Highlander romance with some real history

The Chief - Monica McCarty

Opening Line: “William Wallace is dead.”


This is the first book from Monica McCarty hugely popular Highland Guard series, which loosely uses actual historical figures and events to set up the premise of a group of elite warriors who embark on a secret mission to help free Scotland from English rule.

Leading this assembly of hunky highland men is the ultimate Scottish swordsman and warlord Tormod MacLeod. Tor is Chief of his people, taking the throne at the age of ten after his parents were murdered. Fiercely independent, he is a fair but aggressive leader, dedicated to his clan and answering to no one.

When Robert The Bruce handpicks him to train and lead a group of the 10 deadliest warriors the islands have ever seen he initially refuses, having no intention of being drawn into Scotland’s war against the English. After the lovely Christina is negotiated into the deal he suddenly finds himself with not only a luscious new bride but a disorganized and lethal fighting force at his disposal. She of course tries to tame him while his men try to kill each other.

I loved the fact that this story took actual historical figures and used them within the story. “Loosely based” is how the author describes it, which kind of made me laugh because this is such a “romance” in the true sense of the word and I’m sure the real 14th century Robert The Bruce or William Wallace were hardly sporting six packs and waxing poetic as they fell for their lassies (although Braveheart would have us believe otherwise.)

I don’t want to sound negative because I did enjoy the hell out of this once I got with the program but because so many of the reviews placed emphasis on the historical accuracy I went in expecting something with a bit more meat to it, so that while I appreciated the effort ultimately this was just another sexy highlander romance.

Still it’s a good one, The Chief is well written with an exciting plot, a spunky heroine to soften our alpha hero’s brutal shell and seriously smoking hot love scenes. We are also introduced to numerous other kilted hunks so that I just have to continue on with the series. Cheers.