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The Raider: A Highland Guard Novel
 
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The Raider: A Highland Guard Novel [Format Kindle]

Monica McCarty
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Extrait

One

Hannibal ad portas (Hannibal is at the gates)

Cranshaws, Scottish Marches, February 1312

The English would pay.

Robbie Boyd, King Robert the Bruce’s authority in the Borders, stared at the blackened shell of the barn and vowed retribution.

His mouth fell in a grim line, the bitter taste of memory as acrid as the smoke burning his throat. He would never be able to see a razed barn without thinking of the one that had served as his father’s funeral pyre. It had been the then seventeen-year-old Robbie’s first lesson in English treachery and injustice. In the fifteen years since, he’d had many more.

But it would end. By all that was holy, he would make sure of it. No matter what it took, he would see Scotland freed of its English “overlords.” No more sons would see their father’s burned body hanging from the rafters, no more brothers would see their sister raped and brother executed, and no more farmers would see their farm razed and cattle stolen.

He didn’t care if he had to fight for another godforsaken fifteen years, he wouldn’t rest until every last English occupier fled from Scotland and the Lion—the symbol of Scotland’s kingship—roared free.

Freedom was the only thing he cared about. Nothing else had mattered from the first day he’d lifted his sword to fight alongside his boyhood friend, William Wallace.

Recalling the manner of his friend’s death, Robbie’s jaw hardened with the steely determination born of hatred. He turned from the smoldering timbers—the latest example of English “justice”—to face the villagers who’d cautiously begun to approach the manor house.

“Who did this?” he asked, the evenness of his tone not completely masking the ominous warning underneath.

But he already knew the answer. Only one man would be bold enough to defy him. Only one man had refused to renew the truce. Only one man had sent Robbie’s missive requesting a parley back in embers.

A few of the villagers looked around before the village reeve, a farmer by the name of Murdock, cautiously stepped forward. The trepidation among the villagers wasn’t unusual. As one of the most feared men in the Borders—hell, in all of Christendom—Robbie was used to it. Though his notoriety served its purpose in striking fear in the enemy, it wasn’t without complications. It had sure as hell made keeping his identity secret as one of the members of Bruce’s Highland Guard a challenge. Eventually he knew someone was going to recognize him, even with his features hidden. He’d become too well known.

“Clifford’s men, my lord,” Murdock explained. “They took everything. The cattle, the grain—even the seed—before setting the barn afire.”

Clifford. God’s bones, I knew it! Robbie’s gauntleted fists clenched at his side, rage surging through him in a powerful rush.

It wasn’t often that he lost his temper. As his size and reputation alone caused hardened warriors to shake in their boots, it served no purpose.

But there were two things guaranteed to test his control: one was the English knight who stood behind him, Alex “Dragon” Seton, his unlikely partner in the Highland Guard, and the other was the English knight who’d imprisoned him six years ago and seemed to be thwarting him ever since, Sir Robert Clifford, King Edward’s new Keeper of Scotland—in other words, Scotland’s latest bloody overlord.

Devil take the English whoreson, Clifford would pay—for this and for old scores as yet unsettled. It was a reckoning long overdue. For six years, the bastard had eluded him, and now Clifford’s defiance—his refusal to know when he’d been beaten—was threatening to ruin everything.

“Take care of it, Raider,” the king had said.

Robbie had a job to do, damn it. Bruce had put him in charge of enforcing the peace in the lawless, war-torn Borders. His war name of “Raider” attested to his experience in the area. The king was counting on him to bring the English barons to heel, and no one was going to stand in his way.

When King Edward left Berwick Castle last summer, forced to abandon his war against the Scots to attend to brewing trouble with his barons, Bruce had gone on the offensive, leading a series of well-executed raids into Northern England. For the first time, the English had gotten a taste of the devastating war the Scots had been experiencing for years. The raids had not only shifted the war from the burdened Scottish countryside to England, but also served to replenish the drained royal coffers by exacting payment from the Northern English barons in exchange for a truce.

