by Monica McCarty
Book #2 in the Highland Guards series
The legend of the Highland guard continues. . . . Handpicked by Robert the Bruce to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule, the elite warriors of the Highland Guard face their darkest days. When Bruce is forced to flee, his bid for freedom rests on the shoulders of one extraordinary warrior. Erik MacSorley is a brilliant seafarer who has never encountered a wind he could not harness or a woman he could not win—until he drags a wet, half-naked “nursemaid” out of the waters off the Irish coast. Ellie’s ordinary appearance belies the truth: She is in fact Lady Elyne de Burgh, the spirited daughter of the most powerful noble in Ireland. Worse, this irresistible woman is determined to prove herself immune to Erik’s charms—a challenge he cannot resist.
Her captor may look every inch a rugged warrior, but Ellie vows that it will take more than a wickedly suggestive caress to impress her. Yet Erik will sweep away Ellie’s resistance with a desire that resonates deep within her heart. Still, he is a man driven by loyalty, and she is a woman with secrets that could jeopardize Bruce’s chance to reclaim his throne. As the battle for king and country sounds across the shores, will Ellie’s love be enough to finally tame the legend known as the Hawk?
Erik MacSorley, called Hawk by his fellow warriors, is an amazing seaman and exhibits his skills when he eludes three English ships off the coast of Ireland after having abducted a so called nursemaid. It was actually Lady Elyne de Burgh, the daughter of the most powerful noble in Ireland, who had inadvertently witnessed a private meeting between Hawk and some mercenaries being hired for Bruce's cause.
Hawk and Ellie begin sparring from the outset and he wasn't accustomed to having any woman resist him. It was imperative that he meet up with Bruce at an appointed time but the English were relentless in their chase of Hawk, who didn't know that their doggedness was due to who he had captured. I liked Ellie and Hawk was absolutely formidable as a warrior. Though it took some time to develop, their romance was exciting and spirited with plenty of steamy moments and well worth the wait. The action was exciting and tension filled and I continue to appreciate the mix of historical fact and fiction in this series.
I loved this story with its perfect balance of action and romance. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.