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For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows--skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England's most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Ga For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows--skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England's most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Gabrielle's marriage to a good and gentle laird. But this marriage will never take place. For Gabrielle, everything changes in one last burst of freedom--when she and her guards come upon a scene of unimaginable cruelty. With one shot from her bow and arrow, Gabrielle takes a life, saves a life, and begins a war. Within days, the Highlands are aflame with passions as a battle royal flares between enemies old and new. Having come to Scotland to be married, Gabrielle is instead entangled in Highland intrigue. For two sadistic noblemen, underestimating Gabrielle's bravery and prowess may prove fatal. But thanks to a secret Gabrielle possesses, Colm MacHugh, the most feared man in Scotland, finds a new cause for courage. Under his penetrating gaze, neither Gabrielle's body nor heart is safe.


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For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows--skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England's most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Ga For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows--skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England's most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Gabrielle's marriage to a good and gentle laird. But this marriage will never take place. For Gabrielle, everything changes in one last burst of freedom--when she and her guards come upon a scene of unimaginable cruelty. With one shot from her bow and arrow, Gabrielle takes a life, saves a life, and begins a war. Within days, the Highlands are aflame with passions as a battle royal flares between enemies old and new. Having come to Scotland to be married, Gabrielle is instead entangled in Highland intrigue. For two sadistic noblemen, underestimating Gabrielle's bravery and prowess may prove fatal. But thanks to a secret Gabrielle possesses, Colm MacHugh, the most feared man in Scotland, finds a new cause for courage. Under his penetrating gaze, neither Gabrielle's body nor heart is safe.

30 review for Shadow Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession

    3.5 stars I liked this one okay but it was a little bit busy. Everyone and their cousin was in this book and it was trying to keep up with all the names. Other than the fact that it was a bit of a hot mess it was still an entertaining read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jilly

    It starts out with a story about a kingdom that gets a ton of gold and then it disappears. The question has always been whether or not the gold went to the Pope, or if only some was sent and the rest hidden. So, it's the mysterious treasure that people have been trying to find for ages. It'll take you about 10 minutes to figure out this treasure mystery. It took them until the last page of the book. Good luck finding me, suckers! This story had a lot going on. There was a bunch of politics, side st It starts out with a story about a kingdom that gets a ton of gold and then it disappears. The question has always been whether or not the gold went to the Pope, or if only some was sent and the rest hidden. So, it's the mysterious treasure that people have been trying to find for ages. It'll take you about 10 minutes to figure out this treasure mystery. It took them until the last page of the book. Good luck finding me, suckers! This story had a lot going on. There was a bunch of politics, side stories about the villains, Scottish clan wars, and the romance. I didn't mind having a busy story because I am easily bored. It worked out well for my ADD. We have Gabrielle, who is a princess and is marrying some old Scottish laird to keep her safe from the clutches of King John the lech, and a couple of Barons who want her for nefarious reasons. On the way to the wedding, she saves the life of a different Scottish laird's brother and takes him to the monastery where she is staying to get married. She also has four guards, whom we get to know. Her fiance is murdered on his way to the wedding. So, overall, they both had pretty eventful trips to the altar. I have an idea. Let's NOT travel into a hostile wasteland to get married. We'll just go to Vegas. One of the villains lies about her and says she is not a virgin, so the wedding crowd immediately calls for her death and start throwing rocks at her. Tough crowd. She escapes the angry mob and has to marry the injured brother's brother, the laird. But, he's not too thrilled with the arrangement. Until he sees how beautiful she is. Then, he's all: Fooled her. I'm not wearing pants!> With his new fiance comes a whole lotta people who want to get to her, so he has to do a bunch of killing before the wedding. Oh, and there is another chick claiming that she's going to marry him. Whatever, girl! If he liked it, he would have already put a ring on it. There were a few funny moments, and lots of action. The villains were a bit cartoonish, and the treasure thing was pretty lame. But, it was still an enjoyable enough story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Misfit

