Shadow Music

Shadow Music

by Julie Garwood

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345500748
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/30/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 91,284
Product dimensions: 4.24(w) x 6.82(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

Julie Garwood is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, including Shadow Dance, Slow Burn, Murder List, Killjoy, Mercy, Heartbreaker, Ransom, and Come the Spring. There are more than thirty-two million copies of her books in print.

Read an Excerpt


Wellingshire, England

Princess Gabrielle was barely six years old when she was summoned to her mother’s deathbed. Escorting her was her faithful guard, two soldiers on either side, their gait slow so she could keep up with them as they solemnly made their way down the long corridor. The only sound was their boots clicking against the cold stone floor.

Gabrielle had been called to her mother’s deathbed so many times she’d lost count.

As she walked, she kept her head bowed, staring intently at the shiny rock she’d found. Mother was going to love it. It was black with a tiny white streak zigzagging all around it. One side was as smooth as her mother’s hand when she stroked the side of Gabrielle’s face. The rock’s other side was as rough as her papa’s whiskers.

Every day at sunset Gabrielle brought her mother a different treasure. Two days ago she’d captured a butterfly. It had such pretty wings, gold with purple splotches. Mother declared it was the most beautiful butterfly she’d ever seen. She praised Gabrielle for being so gentle with one of God’s creatures as she walked to the window and let it fly away.

Yesterday Gabrielle had gathered flowers from the hill outside the castle walls. The scent of heather and honey had surrounded her, and she thought the lovely aroma even more pleasing than her mother’s special oils and perfumes. Gabrielle had tied a pretty ribbon around the stems and tried to fashion a nice bow, but she didn’t know how and she’d made a mess of it. The ribbon had come undone before she handed the bouquet to her mother.

Rocks were Mother’s favorite treasures. She kept a basketful that Gabrielle had collected for her on a table next to her bed, and she would love this rock most of all.

Gabrielle wasn’t worried about today’s visit. Her mother had promised that she wouldn’t go away to heaven any time soon, and she never broke her promises.

The sun cast shadows along the stone walls and floor. If Gabrielle hadn’t been on an errand with her rock, she would have liked to chase the shadows and try to capture one. The long corridor was one of her favorite places to play. She loved to hop on one foot from one stone to another and see how far she could get before falling. She hadn’t made it to the second arched window yet, and there were five more windows to go.

Sometimes she closed her eyes, stretched her arms out wide, and spun and spun until she lost her balance and tumbled to the floor, so dizzy the walls seemed to fly about her head.

Most of all, she loved to run down the corridor, especially when her father was home. He was such a big, grand man, taller than any of the pillars in the church. Her papa would call to her and wait until she reached him. Then he scooped her up into his arms and lifted her high above his head. If they were in the courtyard, she raised her hands to the sky, certain she could almost touch a cloud. Papa always pretended to lose his grip so that she would think he was about to drop her. She knew he never would, but she squealed with delight over the possibility. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held tight as he strode toward her mother’s rooms. When he was in an especially happy mood he would sing. Papa had a terrible singing voice, and sometimes Gabrielle giggled and covered her ears it was so awful, but she never really laughed. She didn’t want to hurt his tender feelings.

Papa wasn’t at home today. He had left Wellingshire to visit his uncle Morgan in northern England, and he wouldn’t be home for several days. Gabrielle wasn’t concerned. Mother wouldn’t die without him by her side.

Stephen, the leader of the guards, opened the door to her mother’s chamber and coaxed Gabrielle to enter by giving her a gentle little nudge between her shoulder blades. “Go on, Princess,” he urged.

She turned around with a disgruntled frown. “Papa says you’re to call my mama Princess Genevieve, and you’re supposed to call me Lady Gabrielle.”

“Here in England, you are Lady Gabrielle,” He tapped the crest emblazoned on his tunic, “But in St. Biel, you are our princess. Now go, your mother is waiting.”

Seeing Gabrielle, her mother called out. Her voice was weak, and she looked terribly pale. For as long as Gabrielle could remember, her mother had stayed in bed. Her legs had forgotten how to walk, she’d explained to Gabrielle, but she was hopeful, praying that they would one day remember. If that miracle were to happen, she promised Gabrielle that she would stand barefoot in the clear stream to gather stones with her daughter.

And she would dance with Papa, too.

The chamber was crowded with people. They made a narrow path for her. The priest, Father Gartner, was chanting his prayer in a low whisper near the alcove, and the royal physician, who always frowned and liked to make her mother bleed with his black, slimy bugs, was also in attendance. Gabrielle was thankful he hadn’t put any bugs on her mother’s arms today.

