Book Review + Giveaway – The Saint by Monica McCarty

Posted by Ing on 23 March, 2012 // ★★ 55 Comments ★★


***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

Book Review + Giveaway – The Saint by Monica McCartyThe Saint by Monica McCarty
Series: Highland Guard, #5
Published by Ballantine Books on March 27, 2012
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance
Pages: 428
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Robert the Bruce consolidates lands and loyalty in a bold war for Scotland’s independence, as his elite team of warriors, the Highland Guard, fight for king, country . . . and love.

Magnus MacKay is the ultimate Highlander: tough, proud, able to master any terrain, and best even the most ferocious enemy. Called “Saint” for his refusal to discuss women, as well as for his cool and steady leadership, Magnus’s war name hides a far more painful truth. It isn’t virtue or piety that keeps him silent, but a wound of love and loss that cuts so deep he cannot bear to speak of it. But when the woman who refused him is betrothed to his friend and fellow Guardsman, Magnus is tested by love’s battle cry.

A wild and innocent beauty, Helen Sutherlandchose family duty over her desire for Magnus. Now the anger in his eyes mirrors the tormented regret of her heart. But as deadly subterfuge stalks the King and his Guard, Helen vows to right her youthful mistakes with a woman’s determined spirit. Still, Magnus harbors secrets and an iron will not to weaken to temptation—or heartache—again. But as danger looms, it’s not the kiss of a saint, but a sinner, that can save them.

My Synopsis:
I’m skipping the synopsis for this one.

My Review:
As a fan of the Highland Guard series and Monica McCarty’s entire books, I am always excited about any upcoming releases. With the release of The Saint, the 5th book in this series, I was excited but wasn’t salivating for it as much as I was for The Viper. I didn’t have any high expectations or over-hype about the storyline building in my head. All I knew was I would enjoy it because the fact is, Monica has become an author I trust. I’d follow her wherever she would like to take me as a reader. I want to go on record as stating that I freaking love, love, love the snot out of this book. This was hands down my favorite book of this series and probably my top two books of all of Monica’s books. It’s always the quiet and unassuming ones that surprise you and this is the perfect descriptive for this book and the hero.

Magnus the hero has always been the steady and quiet one. He didn’t sit around the campfire boasting or talking about the next bed partner conquest hence his nickname the “Saint”. He is always in control, was the impression I got in the previous books, so to see him so unglued when it came to Helen was funny and sweet. Monica really puts his character through the ringer. I could never imagine having to make the choices and do the things Magnus had to do in this book. My heart broke for him as I watched him battle his feelings for Helen because he wasn’t able to forgive himself for the decisions he had to make. Magnus’s character is very endearing. I fell deeply in love with him right along with Helen. Monica gave the readers another hero to fall in love with. With each book I find that I can’t help falling for each of these guards. Magnus is steady, caring, loyal and tough but there is this side to him when he lets his guard down around Helen that had me captivated. And oh my goodness he is sexy. Ladies when he lets his control go hold on to your panties. I wanted to groan and nod my head right along with Helen during the seduction scenes!

Helen is my favorite heroine of all of Monica’s books. Her character is so relatable and lovable. She realizes that she made a mistake when she walked away from Magnus so when she gets her second chance boy she goes for it. Her fears of rejection never stopped her from putting her heart out there for Magnus. She sets to prove to him that their second chance at happiness is possible and does all in her power to convince him he could trust her with his heart. Helen is one of the most kickass heroines of Monica’s heroines. She can think fast on her feet and is resourceful. Helen has been studying healing from the healer in her clan so this skill was useful in many of the situations she found herself in. As tough as she was, she had a vulnerable side that captures your heart. Because of her interest in healing and her tendency to speak what is on her mind she finds that she doesn’t fit in well with other ladies. Helen is someone I would love to hang with. She is caring, loyal, smart and a beautiful spirit.

The romance between these two was so sweet. I love how the story unfolded during a course of over a year. I was deeply invested and was rooting them along the way as they both stumbled and then finally found their way to each other again. I loved the glimpses of their childhood romance. They didn’t see each other much but when they did you could feel how much they truly cared for each other. How special their connection was. The chemistry was off the charts. Boy did the scenes where they give in to each other rock my world with so much emotion and steam. You can literally feel how much these two love and want each other. The connection is poignant and sweet. The road to their happiness is filled with many funny moments as well as tragedies. When I closed the book on their story I felt such happiness as if I was the one who got a happy ending. What a fantastic couple Monica gave the readers in this book. I didn’t want their story to end. I wanted to know more and see more.

