Sunday, July 24, 2022

Blog Tour Review & Excerpt: Grace Under Fire by Julie Garwood


Grace Under Fire (Buchanan-Renard #14) by Julie Garwood
Publication Date: July 19th 2022 by Berkley
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher 
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Isabel MacKenna is in Boston for the Buchanan’s anniversary party, the in-laws of her sister, Kate and while walking around the city she runs into a man shot and bleeding with his attacker in hot pursuit and when he starts shooting, Isabel quickly reacts and ends up killing him.

Michael Buchanan, Isabel’s least favorite of the Buchanan clan, is sent to assist and represent her with the police and from then on sticks to her like glue when it seems there is still a threat out for Isabel. Which is surprising considering Michael seemed to steer clear of her every time she was around.

Michael kept his distance from Isabel because she was so young, just entering college, and gorgeous. Now seeing her several years later that same reason doesn’t apply but of course he doesn’t want a relationship. Tough to keep his hands to himself when she’s so tempting. He should let someone else watch over her, but he can’t keep away.

There was never a dull moment in Grace Under Fire with a new danger or threat around every corner and the romance was engaging, as well. Michael and Isabel had a fun push and pull between them, and sizzling chemistry. I had to laugh every time Isabel got behind the wheel, her driving skills could turn anyone’s hair white from fright! I enjoyed all the places they “visited” from Boston and the private Buchanan retreat at Nathan’s Bay to Scotland and all the little towns there.

Grace Under Fire was the second book I’ve read in this long running series, and I really enjoyed it!

4 Stars


Chapter One


Isabel MacKenna had a hundred things to do today. Killing someone wasn't one of them.


She had such high hopes this morning when she dragged herself out of bed at the ungodly hour of five a.m. She had made detailed plans for the day that lay ahead, and she would have sailed through them if two unfortunate incidents hadn't waylaid her. The first was an irritating inconvenience; the second, a terrifying nightmare.


Scheduled to take an early flight on a no-frills, but supercheap airline to Boston, she arrived at the airport in plenty of time to go through security. She was dressed for comfort in a pair of snug jeans and a light pink T-shirt. Her long blond hair was up in a ponytail, and she wore a Red Sox baseball cap her brother-in-law, Dylan, had given her. She checked her luggage, which was packed for a trip to Scotland the following week, and carried her backpack that held everything she would need for the next few days. It was so stuffed she was pretty sure it weighed more than she did. The first time she attempted to swing it over her shoulder she nearly did a backflip. Fortunately, once she was on the plane, another passenger helped her lift it into the overhead compartment.


She had been assigned a window seat, and she planned to go to sleep as soon as the plane took off. In hindsight, perhaps her expectations were naive. From past experience she had learned that there was never anything smooth or easy about flying, and today was no exception. Once she boarded, she was trapped, and a flight that should have taken a little under three hours ended up taking seven and a half, thanks to the fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants airline and the mechanical problems they were sure maintenance could fix in no time at all. The captain made the passengers sit on the plane for two full hours before they were allowed to go back into the terminal to continue their wait while repairs were completed. After another grueling hour passed, they were told a relief plane was being flown in to take them to Boston. Apparently, the fix-it-in-no-time-at-all plane couldn't be fixed.


It was a miserable flight. It began with Isabel plastered up against the window while two overly friendly college students in the seats next to her took turns hitting on her. They seemed to be in some sort of competition to hold her attention and get her phone number. One was in his seventh year at a college in Arizona. In the course of his monologue he sheepishly admitted he still didn't have enough credits to graduate. The other one was in his third year at Colorado State and had changed his major so many times he couldn't remember what it now was. Isabel thought maybe there was a little something extra baked into the cookies he was munching on. She was pretty sure he was stoned.


