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30 review for Gift

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stacey is Sassy

    The parasols nearly sunk the boat...I mean ship The Gift by Julie Garwood has always been one of my favourite historical romance novels. I haven't re-read it in years and when friends decided a Julie Garwood buddy read was in order, The Gift was chosen. We are introduced to Nathan at the age of fourteen and Sara at the age of four. The daft King decided to stop the feuding between each of their families by joining the young couple in marriage. Sara's family are despicable and throughout the story The parasols nearly sunk the boat...I mean ship The Gift by Julie Garwood has always been one of my favourite historical romance novels. I haven't re-read it in years and when friends decided a Julie Garwood buddy read was in order, The Gift was chosen. We are introduced to Nathan at the age of fourteen and Sara at the age of four. The daft King decided to stop the feuding between each of their families by joining the young couple in marriage. Sara's family are despicable and throughout the story we see them at their worst. Nathan's is not much better, but they are loyal. When the couple finally come together to live as man and wife, it's not all plain sailing. I loved this couple. Sara is an absolute crack up. Her naive outlook on life and her unquestionable faith in her husband is sweet. Nathan is a gruff and impatient man who wants the contract fulfilled without his emotions getting involved. Their journey is filled with rough seas and dastardly parasols, but Sara's positive outlook and Nathan's determination help them survive the storms. Julie Garwood is one of the most brilliant historical romance authors and her stories always leave me with a smile on my face. She brings her characters to life and makes you fall in love with them. This was a great reminder to step back in time more regularly and enjoy the fun, excitement, sexy times and adventure that a good historical romance provides. This review and more can be found at http://edgyreviews.com/

  2. 4 out of 5

    kari

    This book is awful. I have read Garwood before and thoroughly enjoyed the tale, but this one has such cardboard characters in search of a plot that I'm surprised I managed to finish plowing through it. Truly terrible and from an author I've enjoyed prior to this. Sara, the female lead(can't even call this one a heroine) was married at the age of four to the then fourteen year old Nathan in order to settle a centuries old feud between their families. When this story begins it's years later and Nat This book is awful. I have read Garwood before and thoroughly enjoyed the tale, but this one has such cardboard characters in search of a plot that I'm surprised I managed to finish plowing through it. Truly terrible and from an author I've enjoyed prior to this. Sara, the female lead(can't even call this one a heroine) was married at the age of four to the then fourteen year old Nathan in order to settle a centuries old feud between their families. When this story begins it's years later and Nathan has come to collect his bride. Sara is the most ridiculous insipid air-head that I've ever had the displeasure to come across. She sounds and behaves more like a ten year old crybaby than the grown woman she is supposed to be. I bet there isn't two pages in the entire book in which she isn't sobbing, weeping, crying, sniffling, about to burst into tears or her eyes watering in an emoting way of some kind. She even cries after the sexin, but those are tears of rapturous uncontrollable joy. Whatev. I really wanted to tell her to grow the heck up. She actually stomps on her husband's foot when they are having a disagreeement. That bears repeating: She stomps her dainty childlike foot on his to make a point. She is in love with him after about two days and all she can think about, when she's thinking at all, which is seldom, is how to make Nathan say he loves her since she's already sure that he does and even tells him what a perfect wife she is for him. Oh, if only that were true. Nathan, for his part, glares, grunts, grumbles, groans and gets right down to the sexin, because they have to have a baby to get the land from the ..... oh never mind, this really isn't important to the story, oh wait, except that it's supposedly what this whole messy mishmash is about. He might be an interesting character, but we barely get to know him. What's his history? Who is he? Why is he how he is? Nathan has terrible scars on his back which are mentioned, but never really explained, much like everything in this book. Of course, everyone simply falls in love with Sara because, who knows? Silly, lacking of any story until about the last thirty pages. Basically it's have sex, she provokes him/does something stupd, have sex, provokes/does stupid, repeat....... I'd give this one star, but I give those only to books I truly can't stand so it gets an extremely reluctant two. Poorly done from an author who can certainly do better. My recommendation: Choose another of her novels.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    4 "fun-filled" stars! I've LOVED listening to this series. The Gift is another charming and delightful book by the very talented Julie Garwood. I can't seem to get enough of this author and that says it all.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Steven Walle

    The Gift was a great novel. It is a story of two fuding families and how won four year old girl is betrothed to won eighteen year old boy from the rival family are to put an end to this fight. The young family grow to trust and love each other. The book was very well written a definite page turner. I would recommend this to people over eighteen because of the violents and explisit descriptions of sex. Enjoy and Be Blessed. Diamond

