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She tried to scream, but his hand muffled any sound. She stilled, his words penetrating through the haze of terror. But she was to leave for Scone tomorrow. Her heart pounded wildly as she tried to sort it out, tried to decide whether to believe him, all the while conscious of the steely strength of the leather-clad arm wrapped tightly around her chest.
Good God, the brute could snap her in two with one hard squeeze! They stood there like that for a minute in the semi-darkness, unmoving, while he waited for his words to sink in. The gravely voice did little to reassure her, but what choice did she have? Besides, he could have killed her already if that was what he intended.
Once the air had returned to her lungs, Bella spun in anger and indignation. She gasped at the sight of him. He was not the kind of man any woman would want to be alone with in the dark—or in the bright daylight for that matter—and her heart gave an involuntary start. Built to intimidate, he was tall, broad shouldered, and packed with layers—and layers—of muscle. He was every inch a powerful warrior: solid, strong, and deadly. But he was no knight. One glance told her that. He had the look of a man born to fight.
Not on a steed of white, clad in mail, but a brute who liked to brawl in the dirt. He seemed to have enough weapons strapped to his body to equip a small army, including the hilts of two swords she could see worn across his back.
She turned on William. Men the king will be extremely grateful to know the identities of. She pretended not to know what he was talking about and continued to stare accusingly at William.
Bella felt the ground begin to move. Her stomach knifed. Oh God, no! The Arrow--A Highland Guard Series Highland Guard. Required Cookies These cookies allow you to explore OverDrive services and use our core features. Start your review of The Viper Highland Guard, 4. Jan 13, Dija rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in , authors-i-stalk , cotton-candy-fluff , favorites , hr , my-reviews , wow , , awww , my-harem.
Spoiler-free mini review I'm so completely hooked on this series and McCarty's world! The Highland Guard books are a combination of every single thing I adore in historicals - beautiful settings, strong heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, heart-stopping suspense, lots of action, adventurous plots, and best of all, unforgettable romances.
These books are absolutely perfect for winters and I'm enjoying every word. View all 12 comments. Very good. Viper and Isabella are both tortured souls, so if you like the tortured soul trope you'll get double your pleasure with this story. Times were very hard in those days, war or not. But fighting enemies and being captured means making impossible decisions that risks your life and others. Isabella is a true character in history who crowned Robert Bruce, making him King of Scotland and a Very good.
Isabella is a true character in history who crowned Robert Bruce, making him King of Scotland and a greater foe to the English King Edward. Isabella's quest for freedom and to reunite with her daughter is the cornerstone of this story. But Viper does not trust Isabella, despite his intense attraction to her.
His first wife betrayed him and nearly cost him his life, and then lost her own life as a result of her actions. While this may not be my favorite story in the series, it was still a great read.
In places I thought their lusting for each other was ill timed considering their initial anger with each other and their tortured state. On the plus side, I have to say that the steamy scenes were excellent.
I loved how they flowed within the story and were not just intermission breaks that could be skimmed over. I'm now looking forward to Saints story!! This is one of my favorite series. View all 6 comments. Thoughts after My First Reread I have just finished my first reread of this book. My initial rating stands.
It is a 3 star read for me. I reread this book because most books I have read recently failed to capture me. I was bored flipping through the pages. The characters seemed unreal. In this hour of need, I returned to Monica McCarty, who always captures human interactions in a way that I can relate to.
I picked up The Viper today for reread, thinking maybe a reread would change my original opi Thoughts after My First Reread I have just finished my first reread of this book. I picked up The Viper today for reread, thinking maybe a reread would change my original opinion.
I know this book was a lot of people's favorite in the series. I imagine it has something to do Lachlan's "bad boy" image. I did not love this book in my first read. And my second read confirms my original sentiments. But I feel that I understand better why I felt the way I did. The Viper had everything that a book needs to be successful. A "bad boy" hero who had principles, a bold and strong heroine, rich historical background, political intrigues, impossible love. Theoretically I ought to have loved it.
Monica McCarty did her usual magic. She puts her characters in the most impossible corner and allows them to break free with tender feelings and sexual tension galore. But I think one thing did not work for this reader: the characterization of Bella MacDuff. Lachlan was 33 and Bella was 28 when the story began. After 2 years of Bella's imprisonment, now we are looking at a year-old Lachlan and a year-old Bella. Being 35, Lachlan was just a tad older than most other heroes we have encountered in the series, but not much.
His behaviors were, how do I put it, "fitting" for his character. Bella MadDuff however, was a 30 year old mother for the better half of the book. Her age puts her on a different level. She was significantly older than most heroines in the series. Not by 2, 3 years only, we are talking about by years. A 30 year old woman, I say. But honestly her maturity level was that of a 12 year old girl. Her 14 year old daughter Joan was more mature than her.
I usually would respect the pride and determination of a woman such as Bella. But her irrationality and immaturity really diminished any heroine-like feelings she had. It was extremely difficult for me reconcile the woman Bella was with her age. I expected more from a 30 year old woman.
Some things only come with age. But a 30 year old woman who had been a mother for 14 years, seriously, show a little more self-constraint and discipline. Bella did a lot of rash decisions, putting everyone and herself in danger. She was a hostage emotionally because she needed to protect her daughter.
I get that. But I still found it annoying in a romance novel. This is why I prefer to not read about mothers in this genre. Their mother status almost always eclipses anything else and that really bothers me. Because of Bella's immaturity, I suffered a severe case of cognitive dissonance when I read this book. For a 35 year old man and a 30 year old woman, I expected a more mature relationship.
It doesn't have to be slow or less passionate. But I expected the relationship to be more I don't know, not quite so juvenile. All in all, it was not a bad read. I enjoy Monica McCarty's storytelling as always. I just had a serious problem making sense of Bella MacDuff. I did not like her and therefore could not understand Lachlan's fascination about her. Because of that this book lost its allure to me.
My 3 star rating was not an accident. And I stand by my original statement: 3 stars with mild disappointment. Incidentally, the last book of the series The Ghost is coming out this month, it is the story of Joan, Bella's daughter.
I am again amazed at Monica McCarty's ability to weave a compelling story. This entire series was a fantastic idea, rich in historical details and full of interwoven intricacies. But even in this book, you see the budding relationship of Joan Comyn and Alex Seton. And their story is book This means, Monica McCarty had the stories all planned out for all her main characters when she began the series, or at least very early on.
And in the epilogue of the Viper, we see Joan returning to her mother at the end of the war, with Alex in tow. When book 4 was released, we didn't even know that there would be a book 8 or We just knew that there were other characters and more highland guards.
But not all of them got stories, poor William Gordon was killed off, for example. And this is just one of the examples of such connections in the series. Page 1 of 1. Book was amazing. I had started it a long time ago but never finished it, got sucked into another series BDB But I finally finished it and it was great.
The one concession Edward had made to her noble blood. But then instinct set in, and her pulse exploded in a frantic race. She felt the overwhelming urge to run, to flee, to save herself from the arrow aimed at her heart.
Perhaps guessing her thoughts, one of the guardsmen stepped forward to grab her arm and hauled her to her feet. More about Monica McCarty. Her interest in the Scottish clan system began in the most unlikely of places: a comparative legal history course at Stanford Law School. So she traded in her legal briefs for Scottish historical romances with sexy alpha heroes. Panic that proved warranted when Mary entered the Hall, and the person waiting for her turned and tossed back the rain-sodden hood of her dark wool huque.