cover image The Hunter

The Hunter

Monica McCarty. Ballantine, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-345-54391-2

As Robert the Bruce’s war against England continues, McCarty’s seventh Highland Guard romance (after 2012’s The Recruit) stays fresh by exploring the role of the Catholic Church in supporting the Scottish rebels. Ewen “Hunter” Lamont is the greatest tracker in Scotland, so he’s the obvious choice to locate and retrieve a missing courier bearing information critical to the war. The gorgeous woman he believes to be Sister Genna, a feisty Italian nun, is actually the courier he seeks: Lady Janet of Mar, sister-in-law to Robert himself. The basic premise is a familiar one of two hard-headed people kept apart by class and duty but inevitably drawn to each other while facing hardships and danger, with one of them promised by arranged marriage to someone else. Despite the predictable aspects, McCarty creates an enjoyable romance with torrid chemistry, appealing characters, and believable historical situations. Agent: Annelise Robey and Andrea Cirillo, Jane Rotrosen Literary. (July)