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The Rock

(Highland Guard #11)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,929 ratings  ·  231 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty continues her Highland Guard series in this eleventh steamy historical romance set against the sweeping backdrop of the Scottish Highlands.

The first time he caught sight of Elizabeth Douglas, Thomas MacGowan thought she was a princess. To the son of the castle blacksmith, the daughter of the powerful Lord of Douglas might as
Mass Market Paperback, 420 pages
Published December 29th 2015 by Pocket Books
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
*An ARC was given in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the writer and the publisher for the opportunity to read this.*

The Rock has got to be the biggest letdown of the century.

Yes, it was brilliantly written, I'll give it that. But it had very little going for it in terms of the plot and the characters. The supposed main conflict—the one that centred on Elizabeth's brother—was weakly executed and resolved very early on in the story, leaving us with the one that focused on Elizabeth and
Originally posted on The Book Nympho

Thom MacGowan and Elizabeth Douglas became friends as young children. What made it unusual was the difference in their status: she's the daughter of the Lord of Douglas and he's the son of the Castle's blacksmith. When Thom becomes of age and his feelings transform to something deeper, Elizabeth doesn't see things the same way and his friendship with her brother, James (The Black) Douglas fractures. Thom decides to pursue his dream of becoming a Knight, creati
2.5 stars

Sadly this book doesn't work for me. I had no issue with MacGowan most of the story; but the heroine here, Lady Elizabeth Douglas, felt like typical brainless blonde personified. Their not-romance-only-friends back and forth dragged on over three hundred fifty pages of the book that had me grit my teeth the whole time.

Monica McCarty's writing, as always, is great. She has a knack to twist a historical or legendary tale and figures into interesting fictions. She wrote the story in tw
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Monica McCarty has to be my favorite writer in the genre. Her books take me at least 4-5 hours to read (very engrossed reading too) and I always want to read every word. A great writer with superb storytelling talents. Her probes at the human condition, desires and regrets, I am again and again surprised by the poignancy in her observations of human interactions, romantic or not.

The review below concerns ONLY the story itself. It is not a reflection of the quality of the book. It is a personal r
Jessica *The Lovely Books*
Dec 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
When I first started the book, I felt like it was going to be one I loved. The beginning started off very charming when we meet the two leads as they are children. Then they grow up and Thom, who's been in love with Elizabeth his whole stinkin' life, is finally ready to have a future with the woman he loves. Just one tiny problem, she doesn't love him and never did. All those times she said she wanted to marry him, we're all silly games. Say what?

I can't tell you how much I HATED Elizabeth. I fu
Marta Cox
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews, netgalley
Well this the latest addition to Ms McCartys Highland Guard series took me on a journey that at times had me not really liking the two lead characters. I will go further and say there is a supporting character who really should know better too after he nearly royally messed up his own life ! Alas no these far too stubborn Scots just keep hurting each other and you know what? Sometimes ostriches and the act of burying their heads in the sand was the thought that dominated my thoughts!
Thom is the
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, applebook
ARC from Netgalley/Gallery Books for honest review. Thank you!!!

Monica McCarty is one of my favorite author's and there have only been a few times that she's disappointed me. I can't say enough of how much I have enjoyed the Highland Guard series and am sad to know that there is only one more book to go, The Ghost.

So here are my thought's on The Rock. First I'll start with something I really wish that the author had done to clarify and help establish the actions of the heroine in this story at
XxTainaxX Curvy and Nerdy
I've gotta say that my stars are mostly for Thom. He was an awesome MC with a big heart and eyes only for one woman. Elizabeth was blind to what was right in front of her and did not appreciate her good fortune until it was almost too late. She is one of my least favored heroines and while I see the author's point in that "those were the times" where social status was everything, it seems that Elizabeth took a hell of along time to grow. Not my fave of the series, but I'm still glad I read it.

Nov 15, 2015 rated it did not like it
got a copy thru netgalley

didn't like it sorry :( the heroine was really stupid and the ending kinda rushed :(
Chris  C - A Midlife Wife
You know the feeling when you fall in love with a series. You cannot wait for the next installment to come out. You may even pre-purchase it so you never miss a book. That is the feeling I am getting with the Highlander Guard series by Monica McCarty.

The author has a gift with her highly researched historical settings and fine details in this series. The Rock is no different in that you are taken away to another time and place to be thrust into a world that we cannot imagine living in. The descr
The Rock by Monica McCarty is a 2015 Ballantine publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher as an XOXpert, the official street team of XOXO After Dark.

This eleventh installment in the Highland Guard series starts off like a sweet fairy tale when Thomas McGowan becomes friends with Jamie and Elizabeth Douglas as children. Although Elizabeth was only six years old, she proclaimed that one day she was going to marry Thom. But, as they grew up, Thom’s
Saint Monique
2 'irritating' stars

I'm really pissed. I barely finished The Rock, because it was so annoying. I love this author and I love this series, but this book - NOPE!!! I've not been that pissed since I've read The Duke of Sin. Ok, let's start at the beginning. It's quite hard to find good medieval romance. Middle Ages is not an exactly romantic era, so it's understandable that a lot of medieval romances are usually written more like fairy-tales with knights in shining armor etc. At least that's how I
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well, that story just did not sit well with me. I expected more historical influence not just in political point of view but also believable relations between characters considering the society's ways at the time as it was the case in the previous books in this series.

Anyway, I had barely managed to come to an end. I only insisted because of the appearances of real members of Guard and as I want my honor of reading every single item of this series untouched.