Being polite to the nonstop talkers took effort, for exhaustion was pressing down on her . . . and no wonder. She had gotten only three hours of sleep the night before, and the last several weeks had been brutal, with papers due and finals to study for, not to mention packing up almost everything she owned and shipping it back home to Silver Springs, South Carolina, leaving only some of her clothes and personal items. Finally, graduation. She had hoped both of her sisters would be there for the ceremony, but Kiera, the older of the two, was in the middle of a demanding medical residency and couldn't take time off from work to attend. Her other sister, Kate, and her husband, Dylan, were there to see her walk across the stage and get her diploma. She was on her way now to meet them at Nathan's Bay, Dylan's family home just outside Boston. Judge and Mrs. Buchanan, Dylan's parents, were celebrating their anniversary, and their big family was gathering for the occasion. Isabel was happy to be invited to the festivities. The Buchanans were so warm and welcoming, and she looked forward to a week of fun and relaxation.


Then she and Kate were off to Scotland to see Glen MacKenna, the property she would soon inherit from her crusty and-she had it on good authority-horribly mean great-uncle. The land was located in the Highlands, and Isabel was anxious to see it. Kate and Dylan had given her the trip as a graduation present.


After she returned from Scotland, her plans were uncertain. Maybe the trip would give her some insight into what her future would be.


Once the plane was in flight to Boston and the incessant chattering of her seatmates had died down, Isabel rested her head against the porthole window. She was feeling horrible. She had thrown up-a couple of times, as a matter of fact-as soon as she'd rolled out of bed, and now her head was pounding. She closed her eyes and tried to sleep, but the drummer banging away on the inside of her eyelids wouldn't let up.

Book Description:

Grace Isabel MacKenna had a hundred things to do today. Killing someone wasn’t one of them. It was supposed to be a quick visit to Boston for the Buchanan anniversary party, then on to Scotland to collect an inheritance. She checks into the hotel and then decides to go for a brisk walk. But after getting lost she ends up with a wounded man stumbling into her arms, and then his shooter coming after them both. When she fires back in self-defense, she doesn’t expect him to drop dead. Thanks to the Buchanans dispatching Navy SEAL and now a lawyer Michael Buchanan to help her deal with the police, Isabel endures hours of interrogation and is finally free to go.

Isabel knows she should be grateful for Michael’s help, but since she’s harbored an extreme dislike for him for years, gratitude is difficult to muster. Michael has appointed himself her de facto guardian, and she’s stuck with him despite their constant bickering and sizzling attraction. Even when Isabel goes to Scotland to claim her inheritance, Michael follows her, but he isn’t the only thing she can’t shake. Mysterious threats against Isabel surface, and before they can deal with their growing feelings for each other, Michael and Isabel must first survive.


  1. I am so happy that you ended up liking this one so much Rachel. I need to try out her suspense one of these days as I do love her historical's.

    Great review

    1. I've never read her historicals! I'll have to check those out. :)

  2. Never a dull moment is an excellent quality in a book like this. And Michael and Isabel's romance sounds like fun. :D

    1. Yes! They're the ones you just want to keep reading. It was! :)

  3. The set up for the suspense sounds good and I'm glad the romance had the right tension. I've not read a Julie Garland contemporary romantic suspense yet.

    1. Yes, it was a great story! I didn't know she wrote any other genres.

  4. I had no idea this was part of a long running series. I'd want to start at the beginning so I'm glad I didn't just get this one. Thanks for the review.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

    1. Both of the books I've read can be read as a stand alone. Each book focuses on a different couple. :)

  5. Julie Garwood is such a talented writer. I'd like to read this series from the beginning some day.

  6. Great review! I've seen one making the rounds and really wanna give it a go!

  7. I like when they mix romance in with the mystery. More likely to keep my interest.

  8. I'm not familiar with this series but it sounds so good. Glad you enjoyed this book so much. :)

  9. Great review! This really sounds like a fun ride!

  10. I actually didn't realize that Garwood wrote contemporaries. This sounds like a fun romantic suspense. I had to laugh at Isabel's driving (in)ability. lol

  11. I do not think I have actually ever read her