Hello everyone, I hope you all survived the holiday weekend. I had a wonderful holiday. I spent time with family and friends, ate some great food, drank some really good wine(thanks Jenn's dad for the yummy Malbec)and yes I also did some shopping. I spent Saturday taking down the fall decorations, putting up the inside Christmas decorations, and signing the family Christmas cards. And yes I might have read a book or two or five, LOL.
The Chief, Monica McCarty, Ballentine 2010
Let me start by saying that most of the historicals that I have read have had a paranormal aspect to them, Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. So I never really considered myself a reader of straight historicals, history was never one of my favorite subjects in school but it wasn't my least favorite either(math). So with this in mind I was a little surprised when I picked up Monica's first book Highlander Untamed, a few years ago and could not put it down and couldn't wait to get to the next one. I have now read everything that she has written and have gone on to read a few other authors historicals. So thanks Monica, for opening my eyes and helping me learn to enjoy a time before running water and penicillin.
This series begins right after William Wallace has been executed and Robert the Bruce is fighting to become king of Scotland and drive out the English. He has decided to create an elite guard to help him in his quest. To do this he must convince Tor Macleod to not only train these men but to lead them. Tor is known in the highland's as the greatest warrior of that time. The problem, Tor doesn't want to become involved in a war that he doesn't think concerns him.
Christina Fraser is the daughter of a scottish noble who has just recently been released from an English prison and he is looking for revenge. He will stop at nothing to achieve this including using his two daughters. In an attempt to spare her sister Christina agrees to the plan that her father comes up with to trick Macleod into marriage. Unfortunately the plan works to well and before Christina knows what's happenening she has lost her virginity and Macleod refuses to marry her. Eventually he does relent and does marry her but it's not the most trustworthy of ways to begin a relationship.
Much of this book is spent building the world in which the series will be written, so there is a lot of history and character development, which is tedious for some people, cough Jenn cough, but I think needed for this type of series. I enjoyed seeing the relationship build between the couple but I think my favorite part was seeing the relationships develop between the members of the guard. These men come from different clans many of which were fighting with each other, so I thought those scenes were some of the most entertaining. I give The Chief 4.5 chocolate dipped strawberries and look foward to the continuation of this series.