    In this sequel of sorts to Garwood's Ransom, Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, a daughter of an English Baron, is sent by King John to marry an older highland Laird to keep peace between the borders (??!! more on this later). Two of John's scheming Barons with their nefarious (and ridiculous) schemes get involved and Gabrielle's intended is murdered, she is disgraced as a wanton woman and disinherited and banned from England (this from one woman accusing her of entering a wounded man's bedroom??). In this sequel of sorts to Garwood's Ransom, Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, a daughter of an English Baron, is sent by King John to marry an older highland Laird to keep peace between the borders (??!! more on this later). Two of John's scheming Barons with their nefarious (and ridiculous) schemes get involved and Gabrielle's intended is murdered, she is disgraced as a wanton woman and disinherited and banned from England (this from one woman accusing her of entering a wounded man's bedroom??). She meets up with Laird Brodick Buchanan who is her cousin by marriage, as Brodick is married to Gillian a distant cousin of Gabrielle's father. Accompanying Brodick is the fearsome Laird MacHugh who takes her into protection after her banishment. There is also a big mystery about the search for some missing gold that is all too predictable, I figured where that was at the first mention of.... well I won't be a spoiler but trust me you'll spot that one a mile away. Sound exciting? No, it's not, it's actually quite awful and I'm having a hard time believing Garwood wrote this. Although her older historicals are not high fiction, the healthy dose of humor she throws in along with the romance usually makes for an entertaining read. Unfortunately, along with an embarrassingly bad plot Garwood forgot to throw in the humor that might have saved a story that's predictable from the first page to the last. Even worse, there is little description of the sights, sounds, clothes, etc. to give the reader a good sense of the time period. I don't think I heard mention of any Scott wearing a kilt until well towards the end of the book, Gabrielle's clothing was only noted by the color of the dress she was wearing, etc. I won't even get started on the way Brodick was ruined -- without the banter between he, Gillian, Ramsey and Ian what was an awesome hero in Ransom is reduced to nothing but mush. We don't even get a glimpse of Gillian, only occasional mentions of her being home and pregnant. And worst of all, there is absolutely no chemistry between our two main protagonists, an absolute death knell for any romance book. And finally, although I don't expect an historical romance to be historically accurate, I appreciate it when an author makes some effort to have knowledge of the period they're writing in. I wish I'd taken notes, because I'm not able to remember all the boners in this book to recount them here. Examples, and since I'm not a history major anyone may correct me if I'm wrong: * Gabrielle's native country St Biel (somewhere in Europe where the crusaders passed through), is invaded and occupied by King John !!??? John Lackland who couldn't even hold on to Normandy? * What is it with the women running around with their long hair flowing loose? No woman in medieval times, especially a noblewoman would be seen in public without a proper head covering. * Gabrielle's original marriage was to settle the border disputes between England and Scotland. Hellooooo, if I recall correctly John was too busy trying to subdue the Welsh to be bothered with Scotland. And what help does a marriage to a highland Laird have to do with any border wars? The borders are in the lowlands - you'd think a marriage to someone with closer ties to the border would make more political sense. All in all, this is pretty close to one of the worst books I've ever read - not quite but almost. Boring, predictable and downright silly. Garwood would have done much better by making her sequel to Ransom writing about the Buchanans, Ramsey and Sinclairs and putting those people together into her story. Better yet, put their grown children together into a tightly woven story with that sadly missing dose of humor and she might have had something here. As it is, this is a bad way to spend $18 on a hardback and a serious waste of a tree. If you are dead set on reading it, get it from the library (as I did) or wait for the mass market paperback. Last complaint - what the heck is with the book cover? The man and woman in the bottom corner are in evening dress and the building with the onion dome looks like something out of the Far East, and certainly not a castle that one would find in Scotland. It's all just stupid, stupid, stupid and doesn't even deserve one star.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    Reread. Changed rating. Rating 4.o. It was good but not quite a 5 star as her other books. Enjoyable read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    LibraryLass

    3.5 stars for this one. I actually enjoyed this book for the most part. I think it was because after reading so many negative reviews my expectations were extremely low. So maybe others were disappointed after having high expectations. Yes it is great to see Garwood doing a historical again., but there were missing elements to the story. It was 'likeable' Although Colm and Gabriel as individuals were great, there connection took a long while in the book. The sex was non-existant for 3/4 of the b 3.5 stars for this one. I actually enjoyed this book for the most part. I think it was because after reading so many negative reviews my expectations were extremely low. So maybe others were disappointed after having high expectations. Yes it is great to see Garwood doing a historical again., but there were missing elements to the story. It was 'likeable' Although Colm and Gabriel as individuals were great, there connection took a long while in the book. The sex was non-existant for 3/4 of the book, but that worked for me as it was a natural progression (however, the sex scene was somewhat disappointing when they finally got to it). Garwood's writing on the history of the time was some of the most interesting and easily understood that I have read for a while. Sometimes the history in some books gets so convoluted, I tend to get confused and skip it. There were a few moments in the story that didn't flow well for me. It was a bit sporadic. It seems like you have to read quite a few pages for the story to get going and then you wait some time before the h & h actually meet. Overall, I liked the book. It was definitely not one of Garwood's best, but, to me, was still better than some of the stuff I have been reading lately. I just think she's is just a little off her 'historical zone.' I'll be eagerly awaiting her next one anyway.

  6. 4 out of 5

    UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

    I have to say, while I liked the book, I didn't love it. It was a tad disappointing having just read the other 2 books in this series as well as the 2 books from Laird's Fiancees. It could have been excellent, but there were too many people to keep track of and surprisingly, the storyline/plot was weak. I didn't get drawn into the Highland world as I did in Garwood's previous books, and did not feel the connection with the characters as I did in the past. Both the H/H were ... weak, in my opinion I have to say, while I liked the book, I didn't love it. It was a tad disappointing having just read the other 2 books in this series as well as the 2 books from Laird's Fiancees. It could have been excellent, but there were too many people to keep track of and surprisingly, the storyline/plot was weak. I didn't get drawn into the Highland world as I did in Garwood's previous books, and did not feel the connection with the characters as I did in the past. Both the H/H were ... weak, in my opinion.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debbie DiFiore

