Friday, May 20, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: The Guardian By Margaret Mallory
Forever (Grand Central) May 1 2011
400 pages By Margaret Mallory
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS: BOOK I
Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can't prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.
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.
There has been a lot of glowing reviews for this book, and when that happens, I am dying to read it myself and form my own opinions. I will admit up front to a fondness in anything with a hunk in a kilt grasping a huge sword on the cover.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, I was swept away into this Highland realm. In the prologue, we are introduced to four brawny, bonnie boys, Ian, Connor, Alex and Duncan.
The Guardian is about Ian. Tall. dark and sinfully handsome, with that whole dark-hair-blue eyes thing, he is a young warrior who is friends with the 13 year old gangly hellion, Sileas. Caught together alone, innocent as it may be, Ian is forced into marriage with this child. He is suitably appalled and angered, and first chance he gets, he is off to fight in France, and is gone five long years.
When he comes home at last, imagine his surprise to see Sileas is now 18, and beautiful, a woman grown. In those 5 years, Sileas has lived with Ian's family and have grown very close to them. All Ian's family are well defined and interesting characters. Really liked his younger brother Niall, almost wish he would get a book of his own.
Though it is difficult, Sileas is determined not to fall for Ian's obvious charms, how dare he leave her, without a word in 5 years? Ian isn't exactly husband material here, there are times you want to kick him in the sporran.
But that is part of the charm of the narrative, watching him struggle with his feelings, his desire. Sileas doesn't make it easy, she is strong willed and determined, before she succumbs to Ian, she wants to hear those three little words. The relationship between was very real, lots of emotion. Wrap all this up in a well written and descriptive story, and you have a great Highland read.
Why didn't I give it 4 stars? I found I wasn't fully engaged in all the clan intrigues and battles, a lot of the adventure subplots were telegraphed a little too neatly, but to me, it is the relationship between Ian and Sileas that makes the book shine!
Lush and passionate, you will be swept away into the Highlands with this great read!
3.75 stars out of 4 for the book
KOVER KUDOS: Oh lord, my knees went weak when I saw this cover, everything I love, dark ahir, blue eyes, kilt. Big sword.
3.75 stars out of 4 for the cover