The 4th book in this series. Honestly, I wasn’t very excited about reading about Machlan MacRuairi because he seemed so cruel and heartless from the previous three books. Monica McCarthy had written so many times that he’s only serving in the Highland Guards because of money, and he would ‘sell his mother off for money’, or something along that line anyway (thus earning him the war name ‘Viper’— lack of morals).
To my surprise, MacRuairi had a very noble side to him. He’s so misunderstood, it made my heart ache just to think of what he went through (betrayed by his wife, his mother and his family which left him with nothing), but he still put his life on the line for his noble intentions, and yet not let anyone found out how tender-hearted he was.
Isabella was a very strong woman, I could not imagine being imprisoned in a cage hanging from the top of a tower for four months (if I didn’t remember the time frame wrongly), I’m not good with figures. I would have gone crazy! But it made me cry seeing how she misunderstood MacRuairi, what she had to do to force him to help her rescue her daughter. And their love was so hard-fought, I was just praying for them all the way while reading and crying.
I love MacRuairi when I got to know him better. He’s always been alone, and wants to feel alone after being betrayed by the people closest to him, and wasn’t even close to the other Highland Guards. But it did warm my heart when they rescued him when he wasn’t expecting it, when he thought he’ll be alone in the darkest moments.
I love this Highland Guard Series. All the men are so tough and seemed so unfeeling, but they are the tenderest and kindest and most noble people (oh no, I’m starting to fantasize again—-do men like these exist in real life? ) I have also re-read parts of this book many times over the past few days while abiding my time and energy to read ‘The Saint’, but each time my heart would clench with the Viper and Isabella’s encounters. I prayed for them, my heart was in my mouth in almost every page, until the end.