About Margaret Mallory:
MARGARET MALLORY surprised her friends and family by abandoning her legal career--and her steady job--to write tales of romance and adventure. At long last, she can satisfy her passion for justice by punishing the bad and rewarding the worthy-in the pages of her novels, of course. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, a silly dog and an ornery cat.
With her two children off to college, Margaret spends most of her time working on her new Scottish historical series, The Return of the Highlanders. She loves to hear from readers.
Find Margaret online at her website, www.margaretmallory.com, on facebook, twitter, and Goodreads!
About The Guardian:
Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can't prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.
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.
Title: The Guardian (Return of the Highlanders #1)
ARC: 354 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository
Source: Hachette Book Group
I haven't picked up a good ol' highlander romance in a while, and am very happy that I decided to sign up for this blog tour! Why, you ask? Well, because it's so dang romantic! Well, duh, you say. Of course it's romantic, it's a romance novel... To which I say that there are different kinds of romance novels. Regardless of genre, there are the mushy romances, the sweet awwwww ones, the hot and sexy burn-up-the-sheets type, etc. You know what I mean.
Anyway. Ian and his best friends Connor, Duncan, and Alexander have been a group since they were children. Sileas is his little shadow then, five years younger and totally in awe of her protector and playmate. Clan politics turn ugly, and Ian is forced to marry Sileas when she is just thirteen years old to save her from her stepfather's plotting. Resentful of his duty, Ian takes off to France with his posse.
Five years later, and Ian is returning home, possibly to start a clan war for Connor's rightful place. Five years later, and Sileas is wondering if she should give up on waiting for the husband who didn't want her.
I love Sileas. She grows into a young woman very sure of her place--except for the husband bit, that is. She's aware of her worth, and is determined that this time, Ian will earn her love. What was once freely given has faded from neglect. And if he doesn't earn it back or if he still doesn't want her, well, she has options. As for Ian, he's what I'd imagine a twenty-three year old 1800s highlander warrior to be--brash, cocky, and bossy. He knows men and warring. Women, not so much. And it shows in his actions and his conversations...
In The Guardian, Margaret Mallory deftly weaves a tale of two childhood friends who have to get past the hurt and the humiliation and learn to reconnect with each other. Will they find their way to each other before second chances are buried in politics and intrigue? Will the heart forgive and the head forget?
drey's rating: Excellent! Historical romance fans should add this to their summer reading... Want more? Read an excerpt, then sign up for the giveaway!
The room fell away as Ian stared at the young woman who stood in the glow of the firelight. Her hair was the most beautiful shade of red he had ever seen. It fell in gleaming waves and framed a face so lovely it squeezed his heart to look at her.
When she lifted her gaze and met his, the air went out of him. There was something very familiar about this lovely, green-eyed lass, but Ian could not place her.
"Ian." Alex jabbed him in the ribs.
Ian knew he should stop staring at her, but he couldn't help himself.
"Hmmph," Alex grunted as he pushed past Ian. He strode across the room and greeted the young woman with a kiss on her cheek, as if he knew her well. "Ach, you are a sight to behold," Alex said. "If I were your husband, Sìleas, ye can be sure I wouldn't have kept ye waiting a single day."
Sìleas? Ian shook his head. Nay, this could not be...
The young woman was nothing like the scrawny thirteen-year-old he remembered. Instead of gawky limbs and pointed elbows, she had graceful lines and rounded curves that made his throat go dry.
"Welcome home," the young woman said to Alex in the kind of throaty voice a man wanted to hear in the dark.
"Ye two must be hungry after your travels. Come, Sìleas, let us get these men fed," his mother said, taking the lass by the arm. His mother gave him a wide-eyed look over her shoulder, the kind she used to give him when he was a lad and had committed some grievous error in front of company.
When Ian started to follow the two women to the table, Alex hauled him back. "Are ye an idiot?" Alex hissed in his face. "Ye didn't even greet Sìleas. What's the matter with ye?"
"Are ye sure that's Sìleas?" Ian said, leaning to the side so he could see past Alex to the red-haired lass.
"Of course it is, ye fool," Alex said. "Did ye no hear your mam just say her name?"
From the corner of his eye, Ian saw the back of Sìleas's skirt disappearing up the stairs. It occurred to him he had the right to follow her up and take her to bed. Tonight. Right now. Before supper, if he wanted. And again, after. The part of him between his legs was giving him an emphatic "Aye!"
His reaction startled him. For five long years, he had planned to end the marriage as soon as he returned. He'd harbored not a single doubt.
But he made that plan before she turned into this enchanting lass with curves that would have him dreaming of her naked as soon as he closed his eyes.
Aye, he most definitely wanted to take Sìleas to bed. Any man would. The question, however, was whether he wanted her to be the last woman he ever took to his bed.
Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have three copies of The Guardian for you, if you live in the US or Canada (no PO Boxes please!). One winner per household. To enter, just fill out the form below before 6pm CST May 23rd. One entry per person, multiples will be disqualified (you may want to comment after filling out the form so you know you've already entered)... Good luck!
Now that you're done with that, here's MORE fun stuff for you: We Love Scotland: The True Tales Behind Our Hottest Scottish Historicals, from Sue-Ellen Welfonder, Kira Morgan, and Margaret Mallory.