history. A brilliant blend of fiction and history!
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on 26 November 2014
Enjoyable light reading for a day when I didn't feel like straining myself. I love Highland romances and this fits the genre nicely. Doesn't have the emotional intensity of for example, Claire Robyns' The Devil of Jedburgh but I enjoyed it for what it was and will be reading the rest of the Highland Guard series.
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It's been a long time since I read a highlander romance, in fact I've not read much in the way of historical romance since in the last few years and I was in the mood for something different. When my friend suggested buddy reading the Highland Guard series the covers immediately caught my eye and it didn't take much to persuade me to grab a copy of The Chief and get started. This was my first book by Monica McCarty but it definitely won't be the last and I can't wait to carry on with this series!

When Tor MacLeod is asked to create a secret Highland Guard for Robert the Bruce it's the last thing he really wants to do, he'd rather keep his clan safe and away from danger but he isn't given much choice in the matter. Things are made even worse when he is forced to marry Christina Fraser, he had no intention of taking a wife - especially not a woman who could trick him so badly. To say their relationship doesn't get off to a great start is an understatement but no matter how hard he tries to resist her charms he finds himself wanting more and more from his wife. Christina struggles to understand how the passionate man who adores her by night can become so cold and distant during the day, she desperately wants her marriage to work and will do whatever it takes to prove to him that she can be an asset to Tor's clan if he'll just let her help him.

I have to say that Christina's father is one of the most despicable men I've ever come across and if ever there was a fictional character I want to see die a slow and painful death it was him! I immediately felt for Christina and her sister, they were put in an impossible situation and I really admired Christina for the fact that she was willing to sacrifice her own happiness to keep her sister safe. Christina could come across as quite naive at times but she has a heart of gold and is very protective of the people she cares about. She is also intelligent, knows what she wants and works hard to achieve her goals. There were times I wanted to shake Tor for his treatment of her so I was incredibly proud of Christina towards the end when she took a stand and decided enough was enough. She was just such an easy character to like and I was so pleased with the way things worked out for her.

Tor could be incredibly stubborn, he was also arrogant, very in control of his emotions and sexy as hell. I was equal parts frustrated and head over heels in love with him at times. He has spent years doing whatever he can to protect his clan, the last thing he wants is to get involved with Scottish politics that could drag his clan into a war they didn't choose but thanks to his brother's actions he doesn't have much choice. When the odds are against him Tor does what any warrior would and comes out fighting, he won't let anyone back him into a corner without extracting his revenge and he will fiercely protect his men and his clan. I found it incredibly amusing watching Christina win his heart, the fact that he was so determined to keep her at arms length and refused to see what was happening between them was hilarious - he really was the last person to realise that he had fallen in love with her.

Seeing Tor in action training the Highland Guard was great and the camaraderie and banter between the men was probably one of my favourite parts of the story. Each of these warriors is getting their own book, in fact there are already six more books available with the eighth releasing early next year so I have plenty of catching up to do. If the whole series is as good as The Chief then Monica McCarty will soon find herself added to my favourite authors list! This story has everything you'd hope for from a highlander romance, sexy warriors in kilts, a strong heroine who will stand up to her man, a romance that is both sweet and incredibly sexy plus action, mystery and intrigue. Definitely a must for fans of historical romance and sexy highlanders!
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on 25 July 2012
This is Book 1 in the Highland Guards series with Tor 'Chief' MacLeod and Christina Fraser.

Christina and Beatrix Fraser, the daughters of Andrew Fraser, wish to flee his cruelty and live in a nunnery. Beatrix, a weak, yet 'angelic' looking young woman, is the favourite of her father's to make her marry Tor MacLeod, aka The Chief, a huge, rugged Highlander, but it's Christina who steps up to protect her sister. Christina can secretly read and write, and enjoys the stories of Lancelot and Guinevere. In her romantic mind, she hopes Tor could be like Lancelot, but this intimidating man doesn't want to re-marry, since his wife is already dead and his two elder sons living elsewhere. He is content to enjoy the attentions of his leman, Lady Janet, but most of the time, he is training his men in secrecy. But when Andrew forces Tor's hand, Christina is happy to be married, but is saddened to learn her new husband only wishes for her to breed him children and run the castle. She wonders where her husband is, since he is only around to bed her at night. In the meantime, she makes friends with Brother John, who tells her about Lady Janet. Christina is hurt when she witnesses their intimate conversations; why can't he be like that with her? She pulls out all the stops to make him love her, but even as Tor begins to open up, he isn't happy with her prodding, and quickly throws himself back into the training. It is only when Christina leaves him and her life is in danger that Tor learns he can't live without her, and is determined to win her back.