    Not as good as her others This was good but not great. It lacked something but I can't put my finger on it. Broderick was in it so that was a bonus for sure. The h is a Princess and is being sent to Scotland for an advantageous marriage. Everyone wants her and she supposedly knows the secret of where her countries treasure is buried. Of course evil peop!e abound and kidnappings, killings and kings are all afoot. She meets her Laird of course and he is amazing. He is going to marry her to protect Not as good as her others This was good but not great. It lacked something but I can't put my finger on it. Broderick was in it so that was a bonus for sure. The h is a Princess and is being sent to Scotland for an advantageous marriage. Everyone wants her and she supposedly knows the secret of where her countries treasure is buried. Of course evil peop!e abound and kidnappings, killings and kings are all afoot. She meets her Laird of course and he is amazing. He is going to marry her to protect her from some evil rumors and the King. It's a good story but there is not much of a romance in my opinion. Yes it was there but there was so much else going on, it was kind of buried. I still love Garwood and I don't remember ever reading this before but I must have because it was already rated. Now I have to go see what the other books in this trilogy were. She is still my favorite historical romance author. I still have never read her suspense novels. I may need to try them. Safe.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gi's Spot Reviews

    JG never disappoints! Even if not as focused on the romance as usual for JG, I still loved it and devoured it in almost one sitting!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel travels to Scotland with her guard to marry a highlander. King John has arranged Gabrielle's marriage in hopes it will facilitate peace in the Highlands. As Gabrielle and her party cut through the woods, they stumble upon a badly beaten man who is about to be buried alive. Gabrielle stops the whole process with her bow, saving the man's life. This is the third book in Julie Garwood's Highland Lairds series. As with the previous books in the series, the hero is the Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel travels to Scotland with her guard to marry a highlander. King John has arranged Gabrielle's marriage in hopes it will facilitate peace in the Highlands. As Gabrielle and her party cut through the woods, they stumble upon a badly beaten man who is about to be buried alive. Gabrielle stops the whole process with her bow, saving the man's life. This is the third book in Julie Garwood's Highland Lairds series. As with the previous books in the series, the hero is the Laird of his clan. Colm MacHugh is a giant of a man who first sees Gabrielle when she is being accused of being a harlot. He doesn't know what to make of her but knows that she is innocent of the claims. Gabrielle is sweet. Everyone loves her. She has a stubborn streak and a mind of her own. She knows that two of King John's Barons are behind the lies but doesn't know how to prove it. Overall, this was a quick read that doesn't take itself too seriously. The villains are laughable. The story of the lost treasure is easy to figure out. My rating: 3.5 Stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    After going through an extensive paranormal book reading fest, I felt it was time to dive into something different, and I decided on a historical fiction novel by Julie Garwood. I’ve enjoyed a few of her books in the past and have found her light and somewhat mischievous writing is the perfect antidote to a brain that has been on vamp!re [email protected] for months. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed in this novel and surprised at how far she veered from her normally formulaic and predictable plots an After going through an extensive paranormal book reading fest, I felt it was time to dive into something different, and I decided on a historical fiction novel by Julie Garwood. I’ve enjoyed a few of her books in the past and have found her light and somewhat mischievous writing is the perfect antidote to a brain that has been on vamp!re [email protected] for months. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed in this novel and surprised at how far she veered from her normally formulaic and predictable plots and enjoyable characters. Now don’t get me wrong, for some writers taking a chance is a good thing and much needed in some cases, but when you have a well known historical writer that’s expected to deliver witty, fun, well blended characters with a ton of chemistry getting something on the opposite side of the spectrum is quite the disappointment from any angle. Shadow Music tipped the scale in historical fiction, so I got what I was looking for there, but the majority of the novel was focused on intrigue, deceit and political strife, leaving behind the opportunity to develop the main characters where you’re hoping to get some chemistry, romance and light hearted conversation. Gabrielle and Colm very rarely interact or engage in any meaningful conversations, which I’m used to getting from Garwood. So with the lack of chemistry between these two characters, when the love story is sloppily plugged in at the final hour, I had no interest in reading it because it didn’t feel credible to me. What bothered me the most was the focus on St. Biel. Okay, really? I went to Catholic School for a pittily twelve years and when I first read that, I asked myself “St. Biel?? There’s no St. Biel!” :/ So how am I supposed to accept the fact that this King named his land after a saint that never existed to protect his people; and the holy crusaders nor the Church, including the Pope would not know there was never a St. Biel? The plot was immediately placed on a square table with only three legs to stand on. S.L.O.P.P.Y! I was surprised at the amount of characters Garwood infused in this book, most of whom I didn’t care one bit about. It’s always interesting to read about the feuds that occur between the low and highlanders, but I don’t think it was necessary to include everyone and their laird. Pick a couple of clans and go with it and leave the rest of Scotland alone. Although this book is interesting to some minimal degree, I don’t feel it’s representative of the magic Garwood is capable of. If you’re slightly versed in the holy crusades, the plot will fall apart for you at the starting gate; and if you have an ounce of problem solving ability, you’ll figure out in a few short chapters the secret of St. Biel and the myth of the hidden treasure, thus making it a long journey to the finish line.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

