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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway Three Copies: The Guardian by Margaret Mallory

A rugged highlander left a tomboy wife and returns to a beauty.
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044657516X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446575164
      Genre: Historical Romance
      My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Product Description
THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS: BOOK IFour 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.

Review:  This is a solid Highlander romance.
The story opens introducing the four handsome and devilish highlanders - Ian, Alex, Duncan and Conner - as boys.  As a youth Ian’s kindness made him the protector of the little red-haired waif, Sileas. When Sileas was a scrawny 13 year old she ran away from her step-da who was preparing to marry her to his brutish son, Agnus MacKinnon.  Ian only seeks to help her, but is forced to marry her. The MacDonald clan leader is more concerned with securing Sileas’ inheritance, Knock Castle, than he is with the comfort of the angry Ian or humiliated Sileas.

The young warriors return five years later to find their clan decimated by the battle of Flodden and a no good uncle of Conner’s, Hugh, claiming the Chieftain position. The young men must keep Conner safe while they garner the votes for him to become Chieftain.

Ian is set on ridding himself of his unwanted wife...until he is struck speechless by the young beauty whom he barely recognizes.  Sileas waits while Ian hugs his mother and brother but all he does is stare at her. Sileas had always loved Ian but had not planned to trap him in marriage.  Although she has waited for him to return and claim her as his wife she feels rejected once again.

Ian’s family has become her family but it looks like she must find somewhere else to go. Fortunately there is a neighbor, Gordon, who loves her and wants her if she will give up on Ian. 

Ian is busy with his friends planning how to secure Sileas’ inheritance. They believe such a move will show the rest of the MacDonald clan that Conner is the right man to be their leader.  Hearing of thier plans from Gordon, Sileas sees this as a show that the land is more important to Ian than she is.

Before the young men can attack Knock Castle, Sileas runs off to seek an annulment from the Queen.  Ian and his friends chase after Sileas who has no idea the dangers she may face at court. No sooner do they return home then treachery strikes. While Ian gets his injured friends to safety Sileas is kidnaped.  Will Ian ever get to prove to Sileas that he truly desires her for herself? Will Conner survive to confront Hugh for the Chieftain vote?

These are likeable characters - I especially like Sileas who turned from a tomboy to a beautiful helpmate. The storyline is filled with action and conflict while the romance is warm. Ms. Mallory’s stories are solidly reliable entertainment.

Thank you to Hachette for this book to read and for providing THREE copies for giveaway.

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* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on May 27, 2011.
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