When Lady Isabella Trevarre first laid eyes on Gabriel St. Briac, she announced to her best friend: "That is the man I will marry!" Now a woman grown, Izzie has traded her girlish dreams for the independent life of an artist, but she never quite forgot the dazzling Frenchman who captivated her young heart. When he appears again in Cornwall, the seeds of desire grow between them.
As Napoleon's army loots art treasures throughout Europe, Gabriel St. Briac's priceless Leonardo da Vinci painting vanishes from its hiding place. Bent on recovering his family's prized possession, Gabriel sets sail for the chaos of wartime France - only to find Izzie stowed away on his ship. Though fearful for her safety, he allows her to join in his quest. But Izzie harbors a dark secret...a secret that could shatter the tender blossom of their trust. When danger puts them both to the test, will these two guarded souls dare to risk all for love?
©2016 Cynthia Challed (P)2016 Cynthia Challed
Oh my goodness!
It is full of so many memorable, magic moments that it's hard to pick one! Every scene is so well-written and so masterfully narrated that it makes the entire book memorable. One scene that will stick with me forever, though, is one of the more comical ones, when a maid provides a distraction by falling and pretending to be injured. The narrator's vocalization of her "I be hurt!" declaration had me laughing for 10 minutes straight. I kept backing it up and listening to it over and over again because it was so unexpected and hilarious. How can one man make so many voices? I would love to have that as a ring tone for my phone...
There are too many to pick just one! From the laughter-inducing scenes involving the hero's overly dramatic mother to the blissfully romantic ones between Gabriel and Isabella, every scene stands out head and shoulders above most stories in this genre. But if I have to pick one, it's probably when Isabella's long-lost and feared-dead brother first appears and doesn't recognize her because she has blossomed and changed so much from the awkward girl he knew. It was very touching because you could feel their shared emotions in the author's beautifully-woven words portraying a sister's pain of loss and then elation over the reunion. Just wonderful.
Towards the very end of the story, the hero glances up at his soon to be bride who is watching him from a window high above and tells her how much he looks forward to becoming man and wife. The writing is so well done that the words go straight to your heart. I nearly swooned.
I've written a complete review of the story that is attached to the kindle version. As I said in that review, this is a wonderful story that is well-written, carefully researched, masterfully narrated, and a treasure to readers. I have loved every one of Cynthia Wright's novels and go back and re-read then often because they are truly worth reading. Adding Tim Campbell's amazing narration to this already fantastic story makes it truly magical.
One warning: Don't listen to this narration while driving or operating heavy machinery because Tim Campbell's voice for Gabriel St. Briac is enough to make you completely lose control of all of your faculties. I listen to audiobooks in the car and missed several exits and nearly drove off the road once while under the mesmerizing effect of the sound of his voice! OH MY! :)
I am an avid reader of Cynthia Wright's books... reading my first one over 15 years ago. I Love this series and find myself drawn into every story almost as if I was there an active part of these characters lives. This is the first audio book I have listened to from beginning to end and loved every minute of it! The narrator brought authenticity and class to the characters and kept me wanting to hear more! warning...don't listen while driving...I was so into listening to what was going on with the story when I was driving home from work yesterday I nearly missed my exit lol. Can't wait to hear their next collaboration!
THE SECRET OF LOVE is Cynthia Wright's newest entry in her Rakes and Rebels series. It is the story of Lady Isabella Trevarre and Gabriel St. Briac, who first met in SMUGGLER'S MOON. At 14, Izzie declared upon seeing St. Briac for the first time, “That is the man I will marry!” Now grown and nearly on the shelf, Lady Isabella is less concerned about propriety and more focused on her art, spending time under the tutelage of the renowned artist, Madame Le Brun. Gabriel has given up some of his smuggling ways and is determined to find a way to keep safe his heritage: a painting of King Francis, supposedly painted by Leonardo daVinci.
As is her trademark, Wright has created a love story that weaves real history into the backdrop of her characters. This time, it is the crime of stolen artwork, including Gabriel's beloved painting, during the Napoleonic era. The settings of Cornwall, England and war-torn France are well-described, the characters well-drawn and I was captivated as I followed Izzie and Gabriel fighting their attraction and on the hunt for the stolen painting.
Of course, what would the story be without cameos from Raveneau and Beavisage families? Mouette Raveneau is Izzie's best friend and there is a visit Isabella and Gabriel visit Nicholai and Lisette Beavisage at their Château du Soleil.
