The Life of Shinke

The Highlands’ Lairds Trilogy

Posted on: August 23, 2010

Years ago when I was in high school one of my friends introduced me to my first Julie Garwood novel, Ransom. It wasn’t my typical reading material as I didn’t like medieval books much but I instantly fell in love with the characters of Ransom and went on to read Saving Grace thinking they were both stand alone books. Little did I know that Ransom was a part of a trilogy. So it was quite a surprise while urging my mother to read Ransom herself to find out there were two other books like it, The Secret and Shadow Music.

Title: The Secret

Author: Julie Garwood

Published: 1992

Description: The author of Guardian Angel offers a novel of passion and romance set in the Scottish Highlands. Proud, beautiful Judith Hampton journeys from her English home to meet the father she has never known. But even her escort, the powerful Laird Iain Maitland, cannot prepare Judith for the truth about her father — and the devastating secret that might change her life forever. (Taken from Goodreads)

As soon as I learned there was a book about Iain and Judith I just had to read it. I loved them in Ransom and knew that their story would be just as hilarious as Brodick and Gillian’s and I was not disappointed.

I loved everything about this book and it became an instant favourite. The characters were hilarious and lovable, the romance was wonderful. There was never a dull moment with this book. Even the supporting characters were great. I loved it so much I gave it a 5 out of 5.

Title: Ransom

Author: Julie Garwood

Published: 2003

Description: In the dark days after the death of Richard the Lionhearted, lives and lands would fall into upheaval at the hands of a power-hungry British ruler and his violent minions. One victim of the scourge is innocent Gillian, who is a mere child when the cruel and ambitious Baron Alford slaughters her father and tears her family apart. Alford, determined to recover a jeweled box for the despotic King John, is furious when the precious treasure slips through his fingers — only to be lost for more than a decade.

Now a beautiful young woman, Gillian finds the key to resolving her past in handsome Scottish chieftains Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. With the cunning and courage of the daring Scotsmen, and with the friendship of a new ally, Bridgid KirkConnell, Gillian at last fights the unscrupulous Baron Alford, laying claim to her home, her family, and her father’s reputation. But in the presence of the mighty warriors, Gillian and Bridgid discover that desire can be a weapon of conquest … betrayal can slay trust in a heartbeat … and the greatest risk of all is surrender — to the deep emotions of unexpected love. (Taken from Goodreads)

What can I say? I LOVED this book. Loved it, loved it, loved it! I have so many favourite passages, favourite lines, favourite quotes. It was hilarious from beginning to end and quite an enjoyable read to say the least. Plus in this book you get a two fer because both Brodick Buchanan and Ramsey Sinclair find the love of their lives.

It was a great read that I remember so vividly even though I read it years ago and hence I give it a 5 out of 5.

Title: Shadow Music

Author: Julie Garwood

Published: 2007

Description: Throughout her acclaimed writing career, Julie Garwood has captivated readers with characters who are compelling, daring, and bursting with life. Now one of the most popular novelists of our time proudly returns to her beloved historical romance roots–in a thrilling tale of love, murder, adventure, and mystery set against the haunting landscape of medieval Scotland.

For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows–skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England’s most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Gabrielle’s marriage to a good and gentle laird. But this marriage will never take place.

For Gabrielle, everything changes in one last burst of freedom–when she and her guards come upon a scene of unimaginable cruelty. With one shot from her bow and arrow, Gabrielle takes a life, saves a life, and begins a war.

Within days, the Highlands are aflame with passions as a battle royal flares between enemies old and new. Having come to Scotland to be married, Gabrielle is instead entangled in Highland intrigue. For two sadistic noblemen, underestimating Gabrielle’s bravery and prowess may prove fatal. But thanks to a secret Gabrielle possesses, Colm MacHugh, the most feared man in Scotland, finds a new cause for courage. Under his penetrating gaze, neither Gabrielle’s body nor heart is safe.

A gripping novel that delves into the heart of emotions–unyielding passions of love, hate, revenge, and raw desire–Shadow Music is magnificent gift from Julie Garwood and a crowning achievement in her amazing career. (Taken from Goodreads)

This book unfortunately did not live up to my expectations. I expected the witty banter, the hilarious situations, the ridiculous insecurities of the brides that I had come to know and love from the other two books, but in this book it was all but missing. The romance didn’t really surface until the second half of the book, I wasn’t cracking up while reading it, it just kinda fell flat in the entertainment factor of the book.

That being said I still liked it alot. I loved the characters, the guards, the clan themselves, the country of St.Biel. It was a splendid read and I gave it a 4.5 out of 5.

I loved this series and would recommend it to everyone. If your going to read something medieval you might as well read this. Lol! Just keep in mind the last one isn’t as funny as the first two.

I give this series a 5 out of 5. 🙂

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2 Responses to "The Highlands’ Lairds Trilogy"

I love everything that Julie Gardwood has written pertaining to the midieval Highland and historical London. Also, can’t forget “For The Roses”, the entire thing. I love her development of characters. I enjoy how these books make me laugh and draw me in as if I were right there during that time. Cannt wait for her next book.

Loved The Secret and Ransom I too felt the things that made me laugh out loud in these two as well as the sweet romance & passion was missing in Shawdow Music. That said, Julie Garwood has a faithful reader as long as she wants to write! I wish wish wish these two books were made into to movies so I could take my husband so he could see what WOMEN REALLY WANT! 🙂

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