by Monica McCarty

April 2010
ISBN: 978-0-345-51822-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback

In Scotland, the news of William Wallace’s death has reached the ears of Robert the Bruce. It is now his time to pick up the cause for Scotland’s freedom. Robert realizes if there is to be victory a new strategy must be employed. Edward, the King of England, knows the Wallace battle style and will be prepared for it. So what is Robert Bruce’s solution? Putting together a secret team of the best warriors the Isles have ever seen. There’s only one man great enough to train this Special Force and that man is Tormod MacLeod, Chief of MacLeod.

Tormod is at Finlaggan to settle a matter between his twin brother and the chief of another clan. While there he is hit repeatedly with requests. Living on the Isle of Skye, Tor does not consider himself a Scot. As a result, he doesn’t chose a side in this war between England and Scotland. His only job, his wish, is taking care of his clan. Now he is asked to train a group of ten warriors, each with their own unique skill, in unconventional warfare. Since Tor doesn’t consider it his fight, he refuses Robert’s request. His plan to return to his castle is thwarted by a father’s appalling action. In an effort to force Tor into a marriage with his daughter, Andrew Fraser puts into action a plan to forge an alliance regardless of what the Chief wants.

Christina Fraser is a romantic at heart whose daydreams are filled with the exciting adventures of Lancelot. Her father’s news to marry off one of his daughters changes Christina’s idyllic ideas into dread. Nevertheless, she will do whatever it takes to protect her sister from their father. Even if it means giving herself to the fierce warlord she meets at Finlaggan castle. Christina is determined to find a chink in Tor‘s armor. She believes there is more to her impassive husband than what he reveals. Christina begins her own campaign to win the heart of her Highland warrior.

The hero and heroine of The Chief is what I loved most about this book. They did not waste their time hating one another. As a result, the story moved at a faster pace. Monica McCarty successfully laid the foundation for her new series, the Highland Guard, without losing momentum. Her characters, while many, are interesting. Some of them I would love to meet (especially the elite Special Forces).

For readers who prefer their historical romances to adhere strictly to facts, my advice is to suspend disbelief, relax, and enjoy this well-written story.

Reviewed in June 2010 by Rho.

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