THE ARROW - Monica McCarty
Highland Guard Series, Book 9
Ballantine Books
ISBN-10: 0-3455-4395-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-3455-4395-0
September 2014
Historical Romance

Scotland, 1312

Fifteen years ago Gregor 'Arrow' MacGregor looked down a well in a village destroyed by the English and saw a survivor. He rescued a young girl name Cate. The English raiders murdered her mother, and Cate witnessed it. He gave her into his mother's care, someone who needed a girl to love.

Gregor is one of King Robert the Bruce's 'Phantom' warriors. His deadly aim with bow and arrow earned him his Phantom name of Arrow. He has another designation: the handsomest man in Scotland. Women are constantly seeking his favor, trying to trap him into a relationship or marriage. After seven years of striving and battles, Gregor has noticed his aim is off, and Robert sends him home to rest. That causes Gregor a problem. He has avoided going home where his younger brother John has acted in his place as laird because of Cate. She is his ward, and at her request, he allowed John to teach Cate how to use weapons to defend herself. Before this visit, Cate always appeared more like a lad than a lass, but he found himself increasingly aware of her. Once returned to Dunlyon, he finds Cate grown into an attractive woman, but one more than capable of creating trouble. His answer? Find her a husband!

Cate has loved Gregor since first sight of his angelic face while she sat at the bottom of a well after some horrific happenings, and she knows he is the only man she will ever love. Her father abandoned her and her mother when she was five, and with her mother's death, she could have been abandoned again. Now Dunlyon is her home, and Gregor's family is her family. She is twenty, he thirty-one, but age difference aside, she is determined to make him fall in love with her. She knows none of the women before her understood him as she does.

Most of the story takes place in Dunlyon and centers on the situation between Cate and Gregor. Just as Cate thinks their love will blossom, things change, and not for the better. Unknowingly, she becomes the target of Gregor's and the king's enemies, forcing the Phantoms into action and altering the situation in an even more unpredicted manner. The viewpoint in the story changes between that of the heroine and hero in presenting the evolving situation throughout the story, letting the reader become close enough to know each character's torment and deception. The tone varies between humor, dejection, and danger, often caused by the main characters' own obstinacy. Many characters from previous volumes play a part in Cate and Gregor's romance, and the author introduces some interesting new characters.

Robin Lee