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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 (1485 )
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  •  
    Valerie Salt Lake City, UT, United States 01-02-14
    Valerie Salt Lake City, UT, United States 01-02-14 Member Since 2014

    OD

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cute story, but Susan's male voices..."

    I usually love Susan Duerden as a narrator for historical romances. However, her inability to do the male voices in this book as other than scraggy and shouting, is very distracting. I think they need to choose another narrator for this series. Simple, idealist story.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Poe DFW, Texas 09-30-13
    J. Poe DFW, Texas 09-30-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "AWFUL narration"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I should have heeded the other reviews. The book may have been entertaining enough, but the narration was HORRIBLE. All of the male voices were raspy and at first, I laughed because they were so terrible. It made it difficult to focus on the plot. And Ian, the main male character sounded like Don Corleone from The Godfather movie. NOBODY sounded Scottish. After a while, the rasping made me cringe because they must surely have been painful to read out. This is the third Julie Garwood book I've gotten from Audible & the narrators have been progressively worse on each. I am asking for a refund - it was just really awful.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bexlyn Wright Kentucky 08-30-13
    Bexlyn Wright Kentucky 08-30-13 Member Since 2015

    I'm a grad student with very little time to edit reviews because I'm editing research papers. Forgive the typos. They're made with love.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Story absolutely ruined by bad narration"

    After listening to Saving Grace I wanted to hear more from this narrator. Boy did I get an earful. The men sound as if they are part troll or fresh back from a night of booze and chainsmoking. HORRIBLE. Susan Duerden is now my new worst narrator of Audible.

    I can only just the story by what I heard and I almost turned it off at several points but the story does engage the listener a little. In the end though, some of the situations seemed a little too forced just for dramatic tension and the choices some characters made were against character. The only clear antagonist got taken out of the picture fairly early then there was simply an awkward situation to deal with to add to the drama. Overall it was a bit sophomoric and I've had the hardest time bringing myself to listen to the sequel which I purchased at the same time.

    End result: Buy the print version.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 03-25-13
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2015

    Hello, my name is Teresa and I'm an addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One whisper can become a shout."

    I love all of Julie Garwood's Highlander books. The Bride was the first book that I read that I actually liked when I was a kid. I struggled with dyslexia and most stories weren't worth the effort. But after finding out there are books out there I like, I became a much better reader. This is just another example of a great highlander love story. I had a silly grin on my face half the time. The character are great and there are many endearing qualities to this story. Narrator was just okay, I listened to her before with The Lyon's Lady and this audio was a little bit of a better reading.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara Bountiful, UT, United States 03-09-13
    Barbara Bountiful, UT, United States 03-09-13 Member Since 2014
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    ""Rasby" Scottish men spoil a fantastic story"
    Would you try another book from Julie Garwood and/or Susan Duerden?

    Julie Garwood writes the best stories from the Scottish highlands I've ever read! I watch faithfully for the audible versions to come out on Audible. Consequently, it was extremely disappointing to listen to this one and hear all of the male Scottish characters "speak" in a gruff, hoarse whisper instead of a rich, deep brogue. Whether the character was yelling or talking softly, the dialogue was spoken in a rough, gravely whisper, with barely a difference in tone between the different characters.
    The female characters were read a bit better, but the high pitch of the voices was almost the same in the dialogue as 4 year olds as when they were married adults.


    How could the performance have been better?

    This book definitely needed a more skilled and versatile narrator!


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Secret?

    None!


    Any additional comments?

    Please have Rosalyn Landor rerecord the audible version of this story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DKAero 03-13-14
    DKAero 03-13-14 Member Since 2011

    wabi-sabi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration makes it hard to listen to..."

    Narration is pretty awful. A good Scots accent is one reason to listen. I agree with other reviewers that the male voices are screeching, Gollum like, and too similar to distinguish. The women's voices sound like children and too young to have such adult exchanges.

    The story is very good. If you can get past the telling of it.

    Good writing. Need a different narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lily SoCal 03-12-14
    Lily SoCal 03-12-14 Member Since 2010
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    "What a waste of a credit"
    Would you try another book from Julie Garwood and/or Susan Duerden?

    Couldn't listen to it long enough to know the story


    How could the performance have been better?

    The scottish accent sounds like someone who is suffering from severe constipation. It unlistenable. I had to stop it 30 min in to the book.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish I had accepted the bad reviews and steered clear of this Audible book. I have no idea if the story is good, but this version is awful!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny 03-06-14
    Jenny 03-06-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Ruined by the narrator"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The narrator was TERRIBLE! I couldn't listen more than ten minutes!


    What was most disappointing about Julie Garwood’s story?

    I wasn't able to get past the terrible narrator to even get into the story.


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

    The narrator had little inflection in her voice and each sentence ended with the same sound. Awful!!!!


    Any additional comments?

    Whoever produced this story should have their skills examined. How could anyone listen to that and think it's okay? I have listened to A LOT of audiobooks, and this was the worst narrator!! Hands down!!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anita 02-20-14
    Anita 02-20-14

    Chaka

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    "POOR NARRATION, "GIRLIE" STORY."

    Unfortunately, the crazy, raspy, often too loud voices this narrator chose for the men, coupled with the" never matured" voices she stuck with for the main female characters were silly and distracting. However, I did enjoy the story, and do recommend the book, because I was able to get into the story enough to ignore Susan's take on Julie's characters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Albemarle, NC, United States 02-11-14
    Elaine Albemarle, NC, United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2010

    Totally addicted to Audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not as good as some"

    I usually enjoy Julie Garwood books more than I did this one. It was not bad but I have no desire to get the rest of this series.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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