I absolutely loved The Secret, the previous book in the series to Ransom, and didn't think...moreReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
I absolutely loved The Secret, the previous book in the series to Ransom, and didn't think it was possible that the follow up could be better. Garwood did it though! This book was absolutely spectacular. I was so worried that I might not love Brodick as much as I did in the previous one since so much changes when a character goes from a minor one to the hero of a story. Yet Brodick retained everything I loved about him in The Secret. I love how much fun he is to irritate and I really enjoyed seeing his loving/caring sides. He might just be my new favorite highlander, I would definitely let him whisk me away.
I nearly put the book down to read at a later time because the beginning was so dense and confusing. It was a lot longer than The Secret's introduction and I honestly thought I might have been reading the incorrect book. I cannot put into words how thankful I am that I kept reading though. Once I made it through the 'prologue'-eque scenes and Ramsey's scenes, the book really picked up and was intensely enjoyable. I actually came to like the beginning once I understood everything that was going on, I don't think it was the best way to start the book but I can't think of how else it could have been told.
I loved how similar this book was to The Secret. It has the same humorous, witty tone, which I absolutely love in historical romances since it's so rare. I loved the wedding scene in the previous book, it blew me away with how unique and funny it was. Ransom had nearly the exact same wedding yet the whole scene remained fresh and hilarious. Garwood is definitely a talented writer to take something she's done before and make it so interesting and enjoyable that the reader doesn't care.
I'm all about the characters for this book. I was especially excited by all of the returning characters, mainly Iain, Judith, Catherine Frances and Patrick. Judith was a little... blah but Iain was just as lovable as a minor character. It was interesting seeing the interactions with him from Brodick's POV. Brodick was the highlight of this story for me. I fangirled all over him in the last book so seeing him as a main character was amazing for me. I would definitely swoon had I been the heroine whenever he was around. I love how fierce, protective and possessive he is yet sweet (secretly). I'm so glad that he got a heroine that I felt was worthy of him, that was another concern for me after reading the beginning of the book. I was so worried that Gillian would be annoying and pathetic so I'd feel bad for Brodick the whole book. I fell in love with Gillian too though. It's hard not to after witnessing how caring and brave she was with Iain's son (another character I fell madly in love with.) I usually hate 'future' stories featuring the characters' children but I would be all over a book with him as the hero. The side hero and heroine, Bridgit and Ramsey, were cheated. I loved reading about Bridgit while see was adventuring and causing trouble with Gillian. Her love for Ramsey was heartfelt and believable despite how quickly it was forced to develop (pagewise). I liked Ramsey and enjoyable how put off he was by his horde of women followers. His side of the relationship with Bridigt was forced and happened in a matter of paragraphs which drove me crazy. If they'd had a whole book, or even a shot story, I think Garwood could have done wonderful things with them. Shoved in to, Brodick and Gillian's story just wasn't fair to their romance.(less)
I couldn't have even begun to imagine a more heartwarming and amusing story than Judith and...moreReview originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.
I couldn't have even begun to imagine a more heartwarming and amusing story than Judith and Iain's. Everything about this book was absolutely perfect. I loved all of the characters and loved to hate the villains. I'm amazed at how quickly each character stole my heart. Many of the minor characters, who only had their say for a few characters, manged to carve a place for themselves too.
The relationships were really what made this book. My favorite obviously being Judith and Iain's. I loved how sweet it was but at the same time it was fiery and banter filled. I also adored Judith and Frances Catherine's friendship as well as the odd friendship between Judith and Brodick (so funny).
I never picked up this book expecting it to make me laugh, especially not laugh out loud. Judith was an amazing character to read about and she always kept me laughing. The responses she drew from other characters were always amusing. My favorites were usually when she was purposely making Iain or Brodick mad.
I'm always wary before reading a medieval historical romance because of the extra religious nature they tend to pick up as well as the anti-women attitude some characters have. I'm so glad I gave this book a chance despite my misgivings. I thought Garwood did an amazing job with these common medieval values. She included them but they were never overbearing or tedious.
I love reading historicals but after about a year I find that they tend to blend together with the others I've read. The Secret is memorable, and while an hour hasn't even pasted yet, I don't see myself forgetting this wonderful story any time soon.(less)