Saving Grace Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 1994
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in 13th-century England and Scotland, this rollicking adventure is among Garwood's ( The Bride ) most enjoyable. The news that her despicable husband is dead has left beautiful 16-year-old Lady Johanna both wealthy and available. Wicked King John wants to marry her to one of his henchmen, but her beloved foster brother convinces the powerful highland laird Gabriel MacBain to put aside his natural repugnance for all things English and wed the girl. Emotionally scarred by her first marriage, Johanna is intimidated both by her strange surroundings and by the outsized, gruff laird; but with the help of an eccentric old soldier and MacBain's illegitimate son, Johanna learns to hold her own with the soldiers, their wives and her new husband. Then an unwelcome surprise tests her newfound courage. Garwood endows the novel with a first-rate setting, a splendid supporting cast and witty dialogue that more than offsets the rote predictability of Johanna's great beauty and MacBain's forceful charisma.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
YA-An entertaining story with many amusing elements. In 1206, a hastily arranged marriage unites Johanna, recent widow, with MacBain, a Scottish laird. The woman learns new customs, creates some problems but solves others, and falls in love with her husband in this turbulent time of mixed loyalties. The characters are believable-they are real people with a variety of emotions, strong allegiances at home and on the battlefield, but are tender and caring individuals too. Sufficient details of the period provide adequate background to make the people and times come alive, but the story doesn't become bogged down with these technicalities. The abundant dialogue, humorous incidents, and quick pace make this a good choice for anyone looking for light historical romance.
Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Gabriel MacBain, the hero of this story, was not just another prototype of what I deem to be "the Garwood hero," though there were a few things in common. He never tried to change his wife, and was honest with her when it came to the important issues. He had no qualms about falling in love with her; he didn't even go through the stage of denial that most of Julie Garwood's characters from other books went through.
Johanna, the wife & another protagonist, was empowering. She believed she deserved to be treated well though people tried to bring her down. She was also devoted to her husband without being a doormat.
The book was laced with lots of humor. I found myself laughing over it, and rereading certain pages. What made some parts really funny was that they were believable.
The plot was also no weakling. One never guesses what is about to happen next, but I'm not going to give too many hints, or I'll spoil the book (like some of the other reviews did for me). Even if you do learn some of the tidbits that would have been better found out when reading the book, it's still a great read! Buy it...soon.
Second...Though written ages ago, I have to dispute the previous suggestion that the heroines are always perfect. They may all have something physically appealing about them, but they have character flaws that cannot be denied.
In this novel, Johanna was beautiful, but weak and timid. She allowed herself to be bullied and intimidated until well within the story when a stronger side began to emerge. In "The Bride", Jamie allowed herself to be used as a servant by her stepfather, defending him and her pitiful stepsisters along the way. In "The Wedding", Brenna was impish as a child and grew to be an absent-minded woman who was prone to babbling.
The beauty of the book is that the character's appearance is based upon your interpretation. If it makes you feel better to imagine her with a crooked nose, do it. Only the groundwork is laid by the author when it comes to what you picture one to look like. The development of the traits and the telling of the story are the important parts.
MacBain has come to the aid of the McClaurian clan, after their Laird perished in a fight with the English. After the English leave, MacBain becomes Laird of two clans, and must learn how to combine the two. At this same time, Johanna, his new wife, is a mystery to him. MacBain is a typical Garwood hero; strong, courageous and loving. He is the perfect compliment to Johanna's character.
Johanna does not remain timid. She grows under the love and freedom given to her by MacBain. When she finally confronts her first husband with spuke, you want to appauld her for having the courage to do so.
I highly recommend SAVING GRACE.
As always, Garwood writes a tale about love, passion, and intrigue. SG takes place in the Highlands of medieval Scotland. The novel is truly captivating - for its memorable story, well-depicted characters, and excellent writing. Out of all the handsome, powerful, arrogant, and gallant heroes that grace the historical romance world, Scottish laird Gabriel MacBain is by far my most favorite warrior. He is a tender and passionate lover. Unlike many heroes, he does not torment himself, or struggle with the fact that he actually loves his wife! He accepts Johanna for who she is; he welcomes her love with open arms; and he protects her with all his might. Lady Johanna is wonderfully crafted as the golden-haired English beauty. Of course, she's clever, strong-willed, loyal, and absolutely devoted to MacBain. Together, they make one of Garwood's most beloved couples. I cherish SG, because it's the first historical romance novel that I ever read. I believe it's a definite must-have for all romance readers alike.
I have read all of Ms. Garwood's books, except PRINCE CHARMING, KILLJOY, and A GIRL NAMED SUMMER. Her ability to entertain readers with her wonderful prose style is invaluable to the literary world. She's a masterful storyteller. After reading this book, I highly recommend that you read HONOR'S SPLENDOR, THE LION'S LADY, THE BRIDE, THE SECRET, and RANSOM. All of her books are great and very entertaining, but these 4 represent her best work.
Most recent customer reviews
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood (Audio Edition)
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
This is another old favourite of mine. Then again most of Julie Garwood's historicals are. Read more
This book is a Garwood from start to finish. That says it all.
Enjoy it as much as I did.
I loved this book! Johanna was so trusting of her foster brother to marry her to Gabriel. Johanna and Gabriel's wedding night was so sweet. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Rosewood
Julie Garwood knows how to weave a wonderful historical story and listening brings it to life even more. I look forward to listening to many more of her historical stories!Published on Nov. 4 2013 by Diane Sadler
I loved this book, as I have all of Ms. Garwood's historicals. A word of warning before you read any of the other reviews here: Many of the following reviews contain SPOILERS! Read morePublished on Sept. 14 2003 by Kindle Customer