Looking for an historical book to read, where the actions and emotions of the characters involved are realistic? Where passion is always high, and the atmosphere is so sensual it’s bordering on primal? Then look no further than The Highland Guard series by Monica McCarty, and more recently her new novel, The Raider.
Think of The Highland Guard, after which this gripping series is named, as the ancient equivalent of the FBI or the ASIS. Each member must fight for Scotland’s freedom during the War of Independence.
Robert Boyd, whose warrior name is Raider (you can guess why), helps us to remember that warriors can still be vulnerable to their surroundings and make mistakes. So many authors of historical romance forget this and write about figures of the past that barely seem real – go figure! Monica McCarty’s warriors, however, are human and thus susceptible to love in whatever form that may come in. And falling in love, as Raider learns, means making sacrifices and accepting that some things cannot be changed, otherwise you risk losing the one you love.
Raider comes to realise this after he takes an English woman hostage. Though he might be the strongest man in Scotland, he is just a man when in the presence of this woman, aptly named Rosalin. Rosalin, the sister of a powerful Englishman and seemingly his enemy, forces him to see and acknowledge things that he doesn’t want to- both inside and out.
Rosalin thankfully is not a damsel in distress; she pushes and pushes, never giving up. Unfortunately, most authors give their characters a happy ending after only the slightest of hiccups; they make their “heroines” do anything and everything for the man they love.
More importantly, the constant upheavals in this story are not softened by unrealistic moments of passion. Some historical romances depict moments of “passion” as a turning point in the story, where the characters come to an understanding and realise everything will be alright. In this story sex is depicted as a way for the two main characters to show their love and frustration at the situation they have been dealt with. Not only that, but it helps them to forget for a while and imagine a happier world.
So as I said before, if you want a more realistic read then pick up The Raider or any other book in the series. The tension can be unbearable, but in the end well satisfying.