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Saving Grace

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  24,252 ratings  ·  884 reviews
When Lady Johanna learned that she was a widow, she vowed she would never marry again. Only sixteen, already she possessed a strength of will that impressed all who looked past her golden-haired beauty. Yet when King John demanded that she remarry and selected a bridegroom for her—it seemed she must acquiesce, until her beloved foster brother suggested she wed his friend, ...more
Paperback, 407 pages
Published March 1st 1994 by Pocket Books (first published October 1st 1993)
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Sandra Nicolas and Claire's story is told in this book also. The beginning of it anyway. Nicolas is Johanna's brother.

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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  24,252 ratings  ·  884 reviews

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Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
From the blurb, you might get the mistaken impression that the heroine is strong and smart. She's not. She's TSTL!

Yeah, it's contagious.

She never understands anything and is constantly asking for explanations from everyone. Strangely, this stupidity is mistaken often for cunning thinking. The men in her life are often thinking that she is purposely acting dumb in order to achieve her purpose. But, she's not. She's just dumb. That annoyed the crap out of me.

The dog in the book was smarter than he
Jul 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dina by: Corrine, MelissaB and BJ Rose
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 en ...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
I've read one other book by Julie Garwood. I wasn't that impressed with it, and after this one, I don't think I'll give her any more chances to wow me. There's a pervading sense of insult throughout this entire story. I feel like it's insulting to abused woman, insulting to alpha males, and insulting to highland Scots. Every single character is a caricature, and the humor relies entirely on the farcical, which gets damned annoying. It's also too long. Garwoood took the thinnest concept for a plo ...more
3.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: I got this book off the GR list for highlander romances, and it was an enjoyable read. If anyone has any other recommendations for highlander romances -- I'd love to hear them (because the list was kind of lacking)! I really liked both characters and I liked their banter with each other, which are both things that I think Ms. Garwood does well with her HR books. I'm going to drop my rating because of the pacing at first and the lackluster epilogue, but otherwise it was
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this for Romance Book Bingo 2017: Man in a Kilt square.

I have to have some happy right now and this book is it. I have been reading this since I was 12 or 13 and still have a copy of it on my shelves. The heroine (Johanna) kicks butt. The hero (Gabriel) kicks butt. We actually have a hero/heroine who thank God do not have any rape scenes between them. They reluctantly fall in love with each other which I thought was hilarious. The little family between Johanna, Gabriel, and Gabriel's son
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Where to begin?

In fear of sounding pathetic, I'd have to say that Julie's Saving Grace found me.

My aunt works in a hotel, and they always find books left behind (I know, blasphemers!). They store them neatly in shelves and, my guess is, wait for someone to take them home.

I was 9 or 10 at the time, when she brought me in to pick something out for myself.
English being a foreign language and all, I really didn't know which one to pick, so I reached my hand into the back of the shelf and fished out
Listened to the Audio 2/26/18: I enjoyed the narrator, though I wish she'd done a different voice for Gabriel. The story is just as stellar as ever.

Re-read 02/08/13 - LOVE!

How many times do you suppose I can re-read this and review it by saying LOVE!? Because I feel like this could go on forever.

Re-read 11/14/11 - LOVE!

This is one of my top 5 favorite Julie Garwood books. I absolutely adore everything about it from the setting to the characters.

The overall message - that women are just as imp
Sentranced Jem
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books by Julie Garwood.
Lady Gabriella of Awesomeness (SLOW)
4 Stars

Great story BUT
(view spoiler)

Other than that I found the female lead to be slightly annoying with her arsenal of white lies,but she kind of made up for it by the end.Great but
Definitely not one of my favorite Julie Garwood books. The beginning was depressing and I just didn't liking the heroine. I'm eating my words when I said, in my Ransom review, there wasn't a Julie Garwood heroine I didn't love. The ending, however, saved the book for me. In fact, it's my favorite ending of all the Julie Garwood books I've read. It was beautiful, poignant, and the symbolism of Gabriel placing his hands on Johanna's hands, helping her break the punishment rod, brought tears to my ...more
Duchess Nicole
Classic JG heroine...a little naive, but not as helpless and frail as the men think she is. Endearing, unique secondary characters. A touch of humor, and the ending packs a punch. Especially the last few lines. Glad I finally read this one!
Overall rating: 4 "Saving Grace" stars!

