Dina's Reviews > Saving Grace

Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
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's review
Nov 06, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-romance
Recommended to Dina by: Corrine, MelissaB and BJ Rose
Read in July, 2009

Having heard such high praise about this book, I had sky-high expectations and expected to be blown away by it. Unfortunately, that didn't happen - not in the firsst half of the story, anyway. It took me a long time to like Gabriel - too arrogant and distant - and Johanna - too ditzy and scared. At one point, I was ready to scream if he told her to rest one more time! That was funny at first, like a recurring joke, but it got old pretty fast - probably because she didn't put a stop to it soon enough to suit me. Considering what she'd gone through during her first marriage, when she'd been a silent victim of spousal abuse, I completely understood her fears when it came to Gabriel, who was this "big and bad" Highland warrior, and I knew she needed time to get over them so I gave her some slack, but I couldn't wait to see her grow some spine. When she finally did... Wow, it was like I was reading another book! It was funny, touching, action-packed, everything I had expected to find at first, and I could not put the book down. Wonderful save, Ms. Garwood! :)

Now, addressing the age issue that had me concerned before I started reading this book... Unless I missed it, neither Gabriel's nor Johanna's age was mentioned in the story. Aside from her brother saying that she had gotten married the first time when she was “still a child”, there was not other clue in the book and I only “knew” she was sixteen years old at the beginning of story because I read the book description. I know this is a minor detail and it shouldn't have bothered me, but it did. I like knowing how old the H/h are, especially if one of them is that young.

All in all, this was another very good story by Ms. Garwood, and she's now officially one of my favorite authors.
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Reading Progress

07/28 page 1
07/29 page 55
13.51% "Garwood does write some unique wedding scenes, LOL."
07/29 page 183
44.96% "I'm getting a bit tired of watching Gabriel grunt and Johanna rest. They'd better start changing their ways soon!"
07/29 page 307
75.43% "Loving it! :)"
07/29 page 432
100% "Too tired to write a review now. Need. To. Sleep."
05/27 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-31 of 31) (31 new)

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BJ Rose You can add me to those who recommend this book - I love it more each time I read it!

Dina Oh, the pressure! Thanks for the additional thumbs-up, BJ. Now I'll HAVE to go to the bookstore this Monday and see if they have it in store. :)

MelissaB Yeah! I hope you like it! I am going to reread this one next.

Johanna and Gabriel are wonderful. I sort of wanted to name my future (as yet unconceived) son Gabriel after him but my husband didn't sound too excited when I mentioned it as a possible boys name.

Dina Melissab wrote: "Yeah! I hope you like it! I am going to reread this one next.

Johanna and Gabriel are wonderful. I sort of wanted to name my future (as yet unconceived) son Gabriel after him but my husband didn'..."

I'm a bit concerned about Johanna's age - she's 16, right? - even though I know it's realistic considering the time she lives in. I hope I don't start yelling "statutory rape" when they make love for the 1st time, LOL.

And I love the name Gabriel too. You're very good at pimping books, I'm sure you can use your pimping skills to convince your husband to name your son Gabriel. ;)

MelissaB Alas he is wise to my ways...oh well

Johanna is 17 by the time she meets Gabriel, I think he is only supposed to be around 23

Dina Melissab wrote: "Johanna is 17 by the time she meets Gabriel, I think he is only supposed to be around 23"

That's better. Anyway, I'm bracing myself for a "huge" age gap just in case - after all, that's the way things were back then.

message 7: by Rane (new)

Rane Great Review Dina!
Yeah I can understand the age issue if an author does it right it's okay but sometimes it just throws you off frm the story altogether

message 8: by Shawna (new) - added it

Shawna Great review, Dina!

message 9: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Great review Dina...haven't read any Julie Garwood,think I need to check her out:)

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

Dina Thanks, ladies! :)

Rane, the age issue turned out to be a "problem" in this book only because the book description said Johanna was 16 and that was stuck in my mind throughout the story. If I hadn't read the "darn" description beforehand, it wouldn't have bothered me at all because Garwood did do it right. I like reading a lot of reviews and knowing "everything" about a book before starting to read it but, in this case, it didn't help. Oh well, what's done is done...

