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The Striker

(Highland Guard #10)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,912 ratings  ·  204 reviews
Six years ago, Eoin "Striker” MacLean endured the greatest betrayal of his life, a disaster that led Robert the Bruce to a crushing defeat and left Eoin without the spirited woman who ruled his heart. Eoin knew that falling in love with his sworn enemy’s daughter was risky, dividing him between a possessive desire for beautiful Margaret MacDowell and an undying loyalty to ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 444 pages
Published November 24th 2015 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,912 ratings  ·  204 reviews

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Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
*An ARC was given in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the writer and the publisher for the opportunity to read this.*

(Upgraded to 4 stars after my re-read.)

The Striker is a novel about second chances. Once upon a time, two lovers fell victim to their own flaws and imperfections, which quickly led to misunderstandings, estrangement and eventually, plans for revenge. (I'm careful not to use "betrayal" here, since that would be an inaccurate term to describe what happened.)

Now, fate brings them together and they are given an opportunity to more-read.)
ARC from Netgalley for an honest review.

Reread and again a six star rating for this one.

Can I rate this as a six star please.

Wow, just finished and what an amazing read this was. Monica McCarty last couple of books were good but this, this one was excellent!!! Trying to gather my thoughts and emotions here as I write a review.

We begin the first chapter in the present tense with Eoin "Striker” planning an attack and capture of Dugald MacDowell. MacDowel was on
Highland Guard Eoin MacLean is completely captivated by Margaret (Maggie) MacDowell, despite her unconventional behavior and her being the daughter of Dugald MacDowell who opposes Bruce's claim to the throne. After their whirlwind marriage, he has cause to believe she betrayed him and Bruce's warriors to her father. Thinking Eoin had died in that fateful clash, Margaret prepares to remarry six years later, only to have him show up at the moment she's to take her vows. But, she's also got a surpr ...more
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: keepers
Reread: I am upgrading my original 4-star rating after the first reread. Yes the last 20% could have used more interactions between lead characters. But I have been thinking about this book for 3 or 4 days now after the reread. I think I am just really taken with Eoin. Yes he wasn't truthful about his involvement with Bruce, yes he left Maggie with his unfriendly family, yes yes yes to all the criticisms on Eoin's characters. But guy loved his wife. Maybe he wasn't the best husband in the world. ...more
Marta Cox
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, my-reviews
This has been an amazing series to follow. The author cleverly takes actual events and characters from Scottish history but with her own unique twist. I feel the phrase " based on " would be more accurate but however you view it this is an interesting way of looking back to truly momentous events in history. Now add in romance and danger and you are left with a thrilling tale of adventure but with this book there's harrowing adversity to spice up the story.
The Highland Guard are a secret g
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Ladies and gentlemen, I am so back in from the galaxy far far away! After the reading slump (strong the dark side is) that I have suffered for a month or two, I was brought back in the game by this book - enough to compel me to start the one thing in my bucket list I keep failing to achieve which is write book reviews. Last year I was thinking what to post (I actually wanted to write: summary, likes, dislikes, squee, hot, song) but I will try to make it simple (since I am a scatterbrain/random/wordy) to just writing, characters, song. I would(since(I(strong ...more
Dec 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another great installment by McCarty. I should say, that I thought this would be the end of the series- but after finishing The Striker I discovered to my utter delight, that there will be at least two more novels to come!

I am still a bit shocked at how much I like this series. I mean, I am miss-why-read-those-highlander-novels-cause-they-are-so-far-off-reality-they-might-as-well-be-called-fantasy-without-worldbuilding.
Then I stumbled over the Highland Guard Series and ate humble pie. ...more
Talk about dark horses again! TBH I only started to read this one as I don't want to miss any in this series ... but omg! ... talk about intense, angsty, passionate and a larger than life h!
I was able to seriously indulge in some tears while reading this one; readers heaven!
h was so strong and I never expected Eoin to be so smart, well read ... he was like a warrior geek ... while Margaret was smart, loyal and a total delight ... loved their plot moppet too ... I love seekrit baby books .
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
I have to admit, I was really surprised at the amazing depth of information, history of the time period, and background in which this book was written. This author has an amazing ability to pull you right into the story and drag you along with the events of the day. You feel like you are right in the battlefield with the warriors and right in-between the main characters as they try and figure out their lives..

