Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood

 Lady Johanna and Laird Gabriel MacBain's book

Saving Grace

by Julie Garwood

Book Blurb:
When Lady Johanna learned that she was a widow, she vowed she would never marry again. Only sixteen, already she possessed a strength of will that impressed all who looked past her golden-haired beauty. Yet when King John demanded that she remarry -- and selected a bridegroom for her -- it seemed she must acquiesce, until her beloved foster brother suggested she wed his friend, the handsome Scottish warrior Gabriel MacBain. 

At first Johanna was shy, but as Gabriel tenderly revealed the splendid pleasures they would share, she came to suspect that she was falling in love with her gruff new husband. And it was soon apparent to the entire Highlands clan that their brusque, gallant laird had surrendered his heart completely. But now a desperate royal intrigue threatened to tear her from his side -- and to destroy the man whose love meant more to her than she had ever dreamed!

I put up both covers of Saving Grace because I have both books. Julie Garwood books are so timeless. The cover may change and age but her stories go on and on regardless of the decade. 

I have a stack of Julie Garwood books on my shelf. I haven't read them all yet. I try to pace myself because I just love them so much that I don't want to run out of her historicals. Sadly this depletion is the case. I only have a few left that I haven't read. I save them for when I am in a "Julie Garwood mood".  I just finished up a week of excellent contemporary romance books by Jill Shalvis and then I dove right into a sexy erotic cowboy book by Lorelei James. I was due to be whisked way back in time to 1206. 

The Prologue (love Garwood's Prologues) of Saving Grace starts the reader out with the proper frame of mind. Only a few pages into Saving Grace and it was revealed that a Holy Bishop Hallwick's teachings dictate that women are so low on the "God's Love Hierarchy" that even a dull-witted ox is placed above women. So going into chapter one, you can guess my frame of mind. 
Then you are introduced to Johanna. You take pity on the poor thing as she was forced into a marriage barely into her teen years and her not so gentle husband abused her. As you can imagine, Johanna was timid and very fearful. Even with her heartbreaking back ground, you get the sense through her brave actions that she is cunning and if given the chance, she would shine. 

What I particularly liked about Saving Grace is how I could literally see the growth of the characters. In regards to Johanna, Saving Grace starts out with her struggling just to maintain eye level glances with the Laird MacBain and slowly you read about her growing and becoming more confident. I had a sense of pride towards her on more than a few occasions. 

The Laird MacBain was taken with Johanna literally on the day he met and married her. (Oh yes, it was a very quick wedding to solidify the match). He handled Johanna with gentle touches and at times he was afraid she would break. It did get annoying to constantly hear him dictate that she needed to rest even when she was just getting out of bed in the morning. His world of wedded expectation for a wife was to get up, not go outside and then sit in front of a fire and sew all day. Poor silly man didn't really know what hit it him when he finally figured out how much he ended up loving Johanna. 

There was an abundant of humourous moments, a few courageous rescues and with lots and lots of love I found Saving Grace a very enjoyable read that will satisfy me until I reach for my next Julie Garwood

Teasers: wolf fight, barbarians learning manners, plaid merger, Holy redemption


Sebella Blue said...

This I think was probably my favorite book from Ms. Garwood and your review did it justice. Like you I have stacks of her historicals, but sadly i have read them all multiple, multiple times.

TxDee said...

Garwood's early historicals are some of my favorites. Her heroines are always more than meets the eye. Joanna is gentle but stubborn. The scene where she is learning to ride bareback without her husband's knowledge is hilarious. The Bride and The Wedding are also set in Scotland and well worth finding.