Thursday, January 27, 2011

Highland Warrior by Monica McCarty

Highland Warrior
(The Campbell Trilogy Book #1)
by Monica McCarty

Genre: Historical Romance

The ruthless enforcer of Scotland’s most powerful clan, Jamie Campbell is the most feared man in the Highlands. Raw physical strength coupled with cunning political acumen make him a powerful force with whom few men will dare to reckon. Determined to see the Highlands tamed of its lawlessness and unrest, Jamie’s objectives are clear: under the guise of seeking the Chief of Lamont’s daughter’s hand in marriage, discover whether the Lamonts are harboring any outlawed MacGregors. But guise turns to desire when he meets the beautiful spitfire who rules the household with a dainty iron fist. The fierce Highlander never expects that the woman he wants above all others will test his duty and loyalty to his clan to the breaking point.

Cosseted and adored by her family, Caitrina Lamont has no intention of abandoning her beloved father and doting four older brothers for a husband—especially a Campbell. But Jamie Campbell is nothing like the parade of suitors that Caitrina’s father usually traipses across their hall. His raw masculinity threatens her in a way no man ever had before. But when Caitrina’s idyllic world is shattered, could the man she blames for her tragedy become her only hope for the future?

Caitrina "Caiti" Lamont is the spoiled daughter of the Chief of their clan with three loving brothers. She's content with her "princess" lifestyle and even okay with her father trying to match her up with a husband at the highland festival being held at their castle. Yet, the one man who captures her interest the most is a mystery and frustratingly tells her "no" unlike every other male in her life. Life is good with a few stolen kisses until the long-hated Campbell clan attacks one night and brutally murders her family & burns her home. Now, the grieving Caitrina is staying/hiding with her aunt and uncle until Jamie Campbell, the cute mystery man from before, comes back into her life proposing marriage for clan alliance. She accepts solely for the reason of gaining her family lands back, but before she knows it . . . love begins to change her view on the world.

As I mention in my other reviews (links below) I read this series all out of order, but enjoyed it none the less. Caiti comes off very young and naive in the beginning of the Highland Warrior but grows up a lot throughout the story. She still isn't my favorite female protagonist throughout the Campbell trilogy, but she does have some great character development and you feel her emotional change during the death of her family. Jamie of the other hand is quite sure of himself and though I didn't really notice much of a change in him within the story, he was very loyal to Caiti and open to making their marriage work.

Near the end of the book, there were many scenes of the two immaturely fighting over their beliefs/feelings/etc that it became quite tedious to read after a while, but even though everything resolved itself in time for the last page - I still felt as if something was missing from the tale. I did enjoy that the story preached loyalty (to not only ones partner, but family as well) as being just as important as love (i.e. don't make ultimatums!), which is a theme you don't find too often in romances but was surprisingly nice in this one.

I should have read the series in order, than maybe I would have a sense of completion.
So, maybe I'll pick up the other two again soon and do that!
Check out my other reviews of the Campbell trilogy here :
Book # 2 - Highland Outlaw
Book # 3 - Highland Scoundrel

Likes: The silly ways that Jamie could easily get under Caitrina's skin in the beginning of the story (ex: kitten incident, archery competition, etc.)

Dislikes: The "honeymoon stage" (aka numerous sex scenes) near the end of the story became pretty consistent every other page and almost eclipsed the concluding plot. Don't get me wrong, I love the love-scenes. . . but it was almost too much for my taste and about the 4th to 5th time . . . I began skipping ahead.


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