April 22, 2011

Retro Friday (11) - Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood

Retro Friday
Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! 

This week I chose, Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood, which was first published in 1991.

HonorsAt First Sight: Lady Madelyne was already planning to escape the home of her stepbrother Baron Louddon when Baron Duncan of Wexton happened to be taken prisoner. Madelyne has always felt like it was her duty to protect those who couldn't protect themselves, so she decides to release the prisoner before setting on her way. What she doesn't know is that Duncan already has a plan in place, even as Madelyne is helping him, his men are gaining access to the fortress and Madelyne is their true target.

Some weeks prior, Louddon raped and nearly killed Duncan's sister Adela, and to he seeks retribution by stealing Louddon's sister. Only that Madelyne is nothing like her brother and, even though she's captive, she starts to steal the hearts of Duncan and his brothers.

Once in his fortress, and unwilling to give her up - particularly after she proves to be a positive influence on his sister - Duncan decided to marry her and keep her forever. Madelyne wasn't entirely happy with the arrangement at first, but she does come to love the Wextons -whom are honorable and care for each other - so she sets about making a home with them.

But her brother will stop at nothing to destroy Duncan, which puts everyone in jeopardy.

Second Glance: I've meant to read Honor's Splendour for the longest time, a lot of friends told me it was something of a classic. So I was very excited to read it, but it didn't quite measure up to my expectations.

Julie Garwood certainly knows how to create engaging characters, her stories are usually both funny and touching, and Honor's Splendour is all that.. but it also reminded me a lot of my favorite Garwood novel - one of my over all favorites - Saving Grace. Now, I know Honor's Splendour was written first, but I read it second and for me it could never quite live up to Saving Grace, particularly because I found the beginning a little slow.

I did love the characters and it was a fun read, it just wasn't all that great for me.

Bottom Line: Though it didn't live up to my expectations, it is an very funny, engaging read, perfect for an afternoon lazing about and reading. 

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