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    What can I say about Julie Garwood that I haven't said yet? I just love her writing. I know she's "formulaic" in her characterization of her H/h, but I happen to like her "formula". If it isn't broken, why fix it? :) The St. Jameses and the Winchesters have been enemies since the middle age, but King George decides to put a stop to their warring by ordering a marriage between Nathan, the young Marquess of St. James, and Sara, the even younger daughter of the Earl of Winchester. Obviously, the gro What can I say about Julie Garwood that I haven't said yet? I just love her writing. I know she's "formulaic" in her characterization of her H/h, but I happen to like her "formula". If it isn't broken, why fix it? :) The St. Jameses and the Winchesters have been enemies since the middle age, but King George decides to put a stop to their warring by ordering a marriage between Nathan, the young Marquess of St. James, and Sara, the even younger daughter of the Earl of Winchester. Obviously, the groom and the bride are given some time to consummate the marriage, given the fact that he's 14 years old and, gasp, she's only 4. Now, 14 years later, it's time Nathan collected his bride - and the King's gift (coins and lands) that comes with it, as he needs the money to jump start the shipping company he's opened with his friend Colin. Plus, he's a man of his word and it's his signature on the marriage contract, so he will consummate the marriage, no matter what. Unfortunately, Sara's father isn't a man of his word and he wants nothing to do with the St. James, so Nathan is "forced" to kidnap his own bride. Sara has fantasized about her husband since childhood, picturing him as a knight in shining armor who would eventually come and rescue her from her unloving family. She's dismayed when she meets Nathan, as he's nothing like she's dreamed about, but she recovers - after a fit of temper - and decides to be the best wife he could ever want. Poor Nathan! His life is about to be turned upside down by her efforts to please him and he doesn't have the slightest clue, LOL. The majority of this book - and Nathan and Sara's "honeymoon" - takes place on Nathan's ship, as they travel to Sara's aunt Nora's island to take her (Nora) back home. As they get to spend time together, Sara falls in love with Nathan - naturally! - and he starts to care for her. As most heroes in Romancelandia, Nathan is slow at realizing he loves Sara, but she's relentless and she'll have him admit it sooner or later. Stubborn that he is, that happens later than sooner, but it's worth the wait. :) Nathan was a typical Garwood hero and we all know how they are: arrogant to the bone, dominant, possessive, strongly protective and more comfortable with grunting than speaking coherently. Awww, isn't that sweet? LOL! Sara was also a typical Garwood heroine: quirky, airheaded, naïve, funny and loving. That was all good to me, but she was also prone to opening the waterworks every other page and that became annoying after a while. She cried when she was sad, when she was mad, when she was happy, when she had an orgasm... I guess that was supposed to be funny/charming(?), but it got on my nerves. It wasn't bad enough to make me dislike Sara, but it was jarring enough to make me take notice. All in all, this was a very pleasant read. There were a lot of LOL moments - provided not only by Nathan and Sara, but by several secondary characters too - and some sweet scenes between Nathan and Sara. I especially liked the scene where Nathan asks his brother-in-law Caine to make him a list of endearments he could use to call Sara, as he couldn't go on calling her "Damn It Sara" forever. Oh boy, he was a goner... and so was I. Great hero, great book! Nitpicking: Nathan's brother-in-law Caine, who's the hero in Guardian Angel, was a marquess in his book. Now, he's an earl. What happened? Why was he "demoted"? Bad writing/editing?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lakshmi C

    This was an incredibly difficult book to rate. The story ended well but something was missing...what was it? Others would obsess or re-read the story, I moved on to the last book in the series hoping the answer would miraculously turn up. The King has forced two feuding families into an alliance. A substantial gift is the carrot at the end of the stick. The two people stuck in this alliance are Nathan and Sara. Nathan was surly but protective, Sara was naive but devoted. She never held anything ba This was an incredibly difficult book to rate. The story ended well but something was missing...what was it? Others would obsess or re-read the story, I moved on to the last book in the series hoping the answer would miraculously turn up. The King has forced two feuding families into an alliance. A substantial gift is the carrot at the end of the stick. The two people stuck in this alliance are Nathan and Sara. Nathan was surly but protective, Sara was naive but devoted. She never held anything back and wore her heart on her sleeve. Nathan kidnaps Sara so he can get his hands on the Gift and the rest is about both of them surviving each other. He had believed he would have to protect his wife from the world. Now he knew the truth. It had become his duty to protect the world from his wife. The Curse of the Infernal Weeping Nathan's ship and crew are the victims of several accidents, the superstitious ones believe Sara is the harbinger of doom. Sara's response to most situations is tears. She cries when she's happy, she cries when she's sad, she cries when she's troubled, she cries when she's mad... This made Nathan and his crew wary. Nathan got over his wariness. I didn't. He sounded as if he was close to weeping when he bellowed, “She set my ship on fire.” “She didn’t do it on purpose,” Matthew defended. Nathan wasn’t listening. “She set my ship on fire,” he repeated in a roar. There have been many hints about Nathan's backstory in the other books. He was a spy, he was caught in a conspiracy, he was betrayed by a woman he cared for, he was tortured and thanks to Jade, he was also Pagan. I couldn't contain my excitement waiting to learn more but none of this was explored. We don't even see much of his partner Colin which was a shame. This let me down, I'm a miserable house elf. Sara is consumed by her love for Nathan. While this works out extremely well for Nathan, it makes you feel like an outsider. You can't connect with her because you don't see her fall for him, it has already happened. What will you do if a snake bites you?” she asked as she passed him. “Bite him back,” Nathan drawled. That ludicrous remark made her laugh. “You would, wouldn’t you?” Sara gets annoyed with Nathan, she wants more but she melts around him, all her sensible plans disappear. If she were a little firm, things could have worked out sooner. Me : Be firm, be a cheesecake or a brownie. Sara : Nathan, Nathan, Nathan... Me : Even mousse is acceptable at this point.... Sara : Nathan! Nathan!! Nathan !!! Me : Fine. Be Jelly for life. Still, this was an an enjoyable read. Caine and Jade make an appearance which was too cute. I like how Julie Garwood always has a support system for the young, married couple. In this book, this role is played by Jimbo, Matthew and Nora. What was missing? I liked this book, but I didn't love it. This book has been friendzoned and the need for half stars is real, people.