The maids, the stewards, and the housekeeper hovered beside the bed. Mother put down her tapestry and needle, shooed the servants away, and motioned to Gabrielle.

“Come and sit with me,” she ordered.

Gabrielle ran across the room, climbed up onto the platform, and thrust the rock at her mother.

“Oh, it’s beautiful,” she whispered as she took the rock and carefully examined it. “This is the best one yet,” she added with a nod.

“Mother, you say that every time I bring you a rock. It’s always the best one.”

Her mother patted a spot next to her. Gabrielle scooted closer and said, “You can’t die today. Remember? You promised.”

“I remember.”

“Papa will be awful angry, too, so you better not.”

“Lean closer, Gabrielle,” her mother said. “I have need to whisper.”

The sparkle in her eyes told Gabrielle she was playing her game again.

“A secret? Are you going to tell me a secret?”

The crowd moved forward. All were eager to hear what she would say.

Gabrielle looked around the room. “Mother, why are all these people here? Why?”

Her mother kissed her cheek. “They think that I know where a great treasure is hidden, and they hope that I will tell you where it is.”

Gabrielle giggled. She liked this game. “Are you going to tell me?”

“Not today,” she answered.

“Not today,” Gabrielle repeated so that the curious onlookers would hear.

Her mother struggled to sit up. The housekeeper rushed forward to place pillows behind her back. A moment later the physician announced that her color was improving.

“I am feeling much better,” she said. “Leave us now,” she ordered, her voice growing stronger with each word. “I would like a moment alone with my daughter.”

The physician looked as though he wanted to protest, but he kept silent as he ushered the group from the chamber. He motioned for two maids to stay behind. The women waited by the door to do their mistress’s bidding.

“Are you feeling so much better you can tell me a story today?” Gabrielle asked.

“I am,” she replied. “Which story would you like to hear?”

“The princess story,” she eagerly answered.

Her mother wasn’t surprised. Gabrielle always asked for the same story.

“There once was a princess who lived in a faraway land called St. Biel,” her mother began. “Her home was a magnificent white castle high on the top of a mountain. Her uncle was the king. He was very kind to the princess, and she was very happy.”

When her mother paused, Gabrielle blurted impatiently, “You’re the princess.”

“Gabrielle, you know that I am and that this story is about your father and me.”

“I know, but I like to hear you tell it.”

Her mother continued. “When the princess was of age, a bargain was struck with Baron Geoffrey of Wellingshire. The princess was to marry the baron and live with him in England.”

Because she knew that her daughter loved to hear about the wedding ceremony, the gowns, and the music, she went into great detail. The little girl clapped her hands with delight when she heard about the banquet feast, especially the description of the fruit tarts and honey cakes. By the end of the story, the mother’s narrative had become slow and labored. Exhaustion was catching up with her. The little girl took notice and, as was her ritual, she again made her mother promise she wouldn’t die today.

“I promise. Now it is your turn to tell me the story I taught you.”

“Every word just like you taught me, Mother? And just like your mother taught you?”

She smiled. “Every word. And you will remember it and tell your daughters one day so they will know of their family and St. Biel.”

Gabrielle grew solemn and closed her eyes to concentrate. She knew she must not forget a word of the story. This was her heritage, and her mother assured her that one day she would understand what that meant. She folded her hands in her lap and then opened her eyes again. Focusing on her mother’s encouraging smile, she began.

“Once upon a time in the year of the violent storms that tore in from the sea . . .”

