The Hawk – Highland Guard #2 – Monica McCarty

The Hawk: A Highland Guard Novel (The Highland Guard Book 2)

I thought I wasn’t going to like this book after reading the Prologue because it was in the Point of View of Robert the Bruce, after he was crowned King while Edward I was still alive and just after he was once again defeated and in hiding. It just seemed too war oriented for my taste so I stopped reading it. I am more into paranormal romances than historical romances right now anyway. I downloaded another book which turned out to be so awful that I thought, “Wow, the Highland Guard Series was so good compared to this.” So I gave this another chance. It’s a good thing too. It turns out that I was at the end of the Prologue and ready to start chapter 1 so Robert Bruce’s POV was ended and started with the Hawk’s POV which was so much better.

I’m glad I gave this book another chance.

Hawk was such a charismatic, womanizing Scotsman that I couldn’t help but like him even though I wanted to strangle him at times for his misogynistic way of thinking which was just the way men thought and were taught back in the year1306. He is a part of a secret elite team who go on missions to help Robert Bruce. Each man has a special skill. Hawk or Erik MacSorley….Hawk is his code name for the team…is on the team because he is the best seaman and swimmer in Scotland. He’s also fearless when it comes to captaining his boat through stormy waters or playing chicken with the English ships.

Lady Elyne de Burgh or Ellie is the daughter of one of the most powerful men in Ireland who has aligned himself with Edward I. Her sister tells her that since her mom and one of her brothers died two years ago, that she is boring and has no fun anymore. Ellie is betrothed – for political reasons – to an English nobleman who is a widow with eight children. She has been taking care of her brothers and sisters since her mother died and takes life too seriously. Her sister talks her into going with her to jump of the cliffs for the annual celebration of Maiden’s plunge where all the virgins jump off the cliffs into the cold sea. Ellie agrees and takes the plunge.

She swims back to shore via Mermaid’s cave and stumbles onto a group of men who look like pirates having some kind of meeting. One man wants to kill her right then but Hawk, who she doesn’t know, convinces the other man that he will take her out to sea and kill her and then proceeds to kidnap her and take her out to sea. Ellie thinks she is going to die and never see her family again but Hawk tells her that he is just going to keep her for a while and then return her after she is not a danger to his plans. She believes he is a pirate and might use her against her family so she lies and tells him she is a nursemaid for the Earl of Ulster instead of his daughter.

Hawk is meeting with some Irish mercenaries who will meet him on the 13th and with at least 150 men and who he will then take to another location to fight with Robert Bruce against the English. When Ellie stumbles upon their meeting, the Irish leader wants to kill her but he doesn’t want to kill an innocent woman so he adducts her. He gets to open water and tries to sneak by a few English ships and would have succeeded but Ellie jumped out of his boat and starts screaming. The English spot them but Hawk manages to get Ellie back in the boat and escape.

Mermaid's Cave

Mermaid’s Cave

At first, Ellie’s family think she has drown but hear about the incident where the English sailors had witnessed Ellie with the pirates and now the English are out searching for her.

Now, he is laying low on Spoon Isle while he waits out the time until the mission with the bossy little nursemaid. He is used to getting his way with women but with Ellie, his charm isn’t working. She is seemingly immune to his charisma and good looks. He can see the English ships and wonders why they are patrolling so heavily. He has no idea his captive is someone of importance.

Spoon Island

Spoon Island

I loved how the romance developed between Ellie and Hawk. I thought it was funny how Ellie just rolled her eyes and ignored Hawk’s flirting which annoyed the heck out of him. And I was rolling with laughter when he told the people on the island that the reason she was with them was because she fancies herself in love with him and stowed away on his boat which everyone believed because most lasses fall all over him but Ellie was mortified by it.

This author has a way with making my emotions zigzag all over the place. One minute I’m laughing then I’m angry, wanting to slap Hawk for his misogynistic ways and then I’m sad because one doesn’t feel the way the other does and I think they aren’t going to end up together. It’s crazy how Monica McCarty, the author, can manipulate my moods so well. That’s some excellent writing!

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