  7. 5 out of 5

    ❀ Rose ❀

    Re-read: August 2020 🔹 Overall feelings: 〰 Alright, where to start? I first read this book about 5 years ago and I loved it. Although I had certain issues with it at the time (and I still have the same issues today), I have to admit that they never deterred from my overall enjoyment of this book which is why i’ve given it such a high rating. Although some things still grate on my nerves, the nostalgia that I feel when I think of this book will always ensure that it has a special place in my heart Re-read: August 2020 🔹 Overall feelings: 〰 Alright, where to start? I first read this book about 5 years ago and I loved it. Although I had certain issues with it at the time (and I still have the same issues today), I have to admit that they never deterred from my overall enjoyment of this book which is why i’ve given it such a high rating. Although some things still grate on my nerves, the nostalgia that I feel when I think of this book will always ensure that it has a special place in my heart (as this is one of the first books that I ever read when I first started becoming a bookworm). That said, let’s get into reviewing this novel: 🔹 What I liked: 〰 If there’s one reason that could explain why I hold this book in such high regards its this: the characters are unlike any other historical romance characters i’ve ever read about. If you’ve read this novel you’re probably disagreeing with me about this statement but just hear me out. This is the only novel that I’ve ever read in which both main characters represent the stereotypical versions of the males/females of their time period. Usually, when I read historical romances, which I admit is quite often, we ALWAYS get this revolutionary female lead whose unlike all other females of her time (in the sense that she’s clever, witty and a feminist). We also get males that are extremely open-minded and see their spouses as their equal (which, of course they should, but if you look at the time period that just wasn’t the case for most men). The reason authors do this is because they want contemporary audiences to be able to actually like their female and male leads. And let’s be honest, we would never be able to actually root for a man who sees his wife as his inferior, or even for a women who makes us want to rip our hair out. That said, the reason I appreciate this author so much is because she gave us leads that actually fit well with what history told us about men and women of the 19th century. For instance... 🔹 Sarah: 〰 Meet sarah, our sweet, naive, trusting and VERY dependent female lead. She’s extremely stereotypical in the sense that she cries every two seconds and faints once or twice in this novel. She doesn’t believe that she needs to learn how to defend herself (or how to do anything really) as it is her husband’s duty to protect her at all costs. She’s a romantic at heart and has been in love with her husband for years now even though she only met him once when she was four years old. She’s absolutely convinced that her husband loves her back even though the latter has never said or done anything to indicate as much. Finally, she decides to make it her mission throughout the novel to show him how lucky he is to have her as his wife (she literally says those exact same words to him). That said, she’s a bad liar and often misses obvious stuff that happen right in front of her which, obviously, makes her seem kinda dumb sometimes. 〰 Although a description such as this one might make you change your mind about reading this book, I can guarantee that all of sarah’s flaws soon become quite endearing (even if a bit frustrating at times). The fact that she realizes at the end of the book just how dependent she makes herself ought to be also helps us as readers like her even more. Although she’s genuinely very sweet and kind hearted, her naivety never really bothered me since, as I mentioned previously, it added to the whole stereotypical image that I had of her (and that I found quite refreshing since, for once, I found that I was reading a historical novel with a character that’s very different from myself or from all women of my time period. That made the whole “historical” element seem more real and feel really well done in my opinion). 🔹 Nathan: 〰 Meet Nathan, a man who upon first meeting can only be described as a brute. This gem right here can be seen as stereotypical in the sense that his views about marriage belong very much to men of the early nineteenth century. He very much believes that his wife is not as clever as him (at least in the beginning) and does several things throughout the novel to remind her that since he’s the man in the relationship, he should get the last word in... well, everything really. He’s extremely cold towards his wife at first and is often irritated with her dramatics to the point where he might seem a bit of an ass to be honest. 〰 Nathan changes a bit throughout the course of this book of course but I still wish that he had groveled a bit more towards the end. I find that Sarah forgave him wayyy too quickly to be honest. And since we were often privy to his thoughts about his wife, it got to a point where I genuinely felt like Sarah deserved better since he seemed so unfeeling and unsympathetic at times. I still liked him but just not as much as I liked his wife. 🔹 Final thoughts: 〰 All that being said, the writing style was great, the dialogue was entertaining and let’s not forget that this book definitely made me laugh out loud NUMEROUS times which is always great (and never easy to do). In conclusion, I definitely recommend it and although it’s not the best historical romance that I’ve ever read, I have to say that it’s one that I often think about and that will always hold a special place in my heart.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Julia Garwood has the distinct talent of creating the most unlikeable and annoying female characters on the planet. This girl got on my nerves so much I wanted to scream. Charmingly innocent? Seriously? That’s what you’re going to call Sara? Amazingly stupid, astoundingly aggravating, or unbelievably naïve are more apt terms. The naiveté was supposed to be charming and funny, I’m sure, but it’s not. It’s absolutely the farthest thing from charming and funny as you can possibly get. After they hav Julia Garwood has the distinct talent of creating the most unlikeable and annoying female characters on the planet. This girl got on my nerves so much I wanted to scream. Charmingly innocent? Seriously? That’s what you’re going to call Sara? Amazingly stupid, astoundingly aggravating, or unbelievably naïve are more apt terms. The naiveté was supposed to be charming and funny, I’m sure, but it’s not. It’s absolutely the farthest thing from charming and funny as you can possibly get. After they have sex he rolls over and starts to go to sleep, saying nothing to her and frankly ignoring her, so what does she do? She feels the need for reassurance and to be told she pleased him, so she’s yelling in his ear to try to wake him up. Need I say more? But the aggravation didn’t stop there. She goes on to perform every brainless, stupid and outlandish deed that can ever happen on a ship. She sets his cabin on fire and burns down the framing or something. There’s some nonsense about her parasols, and more crazy, ridiculous things occur. I’m not sure if it was this book, or The Charm School, that the woman got her hair caught in some roping on deck and he had to cut her hair short, but the scene was just over the top. I love pirates, I love pirate ships, being on the ocean—everything about pirates, but this author managed to completely ruin that. I saw the ship on the front of the book and grabbed it up thinking I was in store for an exciting adventure, but my god, was I wrong. I was like oh my god, shoot me now and put me out of my misery! Nathan treated her like a dog, which was awful for a husband to treat his wife like that, but she deserved it—and a lot more. I wanted him to throw her overboard. She deserved to be fed to the sharks so I would never have to hear another word of hers ever again. I think the only funny thing in this book was when she starts using cuss words in front of the priest to teach Nathan a lesson that cussing is bad, but it was only slightly funny, because nothing she did could ever be funny, and he overreacted and got more mad than the occasion warranted. I am thoroughly convinced that Julie Garwood is one of the worst romance authors and her characters will drive you up the dang wall. I won’t be reading any more of her books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Abibliophobia-the fear of running out of things to read 🥺

