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Highlander Unchained by Monica McCarty Review

Title: Highlander Unchained

Author: Monica McCarty

First published September 25, 2007

363 pages, Mass Market Paperback

ISBN: 9780345494382 (ISBN10: 0345494385)

Rating: 4.21


Laird Connor MacLeod is willing to go to any lengths for the safety of his people, even if it means kidnapping the headstrong and fierce Lady Isabella Campbell, with a hidden agenda of making her his wife. A powerful and dominant leader with an irresistible charm, Connor is caught off guard by Isabella’s beauty and sharp tongue, which challenge his plans to safeguard his clan.

As Connor’s tough exterior begins to crumble, Isabella discovers a softer side to him that she can’t resist. But Isabella is determined to escape the fate of her mother, who was traded off for political gains.

She promises to make Connor pay for his ruthless act, even as they both fight their growing attraction to each other. As a looming threat of war and a dark past threaten to tear them apart, Connor and Isabella must decide if their love is worth fighting for.

About the Author

Mixing a legal career, a baseball career, motherhood, and a love of history with a passion for reading led me to become a historical romance author. I grew up in California, where there was always something to do outside, but I preferred to curl up inside with a good book.

At first, I devoured the usual books like The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and Nancy Drew. Once I finished those, I started borrowing books from my mom’s collection, including Sidney Sheldon’s The Other Side of Midnight.

Although some of the books weren’t suitable for my age, I relished in them, and that’s where my love for romance novels began.

In high school, my father encouraged me to read the Franklin Library’s One Hundred Greatest Books ever written, including works by Tolstoy, Confucius, Plato, and Shakespeare. I enjoyed the challenge, and it became a solid foundation for college.

I went to the University of Southern California, majoring in Political Science and minoring in English. During my college years, I joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, watched football games, and supported the local bartending industry.

After college, I went to Stanford Law School for three more years of study, where I met lifelong friends, got a JD degree, a husband, and an unexpected love for baseball. My experience in law school also introduced me to my love for Scotland when I took a Comparative Legal History class, where I wrote a paper on the Scottish Clan System and Feudalism.

After finishing law school, I moved to Minnesota, worked as a litigator for a few years, moved back to California, had children, and realized that being a single parent while practicing law would be challenging. So, I decided to pursue my passion for writing.

I loved being a lawyer because of research and writing, which is why writing romance novels felt like a natural progression for me.

Editoral Review

Highlander Unchained by Monica McCarty is a riveting historical fiction novel that is sure to thrill fans of the genre. As a New York Times Bestselling Author, McCarty’s works are well-known for their engaging characters, vivid settings, and action-packed plots.

First published in 2007, Highlander Unchained is the first book in the author’s Highlander Trilogy and is set in medieval Scotland.

Set during a time of political unrest, the novel tells the story of Lady Amelia Sutherland, daughter of the earl of Sutherland, who is forced to marry the war-hardened warrior Eric Murray, laird of Dunsmuir.

Both characters are strong-willed and determined, and their initial reluctance to be married to each other sets the stage for a gripping tale of romance, betrayal, and political intrigue. With its well-researched historical details and well-developed characters, Highlander Unchained is sure to captivate readers from start to finish.

McCarty does an excellent job of bringing the medieval Scottish setting to life. From the castles to the rolling hills of Scotland, the author’s descriptions are vivid and immersive, making the reader feel as if they are right there alongside the characters.

The author’s attention to detail is also present in her portrayal of the social norms and political dynamics of the time, giving readers a deeper understanding of the historical context in which the novel is set.

One of the novel’s strengths is the character development of both Amelia and Eric.

Both characters undergo significant growth over the course of the story, and readers will find themselves rooting for both protagonists to overcome their obstacles and find happiness together. The chemistry between Amelia and Eric is also well-written and believable, adding an extra layer of depth to their relationship.

While there are moments where the plot feels predictable, there are enough twists and turns to keep readers invested in the story. The pacing of the novel is also well-done, with action-packed scenes that keep the story moving forward.

Perhaps the one downside to the novel is that it is formulaic and doesn’t break any new ground in terms of plot or themes. However, fans of the genre will appreciate the well-executed romance and political intrigue that are hallmarks of historical fiction.

Overall, Highlander Unchained is a well-written and engaging novel that is sure to delight fans of historical fiction. McCarty’s vivid descriptions, attention to detail, and well-developed characters make for a thrilling read.

Fans of the genre will find much to enjoy in this exciting and well-crafted novel.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.