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The Guardian

(The Return of the Highlanders #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,634 ratings  ·  348 reviews
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
Mass Market Paperback, 354 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Forever (first published April 13th 2011)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  4,634 ratings  ·  348 reviews

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I’ve reached my limit with this book. It is too irritating for me to continue. The hero is an immature, selfish pig. He leaves for five years after being forced to marry his childhood friend and ignores any attempts from his father to get him to come home. He’s angry that he was forced to marry Sileas—he’s horrified at being stuck with such a scrawny, unattractive girl—and he blames her for getting them into that situation. In his mind he’s not married since he didn’t consummate the
Laura the Highland Hussy
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: highlander-books
I didn't think the back of the book made this one sound all the interesting, to be honest, but man was I mistaken!

From the first word I was hooked. I read so late that my husband actually turned the light off on me! I put it down,and while the kids were at swim lessons, I picked up my Nook and kept reading. I felt so much anticipation from this one, I swear I have heart palpitations.

The book opens with 4 boys visiting a witch. I was intrigued. Next up is a forced marriage. I was interested. Then
Stacey is Sassy
He comes good in the end...

This was definitely a more historically accurate romance than I've read in awhile. Forced marriages, clan wars and dodgy rulers were the norm. I know I should appreciate the author for her fine work in research but in a little way, it makes the journey to happiness a little rougher. Men were the rulers and could do as they pleased and who they pleased. Obviously, this does make romance a little tricky. We have to get past the hero being a douchewaffle because of
Duchess Nicole
While this book didn't blow me away, it did have all of the elements that I tend to like in a Highlander romance. I love those that are rich in Scottish history...obviously loosely based on real events, with an author's historical note. But the history and politics didn't at all override the romance, which is obviously the best part of the book to me.

Sileas (pronounced She-luss) was a pitiful young girl, she and her mother were both used as pawns in men's games of war and politics. I could
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I know it is not supposed to be a funny book but I can't help it. The characters are kind of comical and I have the impression that the story was trying very hard to be a serious adult romance but only turned out to be a teenage high school sweetheart kind of story.

The writing is ok but I find the style and plots.......simple. I had trouble maintaining interests because it was all too......ugh.....I don't have another word, simple. It is not a very complex book. The relationship between Sìleas
Oct 31, 2016 rated it did not like it
Ian MacDonald is a douche, Sìleas was a silly ninny girl. Therefore I did not enjoy this book.

Ian wanted nothing to do with Sìleas when he was forced to wed her. Granted she was 13. What girl looks good when they are 13? He leaves to fight and he comes back and he doesn't even recognize his own wife... again he was gone for 5 years and at the young age women change a lot but still. So Sìleas has been longing for Ian for 5 years. She has stayed with his family/clan and helped it survive. She
Lisa Kay
Not really what I was looking for, so take that into consideration when looking at my star rating. Clobbering the hero over the head with a frying pan several times in an animated cartoon such as Disney’s Tangled is funny. In this setting for Romancelandia, it didn’t work for me no matter how much he deserved it. (The dweeb.) ...more
Crystal ♥ RBtWBC
Apr 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Guardian is fiendishly good and a sensational start to a new series.

Ian MacDonald was forced to wed Sileas five years ago when she was but a child and him a young man, angered and blaming her for his misfortune he returns to France and the war there, all but forgetting the girl he left behind.
When Ian and his three best friends finally return to their homeland after the death of their Chieftain, they find it vastly different from how they left it and a tyrant in the Chieftain’s seat. But
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release: Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Imprint: Grand Central Publishing
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Return of the Highlanders Series
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy

Just what fans of Scottish Romance have been craving!

Ian has been Sìleas' keeper since she was just a small child. Awkward
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 17, 2011 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to this book because I loved the author's previous book, "Knight of Passion". Most of the reason why I loved that book so much was because I loved the hero, Jamie, and the romance. Here, I was disappointed in both of those aspects that I was really looking forward to.

There were many great characters in this book, but the hero, Ian, wasn't one of them. Sileas had what I like to call "Twilight" syndrome, where she is surrounded by great guys who respect her and care
The Guardian
3 Stars

When visiting a soothsayer, four young highland boys receive prophecies of their future brides. Ian MacDonald is told that he will marry twice - once for hate and once for love. Years later he is forced to wed a childhood friend and deserts her to fight in France. Upon his return, he discovers that gangly Síleas has become a beautiful and spirited young woman with little patience for a man who chose war over hearth and home. Is it too late for Ian to prove his love for her?

