Author: Julie Garwood

Throwback Thursday: The Gift by Julie Garwood

Posted September 27, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 2 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: The Gift by Julie GarwoodThe Gift by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #4
Also in this series: Castles, The Lion's Lady, Guardian Angel
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on June 7, 2011
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

A 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 at last. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided Nathan's family from her own...and she was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. The man who now stood before her was perplexing, arrogant and powerfully handsome...a warrior-gentleman whose gentle touch aroused her to the wildest, deepest pleasures of love.

Nathan had never bared his soul to any woman, but he was soon utterly beguiled and exasperated by Sara's sweet, defiant ways. Aboard his ship, The Seahawk, she was brave, imperious and determined to win his heart completely -- yet upon their return to England, her love would be sorely tested as a vile conspiracy tried to tear them apart. With their future at stake, they would discover the true destiny of their passion...for all time!

The Gift has always been my least favorite book in this series and it is for this reason that I’ve left this re-read for last. I went into this re-read thinking that I wasn’t going to love this book but I’m surprised to report that I enjoyed this book a lot more than I ever have before.

Julie Garwood has proven to stand the test of time with me. When I first read this book, I was much younger and a lot dumber than I am today and I didn’t appreciate this book as much but this time around, it was great.

Nathan St. James is Colin from Castles best friend and Jade from Guardian Angel’s brother. He’s been engaged to Sara Winchester since he was a kid thanks to the daft King and even though their families are feuding, he’s coming to collect his bride and when that happens, things happen.

This was such a fun book and every time Nathan said, “Dammit Sara” I laughed out loud. They were complete opposites, Nathan and Sara were. She was so sweet and so naive where as Nathan was gruff, reserved and worldly. That damn parasol had me dying. I don’t remember this book being so funny but the shenanigans that Sara got herself into had me laughing at every turn. The writing is top notch in this book and highlights why I’m such a huge fan of Julie Garwood’s older books. I remember why I read her books over and over again and discussed them at length every month with the ladies over at the Julie Garwood Bulletin Board back in the day.

Nathan and Sara’s romance made me happy and even though there were times when I wanted to knee Nathan in the junk and rolled my eyes at how naive Sara was, I still really enjoyed this book. It’s not my favorite book in this series (that is Castles), but it’s still such an enjoyable book that you’ll love for years and years, long after you’ve read it for the first time. To read this book is to enjoy it so I definitely recommend it.

Buy the Book

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Final Grade

4 out of 5

Crown’s Spies Series

four-stars

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Throwback Thursday: Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood

Posted September 20, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 0 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: Guardian Angel by Julie GarwoodGuardian Angel by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #2
Also in this series: Castles, The Lion's Lady, The Gift
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on May 10, 2011
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood takes breathless sensuality to thrilling heights in this unforgettable adventure of passion and intrigue.

The Emerald flew across the seas, carrying the pirate Pagan - despised by the ton, whose riches he plundered, and beloved by the poor, whose plight was eased by his gifts.

The Marquess of Cainewood vows to hunt down the pirate wretch in revenge for his brother's death. But when Jade, an enchanting vision of rippling red hair and eyes of jewel-green, appears at his door to beg desperately for his protection, the Marquess agrees to keep her safe from the villains who want her dead. Jade is infuriating, exasperating, and gorgeous; Caine is noble, strong-willed, and powerful. No woman has ever befuddled him so, nor so deeply aroused his desire. But as Jade answers his knowing caresses with an innocent, wild abandon, they are drawn into a web of treachery that will test the very heart of their love!

I’ve already re-read both Castles and The Lion’s Lady so might as well finish out the series, right? Right. I have fond memories of Caine and Jade. Memories of me laughing and just loving the hell out of both of them. They were stubborn and they were fiercely passionate and back in the day, I loved this book.

The Marquess of Cainewood is on the hunt for Pagan, the man responsible for his brother Colin’s death. He’s having trouble locating this guy so to draw him out, Caine starts pretending to be him. Hoping to piss him off enough that he’ll come out of hiding to face Caine like a man. Instead of Pagan, he comes across a woman named Jade who wants to hire Pagan to kill…her. Caine is stunned but also a little intrigued so he keeps her close and the adventure takes off!

Julie Garwood is known for her humor and there’s a whole lot of humor in this book. I laughed so much while reading this book again. From Jade trying to stay one step ahead of Caine, to Caine bulldozing over Jade’s stubbornness and even though there were times when I wanted to karate chop them both in the knee, I still quite adored them and their story. Caine was a little obsessive with Colin’s death and though I could understand it, I still rolled my eyes some and sighed a little over all of that.

The romance between Jade and Caine was fantastic and whenever Jade would try to get away and Caine would find her and take her back, I just adored that so much. She was fighting a losing battle and I loved that Caine was always there to remind her that he’s the one for her. She was running away from herself just as much as she was running away from Caine and I loved that he had her back no matter what. She had issues that she was working through, trust issues and Caine won her over completely and I was so glad.

