16 February 2012

The Guardian.

Genre: Historical Romance.
Source: Nook Book.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Book 1 of 4 in the Return of the Highlanders Series.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com:
After years of fighting abroad, Ian MacDonald comes home to find his clan in peril. To save his kin, he must right the wrongs from his past . . . and claim the bride he's long resisted.
As a young lass, Sileas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sileas has grown from an awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sileas - and he won't take no for an answer.

My Review:
The thing about this novel, is that while I was reading it, I don't remember enjoying it that much. But, I couldn't: Put. It. Down. I don't know what it is about Scotland settings and men running around in kilts, and those men being described as tall and muscular and wielding dirks and swords, but goodness it certainly always catches my attention. Not to mention strong-willed heroines and that feeling of gah! how does this story turn out?!If I had to describe Ian to someone wanting to know more about him, I think I would say that he's certainly a fierce and deftly brave warrior, caring to those he loves, and, unfortunately, somewhat of a disappointing pig. Rarely am I so immediately turned off by the leading romance hero.
To further explain why I feel that way, I must first describe Sileas. Sweet, loyal, and strong-hearted. I really loved her character. Ian disappointed me because, after being away from his family for so long, and in his narrative; knowing he was inevitably going to see Sileas again when he returned home, he didn't even recognize or acknowledge her. I understood that he was away for quite a while, and it was certain that Sileas has grown into a beautiful young woman, but they knew each other for a long time before he left after he was forced into marrying her. But really? He doesn't recognize or realize that it's Sileas sitting in his family's home? Personally, I would have seeked her out first, because of what had happened in the past, knowing a meeting was definite on my return. But that is not even the really irritating part: once he realizes it's his wife Sileas, he immediately thinks of how awesome it would be to bed her. (Not in those words of course.) That was just...annoying. He didn't stop to think right away, that she could be just as angry and unhappy as he had been all those years. All that ran through his mind was how soon he could get her into his bed.
My memory is a little clouded of how soon Ian tried to bag his very estranged wife, but I do remember that it didn't happen right away. Well, he attempted, but he ended up taking it slowly, proving he did have more sense in his head rather than in his male parts. That redeemed him a little for me, at first. Moving further into the story I saw and realized that Ian truly was doing all he could do to make things right and really fall in love with his wife and make her see that he was trying hard in his own ways.
While I did adore Sileas, that didn't mean she didn't have her selfish moments as well. But, hers were more understood. After something truly devastating happens between them, Sileas ends up traveling to Edinburgh to seek an audience with the Queen. I don't want to give away how it turns out, but I do think it was rather foolish of her to run off the way she did. Especially after the special moments Ian and she had recently shared. I understood her feelings, but to run off was just cowardly of her. She should have stayed to face Ian, and her own fears of what could possibly happen if the two of them didn't work harder at making things right with each other.
And, I do believe I have gabbed on this novel enough, so I will end this by saying, while this wasn't the best novel I have read lately, it certainly did have a good pace and characters that could stir things up.

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