Sunday, February 16, 2014

ARC Book Review-The Raider

The Raider
Highland Guard (8)
Monica McCarty
Ballantine Books
E Book
Published February 2014
416 Pages
Scottish Highlands Historical Romance
ISBN:  9780345543936
Authors Website

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?
My Review

When Lady Rosalin was sixteen, she rescued a rebel who was sentenced to death by her brother. She sensed something noble and great about him, and after she freed him they shared a kiss that was short but full of promise. Now its been six years, and she has come back to see her brother. When she and her nephew go on a walk outside the safety of the walls, she ends up captured by the one man she once freed and admired. Now she sees a man that is fierce in his determination to get his revenge, and she is his key to gaining it. Robbie has seen horrible things that the English have done to his people and has seen many innocent people be tortured and killed. So when he captures the one woman that can bring some justice to his people and his effort to fight the English, he never realized how she would turn his life topsy turvy. Will Rosalin's love be able to free Robbie from the bitterness in his heart?

The Raider is the eight installment, and I can't believe I haven't caught up in the series. Reading Raider has definitely been a revelation to me. WHEW!!! Such a remarkable romance, and one of the best that I have read this year. It definitely is at the top of the list for me. When I first starting reading The Raider, I didn't know what to expect, but I did love the first three books I have read from this author, and enjoyed them so much I bought them. So yes now I am reading this series out of order, but I found that in Raider, I wasn't lost or had a feeling of out of place at all. I was curious about the other members of the Highland Guard where their stories I have yet to read, but their books are on the next list when I visit my library. Now The Raider, I was given a ARC copy in exchange for a honest review by Netgalley and Random House Publishing.

The Raider is a marvelous example of why I adore historical romance novels. There is quite a bit of evidence that this author researches and she researches well. As you begin in the story, you are completely immersed and its almost as if you have been taken back through time, when you see the hardships and sufferings that the Scots had to deal with from the English. You gain a broader understanding and a bit of empathy for what they went through in trying to gain freedom and peace. In Raider, not everything is black and white, there is quite a bit of grey. The two main characters Rosalin and Robbie are from different sides of the war. Rosalin has no idea of the atrocities that that Scottish people have been dealing with. She only hears propaganda and rumors that portray the Scots to be bad and the English good. She has a caring heart and you see much evidence of it throughout the story. Robbie is a fierce fighter and warrior and being at war with the English has changed him since Rosalin last had seen him. We see that they have a strong and fierce connection from the very beginning, but they are enemies, but slowly a desire blossoms into a flaming love that sears the readers heart.

I couldn't help but fall for this story and most especially the characters that captivated me. I did love seeing these two battle wits against each other, and I love the tenacity of both characters. They are evenly matched and I enjoyed how intense the setting could get. You never knew what was going to happen next and I was reading as fast as I could just to see what would happen next. I was totally engrossed in the story and I couldn't believe I waited so long to read this one. I found myself being enriched by a story with such historical truths set in it, and the way this author writes is telling...she provokes a vivid emotional reaction from the reader, and you can't help but feel lost in the story. There is quite a bit of rich flavors that enhance the plot and you can't wait to find out the ending and see if these two get their HEA and how it happens. It definitely surprised me, and I just fell for both Robbie and Rosalin. Their courage and love for each other is phenomenal and heart breaking at times.

Overall a stimulating romance with a rich historical setting, a conflict to put you on your toes, and a love story to pull at the heart strings!! CLASSICALLY WELL DONE!!

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 

Other Books In Series 
The Chief
The Hawk
The Ranger
The Viper
The Saint
The Recruit
The Hunter
The Knight
The Arrow

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