Title: The Guardian
Author: Margaret Mallory
Series: The Return of the Highlanders #1
Release Date: April 13th, 2011
THE RETURN OF THE HIGHLANDERS: BOOK IFour 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.PASSION IGNITEDAfter 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 Guardian is the first book in the Return of the Highlanders series. In this book, Ian McDonald returns home after five years of being away at the war and he finds that everything has changed.
He got married with Sileas (who was only 13 years old at that time) five years ago because of a mistake, and as soon as he returns home from war he's going to end this marriage. It isn't that he doesn't like Sileas, he just want to be his friend. But he wasn't expecting to find the girl he married turned into a beautiful woman, or that she didn't want to be with him.
Sileas have been in love with Ian since she was a little girl. He hurt her by saying she was ugly and leaving her for five years just after they got married!. Now she's older and beautiful, and have a couple of men interested in her, but she can't seem to stop loving Ian.
I must say I didn't understand Sileas at first. Ian hurt her very much, and she have been in constant teasing from the people at her village because her husband doesn't want her. She haven't seen him for five years and is ready to leave him once he returns home. But when he actually is there, she didn't tell him she doesn't want him or just leave until she thinks he's cheating on her. But she's a nice girl with a good heart, and in the end I was glad she had a happy ending.
Ian is sexy and the typical alpha-male, but I was difficult for me to like him. First, he had been too cruel to Sileas, and he cheated on her for five years! But I liked how much he cared for his friends, and when he decided he was going to be a better husband, he was better.
I didn't give this book more stars because while reading the first chapters I didn't feel like I was going to enjoy it. I felt it was kind of slow and the characters were shallow. I was sure Ian and Sileas were going to end together, but I just wasn't happy with that ending. But eventually the book started to get better and I was happy with the HEA ending.
Overall, The Guardian was my first Scottish romance novel and I enjoyed it, and I will like to read the next one, called The Sinner (November, 2011), Alex's story (the bad boy who vow to never take a wife).