Reviewed: “The Lion’s Lady” by Julie Garwood

The Lion's LadyI feel like Julie Garwood and I are old friends. We’re not, but I feel like we are.

I think I was in junior high school when I got my first Julie Garwood book. I think I have most of her “historical” romance books now. I’m going to make a list and see what I’m missing and get them. Why? Because no matter how many times I re-read Garwood’s books, I feel like it’s for the first time. I feel like I’m friends with the characters she created. I’ve always loved history and fictionalized accounts of history, but I think my love grew by a lot when I let myself get lost in the worlds she creates. She makes me want to write like her.

This is why I feel like we’re old friends. I hope Ms. Garwood doesn’t mind me saying it, but it’s true.

Before I ramble on too long, I’ll get to the review of THE LION’S LADY – a book I’ve read at least four times and one that I love.

The first thing that catches my eye about this particular book is that it bridges two cultures. Christina Bennett is a white girl raised by the Dakota tribe in America. The Marquis of Lyonwood, a man with a temperament that earns him the nickname Lyon – is the knighted head of a prominent family in the British aristocracy. Both Christina and Lyon have secrets they’d rather the other never find out and they both know it would be easier if they took very separate paths during her time in England.

This being a historical romance, that’s unlikely.

With her mother’s diary to guide her, Christina sets out on a course to both save herself and to avenge her mother’s death all while keeping in mind the final goal of returning to her Dakota family. Lyon has other plans as he finds himself falling head over heels in love with the most confusing, intriguing, and beautiful woman he’s ever met. The point of it all is that neither can exist without they other and they must come to some common ground to find what they need in life.

I’ve read it before and I’ll read it again. And again.

The romance is sweet, the sex is hot, and the plot will pull me in every time.

Thanks Julie Garwood, for writing books that become my old friends.

Book #5: “Ransom” by Julie Garwood

I have a guilty pleasure when it comes to books – historical romance. Not the Harlequin, every cover has a shirtless guy type of books, I mean the ones that seem to be thoroughly researched and have a solid, well-built plot based in history that the plot is centered on. The way I look at it, if a book that falls into the ‘historical romance’ category is all romance and very little history, I’m not reading it.

I’ve never had that problem with Julie Garwood’s books. That’s why I can read them for the fourth or fifth time and still love the story for the picture that she paints of love and history.

Ransom, part of the ‘Laird’s Brides’ series, is an excellent example of that.

It’s the story of Gillian and Brodick Buchanan – Gillian being a strong, courageous Englishwoman and Brodick being an even stronger, more courageous Scottish laird. It’s clear from read the back of the book that they are meant to be together and will be, but the path that Garwood takes to get there isn’t a straight line to the happily ever after. Gillian and Brodick fall for each other the first time they lay eyes on the other, but they’re reluctant to admit it. That makes the story good. I like a little angst and drama mixed in with my happy romance.

Even more importantly, as someone who likes history and always checks facts that interest me, Garwood paints a very accurate picture of life in the Highlands. As a reader, I’m transported to that time and that place. That’s always a must for me when it comes to a book. If I can’t see myself there, in Gillian’s place, I probably don’t want to be there.