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ 4.25 stars I usually hate the child bride trope where ten years later the husband comes out of the blue. I find it kind of stupid, so I was hesitant about reading this book. However, Garwood actually did the trope justice! Sara (18) was married at the age of four to her fourteen year old bridegroom, Nathan. I thought she was an adorable heroine at both four and eighteen! She was just feisty enough. I liked that she had a backbone, but wasn’t ridiculous about it like a lot of historical ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ 4.25 stars I usually hate the child bride trope where ten years later the husband comes out of the blue. I find it kind of stupid, so I was hesitant about reading this book. However, Garwood actually did the trope justice! Sara (18) was married at the age of four to her fourteen year old bridegroom, Nathan. I thought she was an adorable heroine at both four and eighteen! She was just feisty enough. I liked that she had a backbone, but wasn’t ridiculous about it like a lot of historical fiction heroines. Sometimes their independence and spitfire-ness can be extremely annoying. Nathan (28) was not my favorite Garwood hero. His grudge against love was not really explained and the explanation that was given was kind of idiotic. Other than he was incredibly considerate and protective of the heroine, which was very nice. The whole him being Pagen thing was not really touched on though. In conclusion, this wasn’t my favorite Garwood book since there is definitely stiff competition in that category, but it is a really good historical romance!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I read this book 20 years ago and remember loving it. My perceptions have chanced a bit over the years and while I found this a bit corny and full of clichés, I still had a smile on my face the whole time I read and was a little misty eyed at the end. My findings? A Garwood will never go out of style. It's still a 5 star read :)

  11. 4 out of 5

    MG *Bury Me with My Kindle.. & a REALLY Long Charger*

    4 stars Further RTC... Overall, another well-written book by JG with a solid plot line, mystery/intrigue/suspense, likeable characters, and a satisfying HEA. The H was described exactly the way I like 'em, but the h was over-the-top with the damsel in distress and constant bursting into tears situation.

