The Scarlet Corset

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Ransom by Julie Garwood

Posted by Wanderer on August 9, 2008

RANSOM is the story of Brodick Buchanan and Ramsey Sinclair who we first met in The Secret. Ramsey’s is the secondary story but for me, his is too unbelievable. I know, I know this is a romance book where all kinds of things take place but even I couldn’t fall for this one. Basically, he becomes a laird and there’s this girl in his clan, Brigid, that all the highlanders want to marry yet she rejects them all because she loves some mystery man. So on and on it goes with her refusing proposals and refusing to tell Ramsey who she’s holding out for. Only at the end does Ramsey realize he’s the mystery man and all of a sudden it’s all “Yes, I love you too Brigid let’s get married”. No explanation of why all the boys got their kilts in a bunch over her or why she loved Ramsey in the first place or any kind of build up to his realization of his own feelings for her.

So back to Brodick’s story…….we find out that he was named protector of his best friend’s son, Alec. This is basically the equivalent of a godfather or guardian. Alec and Ramsey’s younger brother Michael are playing near a waterfall when they decide to play a prank and switch their plaids. While Michael runs off to find something, Alec is mistakenly kidnapped to be held for ransom against Ramsey. Since no one witnessed the kidnapping, everyone believes Alec fell and drowned in the waterfall. This leads us to Gillian, the book’s heroine. She is held captive in England by the same people that kidnapped Alec because she may know the location of a secret box that holds the key to a murder from the past. Anyway…Gillian escapes with Alec and during their journey he tells her of his protector, the brave and fierce warrior Brodick. To comfort the scared little boy, she says she will be his protector until he returns home. When they finally cross the border into highland territory, they hide out in an old church and Gillian decides to send a message claiming to be Laird Buchanan’s bride and counts on that lie being a big enough draw for Brodick to come meet her. She’s right on all counts! Brodick arrives (in all his fine-ness) where he greets her with a scowl and an intimidating stance yet once Gillian lets the boy come out of hiding and he lays eyes on Alec, he is nearly brought to his knees in shock and unbelief.

The reason I like this story so much is that Brodick is not the typical dominant male character when with Gillian. He’s not all “Do this because I’m the man and I said so”. Also I think Julie Garwood has her humorous moments in most of her books. There’s a part when they’re riding back to the holding and they cross paths with one of the Highland’s priests. This priest knows of Brodick’s rep and will not allow the lady to travel alone with such a heathen. So after being told a slightly altered version of Gillian’s claim to be his bride and some miscommunication between the priest and Gillian regarding her consent to marriage, the priest performs their wedding ceremony. Being English and the ceremony occurring in Gaelic, Gillian has no idea she was just wed. When she finally discovers the truth she can’t help but ask Brodick how she can face telling their children she was wed on the back of a horse. But then all protests are forgotten as he carries her off for their long awaited wedding night.

So yes, you can say this has the romance novel formula down to a tee but the difference is the hero is strong and brave yet vulnerable and open when it counts without being cheesy. The heroine is also very likeable without being annoyingly perfect. I thought the plot was good as well but you’ll have to read the book to get the rest!


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