Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday

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.
We have a treat for our followers this week, we are spotlighting Monica McCarty's new Highland Guard series and at the end of the week we will draw a name from everyone who posts a comment and that follower will win a SIGNED copy of the first book in the series, The Chief!

The Chief, Monica McCarty, Ballentine 2010
The Chief: A Highland Guard Novel (Highland Guard Novels)AN ELITE FIGHTING FORCE UNLIKE THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN . . .
Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Robert the Bruce handpicks ten warriors to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. And to lead his secret Highland Guard, Bruce chooses the greatest warrior of all.
The ultimate Highland warlord and a swordsman without equal, Tor MacLeod has no intention of being drawn into Scotland’s war against the English. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one—especially not to his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his command of the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. The treacherous chit who made her way to Tor’s bed may have won his hand, but she will never claim his heart.
Although her husband’s reputation is as fierce as his manner, Christina Fraser believes that something softer hides beneath his brutal shell. But the only warmth she feels is in their bed, in glorious moments of white-hot desire that disappear with the dawn. When Christina’s reckless bid to win her husband’s love goes awry and thrusts them into danger on the eve of war, Tor will face his ultimate battle: to save his wife and to open his heart—before it’s too late.

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.

Contest Alert!

Don't forget to make a comment any day this week for a chance to win a signed copy of The Chief, the first in this great series by Monica McCarty.
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