The Saint: A Highland Guard Novel Mass Market Paperback – Mar 27 2012
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"McCarty is a powerhouse storyteller, and this multilayered, intense novel proves it." ---RT Book Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
About the Author
Monica McCarty is the bestselling author of The Viper, The Ranger, The Hawk, and The Chief, the first four books in the Highland Guard series, the Highlander trilogy (Highlander Untamed, Highlander Unmasked, and Highlander Unchained), and the Campbell trilogy (Highland Warrior, Highland Outlaw, and Highland Scoundrel). Her interest in the Scottish clan system began in the most unlikely of places: a comparative legal history course at Stanford Law School. After a short but enjoyable stint as an attorney, she realized that her career as a lawyer set against her husband’s transitory life as a professional baseball player was not exactly a match made in heaven. So she traded in her legal briefs for Scottish historical romances with sexy alpha heroes. Monica McCarty lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and their two children.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall it was a good read, love all the characters. My favourite is Hawk! He's so amazingly funny and absolutely awesome!
Worth every penny!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Saint, aka Magnus MacKay, is anything but a Saint. I went into this book expecting another fun, adventurous, sexy romance. What I have gotten my little hands on, however, is an angst-filled book that has me mad enough to start my own war! Magnus, in my humble opinion, is an arse of epic proportions! I truly didn't expect him to be such a childish, hateful man. I spent half the book feeling as if I were reading some teenage drama unfold. I may have rolled my eyes a few times to boot.
The female lead, Helen, spends the entire book chasing/pining after Magnus. Even after he has told her to her face (many times) he doesn't want her, (this was done mostly out of his pride & guilt - not actual truth) she still follows him around like a lost puppy who seems to enjoy being kicked repeatedly. Again, I find myself with another book that claims romance yet there is not much to work with! At least, not until almost the very end. Basically, after reading The Saint, I was left feeling confused as to what happened from the last book to this newest one. Has McCarty gone emo on us?! A little angst is always expected in a romance novel. We all know it can't be rainbows and unicorns all the time, but my goodness! There was nothing but angst here. In my opinion, you will need the patience of a saint to get through this book. Good Luck Lads & Lassies!
Magnus the hero has always been the steady and quiet one. He didn't sit around the campfire boasting or talking about the next bed partner conquest hence his nickname the "Saint". He is always in control, was the impression I got in the previous books, so to see him so unglued when it came to Helen was funny and sweet. Monica really puts his character through the ringer. I could never imagine having to make the choices and do the things Magnus had to do in this book. My heart broke for him as I watched him battle his feelings for Helen because he wasn't able to forgive himself for the decisions he had to make. Magnus's character is very endearing. I fell deeply in love with him right along with Helen. Monica gave the readers another hero to fall in love with. With each book I find that I can't help falling for each of these guards. Magnus is steady, caring, loyal and tough but there is this side to him when he lets his guard down around Helen that had me captivated. And oh my goodness he is sexy. Ladies when he lets his control go hold on to your panties. I wanted to groan and nod my head right along with Helen during the seduction scenes!
Helen is my favorite heroine of all of Monica's books. Her character is so relatable and lovable. She realizes that she made a mistake when she walked away from Magnus so when she gets her second chance boy she goes for it. Her fears of rejection never stopped her from putting her heart out there for Magnus. She sets to prove to him that their second chance at happiness is possible and does all in her power to convince him he could trust her with his heart. Helen is one of the most kickass heroines of Monica's heroines. She can think fast on her feet and is resourceful. Helen has been studying healing from the healer in her clan so this skill was useful in many of the situations she found herself in. As tough as she was, she had a vulnerable side that captures your heart. Because of her interest in healing and her tendency to speak what is on her mind she finds that she doesn't fit in well with other ladies. Helen is someone I would love to hang with. She is caring, loyal, smart and a beautiful spirit.
The romance between these two was so sweet. I love how the story unfolded during a course of over a year. I was deeply invested and was rooting them along the way as they both stumbled and then finally found their way to each other again. I loved the glimpses of their childhood romance. They didn't see each other much but when they did you could feel how much they truly cared for each other. How special their connection was. The chemistry was off the charts. Boy did the scenes where they give in to each other rock my world with so much emotion and steam. You can literally feel how much these two love and want each other. The connection is poignant and sweet. The road to their happiness is filled with many funny moments as well as tragedies. When I closed the book on their story I felt such happiness as if I was the one who got a happy ending. What a fantastic couple Monica gave the readers in this book. I didn't want their story to end. I wanted to know more and see more.
Monica also gave us a secondary romance that I really enjoyed as well. The romance is between Muriel the healer of the Sutherland clan and William Helen's eldest brother. Readers get enough background stories on these two that you'll be invested. We also meet Kenneth the second eldest brother of Helen. I can't wait to see what Monica has in store for him. The Saint also gives readers a glimpse at the lives of the other couples and we catch up on what's been happening to them. I was excited that the previous heroines made an appearance. It was nice to see them all together and learn how they have bonded and become so close. The Saint continues to entertain with the action packed storyline full of battles and intrigue. The fight continues onto the next phase in the battle for Scotland's freedom and takes a tragic turn for the guards. The guards will come face to face with enemies that will have too many similarities to their fighting tactics.
The Saint has some plots in it that definitely is a game changer in the series. The twists and turns that have been subtly alluded to will come to fruition in this book. I was on a roller-coaster ride of emotions reading The Saint. I cried...oh how I cried, then I laughed and then I sighed. I have to say this is the first book by Monica that has made me cry. This book had me captivated from prologue all the way through the excerpt of the next book. I was flipping pages so fast and speed reading like a demon that once I closed the book I had to go back and re-read it again the next day.
