Title: Saving Grace
Author: Julie Garwood
Rating: 5 stars
This was a delightful story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven’t read much from this time period before (early 1200s) so I always enjoy getting to know the history better, even if it did feel modern at times. I was completely drawn to the characters and story and couldn’t put it down.
Lady Johanna is a young English noblewoman who is relieved to discover that her older and abusive husband is dead. But this event doesn’t stop her troubles as they are only beginning. There is lots of unrest under the rule of King John leaving her uncertain of her future. She has no control of her fate and now she is set to marry one of her late-husbands counterpart and loyal courtier to the King.
Lady Johanna does her best to stall the proceedings and lucky her brother Nicholas comes to the rescue. He has asked one of his friends, Gabriel, Laird MacBain to marry her. In return, Gabriel will receive the Scottish lands held by her late husband which previously belonged to the MacBains.
Gabriel accepts even when Nicholas tells him that Johanna is barren. He is unconcerned as he already has an heir- albeit an illegitimate one and agrees to the marriage for all the land it will give him. What he doesn’t expect is for Johanna to be beautiful, but he is worried that she might be weak to handle the harsh Scottish climate, as well as the duties of the household and holding the her own amongst the warriors- the two barely civil clans, the MacBains and the MacLaurins.
But Johanna is determined to make the best of her circumstances and works hard at fitting in, which is tough considering she’s an outsider and an Englishwoman. but she is made of stronger mettle and eventually finds her place among the clans. All the while she is working her way into Gabriel’s heart and his into hers.
I love watching these two fall in love and grow to understand each other better. Their love was very sweet even if they were both incredibly stubborn admitting it to the other.