Monica also gave us a secondary romance that I really enjoyed as well. The romance is between Muriel the healer of the Sutherland clan and William Helen’s eldest brother. Readers get enough background stories on these two that you’ll be invested. We also meet Kenneth the second eldest brother of Helen. I can’t wait to see what Monica has in store for him. The Saint also gives readers a glimpse at the lives of the other couples and we catch up on what’s been happening to them. I was excited that the previous heroines made an appearance. It was nice to see them all together and learn how they have bonded and become so close. The Saint continues to entertain with the action packed storyline full of battles and intrigue. The fight continues onto the next phase in the battle for Scotland’s freedom and takes a tragic turn for the guards. The guards will come face to face with enemies that will have too many similarities to their fighting tactics.

The Saint has some plots in it that definitely is a game changer in the series. The twists and turns that have been subtly alluded to will come to fruition in this book. I was on a roller-coaster ride of emotions reading The Saint. I cried…oh how I cried, then I laughed and then I sighed. I have to say this is the first book by Monica that has made me cry. This book had me captivated from prologue all the way through the excerpt of the next book. I was flipping pages so fast and speed reading like a demon that once I closed the book I had to go back and re-read it again the next day.

Monica’s highlander stories are like crack for me! When I am in the mood for stories about those hot blooded and virile men of Scotland, I know I can count on her books to fulfill that need. I am still amazed at how effortlessly and seamlessly Monica incorporates real live historical events and creates these fictional romantic story lines. Her books each and every one of them has a place on my keeper shelf. This book will go right up there along with the rest. I HIGHLY recommend this book and series to historical romance fans that love these sexy highlander stories. You can’t go wrong when you pick up her books.

★★ Book was read in March 2012. I own my own personal paperback and eBook copy. ★★

Click HERE to check out my fun post where I highlighted this series and the heroes of The Highland Guard.

Books in this Series:

Giveaway Details

  • Open to US/INT residents where Book Depository ships
  • FIVE copies of The Saint up for grabs courtesy of ATPT
  • MUST leave a thoughtful comment with your e-mail address in comments field
  • Giveaway ends 11:59 PM EST on March 26th

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Category: 5 Pages Turned, Book Review, Giveaway, Historical Romance >> Tags: , ,

55 Responses to “Book Review + Giveaway – The Saint by Monica McCarty”

  1. Sue

    Thanks Ing – great review — love this series myself & glad to see so many others do to – Monica is one of my favorite authors, her writing just paints a picture.

  2. Great review Ing!
    I have been reading Monica’s books since she wrote THE MACLEODS OF SKYE TRILOGY. She always has some great looking men on her covers!
    I can’t wait to get my hands on THE SAINT, I’ve been waiting to read about Magnus.
    Thanks for the giveaway!


  3. It’s always great when a story is so much more than you expect. I do like the quiet heroes who use their actions to speak for them.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  4. That’s a heartfelt enthusiastic endorsement! I have not read many highlander books but would love to. Ms. Mc Carty would be a new to me author. Thanks for a great review & letting us know about this great series.
    asiancocoa94 at aol dot com

  5. I’ve read every Highlander book Monica has written and every one of them are on my keeper shelf. Congrats on the release of The Saint. This is such a unique series and I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for this opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  6. Marie R.

    I’ve re-read and re-read YOUR review and absolutely cannot wait any longer – thank goodness, I don’t have much more to wait. You’ve hit the “head on the nail” when you describe Monica’s works, she is one of the top romance authors out there – hands down. Thank you for a great review. BTW – I’ve bookmarked your site and will be checking it often!

    Marie R.

    mimiranger AT aol DOT com

  7. ML

    This book looks awesome and your review made it a must read on my list. Anything that even hints of highlander is a win for me!

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  8. I agree with another commenter. I don’t know if I’ve been living under a rock, but I haven’t heard of this series or the author. This must be remedied ASAP. If I were to win this book, I would have to read the previous novels first because I just can not read a series out of order even if the author says it’s a stand alone novel. So, I better get cracking! Maybe it will magically help my odds of winning!
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  9. Z

    Ing You are my hero or should I say my heroine. I hope to be able to write a great review like you do someday. I had a chance to stop and talk to Monica and all I did was smile as I walked by and she smiled back.Could kick myself for not stopping to chat.I would love to add this book to my collection.
    SeawitchReviews @

  10. I haven’t read any of Monica’s books but after reading this review I’ve added this entire series my wishlist…I’m sure it won’t be long now before I’m a huge Monica McCarty …these books sound really good!!!

