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The Hunter - Monica McCarty The Hunter is the seventh book in the Highland Guard series by best-selling author Monica McCarty, but can be read as a standalone. This is what I have done, though I have not yet read the other books in the series. (I will.)

This is not going to be a particularly easy review for me because the book was enjoyable enough to read. I enjoy reading historical romance novels from time to time, and I like the happily ever after that most of them offer. This book was no exception. It had wonderful writing, world-building, characters, and enough history to make me a very happy reader. However, there was a scene very early on in the book that gave me a bad taste in my mouth. When the two main characters (Ewan Lamant and Janet of Mar) first meet a little ways into the book, she is being detained by English soldiers. When I say detained, I really mean that Janet (posing as Sister Genna) and her companion are about to be raped by those soldiers. Yes, that's not my favorite plot device, but it is relevant to the time period. What really got me was before Ewan stepped in to rescue her and save the day (da-duh-duh-ta-da!), he had to take a minute to lust after Janet standing half-naked in front of her would-be rapists. I would have liked him a lot better if he would've just jumped right in to save her instead of admiring the view. It completely disrupted the enjoyment of the book because I kept giving Ewan the stink eye.

Apart from that one issue (which I am sure many of you will not have with the book), The Hunter good. The love story was well-paced, and they were not jumping in bed or confessing their undying love immediately. The progression of their relationship (aside from them graphically checking each other out mentally) was slow and believable. I did give Ewan the stink-eye for the whole book, but I appreciate time he took with Janet, his acceptance of her feisty, independent nature, and taking his time in ravaging her. (That's not a spoiler - heroines always have to be ravaged by their soul mate in the Scottish Highlands.) He was almost honorable, but... Yep, still giving him the Look. As for Janet, she had a lot guilt and scars from her past, and those made the work she was a doing a priority. She's a strong woman with a very dangerous job in a warzone, and she's admirable in her resolve.

I think The Hunter is a good Scottish romance that will sweep you off your feet, even though I was a bit of a grouch about Ewan. I enjoyed everything else in the book, and I will be reading the rest of the series. I think fans of the genre will love McCarty's final book in the Highland Guard series and will certainly swoon over the steamy romance.

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the book from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.