The Guardian by Margaret Mallory
Return of the Highlanders #1
Release Date: May 1, 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Purchased on nook
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: Historical Romance Challenge 2015
Four 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, Sileas 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, Sileas has grown from 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 Sileas--and he won't take no for an answer.
Oh, but Highlanders are a bloodthirsty bunch!
The introduction to Ian, Connor, Duncan, Alex, and Sileas was cleverly done. Seeing how close they were as children solidified their bond and my connection to them as adults. And knowing their futures as told to them by the village seer grew my anticipation for the story.
Ian and Sileas were forced to marry for several reasons. Ian, no wanting to have his bride forced upon him, leaves the day after the wedding and doesn't return for five long years. Five years in which Sileas has to endure the gossip and taunting from their clan over the fact that Ian didn't want to be with his wife. Now Ian and his cousins have returned to see to it the rightful heir to the Chieftanship takes his place.
The Guardian was an exciting read with much intrigue. There are some wily Highlanders who would stop at nothing to get what they want. Ian and his cousins face danger from all directions. And while trying to do right by his clan, Ian finds himself wanting to do right by his wife.
Mallory did well in creating fascinating characters. Sileas was fiery-tempered, head-strong, and brave - just as a Highlander woman should be. Ian, while pig-headed at times, was a good man and a courageous warrior. I'm eager to get Connor's, Duncan's, and Alex's stories as well, as they all have very distinct personalities.
I wouldn't have wanted to live during this tumultuous time in history though. It was very bloody and I'm certain you could never quite be sure whom to trust. Mallory does inject humor into the story. And it was welcome. With a well-constructed historical setting and robust characters, I look forward to continuing this series.