Connected by their steamy lust for one another, Eion and Maggie marry and immediately
The Striker ( Highland Guard, #10) by Monica McCarty is a 2015 publication

This series is a notch above many historical or Highlander romances, due to the obvious research and commitment to authenticity the author applies to these stories. This story has all the elements a good love story should and transports the reader into another realm, another time and place, where honor and loyalty rules, but love conquers all.

This is an outstanding novel and I highly recommend it to historical
Yomi M.
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rating Clarification: 4.5 stars

It was a great read and I couldn't put it down. There were instances where I thought the drama was unnecessary and when I thought Margaret was annoying but I could look past it. Overall, it was an enjoyable read.
Ivy H
This is a beautiful second chance love story filled with passion, tremendous angst and MC's who each believe the other had been guilty of betrayal. Eoin and Maggie are star crossed lovers; their dilemma is similar to that of Arthur and Anna but unlike the couple from The Ranger, they had to wait about 7 long years for their HEA. Eoin MacLean's family are loyal to Robert the Bruce while Maggie is a MacDowell and her father, the MacDowell laird, hates Robert. Maggie was such a fiery, sexy redhead with a ...more
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hf-scotland
A total emotional roller coaster..I've kept awake till 3 am just to finish it, and I've laughed and hoped and despaired with Eoin and Margaret.

Monica McCarty is one of the few authors who captures medieval Scotland in all its brutality and grandeur- in fact, her fact-weaving-with-fiction Highland Guards are some of my best Historical Romance reads. It's a testament to her skill that 10 books into the series, she writes on themes of thwarted chances and redemption, and comes away absolutely succ
Mar 26, 2015 marked it as to-read
That cover! :o Quite refreshing. ;) Much more crisp with more details and depth. Love it!
3.5 Stars.
I liked it but it wasn't my favorite. Some things put me off a bit. Great Epilogue though.
I was so frustrated while reading this one and it was all due to Eoin. I found him to be a judgmental asshole! Time and time again he jumped to conclusions and didn't listen to his instincts, instead let others influence him and make him believe the worst about Maggie. I didn't fault her for her choices, how could someone live like that. Yet Maggie always seemed to give Eoin a second chance, which drove me nuts, I wanted her to just be done with him, as she deserved better. But with that said I ...more
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The writing flows easily; the characters are developed well, and the historical Scottish setting is researched nicely. I felt like it transported me and immersed  back to Scotland in 1305. 
Debra Taylor
Jul 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing

The Striker is one of the most amazing and heartwrenching novels in this series. I really loved this one !

This book is number ten in the series and most definitely my favorite story yet. The story opened in "present time" as Eoin was planning a surprise attack to capture the last greatest opposition to the Bruce crown. There was one complication though being that the Dugald MacDowell happens to be the father of Eoin's wife. This is where the story jumped back in time and showed how E
...deceit and betrayal!

Eoin MacLean's decision to become one of Robert the Bruce's strike force team, The Highland Guards, plays havoc with his personal life. But then Eoin wasn't expecting to be captivated by a wild, red headed, bewitching young woman, Margaret MacDowell, whose father's enmity is legend.
Happiness is replaced by anger. Eoin's promise to not reveal the secret of the Highland Guards is ripe ground for mistrust between himself and Margaret to erode to the point of
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
As good as the previous ones. I was afraid of flashbacks but we have 2 great parts.
And we have a release date - November 24th! For Eoin MacLean, I will *try* to be patient.
A Klue
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the story of redemption and second chance.

