October 25, 2012 by thebookslayer
The Recruit by Monica McCarty
Expected Release Date : October 30th
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?
“He was the new man. The recruit.”
Once again Monica McCarty has written a compelling novel about love & war, loss & redemption. Let me tell you this book has it all and I loved every minute of it.
Kenneth Sutherland knew from the minute he found out who was in the Highland Guard that he wanted to be part of that brotherhood. Little did he know that he was to be tested beyond his wildest dreams or nightmares.
You may remember Kenny as the brother-from-another-mother to the deceased William Gordon “Templar.” Mangus MacKay “Saint” & Kenny have been on shaky ground ever since the last book, especially since the last book. Kenny blames MacKay for Gordon’s death his digging deeper into this is what made Kenny put two-and-two together. Gordon and McKay were part of the Highland Guard.
What to do with this information?
He takes it to the head man, Robert the Bruce and demands to be part of the team.
Bruce’s answer : He must complete training and get MacKay’s stamp of approval. Life’s a Bitch sometimes.
Kenny, having no idea what is in store for him, thinks that it will be tough, but not impossible. Little did he know what is required of the Highland Guard.
If that is not enough drama to throw in, he meets the widow, Mary of Mar. She happens to be the widow of a traitor to the English and therefore punished for his transgressions. Not only was she hidden away, but her 6 month old son was taken and installed in King Edwards home. Heartbreaking doesn’t even describe how you would feel as a mother. I am sure you can imagine that has left a sour taste in her mouth when it comes to supporting Bruce. Yes, she loves her people but with a husband that never considered his family in his actions she was left to pick up the pieces of her ruined life. But if there was one thing that all of this taught her it was :
“Don’t dwell on what you can’t have.”
Thirteen years later the scene is set for these two to collide and boy did that collision equal voyeurism. Oh yes, you heard me right. They saw each other from afar, but up close their first interaction was quite unexpected and damn sensual.
“How pathetically ironic that the most sensual moment of her life had occurred when she wasn’t even a participant!
Mary didn’t know whether she was more horrified at him or at herself. Him for his wickedness or her for enjoying it.”
Mary, after witnessing Kenny’s passion first hand, could not get him out of her mind. She had never once felt that for her late husband and found herself drawn to such a man.
When the moment presented itself she dove in head first and grabbed onto that passion for a brief moment. It was hot, steamy and gone to fast. The poor man didn’t even realize what hit him until he found out her name. The shutters slammed down and he distanced himself at once. She was not a mere maid, but the women Bruce had wanted him to marry for an alliance, of which he was not fond of.
The tale continues to twist and turn while we watch Kenny fight for and achieve a spot in the Highland Guard. Mary gets the opportunity to be with her son as long as she is under the watch of a trusted man to King Edward.
How do these two meet back up so that Ms.McCarty can keep spinning her web?
Kenny is sent on his first mission and one that seems more impossible as the book goes on. He must go back and declare allegiance to King Edward yet again. He must be the wolf in sheep’s clothing, for he will have to report all the goings on in the castle back to the Highland Guard and subsequently to Bruce. Surprise, surprise the place he must go happens to be the exact same place that Mary is at.
The stage is set.
The background laid.
All the pieces are in play.
Who will come out victorious and at what cost?
“What’s victory without the battle?”
To find out you must pick up your own copy of The Recruit. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Recommendation : If you have read the rest of the Highland Guard series than this is an automatic YES! If you have not, you can still pick this one up and read it, however, be ready to buy the rest of them. Once you immerse yourself in Ms. McCarty’s Highland Guard you won’t want to leave.
A special thank you to Edelweiss and Random House Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book for an honest review. It’s Christmas morning all over again every time I receive an ARC. Thank you.