Customer Reviews

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Shadow Music 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 236 reviews.
alexis_kirsty More than 1 year ago
if you have ever read a garwood you know exactly what im talking about. well written (beautiful transitions, im jealous :)) and its a wonderful romance with an overlying plot to keep it running a very, very good book although not my very favorite of hers, but right up there :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the second disappointing Julie Garwood book I've read (the other was her release last year). I have always loved her work & in fact re-read The Secret & Ransom after this letdown so I could remember the enjoyment her writing brought. Her books used to make me laugh out loud & the dialogue between the characters was full of mishief, sparks & chemistry. In this book the two main characters are hardly ever in the same scene, much less do they have any meaningful conversation. This was the first time I had to force myself to finish one of her books and at the end I really didn't care about any of the characters, mainly because they were never fleshed out into real people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it!!!!! Im a big Julie Garwood fan and this book did not disappoint!
Readaholic101 More than 1 year ago
Julie Garwood's Shadow Music was an excellent book. I thought the characters were great and there was a variety. I love how she made Lady/Princess Gabrielle a strong, independent woman. The love interest between her and Laird Machugh was exciting! Just when you think they'll finally be together, he turns and walks away. Scared to loose his composure, he always keeps his distance from Gabrielle, although you can tell he wants her desperately. I only would hope that they would have more interaction. Great book to read and definitely suggest it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a fan of MS Garwood's work having read ALL of her offerings both historical and romantic suspense, she has lost her voice in this book. Gone is the quirky heroine and the stern hero leveled by the heroine's antics and love, these are Garwood's trademarks. Add to this, the lack of any viable chemistry between such a perfect heroine ' that she would know Scots Gaelic, is so off the mark as she doesn't give the reader a reason for her to have learned it' and the hero is one dimensional, that his brother actually is more likeable. She has done this so much better in other books, adding humor events that help the reader to know the character of her h/h. Unlike some of her more interesting books, she doesn't use her past characters in a manner that is satisfying. One of her most beloved heroes, Broderick Buchannan has such a small appearance and even he doesn't seem the same. There appears to be more telling than showing, we are told the heroine is this or that and the same with the hero, but there is no action/no event that helps one to see this as well. Also gone is the witty banter between the h/h, which little there is appears in the internal dialogue instead, which doesn't allow for the humorous scenes we have come to expect in a Garwood historical. Ms Garwood's histories have been 'history light' so the experienced reader doesn't expect detailed history but we expect the scenarios to be plausible, she missed the mark here. The 'English maid married off to the Highland laird' to quell the Anglo/Scottish disputes has been done to death but adding it here for this time period shows that MS Garwood didn't do her research for the period of King John and King Wm. It appears 'pg 10' to be there to get the heroine in the highlands and she could have done that by drawing in past characters/stories which she in the past is so good at. It makes me wonder if someone else wrote this book, imitating poorly, her style. Or maybe this is one of those books pulled from underneath the bed from her early days to be resurrected to meet the publisher's contract? MS Garwood is a great storyteller and has many fine historicals and RS to offer, readers who must read her should wait for the mass market edition, this one is not worth Hardcover $$. Thankfully she has many other historicals that can be read and enjoyed.
shalowee More than 1 year ago
I always admire Ms. JG writting because at all times it has the drama, romance and the thrill that I wanted. But on this book, I feel that I wasn't totally convince on the passion and connection between Lady gabrielle and Colm . And I wished that Ms. JG have them met earlier on the story rather than in the middle of it so that their character had more to time to develope. But when all is said and done it is still a good book and don't miind reading it again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate to say it, but this was absolutely terrible. First, I need to address some of the reviewers who have given this 5 or 4 stars and are angry at the critics, saying that the unhappy fans can't deal with change, can't deal with an author needing to change styles after 20 years. I understand that authors and the publishing world change over time, but I still except quality work! This is NOT quality work. I teach middle school English, and Shadow Music has the most basic, simple sentence structure, narration, and dialogue that I have ever seen in a novel written for adults. Page after page of choppy sentences. It was downright painful. The dialogue made me cringe. The word choice was the same. Simple, basic. The whole time I was reading, I was thinking of the lessons I just taught my pull-out group of 6th graders. I was giving them sentences about as simple as the ones in this novel and having them revise the weak sentences into complex, compoud, varied sentences! I kept thinking as I was reading, my struggling 6th graders are writing better sentences than these, and my superior 6th graders are writing circles around Julie Garwood. You may think that I just don't 'get' romance novels and/or Julie Garwood, and that's why I'm so harsh. Not true at all. I've been reading romance novels since I was 14, and I've read a lot of bad ones in my time. I've also bought and read all of Julie Garwood's books, have re-read the historicals many times, and have considered her to be one of my favorite authors. I