THE SECRET OF LOVE stands alone, but is made richer by reading the other Rakes and Rebels books, where you can discover the back stories of the cameos. I look forward to the next installment, HIS MAKE-BELIEVE BRIDE, to read the story of Mouette and Justin St. Briac.
Here is my review of the audio version: This was the first time that I listened to one of Cynthia Wright's books. Tim Campbell is a master of his craft. His voice is enchanting and he brings all of the characters to life. His wonderful French accent helped me get a better feel for the characters. While listening, I was limited in what else I was able to do because I got so lost in the story. I can't wait to listen to more of Cynthia Wright's books narrated by Tim Campbell. I received a free review copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
Wow! I love all of Cynthia Wright's books because of the wonderful way she is able to transport me every time I read them. Now she has a wonderful way to double the fantastic adventures in the book, "THE SECRET OFLOVE" and that is by having the very talented Tim Campbell narration of it. I was totally blown away as his narration wrapped and held me captive to this fantastic story and once again I could not stop listening to his seductive voice and I found myself feeling transported me once again into this romantic book!
Please, Cynthia continue to use Tim Campbell in your Audiobooks because this gal loved his narrative❣
Three words to describe this story would be: Exciting, Intriguing, Passionate.
It's so difficult to write about memorable moments without giving too much away about the story. What I can say though is that all the scenes between Gabriel and Isabella were memorable. They were either fighting their attraction, or giving in to it. Their love that developed was every woman's dream. Their search for the painting also brought about fabulous moments of danger, excitement and enchantment.
Again I can't give too much away, but suffice to say that my favourite scene involves Gabriel, Isabella, her brother George, a tree, and the heirloom painting. It had fun moments, thrilling moments, and utter swoon worthy moments.
There were many moments in the book that were moving, the one that comes to mind apart from the one mentioned in my answer to which was my favourite scene, is the one where Gabriel discovers Isabella's secret. His reaction was....well you have to listen to the story to find out.
This story was an absolute delight, so entralling, but made even more so by the wonderful narration by Tim Campbell. It was hard to believe at times when he was taking on a woman's voice that it was actually a man reading the parts. That is even more unbelievable once you hear his own deep masculine voice during the normal reading parts of the book.
His accents were wonderful, and when he speaks as Gabriel with his deep husky voice and French accent in the intimate scenes with Isabella, well it's no wonder the girl swoons. The narrator portrays a suave, sexy man very well!
Tim narrates all the voices perfectly, American, English, West Country, and French all done fabulously and believably. This book was the perfect collaboration of story from Cynthia Wright and the narration by Tim Cambell and I 100% recommend it.
I have typed 2 glowing reviews of The Secret of Love to not post. This time a test of s review. I sbsolutely loved Gabriel & Isabellas' story. The entertwining of the families of Raveneau & Beauvisage with the medieval St Briac family line from my favorite book, You and No Other, was absolutely brilliant.
Tim Campbell has become my favorite audio narrator. His accents are incredible with such smooth differences between the voices. He really has the ability to change from male to female characters with a discernable difference of tone.
The Secret of Love is a terrific SUCCESS.
Izzy now a grown woman, still is in love the rough Gabriel St Brinac. Having met him for the first time at the tender age of 14, she declared to her friend Moette she would marry him. Years have passed and they once again meet again in the studio and mentor to Izzy and friend to Gabriel.The adventure begins when Gabriel's prize painting (done by the master artist Leonardo Di Vinci) is stolen and they race to find it before it becomes in the possession of Napoleon's art thieves and Izzy and Gabriel finally realize that they love each other.
Tim Campbell did a fabulous job narrating this book. I loved the way he was able to make each and every character's voice their own. Bravo Cynthia Wright for using him to perform your story!
Anyone not familiar with Cynthia Wright's novels should read them, they are all great and worth the reading or listening, whichever is your preference,
I always enjoy returning to my favorite characters. Definitely worth the listen! I enjoy Cynthia Wright's books, especially the way she describes the scenery and characters. Her romance is just right for me.
The French Tim Campbell, the author's story
Tim Campbell's impassioned interpretation of each character, and his talent to present each one uniquely makes him the premier audio book narrator...not to mention that voice. I never hesitate to buy an AUDIBLE book by Tim Campbell.
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