April 10, 2010

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood

GraceAfter three years of a hellish marriage, beautiful Lady Johanna was left a widow, and she would like to remain that way but King John has different plans for her. To avoid being forced into another awful marriage, Johanna instead follows the advice of her brother Nicholas and journeys to the Scottish Highlands to marry Laird Gabriel McBain.

McBain is regarded as a great warrior in the Highlands, and is laird of two clans: The McBains and the MacLaurins (he's the illegitimate son of the former MacLaurin laird) and though he wasn't particularly eager to marry an English noblewoman, Gabriel agrees to the marriage in order to secure his land - said land technically belonged to Johanna's first husband and then is given to Johanna as sort of a dowry.

At first, Gabriel doesn't think much of his new bride, for she looks small and delicate, hates the cold and seems timid, but she is very beautiful and shows acceptance of Gabriel's own illegitimate son Alex. Meanwhile, Johanna is a bit intimidated by Gabriel, especially since he's a big and strong man (much bigger than her first husband, who hurt her so much). But, in time, they both come to see what the other is really like: yes, Gabriel is a giant but he's also kind, and Johanna might seem fragile but she has an iron will and is very smart.

Saving Grace is one of the few medieval romance I've read and it's certainly one of the sweetest. I couldn't help to cheer for Johanna and Gabriel as they embarked in their love story; I admired Johanna's strength to fall in love after surviving an abusive husband and I liked that Gabriel didn't fight his feelings for Johanna once these began to surface.

There is also a rich cast of secondary characters, from Johanna's brother Nicholas to Auggie (an old man who enjoys playing rudimentary golf all day long) as well as Alex and even Gabriel's dog. And there are a couple of subplots through out the book - like the unification of the two clans Gabriel leads; and a secret Johanna knows -which add to the central story quite nicely.

starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite

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