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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

4.2 (1136 )
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Story
4.1 (1032 )
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Performance
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  •  
    XYZPDQ Downers Grove, IL 02-08-13
    XYZPDQ Downers Grove, IL 02-08-13 Member Since 2008

    Rootin' Tootin'

    HELPFUL VOTES
    84
    ratings
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    305
    27
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    "Classic Story-Poor Narrator!!"
    Any additional comments?

    The story is a classic historical romance by Ms. Garwood. Unfortunately, I found the narrator to be VERY annoying! The vioce of Mary Francis never grew up and the voice of Ian was just scary! I think if she had read the story in her normal voice I would have liked it more. Hopefully for the sequal (Ransom) they use the already-recorded audio version by Rosalyn Landor. It is available in CD.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim 02-07-13
    Kim 02-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    2
    2
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    "Narration was awwwful!!!!!!!"

    The narrator made the main character sound like she was a weak little girl instead of the strong proud female I think the author intended her to be. I love the book and have read it several times, but was unable to finish listening because of the narrator. The narrator used for Julie Garwood's "The Bride" would have been a much better choice for the narrator.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi United States 02-07-13
    Jodi United States 02-07-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    29
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    "new narrator please......."

    Story is good but the narration is horendus! Imnot sure I will even make it through. Thought about returning the audio and getting the book. Male voices are theworst!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sarah 02-06-13
    sarah 02-06-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    2
    2
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    Story
    "LOVE the Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I love Julie Garwood and she did not disappoint. Love the story line and the characters it caught my attention from the beginning and held it through the whole story.


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

    I did not like how she whispered a lot when doing the male voices.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    4 Babe Mom 02-04-13
    4 Babe Mom 02-04-13
    ratings
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    46
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book: NOT so great Narration"

    Very sweet story that will stay a classic. A Garwood special.

    Narration very distracting with the hoarse whispery Scottish voices a bit hard to follow at times.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary MAPLE SHADE, NJ, United States 01-30-13
    Mary MAPLE SHADE, NJ, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    375
    8
    FOLLOWERS
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    6
    10
    Overall
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    Story
    "My first Judith Garwood Novel"
    What did you love best about The Secret?

    The author created a interesting story that held my interest untl the end of the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The empathy within the main character allowed her to have an intimate connection with so many different people. I liked the unstated way the female characters showed their strength and intellect.


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

    Susan brings humor alive. Her voice is small and soft but strong and demanding at just the right times.


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

    I don't think that I had an extreme reaction to this book. It did make me laugh and certainly I was sorry at the end that it wasn't longer. I thought there was a least another character to be had with the father and brother. We are taken from her brother wanting to bed her to a father being bowled over by the fact that she existed. It left me wondering if she spent a month or so with her father who would he really be? Was her brother a man, boy, or fool.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alisa PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 01-29-13
    Alisa PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 01-29-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    83
    ratings
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    Story
    "Please find a new narrator."

    For some reason, the publisher/audiobook producer cannot find a good narrator for Julie Garwood's historical romance novels. First there was Steven Crossley then Anne Flosnik. The third time, Susan Duerden, was definetly not a charm.

    This is the first audiobook I have ever considered returning because it was so painful to listen to. The narrator whispered throughout most of the book, could never get close to a male voice, let a lone a Scots burr, and the screaching in the later chapters, when the male characters are supposed to be yelling - ouch. Most irritating is that she ends most sentences with an inflection either up or down, exaggerating the ending of each sentence.

    I love Julie Garwood's historical romance novels and so far these great books have been butchered by poor narration. Given the number of historical romance novels set in either Scotland or England that are produced into audiobook format each year there are certainly narrators who can give these great books justice. Please find one.

    I like the story so much I just can't bring myself to give it a really bad rating, but listener beware. If I could give the performance a zero, I would.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jo 01-25-13
    Jo 01-25-13 Member Since 2010

    Sunny San Diego

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Where Do I Start?"

    Story: 5 stars
    Love all of Julie Garwood's Highlander stories. This is one of my favorites in book form.
    Fun story, great characters, love the hero and heroine. Very enjoyable story.

    Performance: 3 stars
    For one, was very happy to read that this wasn't narrated by previous Garwood narrator. I don't think I would have picked this one up if it was. Susan Duerden was an improvement over previous Garwood narrator, but not my fave.
    I didn't like the narrator's inflection at the end of sentences (in non-dialog). She would drag out the last word with a high intonation. I kept anticipating hearing the inflection after each sentence I was losing track of the story.
    I didn't mind her voice for Judith. She made me feel that Judith was this petite wee English lass but still had strong character. Susan’s "Judith" voice positively changed my idea of the character I created when I read the book. When I read the book, my imagination had placed Judith to be a little too old for Ian.
    Her male voices weren't good at all. I kept getting confused as to who was speaking and had to wait to hear who said what. Her narration didn't invoke the big, brawny highlander for me, more like Scottish street thugs. Very disappointed in Ian's voice.
    I liked her dialog of young Catherine Francis and Judith. That was entertaining.

    Overall: 3.5 stars
    I would listen to this again; I just have to get over the inflection issue.
    I did see on Amazon that "Ransom" audiobook is scheduled to be released in March, narrated by Susan Duerden.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DK 04-13-14
    DK 04-13-14 Member Since 2012

    HATE spoilers! Enjoy HOT, sexy books. No vampires, paranormal, teens 4 me. Running out this type Audible-so on2 lighter romance/mystery :-(

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Break From My Usual -Contemporary Romances-"
    What did you love best about The Secret?

    Most Highland romances seem to follow the same plot. The idea of a clan council was an original twist in this reader's [very limited] historical romance listening.


    If you’ve listened to books by Julie Garwood before, how does this one compare?

    Julie Garwood does an exceptional job. I really enjoy listening to her performances. Women sound like women and men sound like men.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene of Patrick as he believes Frances Katherine is going into labor and the chaos that ensues.

    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!


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

    Not at first but by the last 1/3 of the book I would have been reading through the pages as quickly as possible because I wanted to know what was going to happen next!


    Any additional comments?

    Great Highland romance...I will got this for $4.95 and will wait for the next one to go on sale. But for a historical buff they may want to splurge on it with $ or a credit.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CMS SOUTH GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK, US 10-01-13
    CMS SOUTH GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK, US 10-01-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "The narrator is a true performance artist."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Secret to be better than the print version?

    I loved the storyline; 2 little girls become friends before they know they are supposed to be enemies. the characters are so well developed and i laughed out loud when the scene included the retired lairds banter. I love all that scottish loyalty, spirit and stuborn pride male and female. I started listening to Julie Garwood before I read any of her books but I enjoy her rich stories they're great fun. The print and audio are equal to the task, that being said its rare when they are.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Judith was on a personal journey of discovery and she remained a lovely woman throughout the book. I found myself cheering her on and hoping Ian 's character was worthy of her.


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

    Gelfrid is a hysterical character and so endearing, but Ian's sexy whisper has got it hands down.


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

    definitely hard to put down


    Any additional comments?

    The writer and the narrator are well matched.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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