Book Review-Saving Grace

Book Review-Saving GraceSaving Grace by Julie Garwood
Published by Pocket Books on March 1st 1994
Genres: Historical Romance, Scottish Highlands, Medieval Era
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor
Length: 14 Hours and 9 Mins
Pages: 407
Format: Audiobook
ISBN: 0671870114
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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!


Lady Johanna has recently become a widow, and against her wishes King John has commanded that she marry a Scottish Laird Gabriel MacBain. A warrior and leader, a man who has combined the strength of two clans, separate but together in harmony. Johanna knows that she has little choice, but she refuses to be treated the way her previous husband treated her. So in the moment where she meets her future husband, she feels fear, but she also feels an attraction she can’t explain. She senses he is a man of honor and integrity and has a son that is in need of a mother. Johanna married The MacBain. But as a English woman she never realized the difference in living with Scots…their culture, way of manner and speaking, very different but full of zest and passion. There are changes to be done, and Johanna is willing to do whatever it takes to win the hearts of the two clans and bring them together as one clan, to charm the little boy who needs affection and love, and above all to win the heart of her gruff warrior MacBane, who needs her compassion and love in a life where he has only known duty and loyalty.

The Hero 

Gabriel MacBain, is the laird over two clans, both the MacBains and the MacLaurin’s. He is illegitimate, but has proved himself to be a talented warrior and leader. The responsibility of bringing them together is not an easy task, but marrying a woman he doesn’t know, brings him land and a place of safety and security for his people and will protect them at all costs. Gabriel has a son Alec, but isn’t sure if he is his by blood, but he claims him wholeheartedly with no regrets. Gabriel is such a great hero, and plays the perfect role for Saving Grace. I just couldn’t get enough of his hard and gruff exterior, but on the inside he is as soft as a teddy bear at times. You see his loyalty and strength, and I admired his manner toward those he protected and care for. He respects the opinion of those in his clan.

The Heroine 

Johanna, has a sweet and loving nature. And this nature comes natural to her. She hasn’t had a easy life since she got married. She believes that she is barren and unable to have children. Her first husband was not kind to her. But she grew up with a loving family. Johanna has quite the cunning mind, and I loved this heroine…she never ceased to surprise me. She is intelligent, and strong-willed, she stands on her own, and demands respect and affection. She doesn’t back down from standing firm in what she believes in. I loved her passion for life, and how she wants to help the clan as much as her husband does.

Plot and Story Line 

I am in the process of re listening to all of Julie Garwood’s books, and I had such a fun time with Saving Grace. It has been way too long since I have had a chance to reconnect with this story, and I am still amazed in how much I truly loved this one. Saving Grace is an enriching romance that just had me listening as much as possible. The narrator is quite talented, and I loved her inflections. She handles the accents and various voices quite well. If you have yet to read Saving Grace or even listened to an audiobook from Julie Garwood…you are definitely missing out on something wonderful. Nothings brings me more joy than listening to one of her historical’s and we see such a charming and sweet romance. There are so many moments to love…I love how our heroine of the story fights for the clan in ways you don’t see coming. I love the scene where she teaches the men manners…and the throwing of dishes….spectacular. She is willful at times and a fighter, I love how this small timid woman stands up to these Scottish warriors. You gain respect for her pretty quickly. I also adored the little boy Alec….who is so in need of some good mothering. I love how he reacts to Johanna and they bond to each other pretty quickly. The story has a deep plot at times, with some intensity especially toward the end, that really grabs at you, and a twist I wasn’t expecting, but knowing Garwood I should have expected it. Saving Grace is a story of redeeming love, and carving a new life out of unexpected circumstances.

The Cover 

I really like all the covers for this story. But I really adored the audio version, I love how you see the difference in the colors of the plaid, adds dimension and you see how that connects to the story.

Overall View 

Saving Grace is a truly magnificent story that pulls at you, a tale of sacrifice, riveting emotion and a deep and abiding love.

Favorite Quotes

Johanna sat by the fire every night and worked on her tapestry. Dumfries waited until she was settled in her chair and then draped himself across her feet. It became a ritual for Alex to squeeze himself up next to her and fall asleep during her stories about fierce warriors and fair maidens. Johanna’s tales all had a unique twist, for none of the heroines she told stories about ever needed to be rescued by their knights in shining armor. More often than not, the fair maidens rescued their knights.
Gabriel couldn’t take issue with his wife. She was telling Alex the truth. It was a fact that maidens could rescue mighty, arrogant warriors. Johanna had certainly rescued him from a bleak, cold existence. She’d given him a family and a home. She was his love, his joy, his companion.
She was his saving grace.

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