Dina's Reviews > Honor's Splendour

Honor's Splendour by Julie Garwood
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Nov 16, 11

bookshelves: historical-romance
Recommended to Dina by: Melissab
Read in August, 2009

Yay, another great book by Julie Garwood! :)

The story opens with Baron Duncan of Wexton stripped of his clothing, tied to a post, and left to freeze to death by Baron Louddon's men. But as soon as he's alone, Louddon's sister, Lady Madelyne, comes to his rescue and frees him. Ducan can't believe his luck - not that he's in any real danger and in need of her help because his "capture" was all part of a bigger plan -, but fate is just giving him what he came for. Duncan's sister, Adela, was raped by Louddon about a month ago, so he decided to kidnap Madelyn and force a confrontation with her brother, seeking revenge for what he's done. Having Madelyne unselfishly help him is beyond anything Duncan expected, and he falls hard and fast for her. Obviously, it takes some time until he realizes that.

As soon as Duncan is freed, he and his men attack Louddon's men and destroy his fortress. When the battle is over, Duncan is disappointed to find that Louddon is absent, since the coward Baron escaped to London soon after Duncan was "captured", thinking of establishing an alibi for Duncan's death. Knowing that Louddon will go after them, Duncan takes Madelyne as his "captive" to his home. And so it begins a most romantic story...

This book hooked me from the start, with one of the most beautiful opening scenes I've ever read. Oh, I've heard about the whole "feet warming" and such beforehand, as it's often mentioned as a memorable scene by many readers, but it didn't lessen the impact of it. It was exciting to actually read the whole scene and not only a snippet of it, and I was smiling and sighing like a ninny the whole time. Like Duncan, I fell in love with Madelyn there and then.

As I'm beginning to expect from Garwood's heroines, Madelyne was a bit ditzy and clumsy, but her kindness and courage won me over. Her inability to tell a lie was charming, sometimes funny and, in the end, saved the day. See, it pays to always tell the truth, especially if you tell it in a way that gets people a little confused. :)

Duncan was also what I've come to expect from a Garwood's hero: an arrogant but honorable warrior, protective, patient and completely devoted to Madelyne. He did force her to marry him, but it was for her protection - among other reasons, like his yet-unprofessed love for her and his desire do bed her ;) - and he never meant to hurt or harm her in any way.

Honor's Splendour was all about Duncan and Madelyne realizing they were made for each other and, as a bonus, making Louddon pay for his sins. I loved the way Ducan explained to himself why he felt compelled to sneak into Madelyne's bedroom to sleep with her when she was still his "captive", I smiled with his listing the reasons for marrying her, I sighed every time he sighed - just for show, of course - with one of her antics, I laughed with her attempts at learning self-defense... To sum things up, I adored Duncan and Madelyne.

The only thing that bothered me a bit in this book was, I felt it dragged a little after Duncan and Madelyne said ILY to each other. Things got too calm and quiet after that, and I couldn't wait to see how Duncan was going to "finish" Louddon for good. I trusted Duncan but I didn't trust King William, and his "special friendship" with Louddon could be a problem. In the end, everything worked out, and Duncan and Madelyne got their true HEA - after all, this is Romancelandia. :)

This was only my fourth book by Garwood and, based on what I've read so far, I can't wait to read more of her. Working my way through her backlist will keep me entertained for a long time, and I couldn't be happier.
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Reading Progress

08/17/2009 page 1
0.26% "I have sky-high expectations about this book, and that's always a "dangerous" thing." 5 comments
08/17/2009 page 121
31.51% "Duncan's men (and dogs) have the most appalling table manners, LOL."
08/18/2009 page 286
74.48% "Louddon has been "quiet" for so long that I have to wonder, is this the calm before the storm?" 3 comments

Comments (showing 1-31)




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ChloeLeeNH I love this one!! Happy reaading!


message 30: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina Thanks, AzuresHeart! Garwood is a new author to me so I love hearing I have a lot of good reads waiting for me. :)


MelissaB The beginning of this one is great! The rest is also very good but the beginning stands out.


message 28: by Dina (last edited Jul 22, 2009 12:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina Is this the one where the heroine puts the hero's feet on her belly to warm them? I remember reading something like that in the GOSM, and I thought it was really sweet.


