Author: Monica McCarty
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Highland Guard #11
Publication Date: 29th December 2015
Book Source: Pocket Books & NetGalley
Synopsis: The first time he caught sight of Elizabeth Douglas, Thomas MacGowan thought she was a princess. To the son of the castle blacksmith, the daughter of the powerful Lord of Douglas might as well be. When it becomes clear that his childhood companion will never see him as a man she could love, Thom joins Edward Bruce’s army as a man-at-arms to try to change his lot. If he’s harbored a secret hope that he could close the gap between them, he faces the cold, hard truth when Elizabeth comes to him for help. She might need the boy who used to climb cliffs to rescue her brother from the hands of the English, but she would never see the son of a smith as a man worthy of her hand.
I’m a huge fan of the Monica McCarty Highland Guard series, but sadly I have to say that the The Rock is probably my least favourite. Don’t get me wrong, it is still an enjoyable read with regard to the history and Thom’s place in the Guard, but the romance side to The Rock fell short for me and it had nothing to do with Monica’s writing. I just didn’t like the heroine, Elizabeth.
Every time she said to Thom "Why are you trying to confuse me and make this so difficult?" I felt like strangling her.
Thom fell in love with the Scottish Princess for the first time when he was just a child. He grew up with Elizabeth and her brother and they were very close childhood friends. Thom had always held out hope that he would prove to Elizabeth that he was worthy of her love. What a true fairytale romance -- the Scottish Princess falls in love with the Blacksmith’s son! Elizabeth had other ideas.
For that one treacherous heartbeat, he thought she’d reconsidered. He was so overcome by the rush of emotion that when she looked up at him and said “I need you,” he heard, “I want you.”
Lost in the entrancing sea of her eyes, he’d felt himself falling. His mouth lowered, and it was only when her eyes widened in shock at what he was doing to do that he snapped back to reality.
“I need your help,” is what she’d said.
Thom was such a strong character and even through Elizabeth’s rejection he still pursued his desire to become someone he believed was not only worthy for her, but for himself. Thom certainly proved he was a more than capable Knight, but also earned his place within The Highland Guard.
If only Elizabeth could have seen what was right in front of her a little earlier, I may have even liked her just a little bit.
I have loved reading this series, it has long been a favourite and one I will re-read many times over the years I’m sure. I can’t believe the next book in the series, book 12 The Ghost is going to be the last!
Guest review by Karen
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