message 11: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina Adrienne wrote: "Great review Dina...haven't read any Julie Garwood,think I need to check her out:)"

Adrienne, I'm kind of new to Garwood too, this was only my 3rd book by her. I really loved the 1st 2 books I read, The Secret and Ransom. Both of them were keepers for me.

message 12: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne Thanks Dina. I'll see if I can get my hands either one of those to start off with:)

Corrine Awwww... sorry you didn't lurrrrve it the way I did, but I'm glad you enjoyed the second half. Great review, Dina!

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

Dina Thanks, Corrine! I lurrrrved the 2nd half, so it was more than worth reading this book. :)

message 15: by Eastofoz (new) - added it

Eastofoz I 'think' I have this on TBR -gotta go look (!) Funny how some fan faves some people just don't really like. Garwood's very popular Honor's Splendour was blah for me.

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

Dina Oh no, East! Honor's Splendour is going to be my next Garwood. Oh well, we shall see how it goes for me...

message 17: by Eastofoz (new) - added it

Eastofoz Dina I'm one of the very few people it seems that didn't care much for HS. I thought it was too wordy and it didn't have enough steam. Of course I was just coming off her two excellent ones "Ransom" and "The Secret" so maybe I was expecting something as good at least word play wise. Fingers crossed you'll like it :)

message 18: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 30, 2009 10:47AM) (new)

Great review, wolfie! This is on my to read eventually TBR. lol

I'd have to agree with East. Honor's Slendour was good, but way to wordy for me. I liked The Secret and Ransom a lot better. That said it was still a good read, with some great scenes. I loved her being his feet warmer. :)

message 19: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina Thanks, East! Now that you mentioned it, I was just coming off the wonderful The Secret and Ransom when I read Saving Grace, so maybe that's why I wasn't wowed by it. I'm going to take a break before I read my next Garwood to avoid being burned out.

message 20: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Terrific review Dina. Believe or it not, I've never read one of Garwood's historicals before. *ducking thrown shoes and hairbrushes* Sounds like one for the TBR pile!

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

Dina Thanks, audball! See, we agree again: The Secret and Ransom were great reads. ;)

message 22: by Dina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dina Thanks, Tammy! I believe you, since this was only my 3rd Garwood. Always late to the party, as usual... ;)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) You have something good to look forward to, Tammy.

message 24: by Tammy (new)

Tammy I've read a couple of Garwood's suspense novels and really liked them, so I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy her historicals too. =)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I always get into writers by reading their historicals first, and then I'm stubborn about switching over. But boy am I glad I read Kresley Cole's A Hunger Like No Other after starting her with the MacCarricks. The rest is history.

message 26: by Eastofoz (new) - added it

Eastofoz Danielle, I read the first book in Cole's MacCarricks and really didn't like it but I ordered all three so the other two are still hanging around TBR. I love her IAD series though :)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) East, I think you'll enjoy the next two although Jane bugged me. I think Hugh loves her way more than she loves him. I don't like the inequality in a relationship in romances. But I love the MacCarrick men. Too sexy for words, and when they fall, they fall hard. Ethan is such a bad, yummy, delicious, scrumptious, hot mess. :)

Karen Ah...Ethan McCarrick. The third book is definitely the best...and how about the scene in the dressing room? ;)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Yeah, and the carriage, and all the other scenes too. :)

message 30: by Eastofoz (new) - added it

Eastofoz Danielle maybe I should skip book two (I'm not a fan of inequality in relationships either) and go right for book 3 --which it turns out I don't have on TBR (!)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) Well that's just my opinion. Don't let that turn you off the book. I just feel that Jane did a lot of teasing of Hugh sexually and she didn't realize how crazy he was about her because he was trying to resist her. He truly didn't think he was good enough for her. He was really in love with her. That part was appealing. I just found her spoiled is all. You might not feel the same way. I do think the third book is the best, but Hugh is worth reading If You Desire for.

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