May 26, 2013
Here at ENALR, we are always looking for new, interesting people to do book reviews for us. I (Cynthia D’Alba) have been lucky enough to be friends with such a woman. Funny. Unique. A dog-lover to boot! Canadian, but we don’t hold that against her, right? Nita will be doing reviews for us time to time. Today is her inaugural review and she’s picked an oldie but goodie.
- Publisher: Pocket Books (November 1, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671003364
- ISBN-13: 978-0671003364
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 ambitions Baron Alford slaughters her father and tears her family apart. Alford, determined to recover a jewelled 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.”
I really enjoyed how quickly I could immerse myself into this book. From the first line, “Bad things always happen at night,” I was there beside Gillian, who at this point is little more than a baby, while she watched helpless, as her world was torn apart. Luckily, Gillian is `banished` to the lowlands of Scotland to an uncle to be raised. This would have been considered a terrible fate, had Gillian been old enough to understand the insult, and her uncle not turned out to be `crusty on the outside with a marshmallow centre`. The characters, even the servants are strong, even though defying your liege lord meant sure death, some are brave enough to help the innocent, as do the two brothers who help her get to her uncle.
Ten years pass, and now a grown young woman, Gillian needs revenge. She is smart enough to know she can`t compete with Lord Alford directly, but knows she`s up to the task intellectually. Game on! Gillian finds herself helping another innocent child who has been caught up in this intrigue of the jewelled box and finds herself once again in Scotland, now the Highlands, a whole other world! Gillian didn`t plan to fall in love, especially not in Scotland! With a Scot! And she has too much to do! This is a romance, so of course love wins in the end, but not without some hurdles that all relationships must experience to truly know if the relationship can last. Do Brodick and Ramsay need to be so oblivious…..does any man …. perhaps that`s why we love them!
I liked the pace of the story. There was enough detailed history, without getting bogged down with too much historical accuracy. Medieval England was a mess during this period, with everyone with a sword thinking he could rule. Women and children had little value except what they could be used for. Perfect setting to show how an intelligent woman can succeed despite the odds.
I`m a sucker for strong characters who I can `follow` in a slide line story. I liked how Garwood brought the Maitland, Sinclair and Buchanan characters together again in this story, and while I`ve not seen it yet, the ending might suggest we`ll one day see another book where they make an appearance.
I would recommend you read this book if you like a little history, a girl who is determined to do what`s right, even if it ìsn`t ladylike, and of course, the guy who, as my Dad would say, `chases her until She catches him`!
A definite read for me.
Visit Ms. Garwood’s page for buy links for this and all her books.