After having read [b: The Raider: Highland Guard #8|18007522|The Raider (Highland Guard, #8)|Monica McCarty|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1375757837s/18007522.jpg|25273782] and loved the story, I decided to go back to the beginning and pick up where I left off in the series, so to be speak. And that led me to this book, #2 in the series.
The hero, Erik MacSorley, is easy to imagine. I know quite a few Eriks myself and could just picture him. Oh he thinks everybody loves him and turns everything into a joke and thinks he is so smart. I guess it is pretty clear now how I feel about such characters?
Ellie was at the wrong place at the wrong time. She ended up being kept by Erik because nobody knew who to trust and in a time like Robert Bruce's Scotland, you most certainly do not trust anyone you just met.
I really have to say, I think Monica McCarty is a master of characterization. Her characters are vivid, to say the least, and are nothing if not authentic. Regardless how I feel about Erik or Ellie as characters, I cannot deny that they are eeriely real in the book. That much I can appreciate.
Now to the heart of the matter.
I liked Erik and Ellie well enough, though with wariness. A self-sacrifice, practical, responsible and plain heroine like Ellie is harder for me to like. But since she was away from her family most of the time, I was spared having to read her life as a mother hen, circling around her younger siblings. I mean, why does she have to be "responsible and plain"? Can't she be "irresponsible and plain" or "responsbile and beautiful"? I also admit openly that a pair of a handsome man and a plain woman just does not go down well for me. Erik being the well-loved cheerful handsome playboy that he is paired with Ellie, the plain but oh so responsible and practical 24-year-old maiden..........I do not love it.
But Erik and Ellie are good characters. Their relasionship developed on an island where Erik hid with his men and Ellie from the English. I enjoyed reading about them and how they came together. Erik is such a carefree character, the story took on a lighter feel which made it harder for me to take them seriously. I think it really depends on how one feels about the characterization. If this is your cup of tea, the story is well-developed and offers depth. If you have reservations, like me, you would love the story still, but from afar, if that makes sense at all.
I must compliment Monica McCarty on re-creating the Scotland of that turbulent time in her Highland Guard series. I have read quite a few different historical acounts of the real William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. To have characters from the losing side in history as leads is a daring attempt. Very cleverly done, I must say. The historical details are plenty but not over-powering the romance.