Tuesday, September 19

Castles by Julie Garwood

Orphaned and besieged, Princess Alesandra knew that only a hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Colin, younger brother of the Marquess of Cainewood, the bold, raven-haired beauty instantly captivated London society. But when Alesandra was nearly abducted by her unscrupulous countrymen, the fighting instincts that won Colin a knighthood for valor were rekindled.

Deceiving himself that he wanted only to protect her, Colin swept her into a union meant to be a marriage in name alone...yet Alesandra's tender first kiss and hesitant caress ignited a wildfire in his soul. As the lovely princess dashed headlong into unforeseen dangers, Colin would follow, knowing he must claim her as his own forever. Now he would risk life itself before he would lose this sweet, tempestuous angel...

This book is the reason why JG will always be one of my all-time faves. Not only because it was the first JG book I ever read, but also because the lead characters were so enjoyable to read. Not only were they romantic and had enough and the right chemistry: they broke my cute couple scale.

Princess Alesandra was born to a king who abdicated his throne to marry a commoner. Years later, the general who ruled her country was bent on marrying her to gain the support of the masses. After all, the former king and his family had always been popular even when he was no longer in power. But the princess had lost her parents several years earlier and was living in a convent until her guardian, the Duke of Williamshire, sent for her.

Sir Colin Halbrook was her guardian's second son. He had no choice but to play guardian to the princess when his father and older brother became ill to do their duty. I really would like to think that Colin fell in love with Alesandra the first time he saw her since she was a small girl. Actions speak louder than words and all that.

Her guardian had suggested Colin for her husband when they made a list of possible candidates but when Alesandra told Colin that bit, he refused. The man intended to build a shipping empire in the next five years and he couldn't afford any distractions. And Alesandra was
a huge distraction.

Although hurt by Colin's refusal, Princess Alesandra had no choice but to continue on looking for a husband. After all, that's the main reason why she came to England. All this trouble was for the general to stop coming after her. One of my favorite part was after Colin refused Alesandra's offer, in his reaction to her attempt at seeing them as relatives.

"We are like family now, aren't we? Your father is my guardian, and I try to think of you as a brother..."

"The hell with that."

"You don't want me to think of you as a brother?"

"Damned right I don't."

Or how about--
"You were becoming like a cousin to me and I..."

"I'm not your cousin."

"Everyone believes we're cousins."

"I don't give a damn what everyone else thinks."

"This conversation is ridiculous. If you don't wish to be related to me, that's just fine."

"I'm not related to you."

"You don't have to shout, Colin."

"You're making me crazed, Alesandra."

Colin boy, love and attraction have no respect for plans and schedules. LOL! And then his father explained why he felt it was his duty to protect Alesandra. So Colin might have felt that he
had to marry the daughter of his father's old friend. But really, that was just a little nudge into the right direction.

Of course there was
no had to marry in this case! Colin might had been given a little push into proposing to his princess. But that was after he found flaws in every bachelor in her possible-husbands list. Hmm, another great part of the book. And he wasn't taking "no" for an answer in his proposal and since his father had told Alesandra could choose, Colin had to resort to a little trickery (I doubt if it was little considering his father almost went apoplectic)--he told his family that he and Alesandra had already slept together. Sleep being the operative word since she took care of him when he got sick while she stayed in his house. But the family didn't now that, did they? I laughed so hard when she tried to explain what happened.

"Nothing sinful happened. I did go into his room and I did sleep with him, but only because he was so demanding and I became so weary...I kept my clothes on. And he..."

"I wasn't wearing anything."

Does that sound like someone who didn't want to get married?

I just enjoyed the love story so much that I almost forgot there was a killer who got a taste for killing innocent women. The heroine became a target (as usual) but with a hero knighted for valor, that was nothing. In truth, the conflict just faded into the background. For me, that is. I was just soaking up the romance in this book, peeps. It was so sweet it was like a YA fiction, Regency London-style. It was so funny that had it been a movie, it would be one of those feel-good ones that always makes it to my movie marathon list. And, of course, if you're planning to get stranded in an island, don't forget this one.

Final verdict: 9.5/10. Must read, must have.

(This is for
Ames who loved Colin but has forgotten the story. We can't have that, can we?)


ames said...

Great review!! I'm going to have to reread this one. I think I've only read it once before, so that's why I forgot Colin.

I find that early JG's seem so wide-eyed and "oh gosh!" Know what I mean? Almost, but not quite, juvenile. But whatever, I still enjoy them.

Kookie said...

I know what you mean, girl. We grow out of the very first books we read, but somehow quite remain hooked on them just like when we first got our hands on them.

Holly said...

I agree with you both about her seeming juvenile now, but still being kind of addicted. LOL

As for this book, I enjoyed it, but it's not one of my favorites. Dylan loves it, though. ;)

Dylan said...

OMGOSH I love this book! I love Colin, aka Dolphin, I thought the dinner table scene was hella funny, just love it to pieces! This book rocked out and GREAT review sweetie!

Ames, I enjoy the hell out of early JG too, I wish she'd go back to writing those kinds of stories...

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