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The Secret Audiobook

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 (1790 )
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  •  
    Jennifer 02-21-15
    Jennifer 02-21-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    101
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    "Social change agenda was better than the romance"

    It took me a little while to get into this book, but after a few chapters I could barely put it down, even to go to sleep (my darling fiancé finally made me pause at 3am for a break to sleep, heh). I really liked most of the story, and I loved Judith's personality. Her compassion and determination was incredible, and I was so glad to see what she did for the women around her. And the romance was as frustrating as it was sweet - so silly how people see what they want to in others' motives. We are conditioned to expect the worst, even if we know better. But as exasperating as Iain's reticence was, and her constant worry, it all comes together in the best ways possible. Their passion was evident early on, and I enjoyed how the author carried it out. The bedroom scenes were erotic but tastefully done. But really, I almost liked a lot of the background plot, the social changes she advocated, and her new friends, better than the "courtship".

    All that being said, my one major negative caveat is the narration. For female voices and narrative, Duerden is fine, even lovely as Judith and Francis Catherine... However, the moment a man opens his mouth to speak, I cringed. And there were so many men - the book was populated mostly by men- that at times her 'masculine' voices became hard to bear. Some sounded always gruff and angry or constipated, and some were just awful grumbly. Iain's voice bothered me the most - he came off sounding lecherous more often than not, when he was supposed to be considerate or tender... It was awful, but I liked the book so much I pushed through. I would have loved it otherwise, and I wish there was another recorded version I could have substituted. As it is, I'm not sure if I could revisit this audio, as much as I'd like to reread this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 02-19-15
    Patricia 02-19-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it.."

    Good read. Looking forward to reading more from this author. Especially love highland love stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne 01-24-15
    Dianne 01-24-15 Member Since 2012

    A good listener!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Predictable"

    The story was sooooo predictable. I actually skipped forward through much of it (thank you, Audible, for that feature). So, two stars for the story (one of them is a pity star). As to the narration . . . have you ever heard a song that has basically four notes that just repeat, in the same sequence, over and over? Well that was this narrator's style. A REALLY annoying singsong of
    da dadada daa,
    da dadada daa,
    da dadada daa,
    da dadada daa,
    One star for the narration, and that much only because I liked her Frances Catherine voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margarita New York, NY 01-19-15
    Margarita New York, NY 01-19-15 Member Since 2015

    All business but contemporary fun!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "3.5 stars for this funny and sweet book!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would really want to learn about Ian a bit more. I feel like there was so much more to his character that we didn't see. He almost acted as a secondary character.


    Any additional comments?

    Judith is a beautiful young English woman who has grown up with a verbally abusive uncle and indifferent mother. She stays loyal to her childhood friend who married in the Highlands and goes to her when she is about to give birth. She meets Ian McClean on the way, and throws him off with her sweet, tender manner yet strength to speak up and do the right thing, that he stands no chance :). The plot had many developments to keep you entertained until the very end. It was funny and sweet. My main issue with the story was that everything turned out too good to be true, in all respects, which took away the believability of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa WINDSOR, CA, United States 01-12-15
    Lisa WINDSOR, CA, United States 01-12-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A beautiful historical romance"

    A wonderful mix of history, romance, and drama. Beautifully written and performed perfectly. I'm looking forward to listening to the sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Carlson 01-10-15

    McLeod fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ok listen"

    Story was odd. Narrator was whiney. There were good parts but overall I would not recommend. I kept waiting for it to get better.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vivian 01-07-15
    Vivian 01-07-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Another Great Story"

    Love this story. I think Julie Garwood is a wonderful author. She has a great way of bringing her stories together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia Cabral 12-28-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    "Couldn't Put It Down!!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret to be better than the print version?

    I listened to the book in one day!! I love historical fiction. Interesting story line with romance, a little sex (not porn), and humor. I laughed quite a few times. The only thing I don't like about this book is that it doesn't continue. I like series that continue so you get to know the characters, but is a nice filler for series books I am waiting to come out.


    What other book might you compare The Secret to and why?

    I am not so sure what I would compare it to, but if you like Scots that are loyal and romance it is a nice filler to help pass time waiting for Diana Gabaldon to write her next book...but I will have to check out more of Jillian Garwood's books. Right now I am in the middle of Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks also pretty good this is one I might compare to this book.


    Which character – as performed by Susan Duerden – was your favorite?

    I only liked her female and children voices. When she did the male voices I felt like I was listen to a person who speaks Italian try to speak English with a Scottish brogue. I could just be me, but in my minds eye I was not seeing Scots I was seeing Italians.


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

    Yes, I did want a quick listen, but I thought it was a series of books about the same family. So I figure I could read more when I had a day here and a day there. I am a binge reader. I like listen when I have free time to scrapbook, so I like something quick when I do that.


    Any additional comments?

    I would definitely recommend this book! I am going to telling my friend about it today!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LadyT 11-20-14
    LadyT 11-20-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
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    "So-so"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    While my time wasn't wasted, this is not the best of Julie Garwood's books that I've ever read. The story actually started off pretty good, but began to fizzle in the middle. There was little build up to support the speed with which the characters fell in love, so their "love" seemed a tad rushed. I actually liked the main female character, Judith, but she had a very irritating habit of whispering almost everything she said. That got old very quickly. Her love interest, Iain, was likeable as well, but neither really came to life. However, it was decent enough that I wanted to finish it rather than just put it aside.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect of this story was the unfolding of the "secret". The least interesting was how it was revealed and dealt with. I expected more drama than what was delivered.


    What aspect of Susan Duerden’s performance would you have changed?

    Her performance was fine. I can't think of anything I would want changed.


    Could you see The Secret being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No way. There's not enough of a good story there to keep a viewer's interest in a movie or TV series.


    Any additional comments?

    While I won't say the credit spent on the book was a waste, I will say, if you're looking for a lot of excitement and a compelling love story, start with something else first. Save this book for when you've plowed through the other great books in your stack and need something to pass the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trish R. JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 10-30-14
    Trish R. JACKSONVILLE, FL, United States 10-30-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story..But.."
    Any additional comments?

    Great storyline and some laugh out loud moments. Judith was a perfect heroine, funny and smart, and Iain was a georgeous and wonderful hero. The book was not filled with so much angst it made you crazy. I absolutely hate angsty books.
    Love, love, loved the council members: Graham, Gelfrid, Owen, Duncan and Vincent. Loved Francis Catherine and Patrick. Loved Alex and Brodick. It was just a really great read and I'm going to read Ransom now.
    There was just the right amount of sex in the book, too.

    As to the narrator: Ms. Duerden has some awesome emotions she puts in her books. I loved her laughing and crying and yelling but I especially loved that everytime the book called for a whisper, which was a lot, she whispered. It was perfect.
    The only thing I didn't like was that EVERY man had a very raspy voice, like a 2 pack-a-day smoker, and there were a lot of men. I can honestly say that I didn't like the voice of any man in this book but because she read it with so much emotion I was able to overlook that.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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