by Margaret Mallory
Published by: Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date: May 1, 2011
Source: NetGalley Ebook/Kindle
Genre: Historical Romance
My rating: **** 4 of 5 stars
Blurb from Publisher: 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, Sìleas 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, Sìleas 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 Sìleas – and he won’t take no for an answer.
The Guardian is book 1 in a new series, The Return of the Highlanders, by Margaret Mallory. In The Guardian, we are introduced to 4 Highland warriors, Ian, Connor, Duncan, and Alex. These four men are fierce warriors, raised in the Highlands to protect their clan and each other. This first book focuses on Ian and his tumultuous relationship with Sileas. As children, Ian was Sileas’ protector, her friend and confident. At the age of 13, Sileas, on the run from her wicked step father and a dangerous marriage, was accidentally caught with Ian and the two were forced to marry. Ian, not wanting the marriage to a skinny child, angrily stayed away from Sileas and his clan for 5 long years. When Ian and his 3 friends finally returned, their chieftain had been killed, the clan and family in turmoil, and a disheartened Sileas was no longer a child.
I very much enjoyed The Guardian, it was full of enticing Highland warriors full of humor, danger, strength, and loyalty. The main concept of this series is of the 4 friends, each with their own personalities and characters. Ian, the main character for the purposes of this installment, was a dependable and strong leader. Ian made some childish mistakes in his youth, yet he recognized his mistakes and sought to make amends and set things right. He was not too proud to try to take over, he proved his loyalty to his friends. It took him awhile to figure out Sileas, to get over his anger and see the heart of the matter. However, the process was worth reading, and I appreciate the character he becomes.
As for Sileas, I really like her character. Sileas is a spunky, enduring woman. While Ian deserted her, she not only stayed true, she became a solid member of the family and blossomed from a skinny, scared child into that beautiful, enduring woman. I give her character credit for her loyalty and stead-fastness. The characters in The Guardian are all well thought out and developed, and I can’t wait to read more about them in future novels.
The Guardian is set in the Scottish Highlands, in the early 1500’s. Margaret Mallory does a wonderful job of re-creating the scene from the time frame. She describes the life in the clans and the transfer of spouses well. The history of the setting is pretty accurate. From the Regent Queen, the rivaling chieftains, and the constant passing around of spouses, the historical picture is created and believable. Historical novels can be annoying when not at all accurate, so I truly appreciated the effort Margaret Mallory put in to create the scene for this series.
With loyal, strong, steamy highlanders, beautiful romance, and historic Highland setting, The Guardian is an enticing novel, not to be missed. I highly recommend The Guardian to fans of Historical Romance, Highlander Romance, or just romance in general.