Author: Monica McCarty

Guest Review: Going Dark by Monica McCarty

Posted September 14, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Going Dark by Monica McCartyReviewer: Jen
Going Dark by Monica McCarty
Series: The Lost Platoon #1
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 352
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars

The members of a top secret SEAL Team can't keep their passion under wraps in this thrilling contemporary romantic suspense series from New York Times bestselling author Monica McCarty.

Like Rome's Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.

After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.

Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she'd intended, there is only one man she can turn to. . . .

She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven't exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he's the kind of man she can depend on. Because he's gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her. . . .

In Going Dark, marine ecologist Annie has come to Scotland to join a protest against a new offshore drilling location. Her boyfriend is the one who recruited her to come and stage a sit-in on the rig, but once they get to Scotland she feels uneasy about his behavior and about his friends. When she discovers what the group is really plotting, she has to put her trust in Dan, the mysterious captain of their chartered boat. Soon, the two are running for their lives from the people Annie has made angry, but the situation threatens to expose Dan’s own secrets, with deadly consequences.

This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I liked the action, and I liked the the times when Dan and Annie were trying to plot out strategy. One thing this book does that I’ve not seen much before is attempt to address politics. Annie is an environmental protester and committed to things like civil disobedience. Dan is a conservative ex-SEAL who has little sympathy for protests or what he sees as liberal whining. There’s no overt discussion of politics per se, but the two do debate lots of current issues. It’s not like Dan and Annie spent the whole book arguing, but it was enough to be noticeable.

On the one hand, I kind of admired that McCarty even attempted to address political differences in a romance novel. Often, the people in romances have jobs that clearly relate to politics and current events, but that is almost never acknowledged. You don’t think SEALs would have strong opinions about current events given that they are involved in so many of them? To pretend otherwise seems silly. I guess I appreciated the effort! However, I also found the debates kind of annoying. While I think Annie was a bit more open to nuance in some things than Dan, overall I found both frustratingly stuck in their opinions. I ended up thinking less of both characters. I can see why authors just avoid these topics, because I was annoyed at both Dan and Annie so frequently, and politics was just one more difference I wasn’t convinced they could surmount.

Differences really were my main issue with the book, though. I was convinced that Dan and Annie were in lust, and I was convinced that they made a great pair when the chips were down. I was not, however, convinced that they would make a great pair when they were back to their real lives. As I already discussed, they had really different views politically, but more than that they wanted different things out of life. Even if Dan gets his tangled problems sorted out, is he really going to want to settle down? Would Annie be happy with a spouse who was frequently gone and, more importantly, not excited by any of the things she’s excited by? I just couldn’t see it working long term.

I didn’t have a bad time reading this book, but neither was I captivated.

Grade: 3 out of 5


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Review: Highlander Unchained by Monica McCarty

Posted January 17, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Highlander Unchained by Monica McCartyReviewer: Holly
Highlander Unchained by Monica McCarty
Series: MacLeods of Skye Trilogy #3

Publication Date: September 25th 2007
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: four-stars

Lachlan Maclean will do whatever it takes to protect his clan–even if it means abducting the most willful woman in the Highlands with the secret intention of wooing her for marriage. A born searing sensual leader possessing brute strength, and an imposing command, Lachlan is unprepared for the beautiful spitfire Flora MacLeod, who jeopardizes his plans to save his clan, and digs beneath his hard, chiseled exterior to expose a tenderness that may be his undoing.
The greatest marriage prize in the Highlands, Flora is determined at all costs to avoid her mother’s fate of being bartered away as a political pawn. Vowing to make her captor pay for his ruthlessness, she boldly engages him in a battle of wills, sweetening the challenge with dangerous passion–even as the lingering curse and deadly ghosts of a past tragedy reach out to thwart a tender love that has yet to be spoken.
From the Paperback edition.

I got this in eBook format, and didn’t bother to look at the cover. I have to say I’m rather surprised at it is. I checked out the covers for her other “Highlander” books and I’d say Monica McCarty got blessed by the cover fairies. Niiice.

I decided to pick this up after reading some great online reviews for the series, and I can’t say I’m disappointed.

Flora McCleod is regarded as the biggest marriage prize currently on the market, not only because her powerful family connections, but also because of her extreme wealth. As such, she’s been courted by all sorts of men. The problem is, she isn’t interested in any one of them, and more than that, she isn’t interested in being married off for duty’s sake alone. Her mother suffered that fate – not once, but four times – and expressed to her daughter the need to choose a husband on her own. So Flora does. Only on her way to elope, her carriage is set upon by Highland Barbarians, and Flora is taken hostage.

Lochlan is a Highland chief who’s willing to do whatever needs done in the best interest of his clan. To protect them, he needs to secure Flora’s hand in marriage. But due to a bargain he made with Flora’s cousin, he can’t just force her into the marriage. She has to come into it willingly. But wooing the Holyrood Hellion (as Flora is so aptly nicknamed) turns out to be much harder than Lochlan ever anticipated. Because though she’s willful and stubborn – and delights in pushing him as far as possible, and because as he comes to care for her, he understands her reasons for pushing him, and her need to be in control of her future – or as much as possible.

The chemistry between the two was good, and though I understood her reasons for not wanting to be forced into a marriage not of her choosing, I think Flora took her stubbornness just a bit too far. Because his brothers life is in danger, Lochlan has to do what he has to do, and I think it took Flora just a bit too long to see past her own fears and preconceptions and to recognize that even Lochlan, a Highland Chief, is bound by duty.

But in the end, though it took her awhile, Flora was finally able to move on and see that she was letting her mother’s life dictate her own, so the book was saved.

Overall, a good read. Not absolutely fall out of your seat amazing, but nice enough to spend a few hours with.

4.0 out of 5

Apparently this is the 3rd book in a trilogy (or perhaps series??), which I didn’t know when I started reading it. Isn’t that how it always is for me? The series is as follows:

Highlander Untamed
Highlander Unmasked
Highlander Unchained

I have the other two books waiting TBR, and I’m planning to read them soon. You should, too.

You can buy it here or here in ebook format.


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