The other barons had renewed their truces, but Clifford, the new governor of Berwick Castle, refused their “offer,” and was continuing to resist. His resistance could encourage others to do the same, and Robbie sure as hell wasn’t going to let that happen.

Bruce would have his truce and Clifford’s cooperation; Robbie would bloody well see to it.

James Douglas, one of the three other warriors who’d accompanied Robbie and Seton on this “simple, straightforward” mission (as if such a thing existed) to collect the feudal dues owed the king, muttered an expletive, echoing his thoughts a bit more crudely.

If anyone hated King Edward’s new “Keeper” more than Robbie, it was Douglas. Clifford had made his name and fortune by the war in Scotland in part by laying claim to Douglas’s lands.

“There is nothing left?” Douglas asked the farmer, his face growing dark with anger.

The Black Douglas hadn’t earned his epitaph only for the color of his hair but also for his fearsome reputation. Mistaking the source of his rage, Murdock’s hands shook as he tried to explain. “Nay, my lord. They took everything. Claimed it was the cost of dealing with ‘the rebels.’ They would have burned the entire village if we refused. We had no choice but to give it to them. It’s the same everywhere. Clifford’s men raided the entire Eastern March from here to Berwick. The reeve at Duns sent a warning this morning, but it came too late.”

Robbie swore. Damn the bastard to hell!

“Was anyone hurt?” Seton asked.

The farmer shook his head. “Nay, praise God. It’s only the barn they destroyed—this time. But the fire was a warning. It’s because they know we were dealing with Bruce that they came.”

“The Bruce is your king,” Robbie reminded him pointedly. In this part of Scotland, so near the English border, the people often needed it. Though Bruce had established his kingship north of the Tay, there were many in the south who reluctantly called Bruce king and whose sympathies still lay with the English.

Speaking of Scots who acted like Englishmen, Seton, whose lands in Scotland lay near here, jumped to the farmer’s defense. “I’m sure Murdock meant no offense to the king. He was only pointing out the difficulty for those who live surrounded by English garrisons with no one to defend them.”

Boyd looked at him sharply, not missing the implied criticism. Seton often bemoaned the “damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don’t” situation of the people who lived so near England. But everyone had to make a choice: for England or for Scotland; there was no straddling both sides of the line. Seton still didn’t understand that he couldn’t live in both worlds.

“Damnation.” Douglas swore in frustration. “The king is counting on that grain and cattle. What the hell is he supposed to feed his men?”

The Bruce and a good portion of his army (and the Highland Guard when they weren’t on other missions) had been laying siege to Dundee Castle for the past three months. With Edward in London and the threat of war abated, Bruce’s focus had shifted to clearing the entrenched English garrisons from Scotland’s castles.

It was the only way the war could truly be won. All the victories and momentum of the past few years wouldn’t mean shite if the English continued to occupy their castles.

And they were making progress. Linlithgow had fallen after the raids last year, and Dundee was close. But all of it would soon come to a quick end if Robbie didn’t do his job. The king was without funds, and with the required hundred days of free feudal service of many of the soldiers nearly up, if the siege were to continue, they had to find coin to pay the men and food to feed them.

It wasn’t much of an overstatement to say that the future of the war rested on Robbie’s shoulders. And if the path to victory depended on securing protective truces from the English barons who’d raided Scotland for years, he was damned glad to do it.

“The king will have his food,” Robbie said flatly. And his damned truce with Clifford.

Douglas guessed what he meant, a slow smile spreading over his dark visage. Seton did as well, but his reaction was to clench his jaw as if he wanted to argue but knew it would do no good. Maybe he’d learned something the past seven years after all.

Clifford had thrown down the gauntlet, and Robbie sure as hell wasn’t going to let it go unanswered.