am extremely intrigued by many of the comments some reviewers made, speculating that Julie Garwood didn't even write this. I was thinking the exact same thing and even told my sister that. This is not her voice, her style, at all. At first, I was wondering if she was just really rushed and under a deadline, but it would still sound like her! Has she hired a ghost writer? The plot sounds like hers, so I can't help but wonder if she's passed her plots on to a ghost writer, which is what happened when V.C. Andrews died a number of years ago. I liked the modern romance/suspense novels, like Mercy and Heartbreaker, but after those, each book was a bit more boring, and the quality of each book diminished, until the last few were pretty weak, plot-wise and quality-of-writing-wise (Noah's story was good, but the one before it was almost as bad as this one). I don't know what has happened, but a great writer has fallen out of favor with this fan. I will still re-read her old novels, but I will not be buying the next. I'm sorry that this is so harsh. I respect writers. I could never write anything that would get published. I hope that my comments, and the comments of other enraged fans, will bring Julie Garwood back!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so excited for this book ... then I read it. I'm wondering if it was ghost written. Ms. Garwood has such a strong writting style and this book did not reflect it. The phrases and language she usually uses, weren't. The characters did not really link up until the book was almost finished, the ending was abrupt and she didn't use any of the characters that she created in previous books. I thought this would be a triumph - it was a let-down. Ms Garwood's book usually are joyful, funny, passionate, and creative. The reader can be swept up in the story, envision the setting and hear the voices. This book was choppy, disjointed, and flat. Sorry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was okay. Definitely not as good as Ransom or The Secret. The book was slow to get started. I know Garwood likes to introduce us to all the characters before they interact, but it was getting ridiculous. Although I liked Colm because he was so much like Brodick, I thought his character was underdeveloped. Garwood didn¿t explain anything about his background or family or much about his thinking. What did he find attractive about Gabrielle? How did he get past his hatred of the English to fall for her? I didn¿t feel any electricity between them. I understood more about Coswold and Percy¿s personalities and motivations than I did about Colm¿s! I thought there should be less talk about King John and the bad guys and more about what Colm felt. Gabrielle was a nice heroine. She didn¿t sicken me. She had a good head on her shoulders. She was pretty accepting of others making life decisions for her though, but that was the way it was for women back then. They didn¿t have any control over their own lives. And it was never really explained why Gabrielle was attracted to Colm over Liam when Liam was so much more personable. Was it because Colm was like her father? Because she thought he was sexier than Liam? Was she drawn to the leadership and protective qualities in him? What made her fall in love with Colm? The sex part was practically nonexistent. It was not very hot or sexy. And for being a virgin she sure was being seductive! She didn't act very scared or unsure of herself. And of course since we don¿t know anything about Colm, we don¿t know how experienced, or not, that he was. Garwood did put in some of the funny scenarios between the meek priests and the overbearing lairds that are funny -especially if you're Catholic! Garwood always has to have a kid in the story. I guess to show that the hero has a tender heart towards kids? In this case it was two twin boys, but it was really unnecessary, I thought. They didn¿t do anything to advance the plot or help us understand the characters better. As Garwood readers know, she likes a particular ending. In this book that part seemed like she just added it for some excitement. Finally, are we to expect a book about Colm¿s daughter growing up to marry Brodick¿s son?! I¿d love it! Lastly finally, why does the book cover have a man with slacks on? Everyone knows Colm wears a plaid.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read everyone of Julie's books, 5 times over. I loved her historical romances the best. They had everything- sense of humor, great chemistry between characters, and great plots. This book was dull. The relationship beween Colm and Gabrielle occurred in the middle of the book and was flat. No excitement, dull plot line. I think Julie writes better historical than contemporary but this book was FLAT. Dull. Boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a longtime fan of Ms. Garwood's work, enjoying her romances and suspense. Some of her other recent books have been a bit disappointing but generally okay. This one was not ready to be printed. Where was the editor? The story rambled. Characters either changed names or there were too many to keep track of. Plot points started and stopped. It didn't have her trademark snap and humor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed both her contemporary and historical books because she has such a sense of fun with her stories even with violent back drops. I love her characters. This book is just okay. She brings back an old character but he's hardly recognizable from his original story (read Ransom). The two lead characters are never fully developed and their interaction seemed to have no chemistry or connection. Just sort of blah. On the other hand I praise her for writing strong women. Even the mystery could have been developed vs. just told. And there was no built up, the foreshadowing was so strong that you could figure it out towards the middle of the book. Fans might want to wait for the paperback.
Guest More than 1 year ago
