***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.***The Saint by Monica McCarty
Series: Highland Guard, #5
Published by Ballantine Books on March 27, 2012
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance
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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.
I’m skipping the synopsis for this one.
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:
- The Chief (Highland Guard, #1)
- The Hawk (Highland Guard, #2)
- The Ranger (Highland Guard, #3)
- The Viper (Highland Guard, #4) | My Review
- The Saint (Highland Guard, #5) | My Review
- The Recruit (Highland Guard, #6)
- The Hunter (Highland Guard, #7)
- The Knight – novella (Highland Guard, #7.5)
- The Raider (Highland Guard, #8)
- The Arrow (Highland Guard, #9)
- The Striker (Highland Guard, #10) – Coming 11/24/15
- The Rock (Highland Guard, #11) – Coming 12/29/15
- The Ghost (Highland Guard, #12) – Tentative June 2016
- 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