Murdock, however, didn’t understand. “But how? There is nothing left and they will only come again. You have to do something.”

Robbie leveled his gaze on the farmer. “I intend to.”

“What?” the farmer asked.

He would fight fire with fire, and strike in a place his enemy could not ignore. Something rare appeared on his face when the corners of his mouth lifted in a smile. “Take it ...

Présentation de l'éditeur

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

After consolidating his gains against the enemy English, King Robert the Bruce of Scotland sends his best soldiers to fortify the lawless borders. These legendary warriors of the Highland Guard let nothing come before king and country—except the calling of their heart.

 
Of all Bruce’s elite warriors, Robert “Raider” Boyd is the most formidable. A true patriot whose bare hands are a deadly weapon, Robbie is the fierce enforcer of the Guard, and his hatred of the English has been honed to a razor-sharp edge. But vengeance proves bittersweet when his enemy’s beautiful sister falls into his hands and he finds himself fighting temptation—a battle he badly wants to lose.
 
Lady Rosalin Clifford barely recognizes the rebel prisoner she saved from execution six years ago. Though her girlish ideals for fairness have matured into a passion for justice, Rosalin believes she betrayed her brother when she helped this dangerous man escape.  Now her traitorous act has come back to haunt her. But she can’t deny the longing this tormented warrior ignites in her, or deny the passion that turns sworn enemies into lovers. Is the gentle love of a true English Rose enough to free Scotland’s most brutal warrior from a path of vengeance—before it’s too late?

Praise for Monica McCarty and The Raider
 
“McCarty’s latest Highland Guard novel is a deeply moving and delightful read . . . once again proving that McCarty is a master storyteller.”RT Book Reviews
 
“Monica McCarty is an absolutely superior author! Her Highland Guard series has to be one of the absolute best Highland series out there! Fun, fast paced, fact driven and totally fantastic!”Bodice Rippers
 
“A powerful tale of love, woe, hardship and the power of true love . . . If you enjoy Scottish warriors, Medieval Scotland, romance, and passion, then you will enjoy The Raider. . . . A must-read!”My Book Addiction Reviews
 
“If you are a fan of historical romance, or any romance for that matter, you will want to not only read The Raider, but the entire Highland Guard series. It is just that good!”Coffee and Characters
 
“A stimulating romance with a rich historical setting, a conflict to put you on your toes, and a love story to pull at the heart strings . . . well done!”Addicted to Romance
 
“McCarty does a great job at bringing alive this tumultuous period in Scottish history and skillfully blending fact and fiction to create an unparalleled series.”The Good, The Bad and The Unread

“McCarty is a master at writing Highlander romance . . . keeping her Highland Guard series fresh, with spectacularly riveting plots and fabulously romantic couples. . . . If you’ve not read this series yet, then I strongly suggest that you do.”Night Owl Reviews, on The Hunter