Monica's highlander stories are like crack for me! When I am in the mood for stories about those hot blooded and virile men of Scotland, I know I can count on her books to fulfill that need. I am still amazed at how effortlessly and seamlessly Monica incorporates real live historical events and creates these fictional romantic story lines. Her books each and every one of them has a place on my keeper shelf. This book will go right up there along with the rest. I HIGHLY recommend this book and series to historical romance fans that love these sexy highlander stories. You can't go wrong when you pick up her books.
Magnus Mackay is as fierce a warrior as any of his Highland Guard brethren. But Magnus - known as "Saint" for his calm demeanor and lack of interest in women - hides a painful secret. He's long been in love with Helen de Moray, the daughter of his clan's enemy and the woman who broke his heart when she refused to abandon her family and run away with him. Years have passed since Magnus has seen Helen but when they do meet again, it's on her wedding day. Helen is betrothed to Magnus's partner and best friend and for that reason, if no other, she can never be his.
Helen is determined to win back the heart of the man she so foolishly turned away when she was young and scared. But tragedy threatens to cause a divide between them that not even their love can overcome. Will Helen be able to break through the walls the Saint has built around his heart to reconnect with the man beneath the warrior's honor?
Nobody does star-crossed lovers like Monica McCarty! THE SAINT is filled with heartbreak, betrayal and hope. Love is lost, found and forced to go through the proverbial fires of hell to come out stronger than ever. Ms. McCarty had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning of THE SAINT, taking the story through twists and turns I could not always expect; something I love in a book.
Magnus and Helen are two people who are very clearly meant to be together, but the depth of the hatred between their two families is not something either can ignore. As youths, Magnus and Helen were idealistic, and I loved that Ms. McCarty showed that side of them - the happy young lovers who were not prepared to face the obstacles in their path. Though Magnus and Helen have matured in some ways when they meet again, there are a whole new set of problems facing them. You have to respect Magnus's sense of honor, but it's that same code of honor that threatens to derail any headway Helen makes with him. There was almost too much heartbreak in THE SAINT, but Ms. McCarty kept the book afloat with a subplot involving Helen's eldest brother and the overarching plot of the series about Robert the Bruce's quest to unify Scotland under his rule.
One of the things I love about Ms. McCarty's books is how she seamlessly blends history and fiction. I feel like I'm in this high-stakes war for Scotland's freedom as the Highland Guard fights for the security of Robert the Bruce's throne. In fact, my favorite moments of THE SAINT might actually be the attempts on the Bruce's life. Both Helen and Magnus are at their best when they're saving the king.
THE SAINT is the fifth book in Ms. McCarty's HIGHLAND GUARD series, but Ms. McCarty provides enough information that the book can be read as a standalone. Fans of the series will undoubtedly be delighted to revisit some of their favorite Highland Guard warriors and their wives, however, and there are always more warriors yet to get their happily-ever-afters to pique the interest. I finished THE SAINT a well-satisfied reader and I'm looking forward to Ms. McCarty's next HIGHLAND GUARD book.
Review courtesy of Romance Junkies
I loved William and Mureil's story and would have loved to see it more developed in the book, even though they were secondary characters.
I still highly recommend this book and really all of Monica's books. I am surprised that the next book, if I read it correctly, will be about Helen's brother, and not about some of the other Highland Guards that have been around longer. But, still......Bring on the Recruit!
The comradery of the guard is one the best elements of this series. The members together are clearly talented and exceptional fighters and they are serious about what they do, but they are also hilarious together. The element of humor from the jabs that make at one another is a nice element of this series, because it lets you see these characters in a different light and gives a nice break from the main focus of the romance. I promise she doesn't stray too long from that focus, but the subplots of the battles and missions are a well-written and developed element of McCarty's work.
Speaking of subplots, a new development in McCarty's writing is the addition of a subplot that focused on another romance. This romance doesn't involve a guard member, so you wouldn't expect to be invested, but in fact, you are. McCarty does a nice job developing these characters, in the limited amount of space she has to work with for a subplot, so you actually do care about these people and get caught up in their story as well. It was a nice, unexpected element.
Now to the main man: Magnus MacKay, the Highland Guard member featured in this book, is unique and endearing because of his self-restraint and ability to control himself, in all situations. So to see him break is dramatic and exciting. It is also important to note that even with five male protagonists in this series, all of them have distinct and unique qualities that don't overlap. It's impressive that she's been able to create such dynamic leading men. If you read a description for each of them, you'd be able to pin point exactly who the character is without knowing his name. They all contain qualities women want in men (courageous, protective, confident (but not cocky), sincere, honest, determined, dedicated, reliable, physically capable of keeping them safe, intelligent, patient, easy on the eye...the list could go on) but they also aren't flawless, which makes them more realistic. But, of course, and perhaps most importantly, they are highlanders at heart, so all guard members share a common thread (even the English Knight, though I'm sure he would never openly agree).
Another note: You can read these books out of order, but it is nice to read them chronologically. Each book provides a recap of what is happening, so a new reader to the series won't be lost. That being said, McCarty does plant seeds in each book that are applicable to future novels.
This isn't a super comprehensive review (I know), but I did want to say that I enjoyed this book, as I've enjoyed each book by McCarty, and I would recommend The Saint and all novels in this series to any fans of the historical highland romance genre.