Sunday, June 2, 2013

ARC Review: The Hunter

The Hunter (Highland Guard #7)

by Monica McCarty 


The war for Scotland’s freedom continues as King Robert the Bruce battles on. At his command is an elite army of trained warriors, soldiers dedicated to their king, their country—and to the remarkable women they love.
Prized for his unbeatable tracking skills, Ewen “Hunter” Lamont accepts a dangerous assignment: locate a missing undercover courier. But this is no ordinary target. Ewen has met his prey before as “Sister Genna,” a fiery, forbidden woman forever etched in his memory after one stolen, sinful kiss. Now that he knows her real identity, he’s more determined than ever to keep her safe. But without the protection of the veil between them, fighting the allure of the beautiful lass may be the toughest battle this extraordinary warrior has ever faced.
After her ill-fated attempt three years ago to rescue her twin sister, Janet of Mar has found salvation acting as a royal messenger—until she surrenders to a darkly handsome warrior whose rough, sensual kisses stir feelings the woman in her can’t deny. But when betrayal leads to danger, and a crucial communiqué is put in jeopardy, Janet has no choice but to put her faith in the hunter who can find anything—perhaps even her heart.


I can honestly say I have never seen two people more stubbornly resistant to their perfect mate! The Hunter was an adventure from start to finish with Ewen and Janet working against each other at every turn, until finally coming to the conclusion that working together is the best way to get things done.  McCarty takes us through the emotional turmoil of two individuals working their hardest to make up for the past sins and the sins of their families, while trying to bring change to their world during a war that from the beginning was fraught with danger and had limited chance of ending well. I have followed the Highland Guard since the beginning slowly becoming more invested in the outcome of both the individual couples’s lives and the overall outcome for Robert and his Guard along with the people of Scotland.  Being a proud descendant from a Scottish family I find myself totally engrossed in the lives of these characters and especially the way that Robert found victory (or at least one interpretation).
Ewen has been one of those characters throughout the series that pulled at my heart strings.  He’s always portrayed as a solemn and overly serious member of the team.  His tracking skills have set him apart from the others, leaving him always feeling that the success of missions depend on his ability to keep the team from being hunted and found.  But more importantly we’ve gotten some glimpses of how good of a man he is.  Seeing him interacting with Janet, trying to maintain his ingrained chivalry while keeping her from driving him crazy is hilarious.  The harder she pushes against the constraints he attempts to put on her the more he seems to lust after her.  But the connection between them has always been deeper than just the lust they both feel.  Janet has never felt what Ewen brings out in her, especially in recent years living as a nun while working as a courier for the king’s secret army.  Even though she lets him believe her façade as a nun is fact, Ewen makes her feel like a beautiful woman, but not like an equal, which is her one requirement for a mate.
When the truth of her identity is brought to light, Ewen is angered beyond words, but only after she disappears and Robert sends him after her is Ewen faced with a true dilemma. Does he give in to the desires that rush beneath the surface for them both, or does he perform his duty and fulfill the promise made to his king? Even at the expense of his own heart.
Seeing Ewen and Janet come together was like watching a raging stallion trying to corral a spirited mare.  Not going to happen without significant bruising to both parties.  The passion both of them exhibit to their duty and the protection of their king bleeds through into all parts of their lives, including the emotions that are constantly pushing them together.  Though Ewen tries to resist Janet, she is determined to make him her lover, whatever the cost, because she knows she may never have another chance to experience a true passion like his.  But her heart is leading her down a path that might not be able to be backtracked.   When their passion finally does explode, leaving them both broken and battered, the true depth of their error becomes evident.   But thankfully they are both able to straighten out their priories and find their HEA together, with some intriguing results for their lives and the future of their kingdom.
I loved seeing Hunter meet his match in Janet.  Getting to see the two of them accept their flaws and overcome the challenges they faced as a couple was great.  The action and drama of their escapes and escapades was well written and full of danger and fear for their lives.  Seeing all the other members of the Guard come together to support Hunter and getting glimpses of the lives they are leading is awesome too.  Ewen and Janet come together in a shower of sparks exploding across the page with passion every moment, whether they are loving, fighting each other, or fighting together for their lives. With everything you could ever want in a story you will find yourself laughing, crying and gasping in fear as the couple is faced with challenge after challenge that they have to overcome to find their chance for a bright future. I believe there is another book in the series coming down the line, and I’m intrigued to find out more about several of the men and see them come to terms with their perfect mate as well.  The Highland Guard series is one that will keep you wondering and dying to see just how these men and women will pull off their amazing feats from one moment to the next.  If you’ve missed Monica’s books, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with this series and with this newest addition specifically.

Rating:  4.75 stars

Rose Rating: 

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 


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