Sunday, May 4, 2008

Highlander Unmasked by Monica McCarty

Book Description
Alex MacLeod’s virile physique, fearsome reputation, and renowned fighting skills have helped him master to perfection the role of a hardened mercenary. On a secret mission to protect his clan, he must keep his true purpose well hidden. But his dangerous endeavor is threatened by a beautiful woman he saves from outlaws, never dreaming she will appear at court and put his plans in jeopardy.

Meg Mackinnon needs a strong husband by her side to defend her clan’s holdings, but her search has been hampered by burning fantasies of the midnight rescuer whose smoldering blue eyes and raw sensuality left her breathless. Alex pretends to be a mercenary with no loyalties, yet he is clearly much more. As Meg challenges Alex to reveal all his secrets, the stakes grow perilously high, especially for the bold woman who dares to unmask a highlander.

Here is another one of those many Scottish highlander romances that focus on familial duty vs. true lust love.

I have read the previous book by this author, Highlander Untamed, which I thought was a better story. This one centers on the brother of the hero from the last book. Alex McLeod is your typical alpha male (sandy blonde hair this time) with the anatomy of an Adonis, not to mention he's hung like a horse. Alex has a secret that the heroine, Meg, is trying to find out. There is an unmistakable attraction between the two from the first time they meet, when he's rescuing her from a band of marauders. From there the sexual tension only grows. Meg is smart and full of spunk, almost nothing gets past her - except Alex McLeod who bests her in a game of chess. No one has done that before. There is a mutual attraction between the two, but both carry the burden of having to do the right thing for their clans.

Meg must find a suitable husband and Alex must help his brother and get revenge for the deaths of his cousins by thwarting the seizure of lands for colonization from King James in Skye that belong to his clan. They are stymied over this point and it becomes the main focus of the story. Most of this book takes place at court in Edinburgh, though we don't really get a lot of detail of life at court or of the the characters in the book. Her friend Elizabeth has a stammer, but we don't know why. Elizabeth's brother, Jamie, wants to marry Meg, but we don't know what their past friendship has been like, only that they've been like brother and sister growing up. He seems like a decent sort of guy, but she prefers the dashing Alex McLeod and his piercing blue eyes.

Much of this book deals with the thoughts of Meg and Alex. Both are burning for each other, and longing for the next time they can kiss and er... other things too. Meg, who has up to this point been a prim and proper daughter completely loses all self control and throws herself at Alex, overcome by his virility and passion. She is a fast learner for sex, which I found a bit hard to swallow, but the sex was hot (albeit unmarried sex) and I read this book in less than 24 hours. *fans self*

Quite diverting.


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