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Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Guardian by Margaret Mallory

The Guardian by Margaret Mallory
Return of the Highlanders
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (400 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Book: 4 Books
Review by: Honeysuckle

After years of fighting abroad, Ian MacDonald comes home to find his clan in peril. To save his kin, he must right the wrongs from his past . . . and claim the bride he's long resisted.

As a young lass, Sìleas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sìleas has grown from an awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sìleas - and he won't take no for an answer.

Ian knows he faces an uncertain homecoming when he reaches his Highland home. Five years ago he left in the dead of night to fight with his brethren on English soil rather than face his family and the innocent girl he was forced to marry. A lot can and has changed in five years. An ugly duckling has become a swan and a warrior is taught to look beyond the exterior to see strength that goes all the way to his heart.

Step back in time with the very talented Margaret Mallory for a Highland adventure that will eagerly turning the pages in this beautifully depicted journey of friendship, courage, love and romance. Ms. Mallory’s story had me hooked with the clever prologue that gives the reader a glimpse not only into Ian story but the already planned follow-up books.

Ian and Sileas' story was at first heart breaking with a period of darkness that eases into a beautiful and fulfilling ending brimming with possibilities. The writing is vivid and draws the reader right into a fast paced story filled with dashing sword fights, daring rescues, devious characters and some deliciously sizzling intimacy between Ian and Sileas…when she isn’t knocking him out with a skillet.

The plot is well laid out and develops throughout the story. Ms. Mallory does a wonderful job of using the Scottish brogue to keep the reader in the time period and setting. There are quite a few secondary characters but they are assets to the story and not simply page fillers.

You won’t want to miss this first book as it introduces the other three men who will have their own stories revealed in The Sinner, The Warrior and The Chieftan. This reviewer will be anxiously awaiting the next installment to see how Alex, the charming womanizer, fares against his fated love.

If a romantic Highland adventure is what you’re craving then pick up a copy of Ms. Mallory’s first book in the Return of the Highlanders series, The Guardian. This is one adventure you won’t want to miss!