Tag: 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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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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Excerpt (+ a Giveaway): The Recruit by Monica McCarty

Posted October 19, 2012 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 15 Comments

Today we have an excerpt (click the widget to read) of Monica McCarty‘s The Recruit to share with you.

Scotland’s King Robert the Bruce is retaking his kingdom from the invading English. To win, he’ll need all the grit and courage of his elite band of warriors, the Highland Guard, men who fight without fear and love without limits.

Fiery, aggressive, and bold, Kenneth Sutherland is a true champion—skilled with any weapon and driven to win. Now Kenneth is ready for his greatest challenge: joining Robert the Bruce’s secret army to fight among the elite. Kenneth’s best chance to attain that honor is by winning the Highland Games. Focused and prepared for victory, he is caught off guard by a lovely wisp of a woman—and a stolen moment of wicked seduction. Her innocent arousal and her shameless hunger fire his blood. He will win his place in the guard—and in Mary of Mar’s bed.

The ruggedly handsome hero-in-the-making stirs a heart that should know better. Mary vows that her surrender will be sport only—no promises, no heartbreak, just one night of incredible passion. Nothing, she swears, will persuade her to give up her hard-wrought independence and put her fate in the hands of another powerful man. But with every gentle touch and heart-pounding kiss, Kenneth makes her want more. Now Mary wants his heart. But is this determined champion willing to surrender everything for love?

Giveaway alert: We have one copy of The Recruit to give away. Leave a comment on this post telling us what you think of Highlanders for a chance to win. Please note: this contest is open to residents of the US only. You must include a valid email address with your comment to be eligible. Contest ends 10/19/2012 @ 11:59pm.

 This book is available from Ballantine. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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What I’ve Been Reading This Week

Posted March 23, 2009 by Tracy in Reviews | 13 Comments

Another busy week here at the homestead. With both kids having projects due it’s been nutty around here. Then I had both of my sisters fly in from different states for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party, which I’ll blog about later this week. Needless to say there was a lot of running around.

This was apparently the week for my kids to say cute/funny things – this one was from my oldest daughter and just shows you how the 11 year old brain works. The 2 of us were driving home from the anniversary party on Friday which was held in Pasadena, which is about 45 minutes from home. It was about 10:45pm and we were getting on the freeway.

Oldest: Wow, there’s a lot of people out people out and it’s really late.

Me: Well, it’s late for you but in this city there are a lot of people who don’t even leave their houses to go out until 9 or 10 at night.

She thought about this for a moment
Oldest: I guess that makes sense since McDonald’s is open all night. (which it’s not)

I, of course, burst out laughing

Oldest: What? McFlurry’s!!

Omg is that hilarious? I couldn’t stop laughing it was too cute.

Before I get on to the books I’ve read let me announce the winner of the Highland Warrior book giveaway:


Congratulations! Please send your snail mail address to redneyrae at ca dot rr dot com and I’ll get that out to you asap.

So my books for the week:

Highland Warrior by Monica McCarty was my first read. My uber mini review is below. This was my first read of this author and I really enjoyed it. The first part of the book was better in my opinion than the second…but still pretty darned good.

Next was The Diary of Cozette by Amanda McIntyre. Wow – really good book. There were a couple of aspects of the book that weren’t really my thing but it was written so well that I enjoyed it anyway. You can read Barbara’s review here and Amy’s review here if you want more about the book.

Next I tried to read Casual Hex by Vicki Lewis Thompson and couldn’t get past about 70 pages. Not that the book was bad it just wasn’t my type of book. I think it was a little too chick-lit”y” for me – a little too cute for my tastes.

For my TBR book (that’s what I’m calling the book that I read 1x per week from my tbr that’s older than 3 months) this week I read Insatiable Desire by Rita Herron. This is the first book in her Demonborn series. While I liked the book there was something about it that didn’t gel right for me. I’m not sure if I can explain it but it was just a feeling of my skin prickling while I read. Maybe it was the fact that the evil demon in the book was killing women by using their worst fear against them. If they had a fear of heights he’d push them off of a cliff. If they had a fear of suffocation he’d wrap them in cellophane from head to toe. IDK that I can put my finger on it but I’m not sure if I could sit through that again so I’m debating whether I want to read the rest of the series.

After that I read Bound and Determined by Shayla Black (writing as Shelley Bradley) for The Book Binge. I’ll let you know when my review is posted.

I read a novella by Joanne Wylde called Catherine’s Awakening next. About a widow and her brother-in-law coming together after his brother dies. about Catherine learning that she can trust a man and still maintain some independence. Pretty cute. Love cowboys.

Last but not least I read Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James and it was….you’ll just have to wait and see. lol I’ll post a review this week.

Happy Reading
(And my pictures are wonked out and I can’t seem to fix it – I really need to learn html! lol)

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Highland Warrior by Monica McCarty Mini Review and Book Giveaway

Posted March 19, 2009 by Tracy in Reviews | 54 Comments

The ruthless enforcer of Scotland’s most powerful clan, Jamie Campbell is the most feared man in the Highlands. Raw physical strength coupled with cunning political acumen make him a powerful force with whom few men will dare to reckon. Determined to see the Highlands tamed of its lawlessness and unrest, Jamie’s objectives are clear: under the guise of seeking the Chief of Lamont’s daughter’s hand in marriage, discover whether the Lamonts are harboring any outlawed MacGregors. But guise turns to desire when he meets the beautiful spitfire who rules the household with a dainty iron fist. The fierce Highlander never expects that the woman he wants above all others will test his duty and loyalty to his clan to the breaking point.

Cosseted and adored by her family, Caitrina Lamont has no intention of abandoning her beloved father and doting four older brothers for a husband—especially a Campbell. But Jamie Campbell is nothing like the parade of suitors that Caitrina’s father usually traipses across their hall. His raw masculinity threatens her in a way no man ever had before. But when Caitrina’s idyllic world is shattered, could the man she blames for her tragedy become her only hope for the future?

I love a good Highlander romance and this was a good one. I loved Jamie – he knew who he was, what he wanted, who he was loyal to and didn’t waver from that. Caitrina I didn’t like quite as much but she still had a lot of spirit and loved her family dearly. There were some points toward that the end of the book where I wanted to slap her silly but I have to say she did learn, eventually, from her mistakes. I’m pretty sure Jamie carried this book, IMHO. That being said, I’ve already bought the next book in the series, Highland Outlaw, and look forward to reading it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Book Giveaway: I haven’t a clue how I ended up with 2 copies of Highland Warrior but I guess that just works in your favor, doesn’t it?

Go ahead and leave a message on this post up until 11:59pm on Saturday, March 21st and I’ll pick 1 winner and post it on Sunday in my “What I’ve Been Reading This Week” post. Oh, and I don’t have a problem shipping out of the US so anyone can enter. Good luck!

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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
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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 how..hot 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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