Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Holiday Author Spotlight: Julie Garwood

December 10th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books

holidayAuthorSpotlight

Even before starting my blog in late 2008 I was always a big reader and since blogging I have not had much of a chance to go back and re-read very often.  So some of my favorite authors have not been mentioned as often as they deserved.  So I thought during the holidays it would be nice to highlight some of my favorites and I hope you will pick up one of their books either for yourself or as a gift this holiday season.

Today’s author is Julie Garwood. She is one of my favorite authors because she makes me laugh.  Her romances are not just one sex scene leading to another.  The humor and lightness she brings to her books just make me feel happy and provide an escape from the dreariness you sometimes face in real life.

The first book I read of Julie Garwood’s was Castles and it is still a favorite that I have read so often I really do need to pick up a new copy.

castles

Description from Goodreads.com:

Orpahned 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 Cainewood, 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 kindled.

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 unforseen 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…

Colin was such a grumpy yet sweet character that I couldn’t help but love him and Alesandra made me laugh with some of naiveness having been brought up by a group of nuns.  Some of the other characters you see in this book have their own stories.  Guardian Angel is the story of Colin’s brother, Caine and The Gift is the story of Colin’s best friend, Nathan.  Guardian Angel was not one of my favorites but The Gift is definitely one worth reading if you want a good laugh.

Another of my favorites was The Secret. I think this might have been the first book I read that made me laugh out loud.

thesecret

Description from Goodreads.com: Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud and loyal. Her dear Scottish friend from childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another, private reason for the journey from her bleak English home to the Highlands: to meet the father she had never known, the Laird Maclean. Nothing prepared her, however, for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land…Iain Maitland, Laird of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.

In a spirited clash of wills and customs, Judith reveled in the melting bliss of Iain’s searching kisses, his passionate caresses. Perplexed by her sprightly defiance, bemused by her tender nature, Iain felt his soul growing into the light and warmth of her love. Surely nothing would wrench her from the affection and trust of Iain and his clan…not even the truth about her father, a devastating secret that could shatter the boldest alliance, and the most glorious of loves!

I love Highland romances and while I loved both Judith and Iain, what really made this one of my favorites was the cast of supporting characters.  I loved watching the relationship between Judith’s best friend and her husband, Iain’s brother, Patrick.  The elders on the council were quite the cast of characters.  It was like a group of grumpy old men with hearts of gold.  A couple of the men who accompanied Iain to retrieve Judith cracked me up.  I was so glad when two of them, Ramsey and Broderick, finally got their own book.  Which leads me to another favorite.

Ransom.

ransom

Description from Goodreads.com: 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.

I mentioned above about the council of grumpy old men and that is Broderick, he’s just not old yet but boy is he crochety.   Gillian baffles him and I love seeing him try to be sensitive and kind when it is obvious he really has no clue what to do.  Again this is another book where the cast of characters just add to the fun.  Broderick’s men are just as savage and yet they really do have a sweet side hidden inside that comes out in the most amusing manner.

The last of my favorites are two books that are related: The Bride and The Wedding.

thebride

Description from Goodreads.com: By edict of the King, the mighty Scottish laird Alec Kincaid must take an English bride. His choice was Jamie, youngest daughter of Baron Jamison . . . a feisty, violet-eyed beauty. Alec ached to touch her, to tame her, to possess her. . . forever. But Jamie vowed never to surrender to this Highland barbarian.

He was everything her heart warned against–an arrogant scoundrel whose rough good looks spoke of savage pleasures. And though Kincaid’s scorching kisses fired her blood, she brazenly resisted him… until one rapturous moment quelled their clash of wills, and something far more dangerous than desire threatened to conquer her senses…

thewedding

Description from Goodreads.com: Resigned to an arranged marriage to a highland laird she has never met, Lady Brenna journeys from England to Scotland certain she will suffer a loveless marriage. But en route to her betrothed, a rival band of Werce, painted warriors intercept her caravan and demand that she marry their leader — the handsome, quick-tempered laird Connor MacAlister, the same man she’d repeatedly proposed to as a child while he’d been a visitor to her father’s castle. Though Brenna scarcely remembers the secret missives she’d sent to MacAlister declaring her love, she has never forgotten the tall visitor’s dazzling, unexpected smile.