    Welcome to The Book Geek's monthly feature, affectionately called The Genre Spotlight. It's where we explore and choose one of the myriad genres. We'll showcase it by having each Book Geek read and review at least one, but possibly a few books belonging to that month's chosen genre. We're hoping to expand our reading horizons to genre’s we haven’t or have barely read, and, hopefully, usher in gems our lives have been missing out on. For sizzling August, our spotlight is on Romance. Rece Welcome to The Book Geek's monthly feature, affectionately called The Genre Spotlight. It's where we explore and choose one of the myriad genres. We'll showcase it by having each Book Geek read and review at least one, but possibly a few books belonging to that month's chosen genre. We're hoping to expand our reading horizons to genre’s we haven’t or have barely read, and, hopefully, usher in gems our lives have been missing out on. For sizzling August, our spotlight is on Romance. Recently I read a western fiction book that I thought for sure would have me feeling all kinds of nostalgic but was disappointed; it turns out all I needed was a quick trip back with one of my long-ago favorite authors. It’s pretty funny actually because my mom got me first romance book and I know she had no idea what she was setting me up to read, LOOOL. Oh, man, I still chuckle about it. I was 13 and had always read Dean Koonzt and Archie Comics before that, but she read the synopsis for a Julie Garwood book called For the Roses and I was hooked. I would troll the romance section in bookstores and try to find ones that fit my wants and getting progressively more into the PNR side of things (then I picked up Blood Fever and was forever changed). Though my tastes, and love of feminism, have evolved to the point where I deliberately choose not to read contemporary romance anymore I’m happy the new feature brought me back. Sure, I didn’t love the story, because the slut-shaming, alpha-male, damaging masculinity, helplessness, and overall nonsense of the story just isn’t my thing anymore, but I do love how Garwood can still make me read it in a day. She is a great storyteller. I thought I had read nearly all of her books when we decided to spotlight romance this month, but then I searched and found out that she is a machine at putting out books! I mean, holy crap, for real! She may have a million or so books out there but still peppered in old names in this story and it totally brought me back. I loved that. I loved thinking about the person I was back when I was devouring her books. It took my mom years of convincing before she would stop sending me a new Garwood book every time it was released, LOL. My mom rocks. If you love contemporary romance and haven’t tried a Julie Garwood please do so, you won’t be sorry! As for me? I think I need to go call my mom and make myself some comfort food.

  12. 5 out of 5

    ~Nichole~ Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews

    This read more like an adventure than a romance. I still enjoyed it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    This definitely is not remotely as good as either of the first two books. Here are some of my thoughts: • Gabrielle is not a bad character. She is a bit annoying at times, but I don’t hate her. She is definitely more passive and less remarkable than the heroines from the 1st 2 books. I know I shouldn’t compare but it is really hard not to when both heroines set the bar so fuckin’ high. I really was hoping I would love the heroine as well. • And I also don’t hate or dislike Colm. He is cool, but he This definitely is not remotely as good as either of the first two books. Here are some of my thoughts: • Gabrielle is not a bad character. She is a bit annoying at times, but I don’t hate her. She is definitely more passive and less remarkable than the heroines from the 1st 2 books. I know I shouldn’t compare but it is really hard not to when both heroines set the bar so fuckin’ high. I really was hoping I would love the heroine as well. • And I also don’t hate or dislike Colm. He is cool, but he does tend to say so little and makes it more confusing than it has to be. Definitely pales in comparison to the other heroes as well. • I love seeing Brodick again. I am disappointed that we did not get to see his wife or any other notable crossover. • Gabrielle’s father is sweet and considerate of his daughter. I love it. • The Uncle Morgan and Buchanans reference aww. • I did not see that coming with the gold mystery. • I love Gabrielle’s guards. They’re so loyal and supportive. I am almost weepy when they have to leave to live their own life. • Father Gelroy is hilarious. I am glad he gets his chapel. • The first 40% has felt so uneventful. So many descriptions, so many dialogue – from the villains’ perspective and others’ that ultimately make the plot feel too slow. I mean, honestly, Gabrielle and Colm do not even meet/interact until around this point. I am giving this 2.5 stars. It is not bad, not great. Things that you might want to know (WARNING: Spoilers below) Happy/satisfying ending? (view spoiler)[Yes, happy, but no epilogue though, so kinda makes you wish there was just a bit more.. (hide spoiler)] Love triangle? Cheating? Angst level? Other things to note?(view spoiler)[No, no, low-medium. (hide spoiler)] Tears-worthy? (view spoiler)[Not really. (hide spoiler)] Humor? (view spoiler)[Can be humorous but not the central point. (hide spoiler)] Favorite scenes? (view spoiler)[Father Gelroy being such a goof. When there is finally vengeance against all of the villains. When we see Brodick and he talks about his wife fondly. When she talks with her father. The ending. (hide spoiler)] What age level would be appropriate? (view spoiler)[Mature audience. Explicit details on sex. Crude language, vague mentions of rape (but no actual rape scenes). (hide spoiler)]

  14. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    There is nothing like an Old School Julie Garwood when you are in the mood for a historical comfort read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Patti TheLoveJunkee

