ARC Review: The Raider by Monica McCarty ★★★★

The Raider (Highland Guard, #8)The Raider by Monica McCarty
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish
Series: Highland Guard #8
Publication Date: February 25th 2014
ISBN: 9780345543936
Page Count: 416
Rating: ★★★★
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Buy Link: AMAZON
Synopsis: After consolidating his gains against the enemy English, King Robert the Bruce of Scotland sends his best soldiers to fortify the lawless borders. These legendary warriors of the Highland Guard let nothing come before king and country - except the calling of their heart.

Of all Bruce’s elite warriors, Robert “Raider” Boyd is the most formidable. A true patriot whose bare hands are a deadly weapon, Robbie is the fierce enforcer of the Guard, and his hatred of the English has been honed to a razor-sharp edge. But vengeance proves bittersweet when his enemy’s beautiful sister falls into his hands and he finds himself fighting temptation - a battle he badly wants to lose.

Lady Rosalin Clifford barely recognizes the rebel prisoner she saved from execution six years ago. Though her girlish ideals for fairness have matured into a passion for justice, Rosalin believes she betrayed her brother when she helped this dangerous man escape. Now her traitorous act has come back to haunt her. But she can’t deny the longing this tormented warrior ignites in her, or deny the passion that turns sworn enemies into lovers. Is the gentle love of a true English Rose enough to free Scotland’s most brutal warrior from a path of vengeance - before it’s too late?


REVIEW


Raider of the lost heart

Another beautiful love story from Monica McCarty. Prepare to be swept away by The Raider.

Conflict. Opposites attract. Enemies-to-lovers. These are all tropes that have been explored in romances time and time again. But could there be a hero with more reason to hate his love interest's people - aka the English - than Robbie Boyd? I think not. They murdered his father, raped his sister. He has no one left other that his brothers-in-arms in the Highland guard thanks to those English dogs. Indeed, we begin The Raider with a younger Robbie imprisoned by an English earl, under whose edict he and his friends are beaten, starved and otherwise mistreated. After a particularly harsh disciplinary measure, Robbie finds himself thrown into the pit awaiting execution. But, luckily for him, he has a guardian angel - the earl's sixteen-year old sister Rosalin, who, with her soft heart, cannot bear to see anyone suffer, and frees him. Six years later, Robbie has never forgotten the mysterious cloaked female who saved his life, and Rosalin has never forgotten the only man to make her feel alive. When a chance encounter throws them together again, will the life debt he owes her be enough to stop him using her as leverage in the war on England?

Um, no. Not exactly. And so it's as a prisoner - albeit a well-treated one - that Rosalin journeys with Robbie and his men through Scotland until such a time as a ransom request can be made. Robbie is a conflicted man during this time. On the one hand, he has the perfect hold over his old adversary, but on the other, not only is Rosalin the guardian angel he never quite forgot, but she's also beautiful. They don't call her Rosalin the Fair for nothing. And he finds himself increasingly confused by his feelings for her.

I loved Robbie. Even when he was being an obtuse douchecanoe of epic proportions, I loved him. His confusion only endeared me to him more because it showed that despite his intense hatred of all-things English, he cared about Rosalin.

Rosalin was delightful also. Soft-hearted she may be, but when she sets her mind on something she wants - Robbie - she's a tiger! He didn't really stand a chance, despite his fumbling attempts at maintaining a distance. The second another of his warriors shows even a hint of interest, it's enough to releases his possessive side. A side he would have told you previously he didn't possess!

The romance was not without its setbacks, as you can well imagine, but I found it one of the better ones I've read from this author, and an absolute no-brainer for all fans of Scottish/Highland romance. I suggest everyone adds it to their TBR this instant.

4 Stars ★★★★
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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