I loved every-bloody-thing about this book!!!

This is a tale of young love(not exactly)...second chances(not really)....and happily ever after (DEFINITELY!)

Ian intended on helping out a friend in need, turns out, he got himself held at knife point at the altar staring at his new bride, next to a drunken priest. Having no desire to be a married man, he deserts his bride for 5 years, only to come back home, to find a beauty so rare she takes his breath away and stops his heart. Too bad his "wife"
Jen Davis
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this Highlander love story! Ian and his three best friends are returning home to the Highlands after spending the past five years in France. His clan has barely survived through a terrible battle that killed their chieftain and badly wounded Ian's father. Ian's good friend Connor is next in line to take over the clan, but his uncle Hugh has taken advantage of his absence to take over leadership, himself. Now, Ian and his band of brothers must work to install Connor in his ...more
Barbara ★
I was rather disappointed in this series starter. I've always loved Ms. Mallory's Highlanders but Ian just came off as an arrogant ass. Yeah he's forced to marry a girl he doesn't want to marry (heck he didn't want to marry anyone really) but that's the way it was done in those times. You married to advance your family period. He was caught in a seemingly compromising situation and forced to marry a 13 year old girl. (He was rescuing her from a bad situation not behaving badly.) At the time he ...more
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed the intriguing and unique premise behind this story. Everything happens upside-down and backwards for the characters leaving them with a long and winding road to get back to where they should have started. Mallory paints a brilliant picture of the action and scenery in this tale, taking her audience on a brilliantly captivating, winding journey that had me smiling and guessing in turn.

The characters in this novel definitely had me alternating between laughing and beating my
Lea's Audiobooks Hensley
I'm listening as I wanted to hear narrator Derek Perkins. He is outstanding in voicing all these male characters and he doesn't squeak a bit with his female characters. Enjoying the story as well.

Finished. After meeting narrator Derek Perkins at APAC, I wanted to listen to one of his romance narrations and decided to do so with Margaret Mallory’s The Guardian, a medieval Highlander tale. It’s an above average Highlander adventure made even better by Perkins performance. He’s definitely a
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Scottish historical adventure romance
Rated 3.5 - For this month’s TBR Challenge, I chose THE GUARDIAN by Margaret Mallory because it’s a series I’ve been collecting to read. Our theme this month in Wendy the Super Librarian’s TBR Challenge 2016 is an award winner or nominee. THE GUARDIAN was an OKRWA National Readers’ Choice award winner for Historical in 2011, and since I have all the books in the series, it seemed the perfect choice.

Why was it in Dorine’s TBR? In 2012 I read THE WARRIOR for review, which is the third book in the
☆.。.:*・°☆Love2Read♡HEAs☆.。.:*・°☆ {Anne}
Rated 4.7 Stars

I don't often read Historical romances, but I do love those sexy highlanders for sure.

This was a wonderful story, off to the start of a hopefully great series.

The historical facts were presented exceptionally well which says a lot compared to other books.

The tale Ms. Mallory wove was a very interesting one indeed. It's about four friends that grew up together, as well as a little girl, that followed them everywhere. One of the boys, Ian, took her under his wing and became her
Oct 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: highlanders
Sileas and Ian grew up together. She was roughly two years younger then he. She was a bit of an awkward child with not a good home life and heir to Knock Castle and surrounding lands. She and Ian are thick as thieves and one night she ends up with her virtue compromised accidentally by Ian, therefore, these two are forced to wed against Ian's will. At the time she is 13 and he is about 15. Ian is so upset he takes off the morning after they are married and deserts her for five years. While he's ...more
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Guardian is book 1 in the Return of the Highlanders series, by Margaret Mallory . I am somewhat leery of Highlander stories, and historical fiction typically strongly rooted in inequality based upon class, gender, race, wealth, culture, and beliefs. I am a strong equalist. I took a dare to read this book shuddering to read about clan wars, forced marriages, and greed.