Speaking of honor... Thom, the hero, w
Kristi Hudecek-Ashwill
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Do you remember when I asked you to jump to that tree?"
She nodded. How could she forget? It was one of the most terrifying things she'd ever done in her life.
"I'm asking you to do that again. I'm asking you to believe in me--to have a little faith. I'm asking you to jump." ~~Thom MacGowan with Elizabeth Douglas

Oh, those words hit me right in the heart. Thom MacGowan is the son of a blacksmith. Elizabeth Douglas is noble and the sister of James Douglas (see The Knight, Book 7.5 of this series fo
Krista Claudine Baetiong
This is the eleventh book from the series Highland Guard, an elite band of secret warriors chosen by Robert the Bruce to lead his army and aid his bid to the Scottish throne. Infamous for their bold but dangerous missions and covert identities, they are referred to by both supporters and foes as “Phantoms”. Within themselves they call each other by nicknames, which serve as a hint to their distinctive military expertise or specialization in the area of warfare. In this story, “Rock” is the monik ...more
Nov 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was so excited to read the latest Highland Guard book. It's background as you probably know is about Robert the Bruce and his battles against the English. He has picked the men who are known for their talents in warfare. The highlanders are a special force who are loyal to one another and always have each others back. It's so nice to read about those men and how they met their soul mates.
When I read the prologue, it was so special to see a little girl befriend a boy not of her class. She was a
These just get better and better!
I swear each time I finish a book in in the series I am sure it's my absolute favorite, then I read the next and feel the same. I was so looking forward to reading Thom story. I can't believe McCarty managed to exceed my expectation - AGAIN.

Well, this one definitely is my favorite in the series...

.. for now


Funny enough I read this right With Every Breath- and I would have told you before I started this, the two books could not be more different. One is a new
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
The 3 stars are for Thom who has to be one of the best H's I came across ... too bad he was paired with the idiot h; she didn't drserve him ...
He needed to get rid of her and find another woman ... but I guess since he always loved her, he took her as she was ... lol ...
But honestly, this h is one of the whiniest h's I have come across ... and a true gold digger ...
Trudy Miner
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The next-to-last book in the amazing Highland Guard series by Monica McCarty is about Thom MacGowan, a smithy's son, who met Laird Douglas' daughter Lady Elizabeth when they were both children and he saved her from falling out of a tree. Inseparable as children, as adults the difference in station and status was insurmountable. Unfortunately, Thom fell in love with Elizabeth when he was nine years old but Elizabeth only saw him as a dear and loving friend. Humiliated at her rejection, Thom leave ...more
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn’t think I could dislike a heroine in this series more than Cate, from The Arrow, but I was wrong….I absolutely hated Elizabeth the only time I liked her was the portion of the book when she was six. Unfortunately she still had the thought process of a six year old at twenty-four. She was a completely oblivious moron and she frankly ruined this book for me. I wanted Thom to have better, he sure as hell deserved better than her and it annoyed me that he had anything to do with her snooty as ...more
Apr 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Title: The Rock
Series: Highland Guard #11
Author: Monica McCarty
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 416
Heat Level: 2 out of 4 flames
Overall Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by Kay the Snitch Bitch

Tommy was a smithy's son who fell in love with his Laird's daughter. He, a village girl, the Laird's son and the Laird's daughter all grew up playing together, They spent countless hours running around the estate grounds and village.. Despite their class differences, they were inseparable. As they grew
There were many times I got annoyed with the characters in this one. I get that Tommy instantly crushed on Ella when they first met as kids, that no girl could live up to his princess. But come one, how oblivious could he be that she didn't see him that way. He never told her, so when she dismissed he shouldn't have been so upset. Then there is Jamie and his double standard. Of course he wanted to keep Ella away from Tommy, but didn't stop to think how he wronged Tommy's sister Joanna. Of course ...more
Edited 3/31/15: I'm not sure how I feel about the cover. It's great, don't get me wrong, but I always liked how you never saw the model's face on the other Highland Guard novels. They gave me enough for my imagination to have fun. ;)

Edited 3/27/15: And it's Thom & Elizabeth Douglas' story, both of THE KNIGHT fame! I knew it! Very Exciting!

I have to wait until December to find out who The Rock is...although I'm pretty sure I have his identity nailed down.
Marie Andersson
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Monica McCarty is one of my favorite scottish historical romance authors.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This one took me a bit to finish, and there was a reason why. It wasnt McCarty's best book, but it also wasnt terribly bad. Full review coming soon. ...more
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Very good story in the series. For once, the hero is not rich while the heroine has a higher position than him.
It's better to have read the novella "The Knight" before.
Leah Green
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about Thom "Rock" MacGowan. The Blacksmith's son. Turned soldier. His whole life he has been in love with the unattainable Elizabeth Douglas. They met as children. Grew up together. She is sent away for a few year's for her own safety. He brother, James "The Black" Douglas, is a fierce member of the Highland Guard.

Upon her return Thom professes his love for Elizabeth. She rejects him. She has never seen him as anything more then a friend and trusted confidant. He is wounded by her
Dec 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Again Monica McCarty pens another spectacular brilliant read in book eleven of her phenomenal best selling "A Highland Guard Novel" series that I have absolutely loved each and everyone including this one titled "The Rock". Monica McCarty is one of the most talented writers in the entire Scottish historical romance fiction genre in my opinion. I can't get enough of her riveting, fast paced page turners that blend true factional history and her own fictional adventure about Robert Bruce bid and h ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I love Ms. McCarty's Highland Guard series, but this book annoyed me so much. Well not the book, but Elizabeth, the heroine. I think Thom should just get over her and continue with his life. I mean... every chapter was the same thing... Add in a bit too much plot for some poor pacing and this was pretty boring read for me.
I really love reading the author's notes at the end, wherein she details what is historically accurate and what she created for the story and that part of the book saved this r
A Klue
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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: The Little Ho

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 Striker (Highland Guard, #10)

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
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