    Looking back on this review 6 years later, this must have been one of my first reviews because...SPOILERS AHOY! But it's been so long I dont' know what to cut out. So be warned. SPOILERS. I picked up Shadow Music because I'd recently read The Bride and loved it. I figured I'd like this one too (plus, the cover was safe, no half nekkid people in a scandalous embrace on it). This was a great story. I think I have a soft spot for Highlanders, or maybe forced marriages, or ladies whose reputations ha Looking back on this review 6 years later, this must have been one of my first reviews because...SPOILERS AHOY! But it's been so long I dont' know what to cut out. So be warned. SPOILERS. I picked up Shadow Music because I'd recently read The Bride and loved it. I figured I'd like this one too (plus, the cover was safe, no half nekkid people in a scandalous embrace on it). This was a great story. I think I have a soft spot for Highlanders, or maybe forced marriages, or ladies whose reputations have been ruined for no good reason. I'm seeing a pattern in all the Romance stories I've liked so far. Gabrielle's mother was a princess from St. Biel, and her father was an English Baron. St. Biel had a curious history; there was a story of lost gold, but no one knew if it was true. Gabrielle was a beautiful young woman, and to keep peace between England and Scotland, her king, John, had promised her to an older Laird of a Highland clan. Her dowry was to be a piece of land in Scotland that belonged to the king, but many clansman coveted this piece of land. As Gabrielle arrived at the Abbey where she was to be wed, she came upon a group of men preparing to murder another and ambush his kinsmen. Under cover of woods, she shot and killed the main attacker (with a bow and arrow!) and his co-conspirators ran. She rushed out and brought the injured man to the Abbey to be nursed back to health, but did not want anyone to know as she was not aware of the parties involved and didn't want to accidentally end up in the middle of a clan war. While at the Abbey her betrothed was murdered. There were two English Barons who had been fighting to marry her before the King gave her away and they each saw this as an opportunity marry her; however things went awry and Gabrielle was accused of being a whore and banished from England. The Baron's plan was to kidnap her while she had no protection, however, Gabrielle's cousin by marriage was there and knew the accusations were false. He convinced his friend, Laird Colm MacHugh to take Gabrielle under his protection and marry her. MacHugh did not want to do it but owed his friend a debt (favor, not money) and took her. He told her they would marry in 6 months so no one would wonder if any children were his. Of course he is very Alpha and expects her to follow his orders and she replies with "as you wish" and does whatever she wants. Oh, and the man whose life she saved turned out to be Colm's brother. There are many trials they must face, but they do fall in love. The king finds out about Gabrielle's banishment and the lies surrounding it and has new plans for Gabrielle. He sends a messenger to apologize and offer her the land back but she knows it's a trick. She quickly (and secretly) marries Colm and is therefore free of her obligation to follow the king's orders. But one of the Barons is not done with her, he wants the rumored gold and he knows Gabrielle knows where it is! So he kidnaps her! Of course, Gabrielle outsmarts him and gets a message to her husand who comes to save her. This was a really good book to read but hard to write about, there were so many twists and turns, it really kept my attention. I really liked the characters and rooted for them through the whole book. If Ms. Garwood's books all have such terrific characters and sexy Highlanders to boot, I think she has a new fan! I'm not sure about the title of the book, I don't know what it had to do with the story. It might be the sound Colm's sword makes before it strikes down his enemies.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    When I closed this book, I asked myself "What the hell did I just read?" I have not enjoyed Julie Garwood's foray into contemporary romantic suspense. Not at all. So when I saw that she was not only returning to her historical romance roots but also to her favored setting in Scotland, I was thrilled. This was the same woman who has written The Bride and The Secret and so many other funny, warm, poignant romances with great alpha heroes and quirky fun heroines. I have read and re-read all of her ea When I closed this book, I asked myself "What the hell did I just read?" I have not enjoyed Julie Garwood's foray into contemporary romantic suspense. Not at all. So when I saw that she was not only returning to her historical romance roots but also to her favored setting in Scotland, I was thrilled. This was the same woman who has written The Bride and The Secret and so many other funny, warm, poignant romances with great alpha heroes and quirky fun heroines. I have read and re-read all of her early paperbacks from the 80s and 90s. She's on keeper shelf. SO I settled down to get into this book. The beginning starts just fine and I am thrilled. But then something crazy happens. The characters seem like lifeless retreads of some of her previous characters. The plot, likewise, is a meandering mess that tries to recall the glories of The Bride and The Secret and fails miserably. The villains are pathetic and laughable (and they were not intended to be) and truthfully, you never really understand why anyone does what they do. I seriously skipped whole passages, thinking...wait...it has got to get better. Right? It never did. She includes a spate of secondary characters that are obvious attempts to add color and texture, something I am usually very grateful for. But these too fall flat. Nothing about this book worked for me on any level. And can someone please tell me why the heck this book is entitled Shadow Music? The plot, the characters nothing alludes to this. Yeah, at the end of one chapter deep into the book while a bad guy is about to get killed he sees his killer's shadow and then hears the 'music' of a sword being drawn from a scabbard. That's it. That is all there is that has even the most distant connection to the title. I kept wondering as I was reading what the title referred to. Things like this just piss me off. If this were the first Garwood book I'd ever read, I'd've simply dismissed it as a generic piece of romance fluff and I would not have bothered to look the author up again. But I know what this author is capable of and I am severely disappointed because I know she can write better than this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    J. Kahele

    Great series I enjoyed the first two in this series but this one was a bit all over the place. I really enjoy this authors writing but this book didn't have the engaging plot or steak the others did. It was an okay read

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Re-reading. This book was her last historical that she wrote. I believe it came as a result of fans begging for another one. I remember that because I pre-ordered a hard copy book waiting for it to come out. As of this date, there has never been another historical romance penned by the author. Ms. Garwood always writes the sweetest heroines and the fiercest heroes. I just wish she would write more historicals. But I, along with legions of her fans, have been wishing for that for many years. Still Re-reading. This book was her last historical that she wrote. I believe it came as a result of fans begging for another one. I remember that because I pre-ordered a hard copy book waiting for it to come out. As of this date, there has never been another historical romance penned by the author. Ms. Garwood always writes the sweetest heroines and the fiercest heroes. I just wish she would write more historicals. But I, along with legions of her fans, have been wishing for that for many years. Still waiting.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zeek

