by Monica McCarty

August 2010
ISBN: 0345518241
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback

The Highland Guard is an elite band of warriors handpicked by Robert the Bruce to form the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. Each man is identified by his warrior name. This is Hawk’s story.

Erik “Hawk” MacSorley, seafarer and swimmer, is in charge of acquiring mercenaries for Bruce’s campaign. His job gets more complicated when he rescues/captures Ellie DeBurgh who, unknown to Erik, is the daughter of a powerful ally to King Edward I of England.

Ellie is the glue holding her family together. Her days are filled with responsibilities and her efforts make her family’s lives run that much smoother. According to her sister, Matty, it has turned Ellie into a boring maid. Matty begs for Ellie to join in the Maiden’s Plunge because next year they will not be together: Ellie is betrothed to the English King’s former son-in-law. To prove to Matty she can still have fun, Ellie throws caution to the wind and decides to join in the swim. The pleasure soon fades when Ellie finds herself trapped by a group of formidable warriors; some of whom want to kill her.

Erik and Ellie are a perfect match. They have perfect chemistry together. Erik’s sense of humor won me over and like Ellie; I thought his being part Viking was appealing. But all things aren’t rosy between them. After all, he did hold her captive for awhile and then there are those pesky secrets.

I enjoyed this action-packed, sexy sequel to The Chief. The Hawk can be read alone, but why miss out on Ms. McCarty’s hunky highlanders? The suspense, the historical detail and the internal struggles between the main characters all made for an exciting read.

If you’re a history buff like me then take a virtual trip with the author on her website to see where The Highland Guard lived and fought for Robert the Bruce.

Reviewed in December 2010 by Rho.

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