Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.
McCarty digs deeper into the myths surrounding Robert the Bruce and Scottish independence at the beginning of this book, referencing the tale about Bruce taking refuge in a cave, and gaining inspiration for perseverance from a spider.
You can find more about that particular legend here, on the educationscotland.gov site.
This installment in the Highland Guard series focuses on Erik McSorley, aka The Hawk, the seafaring pirate member of Bruce's elite band of warriors. He is responsible for ensuring that some men arrive at the right location to fight for Bruce - a task which gets muddled up when Ellie, the heroine, overhears part of the transaction. He kidnaps her to prevent her from revealing their secret plan, instead of murdering her, as one of his co-conspirators suggest. They spend much of the rest of the book arguing, as Ellie seems immune to Hawk's legendary charms.
The book takes off from there. Ellie is the daughter of Earl of Ulster. She recognizes that she will be better off if the men do not know that they have captured a valuable English prize, so she tells Hawk that she is nursemaid to the Earl's children.
A few things about this installment. First, Hawk is a fantastic character - he has a ton of personality. He is funny, self-deprecating, reckless and wildly attractive. Some of the complaints about this installment have focused on Ellie's plainness, and that Hawk's attraction to her wasn't realistic in light of that fact. I don't really agree - I thought their chemistry was convincing. Ellie is not Hawk's usual type, but Hawk also doesn't have a connection to most of the women who seem to be his usual type. He is a gregarious, generous and affectionate lover, but his heart is never deeply involved in his usual liasons. I found it convincing that it would take a woman who is different from his usual type to work her way past his defenses.
The medieval highland setting continues to hold my interest, and Hawk is a charmer.