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StrikerThe Striker (Highland guard #10) by Monica McCarty

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Synopsis: Six years ago, Eoin “Striker” MacLean endured the greatest betrayal of his life, a disaster that led Robert the Bruce to a crushing defeat and left Eoin without the spirited woman who ruled his heart. Eoin knew that falling in love with his sworn enemy’s daughter was risky, dividing him between a possessive desire for beautiful Margaret MacDowell and an undying loyalty to his king. He promised Bruce that he would keep his fiery bride in the dark about the elite Highland Guard, but he could not predict the dire consequences his secret would have on his young marriage. Nor could he foresee how surrendering to temptation could cripple Bruce’s cause, forcing Eoin to blame his wife—and himself for trusting her.

Now, as Bruce prepares to challenge the resistance’s remaining strongholds, Eoin finally has his chance for revenge against the woman he once loved so fiercely and her entire clan. But when ferociously independent Margaret reveals a surprise that unites her with Eoin, neither of them will let their love go down without a fight.

Review:  The latest Highland Guard novel has all of the delicious emotional highs and lows indicative of a Monica McCarty romance.  There are times your throat chokes up and you feel close to tears along side the heroine, Maggie.  You feel Eoin’s sense of betrayal and anger towards her betrayal at the battle of Loch Ryan. The structure of this installment is set up differently from the other novels.  We are first in the year 1313 where Eoin crashes his wife’s attempt at a new marriage.  She has believed him dead for six years and seeing him at her wedding is a shock, to say the least.  It becomes clear that he has grown to hate her, due to her actions six years ago. Then we flash to the year 1305, and we watch as Eoin and Maggie are drawn to each other and how they get married in a very passionate and private moment. The story progresses to that point where Maggie betrays Eoin, and then we flash back to the “present” 1313 and watch them come back together.  The details of what truly happened six years ago come to light for Eoin and he realizes that he has never stopped loving her; that though he has tried hard to hate her, he has not been able to stop loving her. The story has all of the hallmarks of a great Monica McCarty story.  The struggle between the two main characters is intense and the moment near the end where Eoin makes his last mistake in not trusting Maggie, he realizes too late what he has truly lost. But Maggie also has an epiphany that leads to her not repeating her past mistakes, and the story ends with a happy ending and a great epilogue giving us more glimpses of what the future after the war will look like.  I enjoyed the story, I don’t think it was my absolute favorite in the series, but it doesn’t disappoint. Entertaining and enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the next one, The Rock. 🙂

Copy lent to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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