From the Paperback edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1541 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 418 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0345543939
  • Editeur : Ballantine Books (25 février 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00DPTK5DK
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°25.471 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Par Veniza
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Nous voici avec Robbie Boyd, membre de la Highland guard de Robert the Bruce. Cet homme a tant perdu de la main des anglais, son père, son frère, sa sœur, il y serait resté lui aussi s'il n'avait pas été secouru par une jeune fille qui l'a délivré de sa prison où il attendait l'aube et son exécution. les années ont passé et il n'a pas oublié cette jeune fille dont il n'a pas pu découvrir l'identité. Ses missions le mènent de raid en raid (d'où son surnom) et c'est lors d'une telle opération que sa bande kidnappe l'héritier du Clifford et sa sœur Rosalin. Les écossais sont trop contents, ils vont enfin pouvoir faire ployer les anglais et leur faire accepter un traité de paix. Mais voilà, Rosalin est une beauté et Robbie va en tomber éperdument amoureux. Mais pourra-t-il aimer une anglaise avec tout ce qu'il a vécu de faits de guerre et de pertes de proches ?
Comment une union entre eux serait-elle possible alors que Rosalin est fiancée et doit se marier ?
Que dira son frère Clifford dont Robbie est l'ennemi juré ?
MacCarty nous raconte une belle histoire dont tout ce qu'on sait c'est que le dénouement sera heureux, mais comment nos héros arriveront-ils à ça ? Vous allez le découvrir et lisant le livre et en allant de rebondissements en surprises car il y en a. L'auteur explore les tréfonds de l'âme et met bien en évidence tout le cheminement de la pensée de nos deux héros.
C'est à découvrir, c'est excellent comme quelques autres de ses livres, et mérite une place parmi les romans d'aventures et de sentiments,
Ce roman peut se lire indépendamment des autres.
Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ?
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  126 commentaires
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Favorite Now of the Series 27 février 2014
Par pw reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
The Raider by Monica McCarty is the way I wish Brave Heart had been. Oh well, I admit I'm partial to a well written story full of action with a knock-out, tough hero who collides with a strong heroine. Also, very important, I like happy endings, real life has enough sad ones. This book by Monica McCarty meets all the requirements needed for my reading pleasure. In fact, this may be one of the best of the Highland Guard series. Highly recommend.
Copy provided by NetGalley for an honest review.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Exciting and Hot 25 février 2014
Par Queen of Books - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
This was my favorite book by Monica McCarty so far. I loved the story line and the telling of two people who were meant for each other. Robert The Raider Boyd hated all English. He was captured by them and was treated as an animal. He was stronger, taller and most fierce in his actions to the English solders when trying to help a friend. When he is scheduled to be executed a lonely young woman name of Lady Rosalin Clifford helps him escape. She thinks her brother is wrong for wanting to kill this man. Then years later they meet and the sparks begin to grow hotter with each kiss they share. Can love keep keep them together or will fate take away their happiness? Please read this book you will not be disappointed. Thanks Net Galley for letting me read this excellent love story.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Review for The Raider by Monica McCarty 25 février 2014
Par Alyssa - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

The Raider by Monica McCarty
Book Eight of the Highland Guard series
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: February 25, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Ecopy from NetGalley

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

After consolidating his gains against the enemy English, King Robert the Bruce of Scotland sends his best soldiers to fortify the lawless borders. These legendary warriors of the Highland Guard let nothing come before king and country--except the calling of their heart.

Of all Bruce's elite warriors, Robert "Raider" Boyd is the most formidable. A true patriot whose bare hands are a deadly weapon, Robbie is the fierce enforcer of the Guard, and his hatred of the English has been honed to a razor-sharp edge. But vengeance proves bittersweet when his enemy's beautiful sister falls into his hands and he finds himself fighting temptation--a battle he badly wants to lose.

Lady Rosalin Clifford barely recognizes the rebel prisoner she saved from execution six years ago. Though her girlish ideals for fairness have matured into a passion for justice, Rosalin believes she betrayed her brother when she helped this dangerous man escape. Now her traitorous act has come back to haunt her. But she can't deny the longing this tormented warrior ignites in her, or deny the passion that turns sworn enemies into lovers. Is the gentle love of a true English Rose enough to free Scotland's most brutal warrior from a path of vengeance--before it's too late?

What I Liked:

Ooo, this book! I liked it a lot! It was just about the time for me to read a really good historical romance, and this book came through for me. I've only read the seventh book and this book in the series, so there are six books that I have to read, and of course, the future ones. Each book features one of the Highland Guard warriors, and I *believe* they are all Bruce's phantoms.

This book features Robbie "The Raider", and Rosalin. Six years ago, Robbie and several other Scots were captured by Clifford, Rosalin's older brother. Rosalin, being sixteen and totally crushing on Robbie, frees Robbie and his other comrades. He vows to pay her back someday.