When I first read about Eoin MacLean in The Chief, the first in the "Highland Guard" series, I didn't thought his marriage to MacDowell's daughter was a love match. Or that later on, their story would break my heart with such great obstacle in their path.

I wouldn't recommend this to be read as a standalone as reader wouldn't get the brethren and dynamic among the whole Highland Guard members, and the same occurrences in some of the bo
Originally Reviewed For: Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy

Once again Monica McCarty writes a completely believable about her Highland Guard. A Series set in the upheavals of Scotland, a time of The Bruce and a man who would be King. During the war The Bruce has set up his own set of secret soldiers, highland era special ops if you will. These men have been trained to be invisible but there are always chances they will be caught.

The Striker tells the story of one time when all the secr
Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"
The Striker is bk 10 in the Highland Guard series. Its Eoin MacLean and Lady Maragret MacDowells story. Eoin and Maragret fell in love at the beginning of Robert The Bruce take over of Scotland. They marry Maragret was only 18 and her father takes sides with King Edward of England. What Maragret doesn't know is that her new husband is already a Highland Guard for Robert. Eoins takes Maragret to his home at Gylen Castle. Maragret is cruelly treated by Eoins mother, sisters and his Clan even his b ...more
Title: The Striker
Series: Highland Guard #10
Author: Monica McCarty
Genre: Historical Scottish Romance
Pages: 416
Heat Level: 2 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

After my personal disappointment with the last book in this series, I was apprehensive about reading this one. I'm so glad I did though because it was fantastic. It had everything you'd expect from a Monica McCarty novel.

Nov 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is something about McCarty's books that just draws you in and refuses to let go. She has a way with her worlds (and words!) that puts you right there, so you're experiencing every heart break, every loving word, every betrayal, and every laugh.

Striker was no different. I was engulfed in every word from page one, until the very end. This story was filled with so many trust issues, so much love, and a lot of angst, that it really kept me inrigued for what would happen next.

While I felt for
XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Ah the joys of a lack of communication. Eoin and Margaret are seemingly from opposite sides but there's just something that draws them to eachother that surpasses any potential barriers. Due to misunderstandings, they are estranged and Eoin lets her believe he is dead. When she is set to remarry, he reappears and throws everyone's plans into upheaval. It's quite the epic story with a very strong historical plot and characterization that shows true talent. Extremely good read.

ARC rece
Elfina Renee
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Review soon to follow! Pulled an all nightier for this five star read!
Kate McMurray
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, historical
I picked up this book at a library sale a couple of years ago and it's been languishing in my giant TBR, but I finally got to it. I haven't read much medieval romance, but I'm sure my thought process when I looked at the blurb was "Scotland during time of Robert the Bruce? Yes, please."

I was not disappointed! There's a ton of real history in the book, including several real historical figures. The names were a little tricky to follow (there are MacDowells and MacDougalls and several real histor
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What do you get when you mix a legal career, a baseball career, motherhood, and a love of history with a voracious reader? In my case, a Historical Romance Author.

Like most writers, I’ve always loved to read. Growing up in California there was always plenty to do outside, but all too often I could be found inside curled up with a book (or two or three). I started with the usual fare: T

Other books in the series

Highland Guard (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • The Chief (Highland Guard, #1)
  • The Hawk (Highland Guard, #2)
  • The Ranger (Highland Guard, #3)
  • The Viper (Highland Guard, #4)
  • The Saint (Highland Guard, #5)
  • The Recruit (Highland Guard, #6)
  • The Hunter (Highland Guard, #7)
  • The Raider (Highland Guard, #8)
  • The Arrow (Highland Guard, #9)
  • The Rock (Highland Guard, #11)
“Although, we might want to come up with a different story to tell our children. I don't think 'Father ravished Mummy against a wall so he had to marry her' is exactly the kind of lesson in courtship we want to impart.” 4 likes
“Brigid was the riggings to her sail. She didn’t let her get carried away. Well, too carried away.” 3 likes
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