    Written in 2007 LG went back to her historical romance roots with Shadow Music after already transitioning to romantic suspense. I had a feeling while reading this it sorta was setting up a novel with a modern setting to come later but I could be wrong- still, it held my interest to read it fairly fast. I couldnt' shake the feeling, however, that Shadow Music felt more of a homage to her older novels- or worse, a bone thrown to her former fans. In Shadow Music we get the story of the beautiful Lad Written in 2007 LG went back to her historical romance roots with Shadow Music after already transitioning to romantic suspense. I had a feeling while reading this it sorta was setting up a novel with a modern setting to come later but I could be wrong- still, it held my interest to read it fairly fast. I couldnt' shake the feeling, however, that Shadow Music felt more of a homage to her older novels- or worse, a bone thrown to her former fans. In Shadow Music we get the story of the beautiful Lady Gabrielle (who is a princess of the made up of Country of St. Biel) and the Laird of highlander clan Machugh. Colm Machugh is fierce and stoic, as all good highlander Lairds should be. Lady Gabrielle is beyond beautiful and noble, as all Princesses should be too. Every Lord wants Gabrielle, and not just for her beauty- there’s a rumored hidden horde of gold that comes along with her- including evil King John. But Gabrielle is just a pawn to him in a game between he and his nobles. When he sends her into the northern lands to marry a Scottish noble, she goes along with it-because it’s what Noble Women do. Until she happens upon a kidnapping and saves a man’s life. Now she must keep a secret to preserve his life, the secret of who saved his life. And she will keep it even from his fierce Scottish Laird- none other than our hero Colm Machugh, who just happens to be his brother- to do so. Through a weird (and frankly, manufactured) turn of events she becomes a pariah by a jealous hag and forced into exile with the Larid Colm until she can get away and back to her beloved father. Okay yeah. Much of the plot concerning Lady Gabrielle felt forced, imo. Certainly not the organic feel of her older novels. Although I liked this novel, it felt rushed- heck even her sentences and chapters were shorte and devoid of heart. So I’m going to have downgrade this one to 3 stars which is probably being generous.

  20. 5 out of 5

    FlibBityFLooB

    Before starting this book, I had read some reviews that made it out to be a horrific Julie Garwood novel. In truth, I didn't think it was that bad. Maybe because I was expecting such a stinker going in?? I actually enjoyed the story :) True, it wasn't as epic of a romance as her other Highlander books. And, once again, the title doesn't really match the book. I think that I would have named this book As You Say instead of Shadow Music. What shadow? What music? I don't get it. Weird title. The boo Before starting this book, I had read some reviews that made it out to be a horrific Julie Garwood novel. In truth, I didn't think it was that bad. Maybe because I was expecting such a stinker going in?? I actually enjoyed the story :) True, it wasn't as epic of a romance as her other Highlander books. And, once again, the title doesn't really match the book. I think that I would have named this book As You Say instead of Shadow Music. What shadow? What music? I don't get it. Weird title. The book started out a little weird with the prologue in St. Biel. Lots of reviews complained about numerous sub-plots and too many characters. I was listening to the audiobook, and as I frequently do when listening to an audiobook, I jotted down characters names as I listened to help me keep track of everyone. Yes, there were about 20-30 characters to keep track of, but I didn't find the story hard to follow at all. Maybe I just took good notes. *laugh* The audiobook was nice, but the narrator still did some really funny voices. I didn't mind her English accents or the Scottish ones. However, the characters from St. Biel were a combination of French and Oscar the Grouch or something. I don't know. Me no likey.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Zoe

    I haven’t read a book in a long while. Nothing in the market interested me. I returned to reading by accident today and happened upon Julie Garwood’s Shadow Music. It is kind of a follow-up story to her early highland historicals, with Brodick doing quite a bit of cameo in this book. Other old characters were mentioned but didn’t show. Garwood’s highland historicals have a distinct style where all the males are rude brutes and the females are slightly idiotic with their innocence. Colm in this b I haven’t read a book in a long while. Nothing in the market interested me. I returned to reading by accident today and happened upon Julie Garwood’s Shadow Music. It is kind of a follow-up story to her early highland historicals, with Brodick doing quite a bit of cameo in this book. Other old characters were mentioned but didn’t show. Garwood’s highland historicals have a distinct style where all the males are rude brutes and the females are slightly idiotic with their innocence. Colm in this book is the typical highlander hero one typically gets. And Gabrielle is on the more tolerable end of naive heroines. What annoyed me was that the romance didn’t start until maybe 40%. We spent a major chunk of the story getting to know the secondary characters and Garwood took some sweet time setting things up. I usually have no patience for such things but maybe my hiatus has somehow given me a little more patience. When they finally met, the romance was kind of blah. They had no special sparkles. But Gabrielle wasn’t annoying. So that helped. I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you are a die-hard Garwood fan who has read her early highland stories and want more. But it wasn’t a poor read for me. It was alright, just don’t expect it blow your mind.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Labrecque

    Disappointingly slow moving wowzers

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    If you like Julie Garwood, you'll like "Shadow Music", but you won't be challenged or surprised by any of the events in this book, set in 13th century England and Scotland.

