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Public Secrets | [Nora Roberts]

Public Secrets

Emma McAvoy may have grown up in the limelight, but some secrets are hidden in a darkness no light can reach. Now on the verge of a successful career, and having fallen in love with the man of her dreams, Emma is looking to the future. Yet it’s the past that is about to catch up with her. For Emma, her childhood had been almost like a rags-to-riches fairy tale - until the tragic night that changed her family forever. But what Emma thinks she knows about that terrible night and the man she’s about to marry is only half the truth.
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts deftly blends romance and suspense in this compelling novel of a woman whose career, marriage, and very life are threatened by the truth about her own past.

Emma McAvoy may have grown up in the limelight, but some secrets are hidden in a darkness no light can reach. Now on the verge of a successful career, and having fallen in love with the man of her dreams, Emma is looking to the future. Yet it’s the past that is about to catch up with her.

For Emma, her childhood had been almost like a rags-to-riches fairy tale - until the tragic night that changed her family forever. But what Emma thinks she knows about that terrible night and the man she’s about to marry is only half the truth. The other half is locked away in the last place she’d ever think to look: her own memories. It’s a mystery a handsome and relentlessly driven homicide detective needs to solve in a case that’s haunted him for years - and a secret someone will kill to keep.

©2014 Nora Roberts (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved..

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (699 )
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  •  
    Lisa 08-14-14
    Lisa 08-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
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    "Long, Dark, Depressing, Boring & Disappointing"

    Normally I love Nora Roberts' work, but there's boatloads I dislike about this book. I rarely write a review unless I really love or really can't stand a book, but when I do, I go into detail. I'm trying not to give away major plot twists below.

    First, I REALLY hate it when the copyrights listed on Audible read "2014" for author and audio publisher, but in reality the book has a 1990 publication date. Audible/Amazon, let's have some truth in labelling and note when it's really a reissue of an old book.

    Second. a good editor would have cut out at least one-third of this book. The first 30-40% DRAGS to the extent that I'd zone out for several minutes - something I very rarely do when listening to ANY book - and worse, when I'd rewind I'd find that I didn't miss anything I hadn't heard before. After the first couple zone-outs, I didn't care enough to rewind to catch what I'd missed! That almost NEVER is the case.

    Third, if I wanted to read an ode to rock, drugs, other drugs, more drugs, drug abuse, overdoses (I'm not sure I've come across so many different references to drugs in any other fiction book), capricious sex, semi-incestuous sex, AIDS, child abuse, physical abuse, murder, attempted murder, long-term betrayal, etc., etc. I'd read a biography of a 60's/70's rock icon. It seems the author was living out her teenage fantasies about British/Irish rockers. I suspect that a good number of those highly positive reviews are written by folks who either came of age in the 60's or have deep nostalgia or identification with the era. If you don't already love the 60's, I doubt you'll love this book.

    Fourth, I'd have rated the book higher if the central mystery had been engaging. Nope. Even most of the primary characters seem to have lost interest in finding out "whodunnit" after a couple years Few additional clues were dropped over time. And worse, my immediate suspects turned out (many) hours later to be the primary culprits. Yawn. If this crime was not a purely random act, who else had any motive?

    Fifth, at one point, the original primary detective showed out-of-character stupidity. Then at a critical turning point, the heroine is distressingly stupid. And finally, neither the detectives (nor the other main characters) actually solve the crime. They didn't identify any of the perps who, luckily, were all identified in other ways. Such good luck for our heroine they were so stupid, too. Sigh, it's disappointing when an author can't move the plot forward without resorting to that "let's have someone do something stupid" tactic - but multiple times in a single book? Nora, you're so much better than that - usually!

    Sixth, there were so many male characters in this book frequently lumped together in conversation with each other that it was nearly impossible to follow who said what to whom. I think I'd have had a problem keeping the male characters straight without a chart even in written text, but it was very difficult in audio where the various voices were unclear. However, I feel sorry for the narrator who may have been as bored as I was and found it hard to keep the many characters separate in her mind as well. At a later point in the book one character had a serious illness and until more details were given I honestly couldn't remember who he was or why I should care.

    The only reason I give 2 stars instead of 1 is for the slightly more interesting last fourth of the book. But even that was a close call.