Now older and wiser, Brenna harbors no illusions that Connor is in love with her — indeed, after a hasty forest wedding, Connor assures her she can return home once she has borne him a son. Lady Brenna has no idea that her capture is merely the first act of vengeance against her betrothed, Connor’s sworn enemy. Determined to be happy, Brenna soon endears herself to most of the MacAlister clan, despite — or perhaps because of — her uncanny knack for getting into trouble. And although she comes to adore her brave, superstitious, gentle husband, she has no clue that Connor lives for the moments she whispers “I love you”…words she never meant him to hear. But, as she sets out to win the heart of the brave chieftain, a legacy of revenge ensnares Brenna in a furious clan war — and only her faith in her gallant husband can save her….

Both these books will provide you with a ton of laughs.  Jamie is amazing and I love the trouble she accidentally gets herself into and manages to start countless feuds despite her gentle nature.  We get to see her again in The Wedding as Connor is the adopted son of she and Alec.

Okay, I know I said those last two were it but I have just one more.  I can’t help it!  Her books are so great!

Saving Grace

saving grace

Description from Fantastic Fiction: England, thirteenth-century. A woman determined to fight for her freedom…a woman whose life would be transformed by the rare, unexpected gift oflove. When Lady Johanna learned that she was a widow, she vowed she wouldnever marry again. Only sixteen, already she possessed a strength of willthat impressed all who looked past her golden-haired beauty. Yet when KingJohn demanded that she remarry and selected a bridegroom for her–it seemedshe must acquiesce, until her beloved foster brother suggested she wed hisfriend, the handsome Scottish warrior Gabriel MacBain. At first Johanna wasshy, but as Gabriel tenderly revealed the splendid pleasures they wouldshare, she came to suspect that she was falling in love with her gruff newhusband. And it was soon apparent to the entire Highlands clan that theirbrusque, gallant laird had surrendered his heart completely. But now adesperate royal intrigue threatened to tear her from his side–and todestroy the man whose love meant more to her than she had ever dreamed!

Ok, that’s it but you really should read it.  Gabriel’s son is adorable and you just want to reach into the book and give him a great big hug.

The rest of the books aren’t bad but for the most part they are not ones I’ve reread over and over.  Rebellious Desire did hold my attention for awhile and I did reread it a few times but it somehow just dropped out of my rotation when I would cycle through her books over and over.  I am also not a huge fan of contemporary romance so I didn’t really enjoy those.  I am hoping one day she will return to writing her historical novels.

The Complete Works of Julie Garwood (courtesy of her website):

FIRE AND ICE

SHADOW MUSIC

SHADOW DANCE

SLOW BURN

MURDER LIST

KILLJOY

MERCY

HEARTBREAKER

RANSOM

COME THE SPRING

THE CLAYBORNE BRIDES

THE WEDDING

FOR THE ROSES

PRINCE CHARMING

SAVING GRACE

CASTLES

THE SECRET

THE PRIZE

THE GIFT

GUARDIAN ANGEL

THE BRIDE

THE LION’S LADY

HONOR’S SPLENDOUR

REBELLIOUS DESIRE

GENTLE WARRIOR

Posted in Books, Romance

5 Responses

  1. Kay

    Julie Garwood has been one of my favorite authors for forever. I love the fact that you highlighted her historical romances. They are indeed laugh out loud funny. THE SECRET is one of my favorite books of all time and I probably re-read it at least once a year. Hope some others pick up these fun books as well.

  2. dsuzuki

    Glad to see another Julie Garwood fan!

  3. Mardel

    I also have always loved reading Julie Garwood. Back when I was a lot younger I used to read a lot of historical romances. I soon got tired of reading the normal “oh I hate you, please kiss me” type of story line. Usually the female characters were supposed to be so spirited but the conversations between characters were usually lame. After I gave up reading romances, I still would read any book by Julie Garwood, even her contemporary romances. All the books that you mentioned as your favs also happen to be among my favorites of hers. She did write a historical romance recently(2007) – Shadow Music. It ties in with one of her contemporaries (Shadow Dance).

    Even now that I read mainly Urban Fantasy or Horror, I will always read one of Julie Garwoods books. Ironically the only books of hers I haven’t tried yet are her paranormal books. Not sure why – probably because I’m not crazy about paranormal romances. But no matter what she writes, she does write well, with great characters and funny laughs.

  4. dsuzuki

    Mardel-I read Shadow Music but it just didn’t have the same draw to me as the rest of her historical books. I know what you mean about the generic storylines. That’s why I try to stick to ones that at least have a sense of humor and don’t linger too much on just love scenes.

  5. Mardel

    Shadow Music wasn’t as good as say, Saving Grace or Ransom. I did enjoy it though.

    There are two other writers of historical romance that I read once in a while. Although I don’t absolutely love all their books there are some that Teresa Medieros and Lynn Kurland write that make me laugh and leave with me an upbeat feeling.

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