Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2016 TBR CHALLENGE REVIEW: "Highland Warrior" by Monica McCarty


Highland Warrior (Campbell Trilogy, #1)
TITLE: Highland Outlaw
AUTHOR(S): Monica McCarty
SERIES: Campbell Trilogy #1

GENRE: Historical Romance -- Medieval Scotland
PUBLISHER: Ballantine Books
PUBLICATION DATE: January 2009
FORMAT: Ebook
SOURCE: Amazon
LENGTH: 359 pages
DATE READ: September 2016

READING CHALLENGES: 2016 TBR Reading Challenge, 2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge

THEMES/TROPES: Enemies to Lovers, Shotgun Wedding, Alpha Hero, Family Issues

RATING: 3.5 STARS

SUMMARY:
The ruthless enforcer of Scotland’s most powerful clan, Jamie Campbell will use any means necessary to vanquish lawlessness and unrest among the feuding Highland clans. Seduction is a game as easily played as subterfuge, but when Jamie poses a as suitor to a rival clan’s daughter in order to expose treason, the line between duty and pleasure is suddenly blurred. Ebony-haired, ruby-lipped Caitrina Lamont defies him, denies him, and arouses him like no other woman.
Caitrina has no intention of forsaking her beloved father and doting brothers for a husband–especially a hated Campbell. But Jamie’s raw, sensual strength and searing kiss melt her resistance. When her idyllic world is shattered, Caitrina’s only hope to save her clan lies in the arms of Jamie Campbell, the enemy she holds accountable for its ruin. Can their tenuous truce, born in the velvet darkness of passionate nights, forge a love as strong as the sword that rules the Highlands?
MY THOUGHTS: 
I read this book for the 2016 TBR Challenge -- September -- Random Pick.  The challenge is hosted by Wendy the Super Librarian.

I love Highland romances so I am always irritated with myself that (before this month) I had only read one Monica McCarty book.  I got Highland Warrior when it was on sale through Amazon a few years ago.  Since this month's TBR theme is open-ended, I decided to just let my reading mood guide me and it became pretty clear that a Highland romance would be perfect for what I needed.

I adored Jamie!  I have a soft spot for heroes who have dark, ruthless reputations, but who end up being so sweet on the inside.  I admired Jamie's loyalty to his cousin despite the fact that his cousin may not always be deserving of such feelings.  I also liked the fact that he was willing to do anything to make Caitrina happy again even if it meant helping her rebuild the clan that he felt betrayed his king.

Caitrina was an interesting character who I simultaneously liked and disliked.  At the beginning of the book, she is spoiled and naive, but also kind and devoted to her family.  Some tragic events occur and she is forced to completely re-evaluate her worldview.  I was impressed by her character's journey.  The main thing that annoyed me was her inability to trust Jamie after he had done everything to show her that he had her best interests at heart.  I understand her irritation at his lack of communication surrounding certain situations, but I thought her reactions were unreasonable and sometimes immature.

Caitrina and Jamie's romance is a good example of "enemies to lovers".  They are two people who come from different political sides in a tumultuous time, but eventually find some common ground together.  I thought it was interesting that the hero was the one who fell in love first and had to convince the heroine that his feelings were true.  There are some communication issues that I think could have been handled better, but I felt like the evolution of their relationship was pretty believable.

While I did have some issues with this book, I enjoyed the writing style and the premise enough to check out more by this author.  I also found myself intrigued by the MacGregor clan who are considered outlaws by the Campbells and, of course, Jamie's exiled older brother who may not be as bad as first thought.  I'm glad I finally picked this book out from my e-reader after all these years.


BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

Highland Warrior (Campbell Trilogy, #1) Highland Outlaw (Campbell Trilogy, #2) Highland Scoundrel (Campbell Trilogy, #3)

4 comments:

  1. I love highland romances so much, too! I blame it on Julie Garwood's novels which totally made me fall in love with them. I still haven't read Monica McCarty books, but I definitely need to. I think I would get a bit annoyed with Caitrina, too. But I love when the hero is swoony.

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  2. I love a good enemies-to-lovers story! And I've seen good reviews of books my Monica McCarty. And it's a nice change that 'the hero was the one who fell in love first and had to convince the heroine that his feelings were true'. A pity Highland warriors are not my favourite heroes. I must be the only romance reader that don't like them.

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  3. I have this one and some of the others from the series sitting on my TBR pile. Sigh. So many books, so little time! :)

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  4. I can't get enough of McCarty's writing style, I read this one years ago and liked it. And McCarty does a fabulous job with the enemies to lovers because they seem so real but not too angsty.

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