MelissaB Yes! This is the one!


message 26: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina Oooh, goodie! :)


Eastofoz I didn't like this one as much as the others I've read by her. The heroine bugged me and it did drag like you said Dina.


message 24: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina East, I read your review before reading this book and, in a way, it helped me to enjoy it because I knew beforehand it wouldn't be as funny as The Secret or Ransom, which I loved to death. So I thank you for "preparing my spirit" to better appreciate Honor's Splendour. :)


message 23: by Rane (new) - added it

Rane This sounds like such a super sweet romance!
Awesome Awesome Review Dina!


Eastofoz Dina wrote: "East, I read your review before reading this book and, in a way, it helped me to enjoy it because I knew beforehand it wouldn't be as funny as The Secret or Ransom, whic..."

LOL! Maybe my hopes were too high after reading the other two and that's why I was disappointed. Gotta get back to another Julie Garwood soon.


message 21: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina Thanks, Rane! I'm still sighing over the 1st Chapter. :)

East, sky-high expectations can be murder... As many readers, I've also been a victim of that before.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

*sigh* The feet warming scene is one of my fave scenes in Historical Romances.
Great review! You hit on all the points that were great and you are so right about it dragging a bit. I felt this book was about 50 or so pages too long. :)


Eastofoz It's gotta be me, but I didn't like that feet warming scene. I thought it was dumb (lol!) ;)


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Eastofoz wrote: "It's gotta be me, but I didn't like that feet warming scene. I thought it was dumb (lol!) ;)"

LOL. Why am I not surprised :P


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) I'm glad you enjoyed this one. The opening scene was great. Ah, to have more time in the day so I could reread some of these awesome books.


message 16: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina Eastofoz wrote: "It's gotta be me, but I didn't like that feet warming scene. I thought it was dumb (lol!) ;)"

Awww, East, I thought it was so sweet! I even reread the 1st Chapter right after I finished the book. :)


Eastofoz I know Dina, it's a big fan fave, but I thought it was weird and couldn't figure out why she'd bother (lol!) To tell you the truth, I had images of rough smelly ice cold feet on her gut (lol!) nothing romantic there ;)


message 14: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina Oh boy, I can see how unromatic that is, LOL.


Miss Kim East, you're putting reality in our fantasy. LOL. Just kidding. I really liked this Garwood.


Eastofoz Kim wrote: "East, you're putting reality in our fantasy. LOL. Just kidding. I really liked this Garwood."

LOL Kim! I have to try to just go more with the moment I know ;)


Lisa Kay Wonderful review, Dina! Madelyne was a heroine I liked too, especially b/c she was willing to put smelly feet on her abdomen. ;)


message 10: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina LOL, Lisa Kay! Smelly feet! Don't ruin the romance. ;)


Anna (Bobs Her Hair) It's been about 20 years since I read this book and I still remember the "feet warming" scene. May have to dig this out of the storage box in the garage. ;o)


Lisa Kay Dina wrote: "LOL, Lisa Kay! Smelly feet! Don't ruin the romance. ;)"

I only mentioned them b/c of East's comment. Plus, I liked that fate-sealing scene. :)


Dina Madelyne whispered, "I think I would rather belong to no man."

Duncan heard her. A slow smile crossed his face. What Lady Madelyne wanted wasn't the least significant to him. Aye, she belonged to him now, whether she wished it or not.

Lady Madelyne had sealed her own fate.

She'd warmed his feet.


Loved it, loved it, loved it! Smelly feet and all, LOL.


MelissaB Dina wrote: "Madelyne whispered, "I think I would rather belong to no man."

Duncan heard her. A slow smile crossed his face. What Lady Madelyne wanted wasn't the least significant to him. Aye, she belonged to ..."


There are no smelly feet in Romancelandia!


Dina If only that was true in RL too! ;)


Kristen (Peddler of Smut) I loved this book, too. I think I need to reread a few of my favorite JG books. No other author can put a smile on my face quite like her.


Dina I've reread a few in the past weeks, Kristen. Not the whole book, just some special parts. :)


message 2: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Terrific review, Dina.


Dina Thanks, Stephen. :) Boy, I love this book!


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