From the very beginning, I was certain I would not be able to finish over the dysfunctional class and clan issues. Stupidity
Shabby Girl ~ aka Lady Victoria
This book was just okay. To be honest, at about the third of the way through I thought about ditching it as the hero was annoying me greatly. I'm not sure if I should call him a hero, more like jerk. He had married the heroine a few years earlier when he was about 17 and she was about 13 when he accidentally compromised her. He promptly went off to fight in France and spent five years vowing to get rid of her when he returned as he thought she wasn't pretty enough. Okaaaay, I get that to some ...more
May 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
I detested the so-called "hero" of this book. Ian leaves his sweet, adoring new bride of convenience, (and marriage unconsummated), for five years because he found her too scrawny for his liking. Of course, pathetic Sileas remains faithful and true to this undeserving dirt bag who leaves her humiliated and unwanted. What doubly irks me is that the truly wonderful and patient man who worships and cherishes Sileas, he is saddled with the town whore who has been pumped by every man in the village ...more
Apr 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
What can I say, Margaret Mallory had me at "Ach." What a great Highland love story! Each of the characters had unique and endearing personalities. My heart truly went out to Sileas for everything she was made to endure and I resisted the urge to slap Ian upside his literary head many times - silly, glorious, devastatingly handsome Highlander warrior. He appears to suffer from the same foot in mouth, speak before thinking syndrome that men of today do (aka he lacks an edit button) ! The The ...more
Apr 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Let me start off by saying this is my First, yes you read it right, My FIRST Highlanders book EVER and Mallory made it a wonderful experience that I could never forget. I was completely blown away! Not only do you have a forced marriage, but you also get a husband who deserted his wife. There is just so many twists and turns in this amazing novel, but I cant tell all because it will have you not only wanting but needing to find out the rest of what happens and how this story will end.

Ian was a
Jewels ♥ My Devastating Reads
Mar 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical fiction fans, romance fans
I truly enjoyed this read. After being forced into marrying a thirteen year old girl, Ian MacDonald leaves the Highlands for five years and returns with the intention of annulling their marriage. I loved that the author, a self confessed ugly duckling herself, has Ian immediately fall in love with Sileas, now all grown up and stunningly beautiful, hardly the ugly duckling Ian had left behind. Of course, he's dumb enough to think she's still in love with him and will fall into bed with him. On ...more
Laura Kaye
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have been on a Highlander kick, so I was very excited to find Margaret Mallory's series. I really enjoyed the world Mallory built, the four lead male characters that will make up the series' heroes, and the heroine, Sileas. Sileas was tough and resilient and not easily trifled with, and it made her an incredibly sympathetic heroine I couldn't help but root for. It took me longer to warm up to Ian. His misgivings about his forced marriage were understandable, but I too often found his reactions ...more
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! I came to love all the MacDonald Clan. Oh those cousins were the best. I have to say that Duncan is my favorite and I cant wait for his book. Ian was just something else. I adored him. He was always sticking his foot in his mouth. lol There was such great moments in this book from me wanting to smack Ian upside his head to feeling Ian's pain and anger. This had plenty of action and a whole lot of lovin once it happened. Sileas was a great character as well. I loved ...more
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Guardian by Margaret Mallory is wonderful- full of plot twists that blew me away. I was extremely excited to receive this for review and giveaway because I adore Margaret's All the King's Men series. (If you haven't picked those up yet- do it!) And just like that series, I love this one already. Oh, the drama!

Sileas is a brilliant heroine. She was great and it was incredibly easy to like her and relate to her. Ian, her gorgeous highland warrior- a little harder to like. But by the end of
Apr 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book. I loved Ian, Connor, Duncan, and Alex as well. Not to mention Sileas, the heroine who is so strong and courageous. This book was very well written. I loved reading the banter between Sileas and Ian. I really felt sorry for Sileas and for all she went through during the years Ian was gone. It was wonderful reading the two of them fall in love. Sileas made it difficult for him, but he deserved it. Alex, Connor, and Duncan were great secondary characters and I am looking forward ...more
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Western and Medie...: BOM August, 2012: The Guardian, by Margaret Mallory 28 62 Aug 29, 2012 12:14PM  

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Margaret Mallory, a recovering lawyer, is thrilled to be writing exciting tales with sword-wielding heroes rather than briefs and memos. Since abandoning the law for romance, she's become a USA Today bestselling author, and her Scottish and medieval romances have won numerous honors, including National Readers' Choice Awards, RT Book Reviews' Best Scotland-Set Historical Romance, and a RITA ...more

Other books in the series

The Return of the Highlanders (4 books)
  • The Sinner (The Return of the Highlanders, #2)
  • The Warrior (The Return of the Highlanders, #3)
  • The Chieftain (The Return of the Highlanders, #4)