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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 (1431 )
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4.1 (1296 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 03-25-13
    Teresa NAMPA, ID, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2014

    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

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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
    ratings
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    10
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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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    11
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Chakolet 02-20-14
    Chakolet 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
  •  
    Kimberly Cotter, AR, United States 09-19-13
    Kimberly Cotter, 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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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

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