Ransom - Julie Garwood, Susan Duerden Castle on the cliffs of Scotland

★★★★★ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Susan Duerden has quickly become one of my favorite narrators. In Ransom, one of my favorite Garwood books, she manages to elevate it even more! Awe-mazing.

I’ve read Ransom several times, but it was fun to hear it read to me. Ms. Duerden does a wonderful job on the Scottish accents and inflecting just the right tone for the characters and the situation. I don’t know how she got some of the deep voices for the men. Her pacing and voice level are consistent. It was a real joy to listen to this on audiobook. I’m so glad I didn’t resist getting this newly released version, as I know I’ll listen to it again and again.

What can I say about a classic Garwood Highland Medieval and – at 546 pages, or 16 hours on audio – a “chunkster” to boot? I feel like I’m repeating myself about Ms. Garwood; but, while there were a few LOL moments, what I really found was that I was smiling throughout this book. I like smiling while I listen to a story; it gives me a warm feeling; makes me want to hunker down under my covers and stay there, indulging in a bit of escapism to Garwood’s Medieval Scotland. This writer can get away with a subtle brand of humor that others cannot. The prologue in this one is excellent, and instantly transported me there. Even in the urgency and danger of the situation JG still managed to capture the character and innocence of a young Gillian and make me… well, smile. ☺

Here we get two love stories in one, which some people don’t like, but I found one complimented the other and made the developing friendship between the two women, Gillian and Bridgid, a more realistic relationship. It gave them something to talk about. (Not that there wasn’t enough action, intrigue, and betrayal going on in the story.) This was true for the corresponding relationship between the two long-time comrades and heroes, Brodick and Ramsey. They all got to know each other on a different level, and it is easy for me to see the four of them remaining friends for life.

That said, I felt the resolution of secondary love story was a bit too quick; greedy romance reader that I am, I would have liked a smidgen more. Maybe a wedding? One not on horseback? LOL!