I was glad because Jade was more than capable of taking care of herself but with Caine, she didn’t have to. I loved that he showed her that she wasn’t alone anymore, she didn’t need to keep running but if she did, he would run with her. Awwww, so cute. If you guys are looking for a sweet romance that will keep you laughing, this is the romance for you. To know Caine and Jade is to love them, I promise.

Buy the Book

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Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Crown’s Spies Series

four-stars

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Throwback Thursday: The Lion’s Lady by Julie Garwood

Posted September 13, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 4 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: The Lion’s Lady by Julie GarwoodThe Lion's Lady by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #1
Also in this series: Castles, Guardian Angel, The Gift
Published by Simon & Schuster, Gallery Books on March 1, 1991
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 360
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Christina Bennett had taken London society by storm. The ravishing beauty guarded the secret of her mysterious past until the night Lyon, Marquis of Lyonwood, stole a searching, sensuous kiss. An arrogant nobleman with a pirate's passions, he tasted the wild fire smoldering beneath Christina's cool charm and swore to possess her...

But the feisty and defiant Christina would not be so easily conquered. Mistress of her heart and of her fortune, she resisted Lyon's sensuous caresses. She dared not surrender to his love...for then, she must also forsake her precious secret...and her promised destiny!

After reading and loving Castles again, I picked up the rest of the series last week just for funsies. I went back and read The Lions Lady at work because it’s what I do and The Lions Lady is the first book in Julie Garwood’s Crown’s Spies series.

So this book follows Lyon, the Marquess of Lyonwood as he falls in love with the lovely Lady Christina Bennett.

From beginning to end, this book had me deep in my feels. From Christina returning to London and slaying the game to Lyon thinking Christina was like every other person before he really gets to know her to all of the intrigue surrounding well, everyone and then there was the romance between Lyon and Christina. I loved it all. Julie Garwood worked her magic with this book and I honestly miss these kinds of books. We don’t get that many historicals (if any) from Garwood these days and if we do, they’re missing the magic of her older books.

Lyon and Christina were a fabulous couple that kept me laughing throughout the entire story. Christina is nothing like you known before and she is seriously one of my favorite heroines. This conversation that Lyon has cracks me up every single time that I read it.

“Lyon knew she wasn’t aware she was being watched, either. She wouldn’t have eaten the leaf otherwise, or reached for another.

“Sir, which one is Princess Christina?” Andrew asked Lyon, just as Rhone started in choking on his laughter. Rhone has obviously been watching Christina, too.

“Sir?”

“The blond-headed one,” Lyon muttered, shaking his head. He watched in growing disbelief as Christina daintily popped another leaf into her mouth.

“Which blond-headed one?” Andrew persisted.

“The one eating the shrubs.”

Overall, there is much to love about this book and I highly recommend it if you’re in the mood for an old school historical romance that will hit every single one of your feels. It will make you laugh, it will make you sigh and through it all, your heart will be engaged. It’s good stuff so if you haven’t tried this one, fix that. You won’t be sorry!

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Crown’s Spies Series

four-stars

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Throwback Thursday: Castles by Julie Garwood

Posted August 30, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.

Throwback Thursday: Castles by Julie GarwoodCastles by Julie Garwood
Series: Crown's Spies #4
Also in this series: The Lion's Lady, Guardian Angel, The Gift
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books on November 4, 1996
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 354
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

Orphaned and besieged Princess Alesandra knew that only hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Caineswood, the bold raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were rekindled.

Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone ... yet Alesandra's tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul. As the lovely princess dashed headlong into unforeseen dangers, Colin would follow, knowing he must claim her as his own forever. Now he would risk life itself before he would lose this sweet, tempestuous angel ...

Back in the day, I used to be a regular poster on Julie Garwood’s Bulletin Board and it was a lot of fun for me. I needed somewhere to go to discuss my passion for books and love of Julie Garwood heroes, heroines and books in general. The JGBB was the perfect place for that. Every month, we discussed a different JG book, we played online games and you could even compete to claim your own JG hero. Colin was the very first JG hero that I actually competed to claim as my own….and your girl won!!!

Haha, anyway this book was brought back onto my radar after Quinn brought it up on the discord app as one of her favorite Julie Garwood books and I just had to do it. I just had to open this sucker up and read it all in one sitting. I loved this book just as much as I have every other single time that I’ve read it. Colin and Alessandra are serious couples goals and Julie Garwood is second to none in capturing their romance, their humor and their motherfreaking charm because re-reading this book was a good time.

Castles is the last book in Julie Garwood’s Crown’s Spies series and it follows Caine from Guardian Angel’s younger brother Colin as he finds love with orphaned Princess Alesandra. Colin’s parents are Alesandra’s guardians and they’re trying to protect her from the unwanted attention of the suitor’s variety. Everyone wants a piece of an orphaned Princess you know. When her life is thrown into constant danger because someone is trying to kidnap her, Colin steps in and takes over her protection…and that’s when the shenanigans begin.

This book man, it’s always so much fun to dive into old school Julie Garwood books because the hero and the heroine get into some crazy stuff and seeing them come together in love with each other is the best. Colin and Alesandra were one of my favorites back in the day and reuniting with them and reading through that family dinner scene always hits me in my funny bone and gets me all up in my feels. I laughed just as much this time around as I always do and man, I can’t recommend this book enough. The series is a winner for me too so if you want to really get the dynamic of the group of Crown Spies featured in this book, you should start with The Lion’s Lady. All of the books were great and this one is my favorite of the bunch.

