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The Secret: Highlands' Lairds, Book 1 | [Julie Garwood]

The Secret: Highlands' Lairds, Book 1

Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud and loyal. Her dear Scottish friend from childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another reason for the journey from her bleak English home to the Highlands: to meet the father she had never known, the Laird Maclean. Nothing prepared her, however, for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land...Iain Maitland, laird of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Julie Garwood captures the Highland splendor of medieval Scotland in this breathtaking love story. The inspiration for her acclaimed bestseller Ransom, this classic tale is a passionate masterpiece from one of the best-loved storytellers of all time.

Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud and loyal. Her dear Scottish friend from childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another reason for the journey from her bleak English home to the Highlands: to meet the father she had never known, the Laird Maclean. Nothing prepared her, however, for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land...Iain Maitland, laird of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.

In a spirited clash of wills and customs, Judith reveled in the melting bliss of Iain's searching kisses, his passionate caresses. Perplexed by her sprightly defiance, bemused by her tender nature, Iain felt his soul growing into the light and warmth of her love. Surely nothing would wrench her from the affection and trust of Iain and his clan...not even the truth about her father, a devastating secret that could shatter the boldest alliance, and the most glorious of loves!

©2013 Julie Garwood (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1369 )
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  •  
    Kimberly CONWAY, AR, United States 09-19-13
    Kimberly CONWAY, AR, United States 09-19-13 Member Since 2014
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    "A Great romance destroyed by a horrible reader."
    What did you like best about The Secret? What did you like least?

    I love Garwood's romances. I bought this because it was one of my favorite romance novels of all time. I hated Susan Duerden's performance of it and almost couldn't make it through my favorite romance.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret?

    I just love the relationships and that the character isn't some crazy headstrong lady- she is a realistically submissive bust still spirited character of her time.


    What didn’t you like about Susan Duerden’s performance?

    Her sing song patronizing, childish way of speaking. And the way she voiced the men hurt my throat just to listen to.


    Was The Secret worth the listening time?

    Sigh. Tough to say if its worth the listening time. To be honest- I probably will never listen to it again. I would rather read the novel than listen to her voice again.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra Kailua Kona, HI, United States 05-06-13
    Sandra Kailua Kona, HI, United States 05-06-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Garwood is great! Narration, not so much."
    Would you listen to The Secret again? Why?

    I love Julie Garwood historical romances! I've read this book several times before, and most of her others, and enjoy her wit. In fact, I've been waiting for The Wedding, one of my favorites, to be on Audible. I can't say I enjoy the way this is narrated though - I find the voices the narrator uses for children, and the main characters really irritating! Judith sounds so child-like, and I don't like the voices she uses for male characters at all. The cadence of it is also something I had a hard time getting used to, she drags out the last word in each sentence in a tone more like the end of a question. It wasn't enough that I felt the need to delete it from my library, but enough that although I really want Ransom, I don't think I'm going to get it since it's the same narrator. I just suggest listening to the sample before purchasing. If it doesn't bother you, then go for it - it's a really enjoyable book!


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Susan Duerden?

    Nope


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Julie Garwood usually makes me laugh - her dialog can be very witty!


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Griffin, GA, United States 04-03-13
    Michelle Griffin, GA, United States 04-03-13 Member Since 2010

    I love to read! With kids, that hobby is impossible...enter Audible...problem solved. Chores that I dread are now quiet time for this Mommy!!!

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    "FANTASTIC GARWOOD!!!"

    I hesitated before purchasing this title, which is not something I do when Julie Garwood is the Author. I read the reviews on the story and the narrator and was put off for months. Finally, after cleaning out my wishlist, I took the leap. I am so glad that I gave this novel a chance. The story is beautiful, funny, full of chemistry and so classic Garwood. This novel captivated me. I haven't fallen in love with one of her novels this much since Honor's Splendor.

    The narration is difficult to adjust to at first and I feel that Rosalyn Landor would have been a better choice. However, I adjusted to Susan Duerden's stlye fairly quiclky and her voices became the characters for me. My rule of thumb is this: If you can't get through the sample then don't buy the book.

    I would reccomend this to anyone who is looking for a good romp through the highlands. Also, please remember this is Historical FICTION. I don't read this genre to learn about historical events. If you are looking for 100% historical accuracy, check out the non-fiction History section Audible offers.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kurt South Windsor, CT, United States 03-30-13
    kurt South Windsor, CT, United States 03-30-13 Member Since 2011

    These reviews are done by his wife :)

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    "A true love story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Secret the most enjoyable?

