The Rogue by Monica McCarty, Book 11.5 novella, Highland Guard Series, 5 Kilts
This is another Monica McCarty mind blowing masterpiece so make sure you have no plans for the day! As I simply could not put this one down which is my usual for reading a Monica McCarty novel! This is book #11.5 , a novella but the length is meaty one hundred and sixty six pages! So it feels more like a full book then a short novella. If you have read her previous book The Rock #11, it falls right into place and sets us up for the next book The Ghost releasing on May 31st and sadly that is the last book in this dozen book series. So find your comfy reading area, sit back, read and enjoy the ride! I know I definitely did!
Edinburgh Scotland, 1314
In this novel the heroine is Isabel (Izzie) Stewart, cousin to Elizabeth Douglas. Elizabeth was getting ready to accept the proposal from Mr. Too-Good-To-Be-True, Sir Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, that everyone refers to as Randolph. He was like the Prince of the realm, all the women at court wanted him, he knew how to put on a big show and be charming, handsome, debonair, gracious, chivalrous, intelligent, sings like an angel, just like the Knights of fairie tales. Of course being a favorite nephew of King the Bruce and all the right political connections and very wealthy didn't hurt his image either!
Izzie could tell it was all a big show to impress and saying only what others wanted to hear. In other words she thought he was a big fake and didn't impress her in the least. Izzy was a realist if something was too good to be true, it usually didn't exist. Oh she understood arranged political marriage for titles, properties and wealth! Plus looking the other way after you have birthed the expected heirs while he takes as many mistresses as he desired! No fidelity and no feelings of love just a life headed for misery as far as Izzie was concerned!
Her cousin Elizabeth understood all of this and deserved better, plus the fact she was in love with someone else! The man she loves is only a blacksmith, who is bellow her class! Thom MacGowan, her childhood friend, once her brother Jamie's best friend, but had a falling out some years ago. Jamie would never approve plus Thom had nothing to offer Elizabeth, but then he does a favor for the King that put him in a different light. I suggest you read The Rock to find out more details.
Izzie herself will never settle for this type of political marriage as she wants a love match and a man who will honor his marriage vows and be faithful to his wife. She is not they type of woman to look the other way, while her husband has another life without her. Plus, she also wouldn't want an empty headed pigeon either! In other words it couldn't just be a marriage in bed only! They had to have meaningful discussions with common and similar interests too.
Then Elizabeth throws her cousin Izzie and Randolph together and she soon see's his true colors and finds he is not as shallow and vain as she once thought. Actually he is quite intelligent, honest, caring and all the qualities Izzie admires and more. He shows what is hidden behind that metal armor and more that he never shared with anyone! Passions ignite after they get to know each other and the attractions and affection grows after a few romantic interludes. Randolph would never call off the planned betrothal to Elizabeth as like most Highlander's he is man of honor.
Randolph had promised Jamie Douglas ( The Knight) he would ask his sister Elizabeth to be his wife. A woman that he feels nothing for, but would be the perfect wife for a political marriage. A wife that could look the other way after he tires of her and takes up with other women. She would know what to expect with this type of marriage. It was all perfect and practically gift wrapped and tied in a perfect bow! Well it had been until her irritating, outspoken, smart and beautiful cousin, Isabel Stewart storms into his life and straight into his heart unknown to him! He honestly didn't know what to do about it!
This only heads for heartache as many years ago Randolph betrayed the Highland Guards and he would never do it again. So how will Izzie ever put the pieces of her broken heart together? What about Elizabeth Douglas will she also leave her love,Thom MacGowen and marry a man just for wealth, title and position? but a man who will be true? Will Randolph actually put Izzie aside for a woman he doesn't care for? If he does this - will he regret this decision setting Izzie aside for a political marriage? Or will he finally open his heart and do the right thing honor be damned? For the answers and more you must read this magnificent story that I highly recommend!
Monica does it again with my favorite type of read with true historical facts in her fiction romance that pulls the heart strings. Another fast paced, riveting, heart warming captivating adventure that readers won't be able to put down! It had me rooting for the couple even thought they seem to be heading toward a life of heartache and misery! Of course a few times I wanted to smack Randolph in the head too...lol Hoping he would soon open his eyes and smell the coffee - to see what was right in front of him! I always love revisiting main characters who make appearances from precious Highland Guard books too. As you will see a few familiar characters in The Rogue!
Again I loved The Rogue, no secret Monica McCarty is one of my favorite authors in the Scottish historical genre. I love her weaving true Scottish heroes and history into her own fictional romance. It's my favorite combination for reading my favorite genre Scottish historical romance.
Sadly the next book The Ghost, book #12, will be the last in her magnificent masterpiece Highland Guard series, which I have absolutely and unequivocally loved each and every one! Thank you for writing such wonderful satisfying stories that I will never forget!
I highly recommend The Rogue you can read as stand alone or in book order, but I highly recommend you read all the books in Monica McCarty's Highland Guard series as they all spectacular from start to finish in my opinion.
The Highland Guard Series
1) The Chief
2) The Hawk
3) The Ranger
4) The Viper
5) The Saint
6) The Recruit
7) The Hunter
7.5) The Knight - ebook novella
8) The Raider
9) The Arrow
11.5) The Rogue - novella in ebook and print paperback
12)The Ghost - TBR May 31, 2016