Author: Julie Garwood

Publisher: Pocket Books (2010/1st ed. 1993)

Pages: 354

Synopsis: England, 1819. Orphaned and besieged Princess Alesandra knew that only hasty marriage to an Englishman could protect her from the turmoil in her own land. To the amusement of her makeshift guardian, Sir Colin Hallbrook, younger brother of the Marquess of Caineswood, 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….


Castles (and I’m so, so impressed this book isn’t called The Princess and the Dragon instead) tells the story of a young lady, Alesandra, a princess (oddly enough, I could never understand of which country) who grew up in a convent because her parents both died when she was a child, and who now urgently needs to get married just so an evil General won’t marry her by force and use her for political profit. Luckily, Alesandra’s father named her a guardian before he died, a good man who happens to have a single son -Colin-, he wants to see married. I think it’s easy to see where this is going. Still, Castles isn’t really a marriage by convenience story, even if Alesandra thinks so, because after a couple of incidents, Colin ends up as her guardian instead of his father, and well…a guy can’t really resist the stunning princess living under his roof, not even trying.

So this was only my second book by the author, but I’m going to say it anyway: it’s my favourite, even if the princess cried a little bit more than what I would have liked. The similarities between Castles and my other Garwood reading The Prize, were obvious: the lead male and female’s personalities, the way they fall for each other, and how they almost fight it, their insecurities, even their endless nights of passion, and so on; but there is something new in this one which caught me by surprise:  a secondary plot with a murderer. It was scary at first, but soon I realized nothing could ever harm Alesandra with Colin looking out for her.

And I can say for sure this young lady was the main reason for me to have enjoyed this book so much. She’s such a likable character, and so funny! It’s truly enjoyable to see things through her eyes, with her being so bright and capable to pick up on everything, and also because she has the most innocent, trusting, and genuine spirit. I love how she speaks her mind all the time, even if it embarrasses her. Of course this mostly happens with Colin, and that’s why it is so entertaining to watch. And she’s a list-nutcase! She makes lists for everything, which tells the reader right away why she and Colin are so perfect for each other: because he’s a schedule-nutcase! Being his answer to Alesandra’s “Will you marry me” question, one of his most memorable speeches ever, something like: According to my schedule, I’ll be able to get married in exactly five years, so the answer is no. (Really, who has a 5-year schedule? Exactly: a nutcase.)

I loved the secondary characters, the buttler Flannagan, Colin’s brother Caine (so funny), and Nathan…Nathan…Nathan…he’s barely in the book but I fell for him anyway, all the while telling myself I wish Julie had written his story, and then I went to Goodreads just to find out that she has! It’s the book before this one (yes…I started reading a series through the last book, again), needless to say I’m getting it.

Can’t finish this without admitting that I really didn’t care about the other topics in the story, like…Colin is supposed to be a crown spy (that’s the series’ name: Crown’s Spies, Castles is #3), and to be truly honest, I only know this exactly because of the name of the series. Also, as always, there were a few cheesy parts that made me laugh out loud with shame, or roll my eyes with disbelief, for example, when Collin thinks Alesandra smells of roses and woman *rofl*, or says stuff like baby, you’re so tight *roll eyes*, or touches her liquid heat *roll eyes+rofl*, but I guess historical romance wouldn’t be historical romance without these…omg-I-can’t-believe-I’m-reading-this moments.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this one, it made me laugh and want to read more of Julie Garwood’s books just so I can laugh again with the same kind of plot and characters. Yes. I’m not an idiot, I’m perfectly aware that her plots follow a recipe, but I don’t freaking care! *crazy laughter*

Rating: 8/10


The Book Depository UK
The Book

3 Responses to “Castles”

  1. 1 quigui

    Look! A review! E no mesmo dia que eu voltei às reviews 🙂

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