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Monday, June 19, 2006

Ransom by Julie Garwood

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 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 surrender -- to the deep emotions of unexpected love.

This book follows on from The Secret and gives Brodick Buchanan and Ramsey Sinclair their moment to shine.

Brodick Buchanan is a fierce highlander, feared by both men and women from clans all over the highlands. His name is whispered throughout the land and is seen as a leader without mercy or compassion, with a ruthlessness to make a grown warrior shake in his boots, in fear of his wrath. His elite guard are likened to the Spartan warriors, for they are invisible, which is nothing less of what Brodick demands.

When Lady Gillian is forced into his life, with an important mission to accomplish, Brodick cannot help but be mesmerised by the depth of her courage and strength or her sassy and stubborn ways. Even I was impressed by her courage, for not many women would have been able to do as she did in holding her chin up high and smiling, after suffering a sound beating from the enemy. Oh no siree.

Much like in The Secret, Brodick becomes protective of Gillian almost right from the beginning, refusing to let any harm come to her..or let her go, for that matter. He's as possessive as Iain Maitland and it's cute to see his reaction to the idea that Gillian might be attracted to pretty boy Ramsey Sinclair. Gillian was a good match for Brodick, because Brodick probably would have walked all over any other heroine who didn't stand her ground, like Gillian. And both of them would have been miserable. But Brodick and Gillian together, that was great. I also love the fact that by the end of the book, Brodick was willing to do anything..and I mean, anything, to keep Gillian in his life and atone for his screw up. That was verra nice indeed. :)

As for Ramsey, it was great to see how put out he was by his "pretty boy" looks. We see how he finds it more of a nuisance than an advantage in most instances. And it was verra nice to see his reaction to Bridget and the numerous requests for her hand in marriage. I loved the scenes where he requested for Bridgets presence to try to sway her mind in marrying one of his soliders, but then becoming quietly pleased when she declined. The secondary romance between Bridget and Ramsey was a lovely addition to this book, making it far more enjoyable and lively. The immediate friendship and loyalty between Bridget and Gillian was great as well. The only minor complaint I have for this one, is that I wish that Ramsey and Bridget were given their own novel - giving us more pages to explore their romance. I think Bridget would have driven Ramsey mad, but in a great way. LOL. And not to mention, the fact that for once Ramsey would have had some competition since Bridget had about a dozen and one marriage proposals. Oh, to see him struggle or feel slightly unsure of himself when it came to his pursuit..that which would have been absolutely perrrrrfect!

If you've read The Secret, then I recommend reading this one also. If not for Brodick and Ramsey, then definitely for the chance to re-visit Judith and Iain. It's quite nice to see how their HEA continues on, even after their epilogue.

Any historical readers would appreciate this one too, so go on..give it a go. :)

4.75 / 5

This is apart of a two book series
The Secret
Ransom

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