Between my obsession of UF, Paranormal and Dystopian books, I LOVE me some historical romances. Highlanders, smexy times and heaving bosoms are my perfect trifecta in a good romance.
The Chief is the story of Tormod MacLeod. Chief of Clan MacLeod and Scotland's "Greatest Warrior of All". The story begins shortly after the death of William Wallace, prior to the crowning of Robert the Bruce as King of Scotland. Tor has remained neutral in the rising tensions between England and Scotland. His first priority is to protect his clan from a war like the one that almost decimated them so many years before. This is his one and only focus and he does not have time for trivial matters of the heart.
Enter Christina Fraser, daughter of Lord Andrew Fraser, former Sheriff of Stirlingshire and recently released prisoner. Lord Fraser will do anything to marry off his daughters to anyone that will offer him the most advantageous or financially beneficial deal. In order to protect her meek sister, Christina reluctantly agrees to a scheme against Tor that will insure his marriage to Christina. I won't tell you what is involved as it is truly despicable. However, Father of the Year Fraser gets what he wants in the end and a marriage made in hell is born.
As previously stated, I love me some smexy highlander romance. However, I found the initial "sexual tension" of Tor a little distracting. The initial part of the book (by initial I mean the first 250 pages) is spent listening to Tor wax poetically about Christina and her ability to innocently bring “heaviness to his groin”
Warning! The following female mannerisms may induce unintentional cock stirrage:
1. Tucking a lock of hair behind your ear
2. Smiling coyly as you peek over your lashes (not sure how you
"peek over your lashes" but apparently men dig it.)
3. Smelling incredible or fresh and innocent
4. Throwing your arms around a man in a child-like embrace (eww!)
5. Cleaning the fireplace
6. Cleaning the floor
7. Eating figs
8. Walking fast
No wonder Mel Gibson was so frustrated in Braveheart. With all this wanton womanly behavior, it's a wonder he accomplished anything.
What I did like about The Chief was the back story. One of the conditions of marrying Lady Fraser was that Tor would now have to secretly train a group of elite warriors to help in Robert the Bruce's quest to free Scotland. Tor has accumulated an interesting group of men/warriors. MacRuiri, MacKay, MacSorley, MacGregor, MacKinnon........and Gordon, all make up this merry band of misfits that bring more of what I love about HR to the story than the main story line.
I do like Monica McCarty's writing. Her details in the political aspects of the time gave me a better understanding of the slippery slope that some of the clan chiefs had to manuever. It certainly had more depth than a typical book of this genre.
I adored Tor. I love a complete jerk with a soft side. Christina grated on me. I need my heroines with some backbone and the neediness was very excessive. I found myself shaking the book at times because she was so pathetic.
In any case, I will continue on with the series. I'm happy MacSorely is the protagonist in the next book (poor Gordon!) as he was a favorite of mine.