Source- Review copy/ Netgalley
Synopsis:Four young Highlanders – Connor, Ian, Alex and Duncan – hurry home from France after hearing news of the disastrous Battle of Flodden against Henry VIII’s forces. With his father among the dead, Connor must take his place as chieftain. Before he can lead his clan through the perilous times ahead, however, he must first dislodge the usurper who has taken his family’s castle and claimed leadership of the clan.
Connor’s cousins and best friend, Ian, Alex and Duncan, will stand shoulder to shoulder with him in every fight. They are willing to give their lives for their clan and their new chieftain. But taking wives to serve the clan’s interests is a different matter altogether…
Review: Ian McDonald didn’t realise when he rode back into his home town that his life would be turned upside down. He was coming home to announce to his father that he had found a wife, a young beautiful woman who he wanted to ask to marry him. But Ian stumbles across childhood friend Sileas, just 13 years and a few years his junior who is dirt stained and frantic to escape an arranged marriage to an arrogant Braun who has a reputation for mistreating women. Ian takes Sileas under his wing with the hope of helping her to safety, but when his father and his men stumble across them in the early hours of the morning awaking from slumber the situation is misinterpreted. His father seizes the opportunity to inherit Sileas’ family property by wedding Ian and Sileas immediately, claiming it will save her reputation in town.
Furious, Ian marries Sileas who he views only as a child and does not intend to consummate the marriage. The next morning he rides off to war with his Highlander gang and doesn’t return for five years. These are five long years for Sileas who has had a crush on Ian since she was just a kid even though their wedding day was the most terrible day of her life. The only solace was her being saved from her vicious step-father and being taken in by Ian’s welcoming family who adopt her as their own.
Ian returns home with the intention of breaking off the wedding and setting Sileas free, only he doesn’t expect to come home and find Sileas has grown into a beautiful young woman. Their clan is on the brink of war and this takes priority over Ian’s marriage woes. He must decide whether he makes a true marriage with Sileas or break it off with her for good. Sileas must decide whether Ian McDonald, now a man is the same person she fell in love with as a child and whether the distance between them can be repaired.
Ian is an arrogant goon who as a young boy valued beauty over any other quality in a woman and it was frustrating the way he gawked over Sileas when he returned. He considered keeping the marriage just because she was now pretty and he wanted to bed her. Of course the age-gap made me a little uneasy so it was probably a good thing that Ian went away for five years or I probably wouldn’t have read past the wedding. Sileas is a strong, fiery young woman who remains bound by the Highlander traditions and expectations. Sileas was a well developed character but Ian took a lot longer to display some depth. It was a nice romance story with plenty of mishaps along the way which kept them from revealing their true feelings for each other.
The Guardian is not a standout Highlander romance but is a nice addition to your bookshelf (or ereader) if you enjoy this genre.
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