Publisher: Random House
Release Date: Oct 30, 2012
Retail Price: 7.99
Heat Level: Scorching
Scotland’s King Robert the Bruce is retaking his kingdom from the invading English. To win, he’ll need all the grit and courage of his elite band of warriors, the Highland Guard, men who fight without fear and love without limits.
Fiery, aggressive, and bold, Kenneth Sutherland is a true champion—skilled with any weapon and driven to win. Now Kenneth is ready for his greatest challenge: joining Robert the Bruce’s secret army to fight among the elite. Kenneth’s best chance to attain that honor is by winning the Highland Games. Focused and prepared for victory, he is caught off guard by a lovely wisp of a woman—and a stolen moment of wicked seduction. Her innocent arousal and her shameless hunger fire his blood. He will win his place in the guard—and in Mary of Mar’s bed.
The ruggedly handsome hero-in-the-making stirs a heart that should know better. Mary vows that her surrender will be sport only—no promises, no heartbreak, just one night of incredible passion. Nothing, she swears, will persuade her to give up her hard-wrought independence and put her fate in the hands of another powerful man. But with every gentle touch and heart-pounding kiss, Kenneth makes her want more. Now Mary wants his heart. But is this determined champion willing to surrender everything for love?
Series: Highland Guard
The Recruit by Monica McCarty is the sixth novel in her Highland Guard series. This is a Scottish historical set in 1309 and can be read as a stand-alone story.
Hero Kenneth “The Recruit” Sutherland is an exceptional warrior, but has always placed second in skill, family and life to someone else. Despite constant disappointment, his stubborn pride will not let him quit and he’s determined to become a member of Bruce’s Highland Guard. It’s a pleasure to watch this alpha struggle with self-doubt and argue with his conscience. His realistic fear of not being good enough – again – to get something he desperately wants makes him utterly attractive.
Heroine Mary of Mar is the widow of a Scottish war hero, mother to a son she’s not allowed to see and lives by the mercy of King Edward II because of her husband’s heroic (and traitorous) actions. She loved her husband, and he returned that love by bedding every woman in Scotland except for her. Mary’s life has made her resilient and independent, resulting in readers finally having a historical heroine who’s brave enough to take what she wants from a man.
Our couple meets when Kennth is knelt on the ground inside another woman…and their relationship plummets downhill in an intoxicating and intriguing fashion. Mary deceives Kenneth, then Kenneth deceives Mary – and they have an untrustworthy start to an unwanted, lustful acquaintance. Never considering love they try to outwit, and care lessthan, the other.
Monica creates a new way for her characters to reach their happily ever after - an impressive feat after penning more than 10 Scottish historical novels.
Historically based, The Recruit shows Scots and Englishmen switching alliances, because most have interests in both sides due to intermarriage between their noble families. McCarty details this (and more) in her every-history-buff’s-dream of an Author’s Note.
I wish there would’ve been more resentment from Mary once Kenneth’s deception was discovered. But McCarty wrote the story well enough to explain exactly why there isn’t.
The historical references and events are detailed and heavily researched. The plot is not unrealistically happy and the sex is hot. The Recruit and the entire Highland Guard series is a romantic interpretation of history readers will love for years to come.
I will continue to read every word she chooses to publish.
Reviewed by Musing Sallie
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