  12. 4 out of 5

    NMmomof4

    3 Stars Overall Opinion: I'm a little disappointed. The blurb sounded awesome and I've had some great success with Julie Garwood books in the past, but this is not going down as one of my favorites. I struggled with the characters. I didn't feel like I knew the H all that much and the h was waaaayyy too weepy for my liking. I also struggled with the pacing, as it felt too slow in some parts and the ending felt rushed with not nearly enough grovel. I did, however, like the shenanigans the h accid 3 Stars Overall Opinion: I'm a little disappointed. The blurb sounded awesome and I've had some great success with Julie Garwood books in the past, but this is not going down as one of my favorites. I struggled with the characters. I didn't feel like I knew the H all that much and the h was waaaayyy too weepy for my liking. I also struggled with the pacing, as it felt too slow in some parts and the ending felt rushed with not nearly enough grovel. I did, however, like the shenanigans the h accidentally got into on the ship and her relationships with the H's men. Overall, it was a "just okay" 3 Stars read for me. Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Sara and Nathan's story. This starts when they are forced to marry by the king to help settle a feud between their families. It continues ~14 years later when Nathan has waited long enough to make his marriage official and collect the king's gift of riches and land by producing an heir in his marriage. They end up facing their marriage on a long journey on one of Nathan's ships to help save Sara's aunt and return her home in the Caribbean. There are some funny moments, a few sexy times, some family drama...and they get a HEA ending. POV: This alternated between focusing mainly on Sara and Nathan in 3rd person narrative. Overall Pace of Story: Not my favorite. I felt like this was slow at some parts and the ending was way too abrupt. I never skimmed though. Instalove: Yes for the h and it takes a while for the H. H rating: 3 stars. Nathan. I liked his sense of humor and how he appreciated the h's quirky ways even when she inadvertently caused mischief, but I also don't feel like we got very deep into his character. h rating: 3 stars. Sara. I feel like I had a love hate relationship with her. I loved the quirks she had and her extreme loyalty, but I hated how she cried so much and sometimes acted pitiful (maybe to signify her age...?) Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed Push/Pull: Yes (view spoiler)[ The H pushes away a good bit emotionally and at one point the h does as well. They both pursue the relationship at times. (hide spoiler)] Heat level: Good. They have some good tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story. Descriptive sex: Yes OW/OM drama: No Sex scene with OW or OM: No Cheating: Yes (view spoiler)[there are some vague mentions of the H being with other women and this was while he was technically already married to the h (but marriage was not yet consummated) (hide spoiler)] Separation: No Possible Triggers: Yes (view spoiler)[Domestic violence (side characters and h - off page), arranged marriage with 10 year age difference (h was 4/H was 14 when married), and the h was a virgin while the H had other partners before the h (no details but while married). (hide spoiler)] Closure: This had way too abrupt ending with what I would reluctantly call a HEA (view spoiler)[they're still married (hide spoiler)] , but I definitely felt like I wanted more. A glimpse into their future would've been nice! It was like the conflict was resolved and then it was over with no time in between (or for the H to grovel). Safety: This one is probably either Safe with exception or Not Safe for most safety gang readers depending on personal preferences. (view spoiler)[ - Does have cheating - Does Not have a descriptive sex scene with OW/OM - Does have both the h and H pushing away - Does Not have a separation between the h and H - Does Not have abuse by mcs - Does have a HEA ending (see above) (hide spoiler)]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lili Marcus

    Maybe I just read this one in a wrong time...Because seriously what a meh!!!...The girl was a uuughhh!!!..What an idiot..(Im sorry I dont really use that word in real people but ugh!!!) It wasn't her first time boarding in a ship, for God's sake. She's not an effing child not to know the basic or even GET the do's and don'ts..But almost fifty percent of the book was about this girl's stupidity. And she's so pushy, always trying her best to win other's confidence and trust.. WTF. And the guy, Goo Maybe I just read this one in a wrong time...Because seriously what a meh!!!...The girl was a uuughhh!!!..What an idiot..(Im sorry I dont really use that word in real people but ugh!!!) It wasn't her first time boarding in a ship, for God's sake. She's not an effing child not to know the basic or even GET the do's and don'ts..But almost fifty percent of the book was about this girl's stupidity. And she's so pushy, always trying her best to win other's confidence and trust.. WTF. And the guy, Goooood!!!..When I read about him at the previous book in this series, I was excited because his story seemed more interesting but what a disappointment. He was even more likable in the previous book... And the sex scenes...especially the first ones...gawd!!!..,I hate them.. I just realize that I couldn't even use their names. because what's the point? And the only reason I gave this one 2 stars because I really like the beginning...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I think my decision to re-read Garwood's historicals starting with the ones I've only read once was not my best idea ever. I first read this when I was about 18 (the heroine's age) and many years later all I really remembered was not liking Sara as much as I'd liked Jade and Christina. Unfortunately, I now have a clear idea of why that was my only memory: Sara is a sugary mess. She's talked about like she's the cutest, most artlessly charming thing ever, but the way she acts ... I mean the level I think my decision to re-read Garwood's historicals starting with the ones I've only read once was not my best idea ever. I first read this when I was about 18 (the heroine's age) and many years later all I really remembered was not liking Sara as much as I'd liked Jade and Christina. Unfortunately, I now have a clear idea of why that was my only memory: Sara is a sugary mess. She's talked about like she's the cutest, most artlessly charming thing ever, but the way she acts ... I mean the level of selfish, brainless, delusional behavior is amazing. But I guess it's ok because she's smiling prettily the whole way through... except when she starts shrieking for no reason. And Garwood's description of Sara's "repulsive" female relatives made me think of a Laurenston heroine: big, strong, and capable of laying a beat-down on anyone who crosses them. I'd rather read about one of them than Sara, who seems like a marshmallow peep in comparison. (In case that was too subtle: yes, there is some pretty blatant fat shaming.) The hero... eh, he's from the alphahole mold, but an unfinished version of it. Really not well developed enough for me to have much of a reaction either way As for the plot... childhood marriage contract with monetary consequences, pirate ships and tropical islands. So much potential, so little payoff. Mostly due to a surfeit of sugar in place of actual structure. I now have one more only-read-once book to get through. I'll give it a chance, but so far this attempt at going on a Garwood glom has been so unpleasant that I'm kind of afraid to try the ones I did have fond memories of.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Debbie DiFiore

