I loved Iain. I also really loved Judith. I thought Judith and Iain had a sweet relationship filled with passion.
In a few pages, Ms. Garwood had me loving Judith, the heroine, and her friend Frances Catherine. By the end of Chapter 2, I was also in love with Iain, the hero, and smiling like a silly girl. Judith and Frances Catherine met as children and formed an unlikely friendship. Iain was the laird of the Maitland clan and Frances Catherine's brother-in-law, and the idea of having an Englishwoman as a guest in his lands didn't particularly sit well with him but he agreed to fulfill his sister-in-law's request - after all, he was an honorable man and he always put his family first, no matter what. So he set to England to fetch Judith and escort her to her friend's side, even though he expected her to dishonor her childhood promise and not go to Frances Catherine's. Iain and Judith's love story was funny and sigh-worthy at the same time. There were also a few angsty moments near the end of the book, but I never doubted that Iain would make everything right.
This may seem like no big deal, but Judith is English and Frances Catherine is Scottish and in a clan of some very anti-English warriors. Frances Catherine reacts to Judith's marriage with the perfect best-friend question: "Are we happy about this marriage?" Judith lifted her shoulders in a shrug. But, after seeing the friendship of these two, things start to change. Judith does a lot to lift up the women, and I love how her Laird husband supports her in every change.
I will always love visiting the highlands and Judith and Ian's love story is one of my very favourites. Judith is a strong and feisty English woman whose best friend is a Scot. Ian is Laird and as a favour to his brother offers to collect the English woman.
I loved how possessive the hero was towards the heroine. Still loved it.
I did, however, find it difficult to feel the connection and chemistry between Iain's and Judith's characters during the first half of the book. I loved the richly developed and engaging relationships that Iain and Judith had with the secondary characters. By far the best written wedding scene I've read to date!
Audio/Kindle/Paperback Review Very rarely do I have the opportunity to read a book that isn't a review required read, but I needed something familiar, something comforting this past week, and so I chose to re-read/listen to this story. I had read The Secret (paperback) years ago and never reviewed because I was on a Julie Garwood binge. This story will always be a favorite read, but as a listen? Description...New York Times best-selling author Julie Garwood captures the Highland splendor of medieval Scotland in this breathtaking love story. Surely nothing would wrench her from the affection and trust of Iain and his clan...not even the truth about her father, a devastating secret that could shatter the boldest alliance, and the most glorious of loves!My review... As I said, my reading time is precious to me and there isn't enough of it, but when I needed something familiar and comforting, I chose this book. it captured my heart and made me fall in love with the obstinate Laird Iain Maitland and the adorable, equally obstinate Lady Judith, all over again.
I know most of my GR friends get upset over the almost none existing female rights of those times and want all heroines to be strong, bold and independent, which would be absolutely absurd for their environment. And I am sure that every woman who has ever read a romance novel knows, the Scottish man, being from the highlands, lowlands or the border region, is the hottest, most virulent man in the world!!!
On one hand, you have very serious topics: dangers and fear of pregnancy (which is the first time I have read in a historical so I give the author kudos for that), battles between clans in Scotland, the hatred between the Scottish and the English. Shes even able to introduce changes about the way women are treated in the clan and everybody sees the justice of her arguments and agrees with her!
I felt like the romance was off to great start, but then quickly took a backseat to the clan and family drama going on. Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Judith and Iain story. The more time they spend together, the more they cannot deny the pull they feel towards one another and fall in love. There is some clan and family drama, a few sexy times, and some funny moments...and they get a HEA ending. Overall Pace of Story: Good.
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. After the publications of two young-adult books, she turned her talents to historical fiction.