By Julie Garwood
In feudal England, Elizabeth Montwright barely escaped the massacre that destroyed her family and exiled her from her ancestral castle. Bent on revenge, she rode again through the fortress gates, disguised as a healer...to seek aid from Geoffrey Berkley, the powerful baron who had routed the murderers.
He heard her pleas, resisted her demands, and vowed to seduce his beautiful subject. Yet as Elizabeth fought the warrior's caresses, love flamed for this gallant man who must soon champion her cause...and capture her spirited heart!
One of the reasons I decided to name my book blog Another Look Book Reviews is because I wanted to read novels from the past and still be able to do reviews on them. Take for instance Gentle Warrior by Julie Garwood. It was published in 1985 and even though I was reading through the yellowed pages of Gentle Warrior, it was a first time read for me. Just to clarify, Julie Garwood is not a first time author for me. I adore her historicals. There are only a few historical romances left that I haven’t read and then there are most that I have re-read. Gentle Warrior is a stand-alone and not a part of a series.
I really liked Gentle Warrior. As a couple Elizabeth and Geoffrey were awesome to read about and I had many smiles while I enjoyed them as newlyweds. I cannot recall one Julie Garwood book where I didn’t care for the heroine or hero. Her ladies crack me up as they are usually so strong and stubborn for the time period. Each of the heroines are different in each book though. Gentle Warrior is set in the medieval times 1086 England.
Let me share a little demonstration of Elizabeth’s character as she is talking with her beloved grandfather.
Elizabeth starts out “ I have not shown my temper once since meeting Geoffrey and have tried to act with great humility” then her grandfather is about to laugh at her and she continues “I have been gentle, obedient wife these past two days.” Love the grandfather’s reaction. Here is his line.
“The strain must be terrible.”
Elizabeth is in a tough situation. Her seven year old brother and she witness their entire family massacred. It was heart breaking. She knows in her heart who is responsible but she can’t act upon it. She requires patience and full trust in her new husband that he will take care of the guilty parties involved with the murders. As with the time era, men do not share their plans and secrets with wives. Elizabeth needs to show restraint and patience where she doesn’t have any. I felt for the character and even though the reader knows that her husband is doing the investigation she is not left much hope. I thought Julie Garwood beautifully wrote each of those scenes where Elizabeth acted out and the reader felt as though we would want to shake her, yet you completely understood what horror she witness and her frustration.
The love scenes were simply beautiful and very moving. Geoffrey really struggles with his emotions as he becomes overwhelmed with love for the first time in his life. He doesn’t understand the feelings and in his mind, a wife’s role is to bear children not to be affectionate in public. The couple’s teasing is a wonderful game they play and it made me fall in love with them.
I am rating Gentle Warrior 4 strong hearts instead of the usual 5 hearts because although the book was great, it wasn’t the same calibre or great that Ransom or many of the other historicals were.