Review: Saving Grace by Julie Garwood

Review: Saving Grace by Julie GarwoodSaving Grace by Julie Garwood
Published by Pocket Books on 1993
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Copy

In this splendid New York Times bestseller, Julie Garwood brilliantly crafts the majestic story of a young Englishwoman determined to fight for her freedom...a woman whose life would be transformed by the rare, unexpected gift of love.

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, the handsome Scottish warrior Gabriel MacBain.

At first Johanna was shy, but as Gabriel tenderly revealed the splendid pleasures they would share, she came to suspect that she was falling in love with her gruff new husband. And it was soon apparent to the entire Highlands clan that their brusque, gallant laird had surrendered his heart completely. But now a desperate royal intrigue threatened to tear her from his side -- and to destroy the man whose love meant more to her than she had ever dreamed!

I’ve always liked and enjoyed Saving Grace by Julie Garwood. I’ve read it numerous times, but I haven’t read it in at least 5 years. So while I had warm feelings towards Saving Grace, I actually had forgotten how absolutely amazing this book is. Saving Grace by Julie Garwood is such a fantastic story full of romance, and humor, but also takes a look at how woman were valued (or not valued) showcases a woman who grows and develops confidence in herself.

Saving Grace is about Johanna, who was married off to an English baron when she was still nearly a child, but is now a widow, her husband dying a few years ago. To say that Johanna’s first marriage was a terrible experience is putting it mildly. But now Johanna is marrying a Scottish Laird, Gabriel, and it’s changes her life.

You guys, I just love Johanna. She starts off the book as a (justifiably) frightened young woman. But even though you can see her fear, she does show her backbone from time to time. It’s really amazing to see Johanna grow into a confident, strong woman throughout the story. It take some time, but Johanna’s determination is so admirable and made me love her all the more. Seeing her at first adjust to her new life in the Highlands, and then seeing her really become her own woman is just such an amazing thing. Johanna is definitely a favorite heroine of mine. I particularly love a scene where Johanna threatens to send an arrow into a man who is doing something despicable (no spoilers). I think it’s so revealing about who she is now and what she’s been through in the past.

Gabriel, the hero, oh man do I love him. Gabriel is the best kind of hero. He’s certainly strong and capable, but he’s kind as well. Although Gabriel has a growly side, he’s all bark and no bite (at least to those he cares about. Don’t get on his bad side, though!). And although he’s not exactly sure what to do with his new wife (they had never met before their wedding), he’s immediately drawn to her. And Johanna is drawn to him as well. It does take some time for Gabriel and Johanna to work things out, and the romance is just so swoony. I love how Gabriel gives Johanna the space she needs to figure out that she has value, but he’s also there to support her when she needs it.

Rereading a book is always special, but it’s even more special, when you reread a book and fall even more in love with it, and that’s what happened with me and Saving Grace. This is my ideal historical romance right her.


16 Responses to “Review: Saving Grace by Julie Garwood”

  1. Kaja

    Ah, you’re making me want to re-read this, too! I remember liking Johanna’s growth as well – she’s like a little stunted flower that is given the chance to bloom. And Gabriel is totally swoony (though “growly” is a wonderful description, too!), I wish more heroes were like him.
    This is actually THE romance that made me fall in love with historicals and romance in general, so it will always hold a special place for me. 🙂
    Great review, Quinn! 🙂

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      I can see how Saving Grace would make you fall in love with historical romances. This book is just amazing. I have a book that introduced me to historical romance, too, and it’s special to me for that reason.

  2. Eva @ All Books Considered

    I love re-reading books, especially longtime favorites! They are like old friends! I haven’t read this one or anything by this author but I’m definitely going to change that after reading your review!

    • Quinn's Book Nook

      Do it! I adore Julie Garwood. She’s one of my favorite historical romances writers. I wish she still wrote historical romance, but it makes her HRs extra special because she doesn’t.

  3. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Another Julie Garwood for me to add to my list! 🙂 Heroines who grow to appreciate themselves and growly heroes who are softies at heart always appeal to me. It’s wonderful that this book made you fall in love with it all over again!

  4. anna (herding cats & burning soup)

    Oh that sounds wonderful, Quinn! I’ve read only one of hers I think and I did enjoy it and plan to read more but then, well, you know how things go with the tbr pile. lol I’ll have to add this one to the mix though. I love seeing a character grow like that 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.