Winner, The National Readers’ Choice Award
Winner, The Maggie
Winner, Award of Excellence
Winner, Romance through the Ages
Finalist, The Readers Crown
Finalist, The Golden Quill
Finalist, The Lories
Nominee, RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Awards
Book I: THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS
by Margaret Mallory
Publisher: Grand Central
Release date: May 2011
Available now at:
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THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS: BOOK I
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 claim the bride he's long resisted.
As a young lass, Sìleas depended on Ian to play her knight in shining armor. But when his rescue attempt compromised her virtue, Ian was forced to marry against his wishes. Five years later, Sìleas has grown from an awkward girl into an independent beauty who knows she deserves better than the reluctant husband who preferred war to his wife. Now this devilishly handsome Highlander is finally falling in love. He wants a second chance with Sìleas - and he won't take no for an answer.
The room fell away as Ian stared at the young woman who stood in the glow of the firelight. Her hair was the most beautiful shade of red he had ever seen. It fell in gleaming waves and framed a face so lovely it squeezed his heart to look at her.
When she lifted her gaze and met his, the air went out of him. There was something very familiar about this lovely, green-eyed lass, but Ian could not place her.
"Ian." Alex jabbed him in the ribs.
Ian knew he should stop staring at her, but he couldn't help himself.
"Hmmph," Alex grunted as he pushed past Ian. He strode across the room and greeted the young woman with a kiss on her cheek, as if he knew her well. "Ach, you are a sight to behold," Alex said. "If I were your husband, Sìleas, ye can be sure I wouldn't have kept ye waiting a single day."
Sìleas? Ian shook his head. Nay, this could not be...
The young woman was nothing like the scrawny thirteen-year-old he remembered. Instead of gawky limbs and pointed elbows, she had graceful lines and rounded curves that made his throat go dry.
"Welcome home," the young woman said to Alex in the kind of throaty voice a man wanted to hear in the dark.
"Ye two must be hungry after your travels. Come, Sìleas, let us get these men fed," his mother said, taking the lass by the arm. His mother gave him a wide-eyed look over her shoulder, the kind she used to give him when he was a lad and had committed some grievous error in front of company.
When Ian started to follow the two women to the table, Alex hauled him back. "Are ye an idiot?" Alex hissed in his face. "Ye didn't even greet Sìleas. What's the matter with ye?"
"Are ye sure that's Sìleas?" Ian said, leaning to the side so he could see past Alex to the red-haired lass.
"Of course it is, ye fool," Alex said. "Did ye no hear your mam just say her name?"
From the corner of his eye, Ian saw the back of Sìleas's skirt disappearing up the stairs. It occurred to him he had the right to follow her up and take her to bed. Tonight. Right now. Before supper, if he wanted. And again, after. The part of him between his legs was giving him an emphatic "Aye!"
His reaction startled him. For five long years, he had planned to end the marriage as soon as he returned. He'd harbored not a single doubt.
But he made that plan before she turned into this enchanting lass with curves that would have him dreaming of her naked as soon as he closed his eyes.
Aye, he most definitely wanted to take Sìleas to bed. Any man would. The question, however, was whether he wanted her to be the last woman he ever took to his bed.
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Book Group discussion questions are available for download (pdf)
"A dashing and delicious Highland romp that I couldn't put down"
—Karen Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author
"A heartwarming, emotionally gripping tale of destiny that will sweep you away." —Monica McCarty, New York Times bestselling author
"Nonstop action, endless drama, heart stopping tension and romance – THE GUARDIAN is the entire package. 'Foaming at the mouth' is the only thing that adequately describes my anticipation for the next installment." The Romance Junkies
"The romance community now has a new star in Scottish tales. Ms. Mallory weaves a sweeping … love story that seeps into the very depth of your core…A definite must read! Bravo, Margaret Mallory! Bravo!" ~ The Romance Dish
"Four heroes you're going to love....The [1st] hero Ian is dripping in masculinity." Heart-to-Heart: the BN Romance Blog
"Mallory imbues history with a life of its own, creating a deeply moving story. Her characters are vibrantly alive and full of emotional depth, each with their own realistic flaws. Her sensuous and highly passionate tale grabs the reader and doesn't let go. ~ RT Book Reviews
"Breathtaking is not a good enough description of Margaret Mallory's The Guardian...Ms. Mallory has created one of those couples that will instantly go on your favorite of all time list...The Guardian is a vividly fierce, phenomenal novel." A Joyfully Recommended Read from Joyfully Reviewed: http://bit.ly/jIqDzD
TOP PICK! "This extraordinary medieval novel absolutely encompasses the 3 Cs: clans, chieftains and castles in a perfect indulgence for readers wanting a hint of paranormal with the intoxicating combination of fearless warriors, loyal family, and the unmistakable pull of the Scottish Highlands." ~ The Season
"Margaret Mallory has created a series that every romance reader must read. THE GUARDIAN is truly a sizzling romance with high impact adventure that captures the Scotland readers long for. The characters created by Mallory have found places in my heart and I am impatiently awaiting the next of this spectacular series!" ~ Fresh Fiction
"[A] blood-stirring, heart-pounding, kilt-lifting read if there ever was one." Barbara Lloyd McMichael, The Bookmonger
5 Stars TOP PICK! "I fell in love with this novel!." Night Owl Reviews
"[A] gripping story of heartbreak, intrigue, and trust.... [A] must read for all historical and highlander fans." The Romance Readers Connection
"Margaret Mallory has done it again with another delicious book sure to rouse the hunger lust in all of us...Ian MacDonald...Oh my goodness what a specimen of male perfection." Yankee Romance Reviewers
"With loyal, strong, steamy highlanders, beautiful romance, and historic Highland setting, The Guardian is an enticing novel, not to be missed." Heather Davis, Examiner.com
"The Guardian is a tale rich with so much culture, history and excitement that it is incredible.... Political intrigue and family betrayals combine with love and passion. Mark your calendars as you will not want to miss the next story. Single Titles
"Step back in time with the very talented Margaret Mallory for a Highland adventure that will eagerly turning the pages in this beautifully depicted journey of friendship, courage, love and romance…a fast paced story filled with dashing sword fights, daring rescues, devious characters and some deliciously sizzling intimacy between Ian and Sileas..." Long and Short Reviews
"Oh. My. Goodness... What an incredible book! I had this devoured!" Knit - Purl - Stitch Review
"10 of 10" ~ EyeOnRomance.com