cover image The Ranger

The Ranger

Monica McCarty, Ballantine, $7.99 mass market (416p) ISBN 978-0-345-51826-2

McCarty's third Highland Guard novel (after 2010's The Hawk) highlights another member of an elite band of warriors supporting Robert the Bruce in 14th-century Scotland. Arthur "Ranger" Campbell has been undercover for two years pretending to be loyal to the English king. While spying on the MacDougall clan, he's introduced to Anna MacDougall, daughter of the Lord of Lorn. Despite their instant attraction, Arthur is determined to drive her away so he can destroy Lorn, who murdered his father. Meanwhile, Anna is spying on Arthur and determined to keep him close—very, very close. When Anna reluctantly offers to marry an earl in exchange for him supporting her father, Arthur knows he must stop the betrothal for his own sake as well as the Bruce's. The straightforward story allows the lush and steamy romance to shine in a solid stand-alone even new readers will enjoy. (Jan.)