There were so many things I had forgotten before re-reading this book. Like that Colin’s nickname is Dolphin. I forgot about Alesandra’s lists. What she did for Colin’s boots and his limp. That her bodyguard Raymond was hurt and just how refreshingly sweet Alessandra was. This was a really good book and if you’re in the mood for a fun historical romance then look no further than Castles because seriously, it’s a great book.

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Final Grade

4.5 out of 5

Crown’s Spies Series

four-half-stars

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Mini Review Round Up (6)

Posted October 12, 2017 by Rowena in Features, Reviews | 0 Comments

Mini Review Round Up (6)Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star on March 1, 1994
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 407
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
five-stars

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!

It’s another Julie Garwood week so here are some quick thoughts on my re-read of these fabulous books.

This book, man. This is probably my favoritest book by Julie Garwood. It’s got everything. A passionate romance between two outstanding characters, a hero to drool over, a strong heroine who you won’t help but admire and secondary characters that will either charm your socks off or make you want to punch them right in the face.

Lady Johanna has had a hard life and she wants to live out the rest of her life in peace. With a shit husband and an even shittier King, the odds of that happening are not looking good. When her brother suggests a plan for her to gain some protection from the King and get away from bad memories from her late husband, Johanna goes along with it. That plan brings Scottish Laird Gabriel MacBain into her life and he turns her world on its ear.

Gabriel has a lot on his plate and he doesn’t want a wife to add to his already overwhelming responsibilities but when her brother Baron Nicholas approaches him with a plan to take back the land that was taken from him and his clan, Gabriel is hardpressed to say no. Marrying an English lass wasn’t in his plans but if it’ll bring back what was stolen from him, he’ll do it. There isn’t much that Gabriel wouldn’t do for his people. He’s the bomb like that and when he meets Johanna for himself, he wants her and that, dear readers, is that.

The romance between Johanna and Gabriel is one of those old school romances that just fills you all the way up with feels and when you add in all of the other goodness in the book, this book is one that you’ll re-read over and over again. It’s so freaking good. You should read it. No, seriously. Everyone should know Gabriel MacBain and love him. *swoon*

My Rating

5 out of 5

Mini Review Round Up (6)Ransom by Julie Garwood
Published by Simon & Schuster, Pocket Star on December 27, 2002
Genres: Historical, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 546
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

Overflowing with all of the majesty and intrigue of medieval glory days, this magnificent New York Times bestseller is a page-turner of passion and loyalty, justice and honor. Beloved storyteller Julie Garwood steps back to the silver-shrouded Highlands of her classic tale The Secret--and hails the return of two unforgettable warriors: Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. In the dark days after the death of Richard the Lionhearted, lives and lands would fall into upheaval at the hands of a power-hungry British ruler and his violent minions. One victim of the scourge is innocent Gillian, who is a mere child when the cruel and ambitious Baron Alford slaughters her father and tears her family apart. Alford, determined to recover a jeweled box for the despotic King John, is furious when the precious treasure slips through his fingers--only to be lost for more than a decade.

Now a beautiful young woman, Gillian finds the key to resolving her past in handsome Scottish chieftains Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. With the cunning and courage of the daring Scotsmen, and with the friendship of a new ally, Bridgid KirkConnell, Gillian at last fights the unscrupulous Baron Alford, laying claim to her home, her family, and her father's reputation. But in the presence of the mighty warriors, Gillian and Bridgid discover that desire can be a weapon of conquest...betrayal can slay trust in a heartbeat...and the greatest risk of all is surrender--to the deep emotions of unexpected love.

Ransom is the second book in the Highland Laird’s Series and it follows Laird Brodick Buchanan and Laird Ramsey Sinclair as they bumble their way toward their happily ever afters. Brodick is a brute. A freaking savage and he likes it that way. When he meets gentle and courageous Gillian, things get really interesting. Ramsey, on the other hand is having a hell of a time trying to marry off the most beautiful girl in his whole clan and that’s because she’s making it damned difficult for him to make a good match.

I really enjoyed getting to know Brodick and Gillian again. Gillian’s strength and Brodick’s attitude toward English apples was great fun. Gillian does whatever it takes to do what’s right and I really admired that about her. She wasn’t above lying to get what she wanted and I just flat out liked her. Brodick was a little harder to like because he was so set in his ways and was so stubborn but at his core, he was a good guy and he had only good intentions toward Gillian and that was enough for me.

I seriously adored this book and my one gripe about it was that Ramsey and Brigid deserved their own story. I wasn’t nearly satisfied with their story. I adored Ramsey and came to love the heck out of Brigid but I was left wanting more from their story. I wanted them to have more page time but all these years later, nothings changed on that front so I need to get over it. Ha.

Still, overall this was a fabulous story that had everything I love in romance novels. It’s a good one that I would definitely recommend.

Highland Laird’s Series

My Rating

4 out of 5

five-stars

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