Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Gift

The Gift by Julie Garwood
ISBN: 0-671-70250-5
Pages: 373

A child bride, Sara Winchester had grown into a winsome beauty, joyfully anticipating the day when her husband Nathan, Marquess of St. James, would return to claim her heart at last. Charmingly innocent, she dismissed the ancient feud that divided Nathan's family from her own...and she was totally unaware of his past exploits as the notorious pirate, Pagan. The man who now stood before her was perplexing, arrogant and powerfully handsome...a warrior-gentleman whose gentle touch aroused her to the wildest, deepest pleasures of love. 
Nathan had never bared his soul to any woman, but he was soon utterly beguiled and exasperated by Sara's sweet, defiant ways. Aboard his ship,The Seahawk, she was brave, imperious and determined to win his heart completely -- yet upon their return to England, her love would be sorely tested as a vile conspiracy tried to tear them apart. With their future at stake, they would discover the true destiny of their passion...for all time!

Hey guys! Today I'm reviewing a book by one of my favorite authors of all time: Julie Garwood! I am absolutely IN LOVE with her historical romances, they are always so cute and fun to read. 

While I was Goodreads, I realized that there were a lot of people who thought Sara was a weak figure and a horrible female heroine. Quoting one, "Amazingly stupid, astoundingly aggravating, or unbelievably naive are more apt terms." To be honest, I don't agree with that. Yes, I will admit that Sara is a considerably weak figure compared to the earlier heroines of the Crown Spy series, but she has her own type of strength. 

It is no surprise, ever since the beginning, that Sara's family is not a pleasant one. Her father is undoubtedly a bastard and huge suck up to the king. He sucks to be very blunt. Further along the book, you find the horrors and crimes that he has committed against Sara's mom literally, "Winston (Sara's father) had been responsible for breaking her spirit." She also has this abusive uncle who gets what he deserves at the end. What I'm saying is, she has the right to be timid and scared and what makes her even more amazing is that she still has the ability to love.

Nathan is this, how do we characterize him, very temperamental King Kong in human form. He likes to yell, he loses his temper very easily, has trust issues, and calls Sara by the ever so lovely endearment of, "Damn it Sara." So just by that, you can see he's an interesting character to be dealing with. He was fourteen when he was married to Sara, who was only four. To be honest, who would want to be hitched to a child? Have to give him props for actually coming back to find her instead of pretending that he was too young when the event happened.

One of the biggest changes in him, was he learned not to take love for granted and to love back. Sara due to her very rocky familial experiences, has always painted Nathan in her head as her knight in shining armor. Nothing he does can ever be wrong and it is with that idea that really pushes him to the edge about love. Is he willing to accept and take the challenges that come with love or will he just take it for granted, because we all know, love isn't and can't be a one way street.

On top of the characters, the plot was very interesting, but I personally liked the second book in the series (which I hope to review soon) just because this had a little less to do with England and its laws and more to do with personal family and emotions. Due to the different focuses between the books, it's really hard to compare them. So in the family/emotion based category for stories, I think this is a great book to really learn the lesson of love. 

Last things, the order for these books is: Lion's Lady, Guardian Angel, and THEN The Gift. Don't make the same mistake I did and read everything backwards. EmojiEmoji

Sara really was a hopeless romantic. She was ridiculously tenderhearted. She was outrageously innocent. She was...perfect.

She was always given to fantasy. You were her knight in shining armor.
He is getting more tarnished by the minute.

The love words aren't necessary, Nathan, if you just tell her what's in your heart.

Do you know I refused to learn how to swim? I thought I shouldn't have to know how, you see, because it was Nathan's duty to make certain I didn't drown. I've been perfectly willing to take care of everyone but myself. Now you suggest I let Nathan fight my battles. It's wrong Caine. I've been wrong. I don't want to ever cling to anyone. I should have enough strength to stand on my own. I want to be strong, damn it.

Love can be destroyed. It's fragile and...
You aren't fragile, and your love can't be destroyed. It's what I've come to value most, Sara.

Damn it Sara, I went through hell!
You went through hell? You're the one who refused to have any faith in me. You're the one who would never tell me what was in your heart. I told you all this time Nathan.
No, Sara, not all the time. You told me once a day. Some days you waited until after dinner. I'd find myself getting nervous. 

3.5 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

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