  24. 5 out of 5

    kookyquinn

    I almost didn't read this because I'd seen a couple reviews saying it was terrible. Luckily I decided to read it -mostly because I'd read and loved the first two- and I'm so so glad I did. Like most Garwood books the blurb doesn't do it justice. Her characters are fun, there's lots of action and swoony romance.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aquit

    I remember going to a book club and everybody was taking turn cooing over "Shadow Music" when it got to my turn. I took one look at these ladeis and blurted out, "I hated it. There was no plot. What the hell happened to Julie Garwood? What the hell was this crap?" They all look at me in horror and finally one lady said, "I thought I was the only one who hated it." Julie Garwood, what the heck happened to you? She used to be one of my favorite authors because she created masterpiece and fantasies I remember going to a book club and everybody was taking turn cooing over "Shadow Music" when it got to my turn. I took one look at these ladeis and blurted out, "I hated it. There was no plot. What the hell happened to Julie Garwood? What the hell was this crap?" They all look at me in horror and finally one lady said, "I thought I was the only one who hated it." Julie Garwood, what the heck happened to you? She used to be one of my favorite authors because she created masterpiece and fantasies with a touch of a pen about her heros and heroines who rode across the Highlander fields sworing to protect their family and clan. I remember reading her book "Ransom", my all-time favorite book from her, as a child and wanting someday to have my own Brodick to love and cherish. When I read "Shadow Music" I was anticipating it to be the best ever from Julie. I had hope that Gillian would appear, that the humor was at its best, where the hero and heroine fought against monsters to stay together, and the ending would leave me with a satisfying feeling--you know, the mushy kind. Yeah, I was hoping too much. I couldn't remember the characters' name (beside Brodick) if my life had depended on it. It took me a whole week to read it because I felt that I was reading a summary of a book (like Cliff's Note) instead of the book itself. It was rushed and what the heck was all of those one page chapters? I couldn't decide if I wanted to finish the book or sell it before people find out it was a horrible book. Colm MacHugh was supposedly the "most feared man in the Highland." Him? Really? I think a child could had beat him at sword fighting. I didn't feel anything for him at all and that surprise me. I always like the male character but him? Nothing. Princess Gabrielle had no personality, was bland, one deminsional, and was a typical dumb girl. I couldn't find the reasons how these two people could fell in love with each other at all. The dialog between them was boring and awkward. It felt like a brotherly and sisterly relationship and that made it worse. What happened to LOVE? Some say that Julie was rushed into making "Shadow Music" and it wasn't her fault she had only a few months to write it or that maybe her heart isn't just into historical novels anymore. Whatever the reason, I don't think "Shadow Music" will ever be one of her best work. I'm afraid to say it but she has become a mediocre author who no longer has the magic gift of writing the historical novels I read as a child.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Holly Full Moon Bites Book Reviews

    May have slight spoilers. Shadow Music is the third and as far as I know finale novel in Julie Garwood’s Highlands' Lairds series, again though it is always possible she may come back to it. In this novel we meet Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel and Laird Colm MacHugh. They meet though Liam, Colm’s brother, in a way, as Lady Gabrielle came across and saved him while on her way to marry another Laird in the Highlands. Colm, a feared and powerful Laird, looking for his brother receives news that he is May have slight spoilers. Shadow Music is the third and as far as I know finale novel in Julie Garwood’s Highlands' Lairds series, again though it is always possible she may come back to it. In this novel we meet Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel and Laird Colm MacHugh. They meet though Liam, Colm’s brother, in a way, as Lady Gabrielle came across and saved him while on her way to marry another Laird in the Highlands. Colm, a feared and powerful Laird, looking for his brother receives news that he is at the Abby where she will marry and heads out to get him. When he arrives it is obvious his brother did not get to the Abby alone and he wants to know who brought him there so he can find the ones responsible for his wounds. Colm first sees her at the Abby with another Laird who happens to be a cousin of a sort, Brodick, the Laird from the last novel Ransom. Through a series of events, Lady Gabrielle becomes in need of saving, mostly for he reputation, and Brodick can not save that, but Colm, unmarried, can and in a ‘favor’ he owed Brodick for, he reluctantly agrees to marry her. This leads to more intriguing plot and mystery as we have more than one ‘enemy’ that is set to get Gabrielle in this novel. I feel as though I am about to say something terrible but it is true non-the-less; though I really liked this novel, I did not find it amazing as I did the other historical romances I have read from Garwood. Colm and Gabrielle just didn’t feel like they had the same type of chemistry I have come to expect from Garwood’s couples. Really, he mostly ignores her for most of the book, there was few love scenes, and they not as detailed/long as with the authors others, either. So though I really liked the novel—it was intriguing, had a good mystery I did like all the characters overall—I just could not find it as amazing as I did her novel, The Bride, The Secret, Ransom, The Wedding, etc. I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a good Historical Romance novel to read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    RNOCEAN

