Sunday, November 25, 2012

THE GUARDIAN by Margaret Mallory

Publisher:   Forever – Grand Central
Date published:   May 2011
ISBN:  978-0446575164
Genre:   Historical Romance
Book format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina

After five years in France Ian MacDonald and his friends, Connor, Duncan and Alex return to their home in Scotland.  While some are glad to see them, others are less than thrilled. Connor’s father was the clan’s chieftain until his tragic death on the battlefield at Flodden. Connor’s uncle, Hugh, is out to do away with anyone who challenges his claim as Chieftain and the young men are at the top of his list. Ian’s wife of five years, Sileas, isn’t too pleased to see him either. Well, not that she isn’t pleased.

Ian always held her heart—she just didn’t hold his. As children Sileas followed him all around, trailing after Ian and his friends only to find herself in danger. Each time Ian quickly came to help her. But when she ran away from home to avoid an untenable marriage things went awry and Ian found himself in a marriage not of his making. At the time Sileas was only thirteen and a gangly young woman. Now, five years later, she is a beauty to behold.

Matter of fact in approach Ian realizes he is strongly attracted to Sileas and after his years away he is now ready to be her husband. Sileas, however, isn’t quite ready to be his wife. In fact she has prepared a letter to the Queen to request an annulment so she can marry a man who is kind and caring if not in love with her. Not one to simply give up Ian begins to woo his wife. Rebellion against the English looms and the clans are gathering to decide what to do. Added to that is the battle for the Chieftainship with Ian determined to put Connor in his rightful place as Chieftain. Duty calls to him and while Sileas finds she still has feelings for her childhood friend she does not want him to want her out of a sense of duty. With all the political machinations circling around Ian can he win his wife’s heart?

THE GUARDIAN is the first of Margaret Mallory’s Return of the Highlander’s series and introduces Ian, Connor, Alex and Duncan. I could tell from the outset I was going to have quite a time deciding which of the warriors would be my favourite. Ian’s hot. No doubt about it, he is hot.  He is also a man of his time and has some rough edges about him. He wants Sileas and therefore believes he should have her. I very much enjoyed how Ms. Mallory brought him around to realizing how he needed to pursue and win Sileas.

I could totally hear the Scots’ accent in Ms. Mallory’s writing. The words flowed naturally and at times mesmerized me into knowing exactly how each character would sound if they were speaking. It wasn’t forced or fake on any level but gave me a very real sense of being there with the characters.

The love scenes were very romantic and tastefully done. I’m eager to begin the next in the series, THE SINNER.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.



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