by Julie Garwood
: August 1, 1999
: Simon & Schuster
, Pocket Books
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In the resplendence of William the Conqueror’s London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.
In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love … a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!
Julie Garwood was one of the first romance authors that I’ve read and she has always held a special place in my reading heart because it was through her books that I found some of my closest friends. Friends that, all of these years later, I still keep in contact with and I’m still just as close with them as I was when we first met on the Julie Garwood Bulletin Board.
Last week, one of those friends who has stopped reading as regularly as I do, wanted to read a book together so Holly and I agreed to read The Prize with her.
I’m so glad that we re-read this book because holy cow, it brought back so many memories of how much I loved this book back in the day. From Royce and Nicholaa’s first meeting to seeing them fall in love and then Justin! Oh, be still my heart, Justin. I fell in love with him all over again and gah, I wish that Julie Garwood would have given him his own story because there was so much material to work with and he was so deserving of having his story told.
This scene is one of my favorite scenes of all time and one of the so many reasons that I love this book.
“I noticed that over the past few weeks you’ve seemed more concerned about training me than the others. Was that because you had less faith in my ability?”
Royce held his smile. Justin as experience an attack of pre-battle worries. It was a common affliction, especially among the younger, unseasoned soldiers.
“As your baron, I have complete faith in your ability. I didn’t give you this honor, Justin. You earned it. As your brother, however, I’ll admit I’ve forced you to work harder. You have to be better than the others, remember?”
“You have fulfilled my expectations,” Royce announced, giving him the praise he knew he needed to hear.
Royce did smile then. “You insult me by giving me your gratitude,” he said. “As your baron, I was only doing my duty.”
Justin didn’t look at Royce but kept his gaze directed on the center of the field. “I wasn’t thanking my baron,” he said. His voice was gruff with emotion. “I was thanking my brother.”
You guys have got to read this book if you haven’t already. There’s much to love about it. A smart, strong and loving heroine, a hero who leads his people with care and secondary characters that will jump right into your heart and plant themselves there forever. This is the Julie Garwood that I know and love and I highly recommend this book to everyone.
4.75 out of 5
(Lairds’ Fiancee’s #2) by Julie Garwood
: August 1, 1996
: Simon & Schuster
, Pocket Star
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Lady Brenna MacAlister harbored no illusions that her husband, a quick-tempered highland laird, was in love with her. How could he be enamored of his bride when on their wedding day, he had assured her that she could return to her home in England as soon as she had given him a son?
Marrying Connor MacAlister had been impulsive act for Brenna. But MacAlister and his warriors a savage-looking band who had captured her and her arranged marriage to another offered precious few alternatives. Nor could Brenna deny that in fact, she had proposed to MacAlister—even if that had been ten long years ago, when she was just a child, and Connor a visitor to her father’s castle. Actually, Brenna scarcely remembered the secret missives she’d sent to MacAlister, abetted by her mischievous older sister… yet she had never forgotten the tall visitor’s dazzling, unexpected smile.
Now, after a hasty forest wedding, they were man and wife. Determined to be happy, Brenna soon endeared herself to most of the clan, despite—or perhaps because of—her uncanny knack for getting into trouble. And although she grew to adore her brave superstitious, gentle husband she had no clue that Connor lived for the moments she whispered “I love you”… words she never meant him to hear. But when a rival lair struck out at the MacAlisters, trapping Brenna in a web of dangerous intrigue, she knew that only her faith in her gallant mate could save her….
After reading The Prize
with Grace and Holly, I went on to glom a bunch of Julie Garwood’s other books and The Wedding was one of them.
What a joy it was to read this book again. I had forgotten so much about what happened in this book but man, there’s a lot of good stuff.
Lady Brenna and Connor were a fabulous couple that had me laughing one minute and happy sighing the next. Brenna was strong and she was capable and above all else, she was kind. Connor was fierce and he was protective and everything that I love in a hero.
The romance between Connor and Brenna was fun. It was passionate and well written. Their chemistry felt real and the book as a whole was packed with Garwood’s classic humor and sweetness that you won’t find in the newer historicals. For me, there has always been something magical about Connor and Brenna’s story. This book will always be special to me because I connected with pretty much everyone in this one. From Brenna and Connor to Crispin and Quinlan and Alec and Jamie, I loved them all and it’s always a great time when I read this.
I loved this book so much that I carried a copy of it when I went to the hospital to have Brenna, my daughter. Hahaha, yep. You got it. After poring through baby name books and not really seeing anything that I liked, my sister gave me this book out of my bag and said, “What about Brenna? That’s a pretty name” and my baby was born Brenna Lily.
I will never get tired of reading this book and when I’m asked to quote one of my favorite romance novels, I will always quote…
She let him know how much she liked what he was doing by scoring his back with her nails and crying out with pleasure.
“Nay lass, tis Connor.”
Hahaha, this book is great and if you haven’t read it…why the heck not? Change that, you’ll love this one!
Laird’s Fiancees’ Series
5 out of 5