Ransom by Julie Garwood
Series: Highlands Lairds #2
Also in this series: The Secret (Highlands' Lairds #1), Shadow Music
Publication Date: August 31st 2010
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For fans of Scottish medieval romances comes this beloved and classic page-turner from #1 New York Times bestselling author Julie Garwood.
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 warrors, 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 to surrender to unexpected love.
With all the talk about Shadow Music going around and then finding out that Brodick was in the story, I thought it’d be cool to do a reread of one of my favorite Julie Garwoods of all time (Yeah so I’ve got a few of them but dude, this is totally one of them) to prepare myself for JG’s latest. I’ve got to say that I’m really scared to ruin JG for me since I absolutely love this book. From the beginning to end, I just loved the entire thing.
I enjoy reading about Brodick’s bullheadedness and his stubborn streak. The guy’s got a head harder than stone, but love him, I do. He doesn’t like the English and I do but man, love Brodick, I do. I love the transformation that JG gave Brodick from hard headed brute to hard headed brute …in love.
Brodick is this man of brutish strength. He leads one of the most elite band of warriors and is feared by both men and women far and near, well in all of Scotland anyway. He is the leader to the scathing soldiers who make grown men quiver in their boots. And he likes it that way. He loves that his clan lives like a bunch of cavemen, it suits him.
And he’s right.
Then there’s Lady Gillian who is the exact opposite of Brodick. She’s gentle and kind. And very, very courageous. When she comes into Brodick’s life, Brodick cannot believe the lengths to which Gillian would go to, to accomplish the tasks she’s set out to accomplish. Her mission was to return a little boy to his family, risking the wrath of her captors but she did it without thought of what would happen to her because she wanted the little boy safe from Baron Alford’s evil ways. She snuck away with Alec, Laird Iain’s son from The Secret and set about, getting him home safely.
She’s not above asking for help from Alec’s champion, Laird Buchanan and the lies and the stories she wove to get him to come to her, had me laughing my tail off. By the end of the book, I was mesmerized by everything surrounding Gillian. From the way she was with Alec to the way she was with Brodick and then her budding friendship with Brigid, I seriously thought that as a heroine, Gillian rocked the house!
The romance between Brodick and Gillian was easy to fall into. You really get that they are falling in love and that they’re both in this for the long haul and that they totally get each other. The fierce protectiveness that Brodick showed where Gillian was concerned warmed my heart and had me cheering the both of them on to the very end. It was that good.
Then there’s the secondary love story between Ramsey and Brigid.
I’m still pissed off that Ramsey was dicked out of his own story. I mean, I loved Ramsey right from the very moment he made his presence known in Iain and Judith’s story. The hot stud with the pretty face that he gets embarrassed about. I had every faith that JG could have made his story work, only we never got his full story.
Just the bits and pieces in this book.
But as far as stories go, I can’t say that I hated Ramsey’s story because I didn’t. I just wanted more of it. I enjoyed seeing how frustrated Ramsey was getting with Brigid turning down every Tom, Dick and Joe. I enjoyed Brigid for Ramsey because she was beautiful and she was witty and light hearted and just full of love and life. It was everything that Ramsey was missing in his. The scenes between these two where Ramsey tried to persuade Brigid into marrying one of his soldiers makes me laugh every single time.
Brigid was a great addition to the story, getting to know her through her friendship with Gillian made me love the book all the more. Her character was so lively and just …perfect for Ramsey. I would have liked to see more of her, get to know her personally the way we got to know Gillian. To know how she felt with the whole thing with her mother and that scene where she kicks that woman out of Ramsey’s bed is frickin’ hilarious! Cracks me the hell up, gosh she was a character!
The whole bringing the two clans together made for some good reading. All of the different things going on made the book a lot more fast paced and just intriguing. It wasn’t confusing, it wasn’t too much, it was the right amount of everything rolled up into one and I enjoyed the whole hot damn thing.
You guys should definitely read this book if you’re planning on reading, Shadow Music…and since I am, I’m going to be brave like Gillian and read the damn thing anyway, you never know, I might love it more than the others…
…cross your fingers for me, will ya?