A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Sunday, September 21, 2014


The Arrow (Highland Guard, #9)The Arrow by Monica McCarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Arrow by Monica McCarty is a 2014 Ballantine Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book by publisher and LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

An English raid takes Cate's family and she is thrown in a well and left to die. When the Phantom brothers found her, she was caked in mud and near death from fright. The fierce warrior, Gregor, takes her in as his ward.

Now, five years later, the orphaned girl has matured into a lovely young woman. Lovely enough that her hero worship attraction to Gregor has begun to make him feel uncomfortable. He is distracted and has made a mistake that lands him back home for a little break, which means Cate and Gregor are under the same roof for a time. Cate intends to make the most of her unexpected time with Gregor.
But, Gregor believes the time has come to remove Cate out of his home and into marriage. There are plenty of men still who would marry Cate, but Cate only has eyes for Gregor, who believes she only has a young girl's crush on him, but he is tempted enough by her he can't seem to stop kissing her.

“He kissed her. It was a kiss unlike any he had ever given a woman before. It was a kiss to destroy any indecision and all fear. It was a kiss to woo, a kiss to persuade, a kiss to convince.”

I so enjoyed Cate's character in this one. Her observations were always spot on , she was honest, had her insecurities and doubts like any of us, suffered a little teasing because of her training, but knew her own mind. She loved fiercely, loved despite of Gregor's faults. She loved the whole man and never expected him to be perfect.

Gregor, like all of the Highlanders is the series is irresistible to women, a member of a top secret unit for the King called the phantoms and is proud, loyal and has a heart of gold hidden behind his tough exterior. I loved Gregor , but at times I wanted to slug him. Men! It doesn't matter what century or country it is, they can all be so arrogant and pigheaded. Does he redeem himself? Well... probably.

Cate and Gregor could have had a smooth go of things if not for the interference of others. Once a the seed of doubt of planted it looks as though all is lost, but betrayals and broken hearts will have to wait when Cate finds herself in grave danger and her true identity about to be revealed. Will Gregor be able to save her it time?

This is the 9th book in the Highland Guard series and they never lose their appeal. This one is very sensual and spicy, but with some of the best romantic lines I've read in awhile, especially coming from a warrior like Gregor. So, yes, Gregor does redeem himself and there is a wonderfully sweet sigh worthy HEA that will leaving you grinning ear to ear. Well done! 5 stars

View all my reviews

What do you get when you mix a legal career, a baseball career, motherhood, and a love of history with a voracious reader? In my case, a Historical Romance Author.

Like most writers, I’ve always loved to read. Growing up in California there was always plenty to do outside, but all too often I could be found inside curled up with a book (or two or three). I started with the usual fare: The Little House on the Prairie series, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Watership Down, Nancy Drew, and everything by Judy Blume. Once I cleared off my bookshelf, I started swiping books from my mom. Some, like Sidney Sheldon’s The Other Side of Midnight, probably weren’t the most appropriate choice for a pre-adolescent—although they were definitely illuminating. I can still remember the look of abject horror on my mom’s Catholic-girl-face when I asked her what a virgin was. After that rather brief conversation, she paid a little closer attention to what had disappeared off her book shelf, and steered me in the direction of Harlequin and Barbara Cartland romances. I was hooked. I quickly read through the inventory of the local library and was soon buying bags of romances at garage sales.

In high school, with the encouragement of my father (who I think was a little concerned about the steady diet of romances), I read over eighty of the Franklin Library’s One Hundred Greatest Books ever written—including Tolstoy, Confucius, Plato, and the entire works of Shakespeare. Some of them were tough going for a teenager, but the experience would prove an invaluable foundation for college. After reading War and Peace, I wasn’t easily intimidated.

For some reason Monica decided to go into writing and not fashion.

After graduation, I loaded up the VW (Jetta not Bus) and trekked down I-5 to attend the University of Southern California, majoring in Political Science and minoring in English (see why all that reading helped!). I joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and when I wasn’t studying or at football games, did my best to support the local bartending industry. Ah, the good old days.

With that kind of fun, four years of college wasn’t quite enough. So leaving Tommy Trojan behind, I traveled back up north to Palo Alto for three more years of study at Stanford Law School. Once I survived the stress of the first semester, law school proved to be one of the best times of my life—garnering me a JD, life-long friends, a husband, and an unexpectedly intimate knowledge of baseball. (See “The Baseball Odyssey” below).

Law School was also where I fell in love with Scotland. In my third year, I took a Comparative Legal History class, and wrote a paper on the Scottish Clan System and Feudalism. So I immediately dropped out of law school and went on to write Scottish Historical Romances…well no, not quite. You see, I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. My father was a lawyer, I was a “poet” (i.e., not into math), and I love to argue. It seemed natural.

So I finished law school, got married, passed the CA bar, moved to Minnesota (with a few stops along the way), waived into the MN bar, worked as a litigator for a few satisfying years, moved back to CA, had a couple of kids, realized that a legal career and being a single parent for most of the year (due to husband's career) would be extremely difficult, and THEN decided to sit down and write.

And how did I end up writing romance? It’s not as divergent as it seems. What I loved about being a lawyer are the same things I love about being a writer—research and writing. The only thing missing is the arguing, but that’s what a husband and kids are for, right?

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