Friday, February 28, 2014

The Gift by Julie Garwood

Nathan, Marquess of St. James and Lady Sara Winchester's book

The Gift (Crown's Spies book 3)

By Julie Garwood

Book Blurb:
Child bride Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided their families, and was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. And Nathan was beguiled by Sara's sweet, defiant ways. But her love would soon be tested as a vile conspiracy tries to tear them apart. 

I was most ecstatic the other day when I realized that there were two Julie Garwood historical romances out there that I had not yet read. Even more exciting was that I already owned them and they were sitting there on my shelf just waiting for me. I had seen them for so long I just assumed that I had read them. I love Julie Garwood's historical romances so I felt like I won the lottery. 

The Gift is book 3 in the Crown Spies series. You can easily read The Gift as a stand alone. There is very little character carry over. Regardless of the previous characters involvement with past books, you will not be lost if you read The Gift out of order. 

One of the magical components of a Julie Garwood historical romance is that she often has the bride and groom married near the beginning of the book. The marriage that took place in The Gift occurred right in the prologue and it was one of the earliest aged marriages ever. Nathan was only fourteen years old and Sara was a darling child of four. Of course there was no marital consummation because this forced marriage contract started before Sara could even print. The King, suffering from beginnings of dementia, was tired of the feuding families and arranged this mockery of a marriage. He set up the contract details, married off these youngsters and left the feuding families to deal with the consequences. Ultimately each child was returned to their respective families and for years each family plotted how to get out of the contract. 

Once the reader is done with the ceremony in the prologue, the story's first chapter starts 14 yrs later. 

Garwood's heroines are my most favourite in the historical genre. They are witty, adorable and they are so innocent that they could be viewed to be on verge of being a bit daft. This innocence is exactly the case with Lady Sara. She is a dreamer, an idealist and so darn likable that you have to forgive her constant mishaps. She believes that since she is married to a ship's captain that the men are her "staff". She deducts that since a captain is the master of a ship she equated that station to that of a Lord of a mansion. She has a heart of gold but unknowingly is oblivious to her surroundings. I dare you not to like her. 

Nathan is both patient and yet an overbearing yeller. He scowls and is fiercely protective of her. After their forced marriage as children, neither Nathan or Sara meet again until she is 18 years old. He has no idea what she looks like or what her personality is. All he wants is get married to honour the contract and collect on his due. 

I really enjoyed reading about the pair getting to know each other and ultimately fall in love. Sara made me giggle with her antics and Nathan was a great hero for her to fall in love with. I am rating 3.5 because although the story was cute, it did fall a little bit short of what I come to expect from a Julie Garwood historical. So I am rating The Gift against other Garwood stories. 

Teasers: saving her aunt, away on the ship, dangerous soup, paradise island


Anna (herding cats-burning soup) said...

LOL I've done that too! So exciting when you find one you thought you'd read but hadn't. I'm fairly new to Garwood but have enjoyed the couple I've tried. Glad you had a good time with your new find :)

Danielle L Zecher said...

It has been years since I've read it, but I remember loving this book. Some of the stuff Sara did on the ship was just so hilarious.

Have you found any other historical romance authors similar to Julie Garwood?

Unknown said...

Danielle, Although there are fabulous historical romance authors out there, I haven't really found one that has mastered the formula that Julie Garwood pulls off.
I can say that I was impressed with Maya Banks for 3 Scottish Highland books. Especially the second one. I found that they were very similar to Julie Garwood's style.