Ransom by Julie Garwood
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was only my 2nd book by Julie Garwood, following The Secret, and I think I found a new (to me) author to glom. I just loved these books!
Brodick Buchanan was a secondary character in The Secret that had "hero" tattooed on his forehead, so I was more than happy when I found out that Ransom was "his" book. He was the typical alpha hero and we all know what happens when this kind fall in love. They fall hard and forever, but not always have the grace of acknowledging the fall, LOL. Brodick was just like that, and it was funny to see him trying to deal with it. When he told Gillian that she loved him, I giggled like a schoolgirl. And when he tricked her into marrying him, I laughed like a lunatic. That was one short-lived Big Misunderstanding I had no problem with. "On a horse? I was married on a horse?" Too funny! I doubt Brodick would get away with his antics in real life but he just turned out to be one of my favorite heroes in Romancelandia.
Gillian was perfect match for Brodick. She didn't need to be coddled, which was refreshing when it comes to heroines in Romancelandia. Not that she was harsh or anything like that, she was just strong and independent. And yet, once she fell in love with Brodick, she wasn't afraid to admit she needed him to make her happier and she enjoyed talking and sharing her feelings with him. If I have a minor quibble about her, it's her behavior near the end of the story, when she almost drove her uncle crazy with her crying over Brodick: it was a bit out of character but, all things considered, it didn't bother me much. It did make me smile imagining her uncle's "suffering". :)
As for the plot, I was a little confused in the beginning: there were so many players and so much going on that I felt kind of dizzy. Why hadn't Gillian been killed by the villainous Baron Alford? Was Gillian's sister truly alive? How did Gillian and Alec meet considering how prisoners are supposed to be kept isolated? So many questions... Thankfully, everything started making sense soon enough and there was no stopping after that. Great story!
There was a secondary love story involving Ramsey Sinclair, a friend of Brodick's who also appeared in The Secret, and Bridgid, a member of the Sinclair clan. It was nice, funny but underdeveloped. Ramsey and Bridgid were very interesting characters, their (few) interactions were funny and entertaining, and I think they deserved a book fully dedicated to telling their story. I didn't get to see the build-up of their relationship, especially on Ramsey's side, so it was kind of disappointing to see their HEA crammed into Brodick and Gillian's.
This was a long book (546 pages) but, frankly, it didn't feel like it. It was filled with romance (duh!), humor, action, intrigue, suspense, some angst, and wonderful characters that I couldn't help but love. A true keeper!
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