Early Book Review: The Raider (Highland Guard, #8) by Monica McCarty

The Raider is the 8th book in the Highland Guard series by Monica McCarty. It is currently scheduled for release on February 25 2014. You do not need to read these books in order, they each do well as stand alones. Robert “Raider” Boyd is one of the most formidable warriors, a patriot and enforcer of Bruce's Guard. However, his well founded hatred of the English drives him but the possibility of vengeance is bittersweet when his enemy’s sister falls into his hands. Attraction and a encounter in the past have Robbie fighting temptation, a battle he badly wants to lose. Lady Rosalin Clifford barely recognizes the rebel prisoner she saved from execution six years ago. Rosalin believes she betrayed her brother when she helped this dangerous man escape in the name of fairness and justice. Now her reckless act seems to have come back to haunt her. But she can’t deny her attraction to the warrior, or deny the passion that turns sworn enemies into lovers. Can they find away to come together, or will vengeance destroy them both?

The Raider delivers exactly what a fan of the Highland Guard series might expect. Rosalin is a smart, caring woman with an independent streak. Robby is a wounded hero with fierce fighting skills, an ax to grind, and some serious moral codes that he struggles to maintain in the search for vengeance. Of course the two are attracted to each other, meet some crazy obstacles along the way, and find a happy ever after despite it all. I like that all of McCarty's characters are strong, intelligent, and strong-willed. Heroes and villains alike are fully formed characters with good and bad sides to their personality. Nothing is black and white, and amid extremely trying times love and hope can be found. I like that nothing (including the main characters) is perfect, and yet somehow things come together amid chaos.

I would recommend The Raider to those that have been following the Highland Guard series, as well as to readers that enjoy powerful characters in a tough setting. I think readers new to the series can fully enjoy the characters and the romance, but readers that have a understanding of the larger story arch and how the Highland Guard work, as well as past history related plot points, will get much more out of the story. The series has started to lose some of its shine, but it is still a fun weekend or winter night read.

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