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Highlander Unmasked by Monica McCarty Review

Title: Highlander Unmasked

Author: Monica McCarty

First published August 28, 2007

408 pages, Mass Market Paperback

ISBN: 9780345494375 (ISBN10: 0345494377)

Rating: 4.12


Highlander Unmasked by Monica McCarty is a breathtaking tale of love, loyalty, and deception. Alex MacLeod, a hardened mercenary, is on a secret mission to protect his clan.

When he saves the beautiful Meg Mackinnon from outlaws, he never imagines that she will appear at court and threaten his dangerous endeavor. Meg needs a strong husband to defend her clan’s holdings, but her fantasies of the midnight rescuer make her search difficult.

As Meg challenges Alex to reveal his secrets, the stakes grow higher, especially for the bold woman who dares to unmask a highlander. Get lost in this captivating story of passion and intrigue set in the Scottish Highlands.

About the Author

I am a Historical Romance Author, and my passion for writing stems from my love of reading. As a child growing up in California, I spent many hours indoors reading books such as The Little House on the Prairie series, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Watership Down, Nancy Drew, and everything by Judy Blume.

As I grew older, I began to swipe books from my mother’s bookshelf and enjoyed reading Sidney Sheldon’s The Other Side of Midnight, Harlequin, and Barbara Cartland romances.

In high school, with the encouragement of my father, I read over eighty of the Franklin Library’s One Hundred Greatest Books ever written, including Tolstoy, Confucius, Plato, and the entire works of Shakespeare. The experience was tough, but it proved invaluable for college.

After reading War and Peace, I wasn’t easily intimidated.

I attended the University of Southern California, majoring in Political Science and minoring in English. I joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and enjoyed supporting the local bartending industry.

After four years of college, I traveled back up north to Palo Alto for three more years of study at Stanford Law School. Law school proved to be one of the best times of my life, and I garnered a JD, life-long friends, a husband, and an unexpectedly intimate knowledge of baseball.

I fell in love with Scotland during my third year at law school when I wrote a paper on the Scottish Clan System and Feudalism. Although I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer, I had the urge to write Scottish Historical Romances.

So, after finishing law school, getting married, passing the CA bar, moving to Minnesota, working as a litigator, moving back to CA, having a couple of kids, and realizing that a legal career and being a single parent would be challenging, I decided to sit down and write.

The reason I chose to write romance is that what I loved about being a lawyer is the same thing I love about being a writer – research and writing. The only thing missing is the arguing, but that’s what a husband and kids are for, right?

Editoral Review

Highlander Unmasked is a historical romance novel written by Monica McCarty and first published on August 28, 2007. The book is part of the “The MacLeods of Skye” series, and it stands out among the author’s works for its compelling storytelling, strong characters, and vivid depiction of 14th-century Scotland.

The novel explores themes of love, honor, betrayal, and redemption, set against a backdrop of political and cultural upheaval.

The story follows the life of Lady Isabella MacKenzie, a proud and headstrong woman who is forced to marry a rival clan’s laird, Alexander MacLeod, as part of a peace treaty between their families. Isabella resents the arrangement and is determined to resist her new husband’s authority, but she soon finds herself drawn to his charisma, courage, and loyalty.

As they navigate the challenges of their marriage, including treacherous enemies, clan rivalries, and personal demons, Isabella and Alexander discover a deep connection that transcends their differences.

McCarty’s writing is rich and immersive, evoking the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands and the complex emotions of the characters. She handles the historical elements with skill and accuracy, weaving real-life events and figures into the plot without overwhelming the romance.

The dialogue is witty and authentic, capturing the cadences and idioms of the Scottish dialect. The pacing is brisk, and the plot twists keep the reader engaged until the satisfying conclusion.

One of the strengths of Highlander Unmasked is the character development. Isabella and Alexander are multifaceted, flawed, and relatable, with distinct personalities and motivations.

Isabella is a feminist heroine ahead of her time, challenging the patriarchal norms of her society and fighting for her independence. Alexander is a classic alpha male, with a sense of honor and duty that clashes with his desire for Isabella.

The supporting cast, including Isabella’s brother, Rory, and Alexander’s cousin, Jamie, add depth and complexity to the story.

However, there are some weaknesses in the novel. Some readers may find the plot predictable or formulaic, with familiar tropes of the genre.

The historical context, while well-researched, may not satisfy readers looking for a more nuanced portrayal of Scotland’s history. The romance, while passionate, may be too explicit or cliched for some readers’ tastes.

Overall, Highlander Unmasked is a compelling and entertaining historical romance novel that fans of the genre will enjoy. It showcases McCarty’s talent for storytelling, character development, and world-building, and it transports the reader to a fascinating era in Scottish history.

While it may not be groundbreaking or flawless, it delivers on its promise of a satisfying and romantic read.

I would rate Highlander Unmasked 4 out of 5 stars, based on its engaging plot, well-crafted characters, and evocative setting. However, I would caution readers who are not fans of the genre or who are looking for more original or thought-provoking literature.

This book is recommended for fans of historical romance, Scottish culture, and vivid storytelling.