Cheating: (view spoiler)
Love triangle: (view spoiler)
Sex with om/ow: (view spoiler)
Intimate pasts: (view spoiler)
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
5 Wonderful Stars!
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
4,5 stars Buddy Read with Iliada and Riddhi <3

Just some products of brainstorming:

Great, great, great characters! Just what I expect from a Julie Garwood novel; a heroine which learns to show her true, genuine character (which is spirited, clever and sassy). An Alpha-hero of the first class, including a tender heart hidden somewhere behind the higland-warrior-facade. Realistic secondary characters, entertaining and sweet side-stories and subplots.

Heartmelting intimacy between the main characters
Lady Rogue
Jan 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of: http://escapebetweenthepages.blogspot...

Have you ever found yourself reading a certain book over and over again. Not because you didn't understand it, but because it was just that good? That is how I feel about Saving Graceby Julie Garwood. This book has it all. When I first bought it, I read it straight through, never putting it down, except for the occasional potty break.

After looking over the elegant cover, with its simplistic style and inviting colors, I opened the book
Lady Johanna is a widow and King John has decided she must marry again. Her foster brother, Nicholas, knows just the person for her to marry. Scottish Highlander Gabriel McBain. But Lady Johanna is more than just a pretty face and would gladly prove it but her new husband thinks her good for one thing only. Lots of great characters that make this a fun and delightful read. One of several books by Julie Garwood that I never get tired of rereading.
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Yes. I read another Kilt Romance.
Yes. I gave it five stars. Quit looking at me like that. I'll explain later.
Yes. My family is probably planning an intervention as we speak.
No. I'm not quite ready to stop yet. I *can* stop any time I want to. I just don't want to, ok? [Picks up Ransom by Julie Garwood...snuggles under covers]
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
This remains an enjoyable light HR, both the main characters are more than likeable - Highland warrior Gabriel McBain, and Johanna, who was married at a young to an abusive turd. So in her second marriage to Gabriel it takes her sometime to find her feet, both hesitantly falling in love.

Initially Johanna appears timid but it quickly becomes clear that Garwood has imbuded Johanna with steel. Gabriel is a fab match for her.

Garwood has created moments that will have you laughing/smiling, and the
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another re-read. ;)

THIS book is one of the reasons why Julie Garwood should go back to historicals! Just wonderful!
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval
The story was okay. Not the worst but neither was it the best. First 40% of the book both characters barely interacted and the story dragged with all the everyday stuff and chores, afterwards the pace picked up at least. It was a little too melodramatic for my taste. Some things just didn't make sense as if the author chose to overdo them to create issues. Not a favorite. But in the end Johanna's speech made up for some of it. Love it when a woman stands up for herself before her tormentor
After a re-read of this recently, I'm bumping my rating to five stars. A really good read! I didn't love it as mch the first time I read jt for some reason. The story took a bit of time to unravel, and at first it was moving too slowly for me in my first read through, but I really warmed up to it. Johanna is a strong character, but she's very young when she's first married and violently abused by her husband. So it takes her time to come out of her shell and start asserting herself. But from the ...more
4 Stars

I have been craving a medieval-set romance for awhile and was happy to find this book in a used bookstore especially since I know how much Quinn loves it. For me, Johanna is the star and the main reason why I could see myself re-reading it. I just loved seeing her develop into a confident young woman who ultimately ends up saving the day herself. Gabriel was appropriately alpha for the setting, but I liked the fact that he wasn't a jerk. His devotion to his clan and Johanna was nice to re
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Great, but I can't help feeling Garwood is missing something when telling her stories. Mostly, the characters lack the role of their past: the reader is not told sufficiently how the past shaped the characters. This book is no different, though it was a good read. Garwood attempted at implementing feminist ideas and theories in the story: I still haven't decided whether it was successful at enhancing the story. I certainly appreciate it, but I can't help feeling it out of place and time sometime ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars -- I read this on the recommendation of Lauren at the Novel Lush, and I'm so glad that I did! It reminded me so much of a Lynsay Sands Scottish historical. Very light, with a kind of easy breezy authorial voice I really enjoyed. Some of the elements wouldn't play as well if this was written in 2019, but overall, enjoyed & will read more when I need some light historical in my life ...more
Lover of Romance
Lady Johanna has recently become a widow, and against her wishes King John has commanded that she marry a Scottish Laird Gabriel MacBain. A warrior and leader, a man who has combined the strength of two clans, separate but together in harmony. Johanna knows that she has little choice, but she refuses to be treated the way her previous husband treated her. So in the moment where she meets her future husband, she feels fear, but she also feels an attraction she can’t explain. She senses he
I thought Saving Grace was a truly delightful story and a thoroughly engaging character-driven romance. I admit that, yes, it did have rather an anachronistic feel to it and that both Lady Johanna and her Laird were a little too modern in their sensibilities, but I was so drawn into the story that it really didn’t bother me.