Fast forward six years later. Robbie is sweeping through a fair, which Rosalin and her nephew attend. Both are taken by the Guard. Rosalin recognizes Robbie, but he does not recognize her. When she reminds him of what she did, Robbie is tormented: follow his duty, and keep her and the boy as captives, or follow his word, and let them go? In the end, Rosalin goes nowhere.

This allows the relationship between Rosalin and Robbie to grow. Both already had residual feelings for each other, but this gets serious really quickly. The chemistry between these two is fiery, and while both of them do a pretty good job of restraining themselves (especially Robbie, because he knows she's a captive), when things happen, they happen.

Nevertheless, I like the progression of their relationship. I liked watching Robbie and Rosalin fall in lust and love. They have hot chemistry, but they also have a really nice understanding of each other. In the end, both of them fought for each other, and both of them had to concede something to be together. Neither had it easy, but I liked how things ended.

I love the history that this novel brings about. McCarty really does her research with this series. I love reading about the Highland Guard, with all the strange Scottish names and places and language. The warriors are beautifully written, with their sense of honor and their brutal fierceness. Everything is portrayed with a good deal of accuracy, but also with a thread of modernism to keep things interesting.

Basically, I really liked this book. I really like this series. Each book features a different Guard, and I think it's cool to see each Guard reappear in each successive book. It makes me curious about the Guards who are single after every novel - hopefully, they'll get their own books!

What I Did Not Like:

I don't think there was anything specific that I didn't like about this novel. This book is long. That's not a bad thing, but sometimes, you just have to power through it. But otherwise, eh. It was great!

Would I Recommend It:

I would honestly recommend any of the Highland Guard books! I've only read book seven and this one, book eight, but I am quite sure that all of them are fantastic. If you're a romance novel lover, or a historical romance novel lover, this book (and series) is a good one!

Rating:

4 stars. I really should go back and read the other six books of this series that I have not yet read. McCarty knows her Scotland history and a good romance!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 This Series Needs Reinvigorating! 27 mars 2014
Par Allison Pierce - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This Highland Guard Series was great for awhile but this book didn't measure up to Ms. McCarty's abilities. The prologue started out fine with a heroine, Rosalin Clifford, trying to right a wrong her brother was committing against his Scottish prisoners. One of those prisoners, Robbie Boyd, seemed an honorable man but when they meet again years later, he is bitter and hateful to her. She is open minded and willing to see both sides of the conflict throughout. I enjoyed the beginning and final chapters of this book, while the middle seemed to drag. Entirely too much time was spent describing Robbie's magnificent muscles, their longing for each other and finally their sexual encounters. I like a good sexy scene as well as anyone, but after awhile they just seemed like filler. It would have been much better to have more plot development, combat or scenes with actual historical events, which Ms. McCarty researches so well.

Sadly, this series seems to be more and more formulaic as it progresses. Please break out of this rut with future books and give us some plot twists and even a hero who fights not only for Scotland but also the love of a heroine!
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Best book ever 1 mars 2014
Par Sandra Collins-joncevski - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:MP3 CD
OMG the best read ever...I love the way Monica writes. She has such a way of drawing me in to feel like I'm in the book. I feel every bit of excitement, frustration, joy, pain and heart break. My heart beats faster, I feel dread in the pit of my stomach, I cry, my heart feels like it's breaking with ever word I read. Such an intense and powerful read. I have yet to find another author who can bring that level of intensity to a story. Thankyou Monica for another outstanding story!

A powerful struggle for Raider (the most feared man of Scotland) who hates all and anything English. After all they have taken from him, his home, his family, the life he wanted to live, the freedom of his country. He has every reason to hate the English.
However the Beautiful Lady Rosalin, sister to his most hated enemy, falls into his hands and the temptation she brings to forget all his hatred is powerful. But to trust an Englishman or woman is not something he can do easily. Rosalin has to fight for the man she has loved for so long. Even though time and again he throws that love back at her simply because she's English. How can they ever be together without trust.
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