  11. What a fantastic post Ing! Alright you’ve convinced me to put this series at the top of my TBR pile. I have all the books and The Saint is on my New Release List To Get but now it’s pushed to the top!!! I love Highland stories and Hannah Howell is my all time favorite but not I’ve GOT TO READ MONICA’S. Thanks for the review and giveaway!

  12. I just finished The Viper a few days ago. This has been a wonderful series. I had been looking forward to The Saint, but now I am not so sure. Ing, I don’t want to read a book that will make me cry! Please tell me it is a small part of the story. You may have to privately give me a little spoiler so I can “prepare” myself. 🙂
    castings at mindspring dot com

  13. I love this series. They aren’t coming out fast enough. I have to go back to the others to refresh my memory when a new one comes out. Keep them coming.

  14. Ing, it seems to me that you are the Fairy Godmother of Monica McCarty’s books 😀 It’s thanks to you her new releases are brought to my attention and it’s always a pleasure reading your reviews. Can this series get any better? lol Monica McCarty is my favourite Highland romance author, so far nothing I have read by her left me disappointed, they all made it to my “Will-Re-Read-These” shelf 😀

    Thank you for your amazingly generous giveaway and hope you are having a nice and sunny weekend, hopefully reading some great books 😉

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  15. What a great review! Just hearing that this was your favorite book in the series makes me want to run out and get a copy so I can start reading it right away! I love the thought of Magnus losing control over a woman! Thanks for the awesome review and giveaway:)

    jwitt33 at live dot com

  16. Great review, i enjoyed and make me want read it. I can’t wait to read “The Saint.” I am looking forward to have this book. and i love cover to!! Thanks for giveaway and making international. I hope win this one.
    All the best for your release!

    filiafantasy at gmail dot com

  17. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book. To tell the truth I have not heard about this book so far, nor have had the pleasure of reading anything by Monica McCarty, but the Saint plot and your review sounds really engaging. And with your kind giveaway I’m really looking forward to the possibility to enjoy this particular highlander’s story:)
    oloore at gamil dot com

  18. Wow, what a fantastic blog! I have been looking forward to THE SAINT also!! I have loved all the other books from this series and mark my calander for each release as I get the info. Best wishes to Monica for a fantastic release date!!
    bettysunflower at hotmail dot com

  19. bn100

    I enjoyed the review, especially about the main characters and secondary characters. The book sounds very good.


  20. I have not heard of the HIGHLAND GUARD series before. So glad to have found it. I have put the series & THE SAINT on my wish list.


  21. I really enjoyed reading the post, and the cover for The Saint is very HAWT. I haven’t read any of this series, but I’m looking forward to getting more acquainted with it.
    luvfuzzzeeefaces at yahoo dot com

  22. I haven’t read any of Monica’s books but I have to say they have me anxious to start! She just went on my list to find. Thank you for spotlighting her so I could find her 🙂 and thank you for the chance at the giveaway.

  23. I can completely understand you saying Monica’s books being like crack…you become addicted and just as soon as you finish one, your jonesing for the next hit. I have loved all of Monica’s books, they are all on my keeper shelf.
    Finger’s crossed
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  24. OMG Ing-I know I keep posting this on your FB page (and Monica’s too)but I SOOOOOO CAN. NOT. WAIT!!!! I love Monica’s series and in just the excerpts my heart breaks for Magnus so I really can’t wait to see how he and Helen find their way back to each other!!!! I have it pre-ordered for my nook app on my iPad and will start reading it as midnight when it’s available even though I have to work a 12 hour shift on the 27th 😉
    Thanks for the chance to win!!!

  25. I think I’ve been living under a rock. I have not heard of this series. The Saint sounds like an amazing book. I can’t wait to read this series. It’s nice to read about a man who doesn’t “kiss and tell”.

    Joanne B

  26. I have to admit it has been a while since I’ve read a good historical romance. I think it is time to journey back in time again.

    I’m adding all of this series to my TBR list. The Scottish Clans are my favorite historical themed books. My favorite part of following blogs about books is getting to know new authors.

    Heather E

  27. Wonderful review!

    Love and have ALL of Monica’s books and as Ing says, they are like crack for me. Such tortured, virile heroes and deep emotion and adventure, what more can you want?

    Also, Monica is a Red Sox fan, ’nuff said! All the best for your release!

  28. I can’t wait to read “The Saint.” I reread Lachlan’s story a few weeks ago in preparation for Monica’s new release. Thanks for the giveaway.

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

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