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    OLIVIA ATLANTA, GA, United States 07-31-14
    OLIVIA ATLANTA, GA, United States 07-31-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long book, but worth every hour!!"
    Any additional comments?



    Nora Roberts has crafted an absorbing tale of love, fame, wealth, and betrayal that is infused with Renee Raudman’s exceptional narration. Little Emma McAvoy spends the first three years of her life terrified by a drug addicted, abusive mother who readily gives Emma to her famous rock star father in exchange for money. Brian McAvoy adores his baby girl and raises her in a world of affluence, security, and celebrity, occasionally darkened by drugs and promiscuity. Emma slowly accepts that she is safe and surrounded by love from her “Da”, her caring stepmom, and the capricious members of her father’s band. When her stepbrother is born, four year-old Emma is overcome with love for the baby and devotes herself to his care and protection. As Emma matures into an educated, accomplished, and beautiful young lady, the story takes a dark turn of treachery that will have you on the edge of your seat. Two men enter her life, both declaring their love - only one, however, is to be trusted. Excellent story!

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaylee Pfllugerville, Texas, United States 08-14-14
    Kaylee Pfllugerville, Texas, United States 08-14-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "One of my favorite Nora Roberts books"
    If you could sum up Public Secrets in three words, what would they be?

    exciting, heart wrenching, and exhilarating!


    What did you like best about this story?

    This story has so many levels to it! You get to see Emma McAvoy grow up and become a woman who slowly becomes comfortable in her own skin.


    Any additional comments?

    I am so glad this book is finally available on Audible! I have read it multiple times, and am so excited I can listen to it now too!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carol 07-31-14
    carol 07-31-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "public secrets"

    Through the years I have listen to every nora roberts audio book I could afford. This is my favorite! What a great story. Nora thank you for the years of entertainment.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Lynn Nolan Edmonton, Alberta 08-06-14
    Jennifer Lynn Nolan Edmonton, Alberta 08-06-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Terrible accents"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If the narrator's performance was even half decent


    Would you be willing to try another one of Renee Raudman’s performances?

    Absolutely nothing that involves accents of any kind. Her voice is very nice and very pleasant to listen to... Until she tries to sound like a Cockney or an Irish woman.


    What character would you cut from Public Secrets?

    I don't know. I couldn't listen to the whole book


    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Uyen-Thy Pham 08-07-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cringe-worthy narrator"
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Renee Raudman?

    I LOVED the narrator from the COLLECTOR. Please bring her back!

    I could not stand Renee Raudman, especially when she faked an Irish/English accent. I went over the top when she tried to do a little child's voice which was akin to nails on a chaklboard. I'm not sure if I can listen to the rest of the book although I really do want to give it a chance.


    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liesl Johannesburg, South Africa 10-22-14
    Liesl Johannesburg, South Africa 10-22-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it"

    I enjoy books that are so long as it gives me time to really get to know the characters and you "live" them for a while. The story was excellent and once you make peace with the fact that not all the accents are accurate, the narrator is also pretty good. Well worth the credit!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Mahoney San Francisco, CA USA 09-07-14
    C. Mahoney San Francisco, CA USA 09-07-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    151
    3
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    "worst narrator ever"
    What did you love best about Public Secrets?

    Good story.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Renee Raudman’s performances?

    good narration when she wasn't using an accent. but, unfortunately, mastering various accents is a must-have for this story. truly ruined the book for me.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Breto 08-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "THE BEST OF THE BEST"

    I LOVE NORA ROBERTS!! this book is just amazing. The narrator is AWESOME. Felt like I was watching a movie. Nora, we need more stories like this one.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice SKOWHEGAN, ME, United States 07-30-14
    Janice SKOWHEGAN, ME, United States 07-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    12
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    "Timewalk through rock n'roll history"

    With this one Ms. Roberts brings you into the lives of a fictious rock band from thier beginings in the 60's to thier comming to terms with life in the 90's. The focus of the story is Emma, and how she deals with the life she was thrown into. Sex, drugs, and rock n'roll; social movements, the death of political and rock icons, Woodstock, murder, homosexuality, abusive cycles, dysfunction, and of course love and loyalty. A down and dirty voyeuristic look into life in the glass house. I fear I must warn you though, this book is a bit dark, not a light hearted romance story. This one goes on the re-read list.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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