I love the book. It has been one of my favorite Julie Garwood books and one of my re-reads every few years. I bought it to listen to on a trip and could not make it through the first few chapters. story is great but did not care for the narrator
I love the relationship between Ian and Judith, but the personalities of the secondary characters is what has always sent this book to a 5-star status for me. Both the Secret and Ransom are my favorite J Garwood books.
The author has an English accent which is pleasant and she does character voices well, but I did not care for the speech pattern she uses. It seems that she "upspeaks" a lot of her sentences instead of making sure there is a lot of diversity in her narration. I know that seems trivial, but unfortunately it took away from the story and the composition as a whole.
I don't care for this narrator at all, was a struggle to get through the book because of the inflections in her voice at the end if every sentence.
Love Julie Garwood. Her stories of Scottish Lairds are always fantastic. This one is no exception. While it's not her best, it's pretty strong and entertaining. I did find some bits too much of a stretch on believability... ie the strong focus mid-wife practice as a backstory. Particularly the notion that a man would wake up his Laird to fetch a girl to go tend to his wife. But it's not so distracting that you can't enjoy the story.
Where I had trouble was with the narrator Susan Duerden. When she was straight narrating she sounded wonderful. Her voice is pleasant enough. But when she voiced the heroine and a few other female characters she made them sound like 8-year-old little girls. That was very distracting particularly for the heroine as it took away from her maturity as a woman. Ms. Duerden's voicing of the males was even worse. They all sounded quite raspy, so much so that they often sounded screechy.... every single one of them. It got very annoying and tiresome to listen to. I only hung with it because I really did like the story and wanted to know what was gonna happen next.
I recommend The Bride with the fabulous Rosalyn Landor who not only does various females but can masterfully do males as well and make them each distinguishable.
The narrator was okay, but the voices were horrible. I returned the purchase.
They are all my favorites, I have reread this book many times!!!
The narrator was so annoying that I was unable to finish the story.
I don't know about the story. Coulndn't finish the book.
I have always like Garwood's books. Very sorry that I couldn't finish this one.
A different narrator could have made it a 2-3 star
Not likely if her female characters are this weakly drawn and make characters such caricatures.
She needs to understand that male Scots do not all have emphysema and speak in a whispered falsetto. Oh, and she might want to study what a real brogue and burr sound like and use them consistently.
Julie Garwood writes cliches, and Susan Duerden butchers them.
A different narrator.
Love the book.
This is one of my favorite stories by Julie Garwood. I was looking forward to hearing the performance, but after a few chapters I had to delete it from my library. I did not enjoy the way the narrator voiced the characters. Male characters in particular sound horrible. I'm so disappointed, especially after thoroughly enjoying two other Garwood titles (different narrators).
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.
I couldn't finish "The Secret", as badly as I wanted to...I just couldn't endure Susan Duerden's narration any longer.
I've listened to a number of books narrated by Ms. Duerden and enjoyed them. There were some her whispering became tiresome, but not to distraction, she normally portrays different characters very well. In "The Secret" she sounds like someone with a "smoker's voice" trying to scream in a variety of Scottish accents for the men, and the women sound like whispering children.
After trying to listen to "The Secret", I'm afraid to purchase books in my wish list narrated by her. Some of the characters portrayed in "The Secret" sounded like someone running their fingernails down a blackboard makes me feel. I know she has talent, and I hope at some point, I can make myself give her another chance.
I'm really disappointed, because from the amount of time I was able to listen to "The Secret", it sounded like a story I would have enjoyed.