Overall, the book was pretty good. There were a few moments where we had a few 'American-isms,' and there was a slight inaccuracy with regard to the location of Ardrossan Castle being in Ayr, (it's actually Ayrshire). It was quite a long book, but a couple of things were missed out which made me wonder.


1) Tor's sons. He mentions them to Christina and she wants to meet them, but they never do and it made me wonder why they were mentioned to begin with. They aren't brought up again. Perhaps they are in another book?
2) Lady Janet. I thought she would have had a bigger role, since she was Tor's leman. Just as you think you might hear more, she suddenly disappears from the book.

It hasn't stopped me wanting to read the others, since they are relatively minor questions. I have already ordered book 2 with 'The Hawk,' and will read it when it arrives today.

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on 24 July 2013
I loved this book.Full of everything I love. Exciting'thrilling story. I could not stop reading it till I got to the end.Wonderful characters, steamy love scenes. Kept me on the edge.loved it and would recommend it.
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on 3 January 2011
Monica McCarty is the queen of historical romance and this is one of her best. It is the first book in a new series about Robert the Bruce's secret highland guard, with each book focusing on a different guard member with different connections and different skills.

I won't divulge too much plot as that would really spoil it for you but, in brief: Tor MacLeod is persuaded to be the Chief of the secret highland guard and is bartered a bride, Christina Fraser, in order to seal the deal. She is keen to please him and cannot understand why he is so secretive, sneaking off during the day, leaving her alone, only to come to her at night and disappear again. Her desire to persuade him to love her properly leads them into trouble that she wasn't expecting...

Tor is the perfect gruff and challenging hero and Christina is very endearing and determined. The book is full of interesting plot and the romance is well-written with plenty of heat between the main characters. It definitely has you rooting for the couple and Christina's efforts to make Tor love her wholly do tug at your heart strings! The additional members of the highland guard are also introduced here, as Tor is training them, and it's enough to give you a flavour of what they are like, enough to make you want to read their own books when they come along.

It's a rare thing to find good quality, well-written romance that isn't too cheesy, but this is definitely an example. I would highly recommend it. I will definitely be reading the rest of the series. Each member of the guard is going to get their own book and I look forward to them all!

NB/ No problems with the Kindle edition. Go ahead and download!
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on 24 June 2014
Arrived promptly, in good condition, reasonable price. This set of books is a really good read and I would unreservedly recommend the set to anyone who loves history and romance. The authoress has done her research and they all slot together perfectly. You need the entire set to appreciate the work that has gone into these books but they are so good you can't wait to read the next one. Just get them in the right order though so as not to confuse yourself. Absolutely loved reading them and was so sad when I got to the end
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on 13 February 2015
This book had all the steamy sex and spent up romance normally found in Highland romances. However I found it a little tedious and dragged on at times. The, will they, won't they manage to admit there love dragged during much of it the book, and for me it made it difficult to really like the lead character Tor. All in all, a little disappointed and not sure if can be bothered with the next one.
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on 31 October 2013
I have been reading books ever since I got my 1st Kindle and I cant get enough of them.
This book took me into another world, would recommend to anyone, you get absorbed in the story.
You never know what is going to happen next, this series has you hooked so expect lots of late nights reading.
You have to read from book 1 fantastic story.
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on 6 September 2013
I couldn't put this book down, not surprisingly, Monica Mccarty is amazing in what she does.... A beautiful woman is bending one of the fiercest warriors in Scotland and it all ends well...
Great action, great story, the right amount of romance..
Highly recommend - you'll love it too
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