Thursday, July 21, 2011

Guardian Angel by Julie Garwood

Book Description:

The Emerald flew across the seas, carrying the pirate Pagan — despised by the ton, whose riches he plundered, and beloved by the poor, whose plight was eased by his gifts.

The Marquess of Cainewood vows to hunt down the pirate wretch in revenge for his brother's death. But when Jade, an enchanting vision of rippling red hair and eyes of jewel-green, appears at his door to beg desperately for his protection, the Marquess agrees to keep her safe from the villains who want her dead. Jade is infuriating, exasperating, and gorgeous; Caine is noble, strong-willed, and powerful. No woman has ever befuddled him so, nor so deeply aroused his desire. But as Jade answers his knowing caresses with an innocent, wild abandon, they are drawn into a web of treachery that will test the very heart of their love!

This is a sequel to one of my favorites, The Lion's Lady and almost as good.  Lots of funny parts to it, Garwood's humor is witty and entertaining.  My problem with it was that the main storyline between the hero and heroine was so similar to The Lion's Lady that it didn't seem as fresh, though I enjoyed it very much.

The Marquess of Cainewood (otherwise known as Caine) is out to capture Pagan, the notorious pirate who was responsible for the death of Caine's younger brother.  Caine has been skulking around in low life dives hoping to draw the pirate out by posing as Pagan himself!  One night he meets a beautiful enchanting young woman who asks him to kill her.  Thinking he is the real Pagan she offers him money to kill her.  Naturally, Caine is not going to do it.  Once he gets the story out of her of why she wants to die, which involves her witnessing a crime and now running for her life he agrees to be her "guardian angel" and will watch over her until her brother returns from his business concerns (whatever they may be.)

Soon enough, Caine becomes embroiled up to his neck in skulduggery and mix ups. No slouch himself when it comes to spying and all sorts of necessary misdeeds for the Crown, he holds his own, but it's not easy with Jade!  He's trying to make heads or tails of her convoluted story while trying not to fantasize about her and what he'd like to do with her besides wring her neck!  Her story takes a different turn with every telling.  Before long we realize Jade is not who she says she is, and she's really the guardian angel looking out for Caine (though he doesn't know it!)  The whole thing is a farce of mistaken identities, coupled with intrigue and romantic interludes.

Will Caine ever guess who Jade really is? 

I was more than happy to see Lyon and Christina return from The Lion's Lady.  Christina and Jade become natural allies and friends, they're very similar, as Caine and Lyon comment upon more than once.   Jade is resourceful and a strong heroine. She can do just about anything.  Raised on a tropical island by pirates she has a few tricks up her sleeve that Caine is unaware of.  When he finds out - all hell breaks loose and there is the usual hand wringing and "why didn't you tell me the truth about yourself!" scenarios, but all ends well, despite Jade's insecurity that once Caine finds out what kind of woman she really is he won't love her anymore - nonsense! Garwood wraps it all up nicely, setting us up for the next in this series.

A fun Julie Garwood Regency historical romance and I recommend it!
(but read The Lion's Lady first, it's better!)


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