by Julie Garwood

December 2007
ISBN: 978-0-345-50073-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books

Julie Garwood started her career writing historical romances set in Scotland. Fans still discuss her stories and always have a favorite scene to share and laugh about. I personally didn’t read this author until she began writing her romantic suspense titles, which quickly became a must read series for me. When news came about the release of Shadow Music, I knew I had to give it a try.

Princess Gabrielle travels to Scotland with her four trusted guards and her father, where she will be married to the man the king has chosen for her. Before she even meets her betrothed, the man is murdered. Then two noblemen, both claiming to speak for the king, try to claim her for themselves. Suddenly Gabrielle’s whole world is turned upside down when her reputation is ruined and she’s cast out with no country to protect her.

Colm MacHugh witnesses her humiliation and knows she’s innocent of any wrong doing. In repayment of a debt owed, Colm offers his protection, and his name, to protect Gabrielle. With no intention of staying long, Gabrielle accompanies him home. She watches him among his people and realizes he’s not the barbarian she first imagined him to be. Of course, this doesn’t stop her from getting involved in some cases, especially when it comes to two young boys who are constantly in trouble.

Colm realizes he’s fallen for Gabrielle, but it may be too late for them as a sinister evil waits nearby.

While I admit to being a bit confused by the multitude of characters at the beginning of the book, once I figured things out I truly enjoyed this warm love story. I’ve heard her previous books were "laugh out loud" funny, and while that wasn’t the case with Shadow Music there were certainly some cute scenes. With so many wonderful secondary characters, I certainly hope Ms. Garwood will continue with her historical novels as well as her romantic suspense titles.

Reviewed in January 2008 by Jackie.

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