Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ransom by Julie Garwood

Book Description:
Overflowing with all of the majesty and intrigue of medieval glory days, this magnificent New York Times bestseller is a page-turner of passion and loyalty, justice and honor. Beloved storyteller Julie Garwood steps back to the silver-shrouded Highlands of her classic tale The Secret -- and hails the return of two unforgettable warriors: Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan.

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.

This wasn't bad, another medieval by Julie Garwood that has adventure, humor, sex and a good plot. Not my favorite of her books, but it had by far the best plot and the longest I've read to date of her books - over 500 pages (long for a romance novel.)

The plot of this one centered on Gillian, who is separated at the tender age of 6 from her sister, after watching her father brutally murdered by the evil Baron Alford in England, who is a close friend of King John. Alford takes her as prisoner and she is allowed to live with her Uncle in the North until she is 18 or so. She befriends a little boy at the that time who is trying to run away (he has also been imprisoned by Alford) and she saves him from near death. Over the course of events, she manages to get them rescued and she winds up in the Scottish Highlands looking for her sister and returning the boy to his parents (Iain and Judith Maitland from The Secret) While in Scotland she meets Brodick, Laird Buchanan, known for his temper among other things. He is the usual huge, Highlander alpha male, (blonde this time) and the two of them wind up getting married, though she is tricked into it and doesn't realize they're married at first.

Meanwhile, a secondary plot is going on with Laird Sinclair, newly selected as Laird of the Sinclair clan, he must unite his clan with the MacPherson's. Sinclair is knows for how handsome he is. Though unmarried, he must choose a bride eventually. This second plot has him join ranks with Brodick to help Gillian find her sister and a treasure that belongs to King John. His love interest is Brigid, a beautiful, stubborn clanswoman in the Sinclair clan that keeps turning down marriage offers because she loves only one man - Sinclair (though he doesn't know it.)

The plot moves along and the book follows the path of Gillian's search for her sister and the treasure. Her romance with Brodick is almost a sideline, though amusing and sexy. I was happy to see the Maitlands again and enjoyed their touching reunion with their son that had been kidnapped. This romance novel didn't seem to have as much sex in it as her other ones, but the plot of this one was more serious and adventurous. It held my attention (although I guessed right away who the Highlander traitor was.)

Gillian is a feisty heroine. She is brave, noble, strong and endearing, I liked her a lot. She's a good match for Brodick - almost too good for him. I feel sorry for her and what her life in the Buchanan Clan will be like. We don't find out, for the story ends there, though all through the book, everyone ominously tells her how unhappy she'll be with them. I hope they're all wrong, for she deserves to live happily ever after with her chieftain.

An enjoyable read, but I must admit, I still like Garwood's The Bride the best of her medievals.


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