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The Striker (10) (Highland Guard) Mass Market Paperback – November 24, 2015
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About the Author
- Publisher : Pocket Books (November 24, 2015)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 464 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1501108700
- ISBN-13 : 978-1501108709
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.13 x 1 x 6.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #843,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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**MIGHT BE SPOILERISH**
Not my favorite Highland Guard book - but it was in the top 5. I would rate it 4.5 stars (rounded up)
Monica McCarty knows how to tell a story - she draws you in and holds you captive until the very last page. Even when you hate what is going on in the book - you can't put it down!
Maggie is probably my favorite heroine in the series to date. Eoin, I didn't really like him as much as I thought I would. He was a jerk to Maggie a good portion of the book - the only thing that truly redeemed him was he stayed faithful to her - even when he hated her.
The book opens with Eoin stopping the wedding of Maggie to Sir John and then quickly flashes back to almost 7 years earlier when Eoin and Maggie first meet.
Eoin & Maggie met and had an instant attraction - Maggie is a free spirit - wild, bold and beautiful, she is the complete opposite of Eoin. Eoin wants to join the Bruce's elite guard and knows that having a relationship with Maggie will not help his cause - but he can't seem to walk away from her.
They marry and almost immediately Eoin leaves to join the guard - he has vowed to tell no one about his involvement, especially his wife. He leaves Maggie with his family for 5 months, without a word to her about why he is away. He returns for one day and then leaves again for months, again with no explanations. Finally the hostilely towards her from his clan and an attack by his foster brother Fin is more than she can take and she returns to her family. Eoin was angry that she left and didn't intend to see her - but when he spies her with another man, his jealousy gets the better of him and he confronts her - they part and Eoin leaves her (again) but this time he leaves her with more than just a broken heart.
Unwittingly, Maggie betrays Eoin and the guard - which leads to the death of hundreds of men, including the Bruce's brothers. Eoin realizes that Maggie must have told someone of his presence and lets her think he is dead. He hates her for what she has done and vows to forget her.
Fast forward 6 years to Maggie's wedding. Eoin wants to capture her father and uses Maggie's wedding to set his trap. He interrupts her wedding and Maggie's faints - her father slips away, taking her son with him. Eoin is beyond nasty to Maggie and doesn't want her to go with them to capture her father and get their son back - a son that he had no idea he had until that moment.
Maggie will not be denied and goes with him - she still loves Eoin, but knows that he will never forgive her. This is what I didn't really like about the book - Eoin places all the blame on Maggie - he doesn't accept that he was partly responsible (until the very end of the book) - he did choose his duty to the Bruce over her - repeatedly - he never shared himself with her, but expected blind trust and obedience in return. When she betrayed that trust - he never gave her a chance to explain - he just assumed the worst and walked away. He did start to soften as time goes by and the lust/love they shared before is still there. But he was always quick to assume the worst about her - he never gave her the benefit of the doubt. Even after they reconcile - he still harbored doubts. But to be fair, she didn't help matters - she kept secrets from him that fueled his distrust.
I wasn't honesty sure that these two could have a happy ending - I believed that they loved/lusted after each other - but without trust and complete loyalty - how could they be happy? They both changed a lot over the course of the book and finally they seem to understand that without trust and honesty, their love would never survive. And Ms. McCarty keeps you wondering how they are going to get past the past until almost the very last page.
I will say that the epilogue in this book was fantastic and the author's notes were fascinating.
I would definitely recommend this book - it is not quite as guard intensive as the others, so it could easily be read as a standalone or out of order in the series. Just be prepared to laugh, cry, sigh and want to scream at the characters :)
Once again Monica McCarty writes a completely believable about her Highland Guard. A Series set in the upheavals of Scotland, a time of The Bruce and a man who would be King. During the war The Bruce has set up his own set of secret soldiers, highland era special ops if you will. These men have been trained to be invisible but there are always chances they will be caught.
The Striker tells the story of one time when all the secrecy in the world can't save them.
Margaret MacDowell, the darling daughter of a Highland Laird, one who has great plans for her. Only Margaret has plans of her own and it's the quiet Eoin MacLean who captures her attention and her heart. It's just that her father is on the other side of the battle and his loyalty is not to the Bruce. No matter, once Maggie is encased in Eoin's castle with Eoin's family all will be well. Only all Maggie meets there is mistrust, disrespect and loneliness. Forcing her to return to her family and start in motion a battle that will destroy them all.
Eoin MacLean served The Bruce and was one of the original Highland Guard but his need to see his wife brought forth a battle that almost destroyed them. For years he has blamed her for her betrayal. Turned his back on her and refused to acknowledge that he was even alive. But when he discovered she was to be marry, Eoin needed to tack a stand AND his wife. Only the kidnapping wasn't quite what he expected and Maggie came with more than he thought.
This was just a WOW book. Yes, Maggie inadvertently tipped off her father, sort of, but she suffered for it. Believing Eoin was dead she lived half a life. Although she became the kind of woman Eoin would be proud of had he lived. It was just beautiful. The twists and turns of betrayal, loyalty and trust wraps around these two from the very beginning. They have to grow apart before they can ever grow together.
This was one of those books that I wish hadn't ended. It was well written but more than that it created this connection between me and these characters. I loved them, I adored them, I wanted this story to never end.. And that my friends is just good writing.
This review is based on the ARC of The Striker, provided by netgalley.
Top reviews from other countries
Mrs McCarty is very clever in her descriptions, patient with story telling, building up the tension but on the other hand, the reading is not tedious and not 'come on - tell us already!' style at all.. One of the things I like the most about her stories is that when the conflict between the main characters appears towards the end, you can actually feel and understand why are they feeling as they are, you can feel the weight and seriousness of the situation.
Absolutely brilliant! If you haven't read any of the Highland Guard stories before this one, go and start nicely from the beginning.
On of the best story tellers (if not the best fore me!) in historical romance/novel genre. The best writer for me would be Diana Gabaldon, but she's writing a slightly different genre.
Well done, Monica! I'll be sorry to read the last story of Highland Guard series, knowing there isn't going to be more.
Eoin MacLean (Striker) is struck by the beauty and wildness of Maggie MacDowell, so much that he marries her but because she is the daughter of a man considered the enemy, he doesn't confide in her and that causes misunderstanding on her part that leads to a supposed betrayal and death.
6 years go by and Maggie is about to get married again, only she doesn't know that her husband is alive and about to reappear in her life.
Hatred, love, and distrust abound, can all be forgiven, read and find out.
I have been waiting for Strikers story and I couldn't put it down, I was riveted. I know that I'll be reading this again and again, such a shame that the guards are coming close to the end, I'd love for them to go on for ever.