    Not as good as her others! I love Julie Garwood but this is not one of her best in my honest opinion! I love the heroine so much but the hero just wasn't my favorite. He's no Broderick, or Ian , or Alec. Not even close. Least favorite of her heroes actually. I don't even know why but I just didn't love him. The heroine was just great. I loved the part where she is behind the villain and says "should I am Not him between the ears or the neck this time?" When she had never done that before. It was Not as good as her others! I love Julie Garwood but this is not one of her best in my honest opinion! I love the heroine so much but the hero just wasn't my favorite. He's no Broderick, or Ian , or Alec. Not even close. Least favorite of her heroes actually. I don't even know why but I just didn't love him. The heroine was just great. I loved the part where she is behind the villain and says "should I am Not him between the ears or the neck this time?" When she had never done that before. It was so funny. She saved her Aunt and just was awesome. I loved When all the men on the ship wore garlic around their necks because they thought she was cursed lol. The opening scene is precious too with the four year old heroine married the fourteen year old hero. Very cute. But the rest of the book was just so so. Of course I still have read it several times just because I love Garwood. And it still is on my favorite shelf as all her books are and will always be.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Varied Books

    1.5 stars Audio book- narrator was good I hated the h. I wanted to strangle her many times. She was a brat & TSTL. I liked the Hero. 1.5 stars Audio book- narrator was good I hated the h. I wanted to strangle her many times. She was a brat & TSTL. I liked the Hero.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Sara reaches a level of charming stupidity that can only be matched by a slow puppy. The kind that falls over a lot, barks at its reflection, and runs into glass doors. Adorable, but childish and annoying. She also cries at least once a chapter. Seriously. Nathan's amusing, pirate-y, commanding, and can't understand love (shocking). It made for an entertaining, exasperating, and cliched story. If you can handle a truly dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks heroine, enjoy a slightly slapstick/absurd humor, and lo Sara reaches a level of charming stupidity that can only be matched by a slow puppy. The kind that falls over a lot, barks at its reflection, and runs into glass doors. Adorable, but childish and annoying. She also cries at least once a chapter. Seriously. Nathan's amusing, pirate-y, commanding, and can't understand love (shocking). It made for an entertaining, exasperating, and cliched story. If you can handle a truly dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks heroine, enjoy a slightly slapstick/absurd humor, and love your heroes gruff/alpha, you might like this book. Setting is mostly on a boat. Excuse me, ship. Annoying plot about convoluted marriage and a ridiculously "evil" family abounds. All the needless plot at the end was terrible. Garwood's signatures are in full force here. Plenty of weeping, mouth slanting, finger crooking, refusing to obey, scowling, growling, hauling the wife to your side, forced marriage, and winning the loyalty of men. I did like this line: S: I can't imagine why you would need my parasols. N: I'm throwing them in the ocean. With any luck they'll cripple a couple sharks.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erika B. (SOS BOOKS)

    O dear. It was just way too much of this.... Lots of "bellowing" and crying...and when I say lots I mean LOTS!!! #nocluehowthesetwoactuallygottogether O dear. It was just way too much of this.... Lots of "bellowing" and crying...and when I say lots I mean LOTS!!! #nocluehowthesetwoactuallygottogether

  19. 5 out of 5

    Saly

    This one was pretty good!The heroine was a good departure from the previous two. I took down one star because I didn't enjoy the drama at the last 20 per cent.

  20. 5 out of 5

    NinaReader

    4.5 Stars! A super funny and sweet historical romance. The epilogue hooked you in. The story was engaging, the antics were hilarious, and the love of 2 opposite people was sweet.

  21. 4 out of 5

    KatieV

    Julie Garwood sort of has the same hero and heroine in every book. There are some personality differences, of course, but there is a basic template. That's fine. She found a formula that works and her novels have brought lots of enjoyment to people. IMHO, this heroine was bit different. She was quirky and idealistic which is typical, but she had no super!MarySue skills. Some may see this is a good and some may see this as bad, but for me, a great deal of the fun of a J.G. heroine is the improbabl Julie Garwood sort of has the same hero and heroine in every book. There are some personality differences, of course, but there is a basic template. That's fine. She found a formula that works and her novels have brought lots of enjoyment to people. IMHO, this heroine was bit different. She was quirky and idealistic which is typical, but she had no super!MarySue skills. Some may see this is a good and some may see this as bad, but for me, a great deal of the fun of a J.G. heroine is the improbable fact that she saves the day and sometimes the entire country throughout the book using her mad skillz in healing, bow shooting, knife throwing, midwifing, etc etc... It's part of the campy fun. This heroine really had no 'mad skillz'. She was quirky, sweet, and idealistic like the typical heroine, but couldn't walk across the street without causing a disaster. I'm afraid a real crew of pirates would have to make her walk the plank, simply for self preservation. Yes, she does save the day once - in keeping with a J.G. heroine - but mostly she causes problems and cries. At times, she annoyed the living crap out of me. My favorite part was the last 1/4 of the book when they return to London and have to face the heroine's crappy family. The heroine does start to show some growth then and I found it sad when the hero briefly lost faith in her. This is light and fun. Many probably love all the misadventures the heroine obliviously causes. Personally, I think you take away a Garwood heroine's save-the-day skills and you get a cute and sometimes annoying simpleton - sort of like a cat I used to have and dearly miss despite her missing brain cells. Probably a YMMV book among Garwood fans.