    Throughout her acclaimed writing career, Julie Garwood has captivated readers with characters who are compelling, daring, and bursting with life. Now one of the most popular novelists of our time proudly returns to her beloved historical romance roots–in a thrilling tale of love, murder, adventure, and mystery set against the haunting landscape of medieval Scotland. For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows–sku Throughout her acclaimed writing career, Julie Garwood has captivated readers with characters who are compelling, daring, and bursting with life. Now one of the most popular novelists of our time proudly returns to her beloved historical romance roots–in a thrilling tale of love, murder, adventure, and mystery set against the haunting landscape of medieval Scotland. For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows–skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England’s most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Gabrielle’s marriage to a good and gentle laird. But this marriage will never take place. For Gabrielle, everything changes in one last burst of freedom–when she and her guards come upon a scene of unimaginable cruelty. With one shot from her bow and arrow, Gabrielle takes a life, saves a life, and begins a war. Within days, the Highlands are aflame with passions as a battle royal flares between enemies old and new. Having come to Scotland to be married, Gabrielle is instead entangled in Highland intrigue. For two sadistic noblemen, underestimating Gabrielle’s bravery and prowess may prove fatal. But thanks to a secret Gabrielle possesses, Colm MacHugh, the most feared man in Scotland, finds a new cause for courage. Under his penetrating gaze, neither Gabrielle’s body nor heart is safe. A gripping novel that delves into the heart of emotions–unyielding passions of love, hate, revenge, and rawdesire–Shadow Music is magnificent gift from Julie Garwood and a crowning achievement in her amazing career. *4/5. This was my first audio book and I loved listening to the dialect and accent of the speaker. It made for a relaxing and soothing rest in the afternoon to listen to this romantic novel.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    4.5 stars King John loves manipulating the pawns before him, always looking for an arrangement that benefits him. John is one of many admirers of the exquisite beauty Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, if it wouldn't have caused disharmony with his allies he would have taken her for himself as a mistress. Instead King John arranges a marriage that will insert peace in the Highlands, with a gentle laird. Gabrielle never meets her groom, instead she ends up holding a secret and having those she truste 4.5 stars King John loves manipulating the pawns before him, always looking for an arrangement that benefits him. John is one of many admirers of the exquisite beauty Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, if it wouldn't have caused disharmony with his allies he would have taken her for himself as a mistress. Instead King John arranges a marriage that will insert peace in the Highlands, with a gentle laird. Gabrielle never meets her groom, instead she ends up holding a secret and having those she trusted turn on her. Laird Colm MacHugh doesn't know what to make of Gabrielle, but the accusations flung her way he knows to be false. Despite his better judgement, he tells Gabrielle he will marry her and she has a choice, they can marry today or six months from now. Gabrielle chooses six months and tries to flee, repeatedly. When Colm thinks he has her in hand, she manages to keep him off kilter one minute being the kind serene princess he first met, the next a blazing woman full of passion when she feels wronged. Colm can't seem to think of a reason why she is not the perfect match. Full of intrigue, Shadow Music is a delightful highlander story. Loved both Gabrielle and Colm. Colm is a man of few words and is used to giving orders, while Gabrielle is spirited and used to finding a way around the things she doesn't want to do or hear. Highly entertaining.

  29. 4 out of 5

    fleurette

    I haven't read Julia Garwood historicals for some time. To be honest, I have never been her fan. Her heroines were too silly for my taste and they were lacking in independence. Gabrielle, the heroine in Shadow Music, is not an exception. And Colm, the hero, is as possessive and bossy as all the other Garwood men. This is a highlander medieval romance. And once again, both this period and the Scottish characters are not my favourite. The beginning is rather slow. Gabrielle and Colm meet for the f I haven't read Julia Garwood historicals for some time. To be honest, I have never been her fan. Her heroines were too silly for my taste and they were lacking in independence. Gabrielle, the heroine in Shadow Music, is not an exception. And Colm, the hero, is as possessive and bossy as all the other Garwood men. This is a highlander medieval romance. And once again, both this period and the Scottish characters are not my favourite. The beginning is rather slow. Gabrielle and Colm meet for the first time at about 1/3 of the book. So this is where the romance part starts. And from that point everything is getting fast. A bit too fast I think. There is no time to built the relationship. They fall in love so instantly. I couldn't stop thinking that I have already read this book, even though I know it is not possible. There are two options than: either Shadow Music is so similar to the other Garwood books, either it is similar to some other highlander romances I have read, probably some Brenda Joyce or Johanna Lindsey. Whatever the answer, it was not a nice feeling. And who the hell came up with this cover?! The setting of the book is medieval Scotland. Does it look like medieval Scotland?!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    I'm soooo disappointed!! Here I was eagerly awaiting Shadow Music, Julie Garwood's first historical novel in years. I can't believe it - what a disappointment! Where was the romance? Where was the passion? Where was the plot? I'm still trying to figure out why Gabrielle even fell in love with Colm! I am such a huge fan of Julie Garwood's earlier historical romances, and I was ecstatic when I found out about Shadow Music. I've never been a fan of her contemporary novels and I had high expectation I'm soooo disappointed!! Here I was eagerly awaiting Shadow Music, Julie Garwood's first historical novel in years. I can't believe it - what a disappointment! Where was the romance? Where was the passion? Where was the plot? I'm still trying to figure out why Gabrielle even fell in love with Colm! I am such a huge fan of Julie Garwood's earlier historical romances, and I was ecstatic when I found out about Shadow Music. I've never been a fan of her contemporary novels and I had high expectations for Shadow Music. Maybe my expectations were too high. Unfortunately I feel as deflated as I felt when I watched the TV movie Rose Hill, a bad adaptation of Julie Garwood's For The Roses. Shadow Music is nowhere near as good as Julie Garwood's previous historical romances. I don't understand how someone who has written such beautiful romances in the past has come up with such a doozy. I don't even understand why on earth it was called Shadow Music? The title really doesn't fit at all. My rating for Shadow Music is 2.5/5

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