Lady Johanna is a young English noblewoman who, at the beginning of the story, is only too relieved to discover that her older, abusive husband is dead. An heiress who lives
Old bookie friend reminded me I never reviewed this one even though I've re-read it often so here goes after a recent re-read...

One of the best of Garwood’s old historicals- it features a heroine who bravely finds a way out of an abusive situation- and, fortunately, into a lovematch. A hero who is gruff, but noble. And an intrigue plot featuring kings and conspiracies.

Okay, okay, it’s a romance novel plot, solved with a perfect Happily Ever After ending, accompanied by men too amazing to be beli
May 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star, historical
Julie Garwood's style of writing humorous yet emotionally deep romances puts her in an elite group of writers that I would say are "sure things". Saving Grace is in the same league as all her stories are and I recommend it highly.

Johanna is unlike many of Garwood's heroines in that she was married before and was abused by her husband and also by her priest. She is afraid, of nearly everything, which is unlike Garwood's normally self sufficient strong women. You can tolerate this, as the treatme
This is one of my first favorite romance novels. I reread it countless times. The story of Johanna and Gabe is a comfort read. Gabe is one of my favorite heroes. And Johanna's bravery is amazing every time.

This book is at once tender, funny, emotional, and fantasy. If you love Scots, you'll love this. If you like romance sweet and sexy, this is your book.

We have intrigue, growing to a trust and the amazing background of the Highlands written by one of the best historical romance writers ever to
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Probably my favorite Julie Garwood historical yet! The heroine, Johanna, had an amazing story and growth arc. I loved watching her get stronger and more vocal about her opinions. And the hero, Gabriel, was just perfect for her. He was an alpha hero, but most of that was just bluster. He was really a kind man with a great respect for his wife. And the side characters! I loved Gabriel's son Alex, he was so cute! Auggie, the priest, Calum, and Keith were all great in their own ways. The v
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With more than 35 million books in print and 26 NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers, Julie Garwood has earned a position among America's favorite fiction writers.

Born and raised in Kansas City, MO, Ms. Garwood attributes much of her success to growing up in a large family of Irish heritage. "The Irish are great storytellers who relish getting all of the details and nuances of every situation. Add in the fa

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“Children," Johanna drawled out. "They're such a joy. When you get married and have a family of your own, you'll understand what I'm saying. You are going to get married someday, aren't you, Keith?"
"Aye, m'lady," he answered. "Next summer as a matter of fact. Bridgid MacCoy has agreed to become my wife."
She couldn't quite hide her disappointment. She turned her gaze down the table and settled on Michael as a possibility.
He caught her staring at him. He smiled. She nodded. "Children," she began again. "They're wonderful, aren't they, Michael?"
"If you say so, m'lady."
"Oh, I do say," she replied. "When you get married, you'll understand. You do plan to marry someday, don't you, Michael?"
"Eventually," he answered with a shrug.
"Have you anyone in mind?"
"Are you matchmaking, m'lady?" Keith asked.
"Why would you think that?"
"I'll marry Helen when I'm ready," Michael interjected. "I've told her I will, and she agreed to wait."
Johanna frowned. The possibilities were becoming a bit limited. She turned to Niall.
"Children…" she began.
"She is matchmaking," Keith announced.
It was as though he'd just shouted the alarm that they were under siege. The soldiers literally jumped from their stools. They bowed to Johanna and left the room in the space of a single minute. She didn't even have enough time to order them back into their seats.”
“Johanna sat by the fire every night and worked on her tapestry. Dumfries waited until she was settled in her chair and then draped himself across her feet. It became a ritual for Alex to squeeze himself up next to her and fall asleep during her stories about fierce warriors and fair maidens. Johanna's tales all had a unique twist, for none of the heroines she told stories about ever needed to be rescued by their knights in shining armor. More often than not, the fair maidens rescued their knights.
Gabriel couldn't take issue with his wife. She was telling Alex the truth. It was a fact that maidens could rescue mighty, arrogant warriors. Johanna had certainly rescued him from a bleak, cold existence. She'd given him a family and a home. She was his love, his joy, his companion.
She was his saving grace.”
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