  22. 4 out of 5

    SB*needs low angst books*

    This is the story of Nathan and Sara. They were married very young by a contract by a coo coo for cocoa puffs king who was trying to end a feud between the families of the two children and have peace in his kingdom. They don't see each other again until they are grown and Nathan doesn't want to be in violation of the contract and to get the rewards promised in fulfilling the contract. Sara has grown into a beauty and has made up her life of how wonderful her husband will be and how happy they wi This is the story of Nathan and Sara. They were married very young by a contract by a coo coo for cocoa puffs king who was trying to end a feud between the families of the two children and have peace in his kingdom. They don't see each other again until they are grown and Nathan doesn't want to be in violation of the contract and to get the rewards promised in fulfilling the contract. Sara has grown into a beauty and has made up her life of how wonderful her husband will be and how happy they will be. But Nathan, who is a ex pirate, is a hard and cold man who doesn't trust and Sara is a dreamer who is kind and very trusting of her Mom and her mom's sister and plays down the bad the rest of her family is capable of. So they meet and are already married and have their own ideas of how the other should be while sailing on a ship. Her father is a greedy man who wants what was promised to them and is trying to find a way to get it. And so things go. Ok, now I love Julie Garwood but like any author you will love some and some not so much. For me this fell into the not so much category. I read it and kept wondering why I wasn't really into it. I mean it had a good storyline and some parts were enjoyable. Then I thought of the books I love and didn't love by this author and it came to me. Like Gentle Warrior and Rebellious Desire, I didn't feel the love between the characters. I mean it is said but for me I just didn't buy it. I felt they cared about each other for sure but I didn't buy the big L part. For me, the ones I loved the couple had a chemistry that came off the pages but this didn't give me that. So while it was a ok story, it wouldn't be a reread for me.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Morris

    I've always heard such good things about Garwood that this hot mess of a novel was extra-disappointing. I skimmed the last half just to see what the ending was like. The main issue for me is that the heroine is completely ridiculous. I guess she is supposed to be endearing, but she truly deserves the abbreviation TSTL: Too Stupid to Live. Her husband, who was married to her in childhood due to political machinations, spirits her off to his ship and she proceeds to accidentally almost kill everyo I've always heard such good things about Garwood that this hot mess of a novel was extra-disappointing. I skimmed the last half just to see what the ending was like. The main issue for me is that the heroine is completely ridiculous. I guess she is supposed to be endearing, but she truly deserves the abbreviation TSTL: Too Stupid to Live. Her husband, who was married to her in childhood due to political machinations, spirits her off to his ship and she proceeds to accidentally almost kill everyone at least once, with certain sailors suffering multiple attempts, though slap-stick mishaps like getting her parasol stuck in rigging and then untying it to free the parasol and causing sails to fall down. When she isn't bumbling around and poisoning people with tainted meat, she veers wildly between emotions like someone with a mood disorder. I love my husband that I don't even know and I'm the perfect wife! Wait, he didn't use manners so I'm going to scream at him like a deranged harpy! Wait, I'm going to weep for five chapters! Ugh. If I knew this bizatch in real life I would step to her so fast her head would spin. Just please, don't read this.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Macleisha

    This was my favourite Julie Garwood book. I remember I was working in a secondhand bookstore, (best job of my life!) I was reading this while waiting for customers to cash out, and I was laughing so hard that when a customer actually did come to me, I could not stop, I actually got really scared that I could not. I had to duck behind the counter while trying to stop laughing with my bewildered customer looking for me. I did manage to control myself eventually and I was afraid to continue reading This was my favourite Julie Garwood book. I remember I was working in a secondhand bookstore, (best job of my life!) I was reading this while waiting for customers to cash out, and I was laughing so hard that when a customer actually did come to me, I could not stop, I actually got really scared that I could not. I had to duck behind the counter while trying to stop laughing with my bewildered customer looking for me. I did manage to control myself eventually and I was afraid to continue reading, but like any addict, my fear out weighted my desire. I have now read this book numerous time and I still laugh every time but now I don't get hysterical.