..but, it needed a wee bit more work. I read through it really fast, and I LOVED how it incorporated Brodrick from her book, Ransom. However.. it was almost too smooth. I didn't really feel the passion between the heroine and Colm, her 'savior'. He seemed a bit underdeveloped, in my humble opinion. He could have been so much more, but he was essentially Brodrick in a less described way. The book could have stood to be longer, and more detailed. The author is good enough that the longer reads truly are enjoyable, and she'd have been able to truly flesh out the characters to a less anorexic state with at least another 100 pages. I read more character depth into the villians than I almost did into the two main characters. The plot was decent, but it too could have stood to be developed a bit more.. maybe something a little less like the plotline from Julie Garwood's Ransom: Barons after a treasure, girl's got the possible knowledge to get the treasure, girl falls in love with Highland warrior, girl at end of novel ends up back in the hands of the evil baron, Highland warrior saves girl, and Highland warrior declares his love of girl. Sounds a bit familiar. So, while I was thankful to get another historical novel from Julie Garwood 'and I look forward to more around this plotline, especially based off of a conversation between Colm and Brodrick in the last portion of the book', and it was a really good book-- it didn't get 5 stars because of my high expectations of the author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
SHADOW MUSIC is an outstanding book that I highly urge you to read! The characters are well-created and the plot is remarkable and well-written. I enjoyed every page of this writer's MUST READ story! I know you will enjoy this book as much as I did that is why I am writting this review. You will be HIGHLY ENTERTAINED!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In England she is the Lady Gabriella, daughter of a powerful baron but in Scotland the beautiful and innocent is known as the Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel like her mother before her. Many men want her including King John¿s favorites Baron Percy and Baron Coswold. Although King John gets pleasure in pitting the two men against each other he decides that Gabrielle goes to Laird Alan Monroe in an attempt to appease his countrymen.------------- Gabrielle and her guards are on their way to the Abbey in Scotland to meet her betrothed when she sees a group of men dressed up as monks ready to kill a man who they are using as bait to capture his brother Laird Colm MacHugh. She shoots an arrow in the man who is getting ready to kill the prisoner. She saves his life and brings him to the Abbey to heal. She visits him during the night to make sure he is okay but a woman¿s lies destroy her reputation and causes her to be banished. Lord Colm MacHugh is persuaded by Gabrielle¿s kinsman to marry her in order for Colm to pay off his debt to him. Once she is in his home, she turns his life upside down but enemies from England and Scotland have differing plans to destroy the relationship that is beginning to blossom between the laird and the princess.------------- Julie Garwood goes back to her historical roots and writes a romance that is filled with pageantry, blood feuds, duplicitous lords and eventually a war between two powerful clans. The growing love between the hero and the heroine is beautiful to behold and is very believable. Ms. Garwood¿s trademark underlying humor is present throughout the storyline and readers will chuckle at the way Gabrielle winds Colm around her little finger. This is one of the best historical romances of the year.------------ Harriet Klausner
love2laf on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Garwood has a beautiful touch for the historical romance. Enjoyable, quick-paced, and a perfect way to relax the mind.
theeclecticreview on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I have been a Julie Garwood fan for many years and found this book lacking. None of the characters really stood out at me and that disappoints me because I love highlander stories. It is a tried storyline where the beautiful princess is bequeathed to marry a stranger, the stranger dies and a tough but sensitive highlander hero steps in to save her from evil men.
risadabomb on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book was not one of Garwood's best. That being said it was still enjoyable, a bit slow to start but enjoyable. I had a sense of deja vu reading it as it is very similar to the Bride; however, the characters are not as well developed.
SunnySD on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, a remarkably independent young woman with four staunch bodyguards, a quick wit, sharp tongue, and fair talent with a bow, comes crossways (through no fault of her own) with Highland laird Colm McHugh. And of course, she has to marry him. Plotting counter-suitors, murder, hidden treasure and, of course, Highland pride complicate things, but true love conquers all.It's a nice enough book. The plot is a bit heavy on historical detail and evil characters, and if you haven't read the rest of Garwood's Highland novels, you're probably wondering just who Brodick and a few of the others are and why they're important. My problem? This felt like a watered-down retelling of The Secret, Saving Graceor one of Garwood's other, earlier Highland novels. Not bad, exactly, just re-hashed.
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I enjoy Garwood's many books, but this one was a weak effort.
sroot on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I loved this book! To me it was the perfect blend of romance, suspense, with a delightful sense of humor thrown in. Princess Gabrielle is a feisty, very likable heroine, and Colm is a great hero. While I've enjoyed Julie Garwood's contemporary suspense, this historical far surpassed them.
blingtastic on LibraryThing 10 months ago
not one of her best but still worth reading; not as strong chemistry between the 2 main characters; good storyline
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Captured my attention and kept me entertained throughout. There were times I didn't want to put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Classic JG, would not have expected anything else. Love how she revisited the Highlands and Brodick. Always love to see how some of my old favorite characters fared out. Thanks for continuing to write Ms JG. Keep it up for as long as you can!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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