The Rogue by Monica McCarty
Overview by Amazon:
What’s not to love? Not only is Sir Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, one of the most important and wealthiest men in the kingdom, he’s charming, devastatingly handsome, and the favored nephew of King Robert the Bruce. Even so, when Isabel “Izzie” Stewart meets the vaunted knight, she’s glad he’s her cousin’s soon-to-be betrothed and not hers. He takes himself far too seriously, to her mind, and seems to be acting out the role of the “perfect” knight. In her experience, men who are too good to be true usually are. But when Izzie starts to wonder whether her first impressions might have been wrong, she discovers a complex, compelling man who is far from perfect and more seductive than she ever imagined.
I was so interested to read this book. The male lead, Sir Randolph has made appearances in the Highland Guard books before. However, it wasn’t pretty. His past was full of arrogance and indignation. He switched sides at one point and supported the English. His return to the side of Robert The Bruce has made him learn a lot of hard lessons. His honour is even more important to him than ever – he must never be found wanting again.
So the problem becomes that even though he’s about to become engaged to Elizabeth, he’s attracted to her cousin Izzie. It isn’t Elizabeth that torments him or makes him feel things he’d rather not. He is trying to fight his attraction to her with all that he has.
I adored Izzie. These characters have been featured in the book The Rock, and I was desperately trying to remember all the plot points so that I could figure out what was going to happen! Izzie is opposite to her cousin. She is lively and witty and always seem to have a smirk on her face. Thomas notices her because she doesn’t fall at his feet to flatter and impress him. In fact, she is often laughing at him and his stiff attitude. Izzie is a mystery and challenge to Thomas and you know what that means! The chase is on!
Izzie and Thomas spend time together and she gets to know the man behind the reputation. She challenges him and makes him question if his honour is the most important thing in the world. Like all of her books, Monica McCarty creates a world where these two lovers are fighting for a love that is challenged by war, politics and social norms. Considering this is a novella, it features a beautifully crafted love story that is fully developed. I felt that I completely understood the characters, the issues and the difficulties they face. It’s such a different world that Izzie and Thomas inhabit, yet thanks to the skill of Monica McCarty, not only was I immersed, I understood.
Monica writes great love scenes. Since this is a novella, we only get one, but it’s a great scene! Lots of lust and eagerness to fan the fires between Izzie and Thomas. His prowess in the bedroom is mentioned frequently, but I kind of loved that he felt like a lad facing Izzie and the importance of their union. That is what makes these books winners – the depth of emotion you feel from the scenes and actions of the characters.
I can’t say enough about this series and book. You will not regret getting lost in this series. Every single one has been outstanding! In fact, as I write this I am already plotting which book I will go back and read this weekend. Through the eyes of Monica McCarty, I have fallen head over heels for Scotland. I love the history, the fierce passion for the land and the deep, rich culture. Wondering what to read next? Start this amazing series with The Chief and let me know when you get to The Rogue – I promise not to say I told you so!