  25. 4 out of 5

    CC

    Did not love Nathan. He was a jerk. Sara was ok. But just too naive and forgiving for me. I won't label this as a second chance since she was 4 when they married.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Addie H

    30% DNF - I can't handle the naiveness of the heroine - I'm out

  27. 4 out of 5

    Roshio

    What an annoying little woman >.> yes heroine, I’m talking to you What an annoying little woman >.> yes heroine, I’m talking to you

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Re-reading. Adorable.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kiri Fiona

    and a 1/2 for this glorious read! She'd imagined him to be a gentle, understanding, sensitive man who was thoroughly in love with her. Her dreams mocked her. Her knight was more tarnished than golden. He had just proven to be as understanding, as compassionate, as loving as a goat. A child bride, Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart at last. Charmingly innocent, she dism and a 1/2 for this glorious read! She'd imagined him to be a gentle, understanding, sensitive man who was thoroughly in love with her. Her dreams mocked her. Her knight was more tarnished than golden. He had just proven to be as understanding, as compassionate, as loving as a goat. A child bride, Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart at last. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided Nathan's family from her own...and she was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. The man who now stood before her was perplexing, arrogant and powerfully handsome...a warrior-gentleman whose gentle touch aroused her to the wildest, deepest pleasures of love. Nathan had never bared his soul to any woman, but he was soon utterly beguiled and exasperated by Sara's sweet, defiant ways. Aboard his ship, The Seahawk, she was brave, imperious and determined to win his heart completely -- yet upon their return to England, her love would be sorely tested as a vile conspiracy tried to tear them apart. With their future at stake, they would discover the true destiny of their passion...for all time! **** Ok - so Sara and Nathan get married when she is 4 and he's 14, by order of the mad king. Then we fast forward 14 years. So don't worry! There's nothing weird. I mean, she's 18 and he's 28, but this is historical romantic fiction so it's fine. I think the theme of this story is loyalty. Sara is amazing - she risks everything to help her aunt, tries to defend her family, and wants desperately to be loved by her new family (Nathan and his crew.) I just adored her. She's a bit of a trainwreck, actually, but it comes from a place of love so I didn't find her annoying at all. He folded his arms across his chest and relaxed his stance while he watched her fight her way through the shrubs, and breach the house through the window. It was the most inept burglary he'd ever witnessed. Parasol-gate. Poor Sara, she was trying so hard to please! The intrigue and drama also added a little something to the story, but overall I just really loved the romance. So, I know Sara was meant to be naive, but sometimes it came across as a little bit plain old dumb. And also, just putting out there: a little bit unhinged. "He's going to marry Nora." "And if he doesn't?" Jimbo asked, smiling over the matter of fact way she'd made that announcement. "Then I'm going to shoot him. I won't like it, Jimbo, but I'll have to shoot him." And everyone bellows. A lot. YES! I loved it!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zumbagirl

    4.5 stars Another very enjoyable read by Ms. Garwood. I loved The Gift! Even though this is a series, I read this one first, out of order, and was okay with that; I didn't get lost but will definitely read the others soon. Our heroine, Sara, and the hero, Nathan, were married very young but have been separated for over ten years - the families are arch enemies and there's a lot of hatred and lies that threaten the peace for these two. Sara is another beautiful, spunky, adorable Jule Garwood heroi 4.5 stars Another very enjoyable read by Ms. Garwood. I loved The Gift! Even though this is a series, I read this one first, out of order, and was okay with that; I didn't get lost but will definitely read the others soon. Our heroine, Sara, and the hero, Nathan, were married very young but have been separated for over ten years - the families are arch enemies and there's a lot of hatred and lies that threaten the peace for these two. Sara is another beautiful, spunky, adorable Jule Garwood heroine, that despite her innocence and idealism, I still really like her. She's been in love and waiting for Nathan virtually all her life. Even though her family hates him and his family, she somehow is not tainted by that. Her family, especially her father, are villains and I'm glad this wasn't something that dragged on into huge misunderstandings, as some authors use that plot. Most of the book is spent on a ship - our hero is a pirate!!! Actually, this is my first book with a pirate hero and I liked it. It wasn't overly done - like he didn't talk with a heavy accent or act like an idiot. His crew was a riot, though, and added a nice dimension to the story. There are many humorous scenes with Sara on the ship - she causes a lot of problems and the crew begins to think she's cursed. Nathan is kind of negative and we really don't know why - it's hinted at. But Sara works very hard to break him down. She's very forgiving and tries really hard with him. I could only imagine that would be a challenge for a young bride; she cries constantly and that annoys Nathan. But despite Nathan being a cynical hero, there are some very touching scenes between these two - my favorite involved him giving her swimming lessons. Sara is very open with her love and shares herself physically, emotionally and verbally with Nathan. She's very young and we really feel all her insecurities. While Nathan is passionate, he doesn't give her the emotional feedback she needs, especially after they have been intimate. He can't tell her that he loves her, even though he does and she knows it. I just love the way Ms. Garwood writes her love scenes and she gave us quite a few in this book. This doesn't happen until the end of the book, but I loved this passage between them: (view spoiler)[ When he finally tells her, "I love you, Sara," she says back to him, "I know you love me, Nathan. It took me a long while to realize it - almost as long as it took for you to come and fetch me - but I know now. You've loved me for a long time, haven't you?" His reply: "Why didn't you tell me you knew?...Damn it, Sara, I went through hell." To which she replies: "You went through hell? You're the one who refused to have any faith in me. You're the one who would never tell me what was in your heart. I told you all the time, Nathan." He shook his head. His grin was sheepish. "No, Sara, not all the time. you told me once a day. Some days you waited until after dinner. I'd find myself getting nervous. She replies: "You waited each day for me to tell you I loved you?" (hide spoiler)] This is another wonderful Garwood creation and I can't wait to read the rest of the series. With all the stress in life, this book was just a joy and what I needed:)

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