Wednesday, March 01, 2006


What I'm about to say will upset and possibly infuriate some Julie Garwood fans. I cannot hold back. I'm sorry but I didn't like THE BRIDE. It was good, I guess. I wouldn't call it the worst book I've ever read. It clearly isn't a bad book. However, the love story didn't grab my heart strings; the hero didn't make my heart sing and the heroine was adorable, but not my cup of tea.

Why didn't I like THE BRIDE? The book garners praise after praise; its reviews are incredible. It is considered by most one of Garwood's best novels. I really believe the medieval setting has something to do with it. I don't care for it much. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the fact that most didn't have privacy at that time; bathrooms didn't really exist and everything was anything but romantic. I know I know...I should probably just forget about that and enjoy the book, but I can't.

The whole Scottish clan talk and everyone declaring war for no reason and what not also grated on my nerves. I was bored by the quick fights taking place,by the fact that the heroine caused most of them and even by her healing abilities. A lot of it seemed predictable - the fact that the heroine would one day be loved and respected by her husband's Scottish kin (she is English) was obvious. I was annoyed by Mary, Jamie's sister; irritated by Jamie who took charge of everything.

I couldn't get close to the hero; he was strong and intelligent and he had a sense of humor but, somehow, I found him lacking. I did enjoy the scenes when he was wearing a kilt and showing off his hot muscular thighs (I enjoyed that a lot).

The big murder mystery was well written. I must admit I was surprised by the outcome. Normally I am able to guess the murderer and villain from the beginning. Garwood left me wondering until the last page.

The sex was hot, sweaty and...HOT! Again, I couldn't get over the fact that everyone could hear them have sex. That ruined it for me a little. I guess I wanted them to be surrounded by silk and satin (unrealistic, I know, but this is a frickin' romance novel).

The good sex and mystery weren't enough for me. A lot of the concepts were too archaic for my tastes; the heroine's immediate acceptance of her husband's dead wife's daughter for one didn't impress me as much as it probably should have. I never quite developed any affection for the characters and became easily irked by their every action.

I feel guilty for feeling this way; I can only hope that my experience with THE WEDDING will be different.


Dylan said...

Ooh, I will be the first to tell you that TB isn't the best JG book out there...I love her other ones better like, The Wedding, Ransom, Honor's Splendour, those books are favorites of mine...

I did love Alec and the story but I can understand why it didn't grab you, so it's all good...but don't give up on JG, please don't..she's the bomb!

Happy Reading! I LOVE CONNOR, I hope you do too!!

Holly said...

See, I'm with Dylan on this one. While I enjoyed TB, it didn't grab me like TW and HS.

I can understand completely your issues with Jamie. A lot of things she did bugged me (this is a great topic of debate with me and some other girls). And even Alec wasn't ALL THAT IMO. I loved Connor and Duncan WAY more than Alec.

Even her writing style bugs me some. There's just something about the way she puts together sentences that bothers me.

I don't think you should give up, but don't feel guilty if you don't absolutely adore her. AND DON'T - FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY - READ HER CONTEMPS!

Grace said...

I'd have to disagree here, because I loved reading TB. And I love Alec Kincaid. I can't really pinpoint why, but I just do. There was just something about the book and Alec that grabbed me. But if it wasn't the same for you, fair enough. I really enjoy reading different views of common books I've read with others, so thanks for sharing! :)

But like Dylan suggested, I wouldn't give up on JG yet. Maybe you might enjoy reading Honors Splendor. It has an Medieval background also, but perhaps you'll like Duncan and Madelyne better. Or if you're after regencies, try Lyons Lady followed Guardian Angel, The Gift and The Castles.

Happy reading. :)

Avid Reader said...

All I have to say is: YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I don't get Garwood. Never have. I did enjoy Saving Grace but that was about it. The Bride, Honour's Splendor, whatever, I don't get her popularity. So, don't feel bad. Your not alone.


ReneeW said...

Oh, whew, I thought I was the only one. TB was my first and only Garwood historical. Like an idiot I glommed about 6 others by Garwood before I actually read this and now I can't face the rest of them. It just didn't grab me. Someone (maybe Kristie or Cindy?) suggested I try Honor's Splendor before giving up because she thought that one was her best. So I'll probably try that before taking the rest to the UBS.

romancelover said...

I loved REBELLIOUS far that's it. I hated PRINCE CHARMING; didn't care for THE BRIDE. I purchased most of Garwood's book after RD and now am going to read up is THE WEDDING. I'm going to reread DEVIL IN WINTER by Kleypas now though...need it!

sybil said...

hmmmm I either need to go look at my books or her site. Oh or shut up. The Bride was the one I said you might not like right? Or was it The Wedding?

hell all I know is this wasn't the book I was thinking would grate on your nerves but the one on the boat with the h/h married at like 4 and 14 then torn apart until she is 21? maybe...

I know Castles has been rec'ed over and over to me but I haven't gotten around to read it.

BUT really, it doesn't sound like you want a historical. And if you want wallpaper historicals why the hell aren't you happier with AVON? Or maybe it is just this time period you no likey. I don't know if we can get fluffier than JG. OH the book you just put up I read was horrid and not correct history wise, I took it back to the ubs without reading it. But you might like it... look it over next time you are there!

Enjoy DiW again ;)

romancelover said...

I do want a historical. I think it's just the medieval time period. Believe me, I do expect accuracy when reading a historical romance..Based on the fact that I hated the BY series by Hunter, I think it's just the medieval time period..I don't even like movies set in that period, so I should probably steer clear, right? You're trying to convince me I like Avon, huh? LOL...again it's a love/hate thing with them...I will try THE WEDDING. I'll give medievals one more shot.

sybil said...


you should go check out Hunter's website... she has a history page? or something like that I am not looking at it so that might not be what it is called...

But it has some info from her research and such. Very interesting. But I agree I think you just don't like the time period.