Sunday, June 8, 2014

ARC Review: The Arrow by Monica McCarty

20752303
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: August 26th 2014 by Ballantine Books 

 As King Robert the Bruce of Scotland plots to retake his English occupied castles, he needs the stealth and skill of his elite soldiers, the Highland Guard. Fearless and indomitable, no men are more loyal to their king, or cherished by the women they love.
 
The talents of legendary marksman Gregor “Arrow” MacGregor are crucial now, as Bruce moves to reclaim his Scottish holdings. Gregor is considered the most handsome man in Scotland, and his fame as an archer is rivaled only by his reputation with the lasses as a heartbreaker. But when his infamous face is exposed during a covert mission, Gregor is forced to lay low. He returns home only to find a new battle waiting: a daring game of seduction involving his now very grown up and very desirable ward, Cate of Lochmaben.

A born fighter, Cate was clinging to life when Gregor rescued her after a vicious English raid on her village left her mother dead. But five years later, the once scrappy orphan Gregor took under his protection has become a woman. Brave, strong, and skilled in warfare, Cate is determined to lay claim to the warrior who refuses to be trapped. The heat in his eyes tells her she has his attention . . . and his desire. But will Gregor allow his heart to surrender before danger finds them, and the truth of Cate’s identity is revealed?


I was very happy to have found this ARC on Netgalley. I love this series.
Arrow, Gregor is your typical dreamy Highlander along with being part of Bruce's Phantoms! He is known as the "handsomest man in Scotland".
His ward, Cate, is not who he thought-exactly and also not the age he thought. She is his ward, by accident. He found her in a well when she was young, when her village was destroyed by the English.
Cate has always admired Gregor and even though she has only actually seen him a handful of times she loves him. He on the other hand, has not paid attention to her in that way except for the past year. He comes home during the war to see that she is married, but she keeps distracting him to get his attention.
She is so not like the other ladies around but she turns Gregor's eyes away from all the other ladies.
Throughout the book, they are each keeping a secret from the other that is very important.
The couple has a misunderstanding, due to Cate and her ex-friend having a conversation about Gregor. He doesn't believe her, she confronts him with "I'm the only one who you will ever want". He goes out to prove her wrong, she catches him, runs out then gets kidnapped. The usual plot point that gets the man to realize he loves her and she is the only woman for him.
Cate was a little annoying at the beginning trying to get Gregor's attention. She ended up acting like all the other ladies that she put down and Gregor used.
Pip, a secondary character, really needed some serious discipline. Cate would only try to talk to him or push Pip and Gregor together. That only made things worse.
Ms. McCarty tells a great story. Even if you haven't read the other books in the series, you can read this one. The other characters make appearances but not make you confused.
I received my copy from Netgalley to review.
What do you get when you mix a legal career, a baseball career, motherhood, and a love of history with a voracious reader? In my case, a Historical Romance Author.

Like most writers, I’ve always loved to read. Growing up in California there was always plenty to do outside, but all too often I could be found inside curled up with a book (or two or three). I started with the usual fare: The Little House on the Prairie series, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Watership Down, Nancy Drew, and everything by Judy Blume. Once I cleared off my bookshelf, I started swiping books from my mom. Some, like Sidney Sheldon’s The Other Side of Midnight, probably weren’t the most appropriate choice for a pre-adolescent—although they were definitely illuminating. I can still remember the look of abject horror on my mom’s Catholic-girl-face when I asked her what a virgin was. After that rather brief conversation, she paid a little closer attention to what had disappeared off her book shelf, and steered me in the direction of Harlequin and Barbara Cartland romances. I was hooked. I quickly read through the inventory of the local library and was soon buying bags of romances at garage sales.

In high school, with the encouragement of my father (who I think was a little concerned about the steady diet of romances), I read over eighty of the Franklin Library’s One Hundred Greatest Books ever written—including Tolstoy, Confucius, Plato, and the entire works of Shakespeare. Some of them were tough going for a teenager, but the experience would prove an invaluable foundation for college. After reading War and Peace, I wasn’t easily intimidated.

For some reason Monica decided to go into writing and not fashion.

After graduation, I loaded up the VW (Jetta not Bus) and trekked down I-5 to attend the University of Southern California, majoring in Political Science and minoring in English (see why all that reading helped!). I joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and when I wasn’t studying or at football games, did my best to support the local bartending industry. Ah, the good old days.

With that kind of fun, four years of college wasn’t quite enough. So leaving Tommy Trojan behind, I traveled back up north to Palo Alto for three more years of study at Stanford Law School. Once I survived the stress of the first semester, law school proved to be one of the best times of my life—garnering me a JD, life-long friends, a husband, and an unexpectedly intimate knowledge of baseball. (See “The Baseball Odyssey” below).

Law School was also where I fell in love with Scotland. In my third year, I took a Comparative Legal History class, and wrote a paper on the Scottish Clan System and Feudalism. So I immediately dropped out of law school and went on to write Scottish Historical Romances…well no, not quite. You see, I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. My father was a lawyer, I was a “poet” (i.e., not into math), and I love to argue. It seemed natural.

So I finished law school, got married, passed the CA bar, moved to Minnesota (with a few stops along the way), waived into the MN bar, worked as a litigator for a few satisfying years, moved back to CA, had a couple of kids, realized that a legal career and being a single parent for most of the year (due to husband's career) would be extremely difficult, and THEN decided to sit down and write.

And how did I end up writing romance? It’s not as divergent as it seems. What I loved about being a lawyer are the same things I love about being a writer—research and writing. The only thing missing is the arguing, but that’s what a husband and kids are for, right?