    The rich characters and funny interaction make their relationship interactions interesting.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters seem real.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are looking for a well written story with some romance, this is an awesome book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Rooks Charlotte, NC 03-29-13
    Sheila Rooks Charlotte, NC 03-29-13

    Sheila

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    "Great novel/poor narration"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Having read and re-read the Garwood classic, I was enthusiastic in purchasing the audio version. Previous Garwood historicals have been well done; however, the narrator's renditions drove me to distraction.

    Garwood spend considerable time researching information about Medieval customs and the Church. Certain descriptions were appaling and enlightening at times.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The bond between Judith and Frances Catherine was extraordinary.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Duerden’s performances?

    No


    Was The Secret worth the listening time?

    If one can get past the narration and focus on the excellent plot, it is well worth the expenditure.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marsha Fullerton, CA, United States 03-27-13
    Marsha Fullerton, CA, United States 03-27-13 Member Since 2007
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    "disappointingly unrealistic"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This wasn't time well spent. The story line was unrealistic to say the least. When a seven year old boy can fell a grown woman with a single stone and then knock her out with another thrown stone that just happens to hit her in the temple I have trouble sustaining belief in the story. And again, when Judith Elizabeth is taken captive by her father, who doesn't know he is her father and as far as he knows she is just a captive, in reality he would have back handed her for her mouthy comments, not denounced her one minute and praised her the next. These characters were not believable in the least.


    What could Julie Garwood have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    She could have done better research so her characters would have behaved in a way that was more true to the time period she wrote about.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Where do I start? The Scots accents were horrible, and when she read the men's voices it sounded as though it was painful to say the least. Was she doing this while gargling? The last word in every sentence was drawn out in a breathy kind of sigh that had more in common with valley girl speak than well-enunciated English.


    Was The Secret worth the listening time?

    NO!


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Pensacola, FL, United States 03-24-13
    Amazon Customer Pensacola, FL, United States 03-24-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Strong female, Alpha Male and lots of humor!"

    I have become a true Garwood fan. I have enjoyed her Regency Romances, contemporary romances, and romantic suspense. This novel shows that this author can write romance anywhere and anytime. It was a wonderfully delightful story. I love books with strong females and alpha males and this book has it in humorous abundance. Judith (Elizabeth) is a relatable character with modern twist. I actually found things to do so that I could keep on listening! I’ll agree that the narrator wasn’t the best, but certainly not the worst. The story is great enough that it is easy to overlook the narrator’s shortcoming. This is so worth the credit! Excellent story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    rebecca longmont, colorado, United States 03-17-13
    rebecca longmont, colorado, United States 03-17-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Nice distraction"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret to be better than the print version?

    I build things at work, so I can only listen to them because I need my hands to turn screws. I think they are similar. Audio is better only because it's hands free.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoy Julie Garwoods' writing style. I usually am quite entertained by her female leads strength and drive to accomplish difficult goals. The Heroine was very likable. The hero probably would have been too, without the creepy whispering voice for him.


    What does Susan Duerden bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her voice is nice, I enjoy her accent. her inflection and the creepy whispering for the male lead were off putting.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I am a glutton with books. I want to listen to/read all of them in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Susan Duerden has a pleasant voice, I would probably like listening to her again, if she changed up her inflections more and got rid of the creepy man whisper.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deeadra PACE, FL, United States 02-19-13
    Deeadra PACE, FL, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2012

    Love audio books. Hate bad narrators.

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    "Good story. Horrible, horrible narrator."
    What did you love best about The Secret?

    I loved the entire story. The only bad part was the narrators voice overs. They're pretty bad but when talking normal, not as someones voice, she is fine. She makes the "hero" and most of the men sound like they're the psycho in a murder story instead of a normal person. The two main female characters have children's voices throughout the entire book which is almost as annoying as the male characters voices. However, if you can't through that, I highly recommend this one. I didn't want it to end. I just loved the hero. I also loved the heroin. She was feisty and didn't cry at the drop of a hat like the heroin in the last JG book I read.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret?

    Most of the story was pretty good.


    What didn’t you like about Susan Duerden’s performance?

    Her male characters voices were absolutely horrible.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes and I just about did!


    Any additional comments?

    Please, please, please, get a decent narrator!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherrie 02-19-13
    Sherrie 02-19-13
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    "The narrator killed one of my favorite books"
    What would have made The Secret better?

    A different narrator. I wish they had 2 or more people reading dialogue. That way voices wouldn't have to sound so strained.


    How could the performance have been better?

    If she would stop dragging out words at the end of every sentence, it drove me nuts.


    Any additional comments?

    Do these people even listen to these books after they finish them? I had read the reviews but thought I could get past her annoying narration after all this was one of my favorite books by Garwood. This book was such a disapointment after "The Bride" which hooked me on audio books.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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