Beauty wins over the love of a Scottish Laird who has been brainwashed all his life to hate the English. The first half of the story is very engaging and entertaining and after the second half starts not a whole lot happens that adds to the story. It stays stagnant almost to about two chapters to the end where it picks up again. I still enjoyed the story overall and felt that the narrator did a good job as well.
Very rarely do I have the opportunity to read a book that isn't a review required read, but I needed something familiar, something comforting this past week, and so I chose to re-read/listen to this story.
I am so, so very glad I did!
I had read The Secret (paperback) years ago and never reviewed because I was on a Julie Garwood binge. Book after book, I didn't have time to stop and write down my thoughts because I couldn't stop reading long enough to do so. This story will always be a favorite read, but as a listen? It's amazing!
Julie Garwood was my first venture into Historical Romance, and the genre became an instant favorite. I grabbed every single Garwood HR I could get my hands on, and wept when I learned she wasn't writing HR anymore.
Okay, maybe "wept" is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much!
When people ask what my favorite HR novel is, I always think of Garwood's books. The Prize, The Bride, The Wedding... it's hard to pick an all time favorite. But I can honestly say, The Secret is right up there on the list.
And I've fallen in love with it, all over again.
This past weekend I listened (and read along - Kindle) to Susan Duerden not just read the book, but perform it. Her incredible ability to let each character's unique personality shine through made this an absolute delight to experience.
The prologue is one of the best I had ever read, and now listening to Ms. Duerden bring the wee little girls, Judith and Frances Catherine to life... then bring them together again as grown women whose friendship passed the test of time and will inspire Lairds and clansmen... truly, I can't put into words how much I enjoyed this story. No, how much I LOVE this story! Every page, every sentence, every word...
The bottom line...
As I said, my reading time is precious to me and there isn't enough of it, but when I needed something familiar and comforting, I chose this book. That in itself should bear testament to how much I adore The Secret.
I sighed, I smiled, I laughed... the witty dialog and laugh out loud banter, the sexual chemistry... it captured my heart and made me fall in love with the obstinate Laird Iain Maitland and the adorable, equally obstinate Lady Judith, all over again.
Lighthearted, Fluffy, Romance
The wedding scene, was especially amusing. The dialogue was witty, charming, and laugh out loud funny.
I was especially fond of Frances Catherine, her light brogue and characterization were spot on and particularly sparking and bright. Duerden did an all around good job with all the characters.
When Judith confronts her father for the first time and realizes every assumption she had ever made about the man was incorrect and based on lies. Obviously this is a light fluffy romance, lacking any particularly serious or weighty subject matter, but the characters were well rounded out, believable, memorable, and rang true. The plot did cover interesting ideas and was thought provoking, but did not bludgeon the reader over the head with a moral.
Another listener commented on the narrator's ability to do male voices. While they were not spot on, they were not horrible either, nor did they unduly detract from the story. Whilst the heroine did sound somewhat like a little girl in certain parts, especially during whispered dialogue, didn't find it to be particularly annoying. Overall, I enjoyed the narration and would definitely listen again.
This was an awesome love story. Had some laugh out loud moments with the playful banter of characters. Julie Garwood has not let down yet so I am excited to read another one of her stories.
The interplay between characters is fun and creates a world the reader wants to return to again and again.
During the birth scenes I was oft laughing so hard I had to replay parts to hear again what I missed. The relationship between Judith (Elizabeth) and Frances Catherine is a lovely form of friendship complete with loyalty, laughter and love.
Susan Duerden utilizes softness of voice in such a way that a whisper makes your heart stop for a second.
I laughed a lot! There was much to be amused with.
Truly enjoyed this book!
The main character of this book was very interestingly complex. Story well done. Read this series in order.
Yes, Good story line, interesting characters who actually make you laugh with what they say. The narrator is wonderful at creating the characters as well.
The love story was great, but also the sidelines where equally enjoyable.
She changed her voice for each of the main characters. She did a fabulous job!
yes, but I couldn't. It was hard to resist just calling in "sick" and burying myself in The Secret.
This is a series and I am sooooo hopeful that Audible will soon have the rest available.
I have 3 kids that occupy all the TV's in the house...enough said...addicted to audiobook ....shhhh don't tell my husband ;-)
The narrator did an excellent job, I was never lost on who was talking.
It was a great story line. Best friends that are suppose to hate each other because of heritage of one being English and the other Scottish, but they remain forever friends and Judith makes journey to Scotland for her friends sake and must win over the clan from their prejudice of her being English.
I loved the whole story, it was all great.
This was an excellent story, well read. I liked the way the heroine created change. ...no fighting just very smart questions, actions, observations which caused others to rethink positions...see in new ways.
This was a different approach and story line than most historical novels. .not same old, same old
It was also funny in places, plus showed true friendship between women
Simply put...it was delightful!