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Public Secrets by Nora Roberts

Public Secrets (1990)

by Nora Roberts

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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8571210,427 (3.73)5
Recently added byWochentag, private library, SusanBNM, Laurajtl, carlareads, Akin2Read2, StarksLibrary, Bookman1954

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This story is about Emma McAvoy, her father brian, rock god, her junkie mother Jane who literally SOLD her at 3 years of age, & the tragedies in that family, one of which, the death of Emma's baby brother Darren, which takes over 20 years & 2 generations to finally solve. I have to admit, I didn't see the one coming. Not bad, & a relatively quick, easy, page turning read! ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 10, 2014 |
Good not great. Fairly typical contemporary romance. ( )
  lesmel | Jul 14, 2013 |
Love thisss. I couldnt put it down. ( )
  lee16 | Jan 31, 2013 |
I've been reading a lot of Nora Roberts lately and one thing I've noticed is that I like the full-length novels much better than the ones that are part of, say, trilogy collections (or maybe it's just the ones that were written for Harlequin or whichever series she started off writing for). There's much more character development, much more time for characters to actually do more than an immediate falling in love thing. Not that I mind that entirely, but perhaps I shouldn't read four 12-chapter books in a row in which the two characters see each other for the first time and are instantly smitten.

I actually started off a bit uncomfortable with this as there was a clear interest between an older teenager and a 12-yr-old. (At least I think that was her age at the time. It's been about a month since I've read the book and I've read a lot of NR books since! I seem to remember that it was my daughter's age, though, which made it that much more unsettling.) However, I've since come to recognize one of the patterns NR uses, which is to have characters meet early on, but then skip ahead a few years at a time. In this case, it made the romance that much more believable; even though it was a little frustrating that (SPOILER ALERT) it took so long for the two leads to get together, I liked that Michael basically carried a torch for Emma his whole life, even if it did start when she was a little too young.

In terms of the rest of the book, I have to admit that I skipped through a bunch of it as I simply can't deal with the particular event that created the whole suspense aspect of the book. And after spending the whole book thinking that there was a greater evil lurking in the background, the actual culprit was a bit of a letdown -- thus the 3.5. But I enjoyed all the rest of it enough to keep picking it up even when I didn't have any time to do so. ( )
  jendoyle2000 | Aug 25, 2012 |
When I purchased the book last year, it looked vaguely familiar. Let me be clear; I have read a LOT of Nora Roberts. Between haunting the library shelves in Germany for her books and purchasing almost all of the rest, I do believe that I have read most of her books. There are only a few I have not gotten around to reading. When I bought Public Secrets, I thought this was one of those that remained unread. After reading the first page, I remembered the story. It turns out I did read it more than ten years ago and just forgot that I had. Big time #michellefail, but I figured this was a good one for the Flashback Challenge. There is nothing wrong with re-read!

The best part about this story is that it is not, in my opinion, a typical Nora Roberts novel. She breaks away from her formula and gives us something a bit different. Yes, there is a romantic lead and a murder mystery, but the romance and the mystery itself play as the backstory to the overarching plot of Emma's development and growth as a strong female character. Rather than flashing back to Emma's past in the first few chapters, the book actually starts out when Emma is three years old, and we follow her progression as she ages. In addition, Emma is not the sole focus. At times, the reader is able to get more insight into her father, at times the narrator focuses on her mother and stepmother. The reader watches Emma grow, make poor decisions, and face the consequences. It is a break from the formula, but it definitely works.

If my daughter were to come to me, in future years, and ask me which one Nora Roberts book should she read, I would almost have to say Public Secrets. As a mother and a female, there are some very strong moral messages delivered in such a way that it is palatable to the reader. Throughout the novel, Ms. Roberts shows us the damage that sex, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and child abuse can wring on a person (no, not the same person). She shows us that to be popular, you can find ways to avoid drugs and alcohol when offered to you, that it is okay to wait, and more importantly, that you can and should stand up for yourself and your beliefs. The most important message of all that Ms. Roberts passes along is the idea that it is okay, and sometimes necessary, to admit mistakes and ask for help. These are ideas that some would argue need to be shared and discussed a bit more these days.

I am and always will be a Nora Roberts fan. There may be books of hers which I would not call favorites, but I almost always enjoy her work. Public Secrets is no exception. Reading it again helped me understand just what a gem this book is, and reading it after having read so many of her other works made me realize how unique it is in the Roberts canon. Ms. Roberts is not one to shy away from interesting or controversial topics, but I believe she outdid herself with this one. Her tackling of domestic violence is spot on, from the emotional and mental abuse escalating to physical violence to the shame and guilt a person feels when in that situation. Emma McAvoy is a character every woman should come to respect and admire for battling her personal demons and winning. For those of you Nora Roberts fans who have not had the pleasure, I highly suggest picking up this selection as soon as possible so that you too can discover what a gem it is!
1 vote jmchshannon | Mar 28, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nora Robertsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salo, AnnaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Book description
EMMA. A frightened, lonely child, the illegitimate result of a pop music star's secret union. Until the magical day when her famous father rescues her and leads her into a very public, star-studded world of wealth and privilege.
EMMA: Happy, contented, devoted half sister to a new baby. Until the horrible night when men attempt to kidnap her brother. The night that shocks the world--and tears apart the very fabric of Emma's life.
EMMA. The overprotected child of a star, hounded by the press. Until the wonderful day when she discovers her own artistic talent and the secret fire that roars for her in the arms of a man--a fire that can burn out all too soon.
EMMA. Determined, self-sufficient career woman, her father's greatest strength. Until the chilling moment when she realizes that the darkest secret of all may be buried in her mind--a secret that someone might kill her to keep.
A novel of the passions Emma inspires--the saving love of one man ... the unremitting hatred of another.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553285785, Mass Market Paperback)

Emma.  Beautiful, intelligent, radiantly talented, she lives in a star-studded world of wealth and privilege.  But she is about to discover that fame is no protection at all when someone wants you dead....

All she has to do is close her eyes and she remembers the day Brian McAvoy swept into her life.  A frightened toddler, she didn't know then that she was his illegitimate daughter or that he was pop music's rising new star.  All she knew was that with Brian, his bandmates, and his new wife, she felt safe.  And when her baby brother arrived, Emma thought she was the luckiest girl in the world...until the night a botched kidnapping attempt shattered all their lives...and destroyed Emma's happiness.

Yet now, even though Emma is still haunted by flashes of memory from that fateful night, she has survived.  She's carved out a thrilling career and even dared to fall rapturously in love.  But the man who will become her husband isn't all that he seems.  And Emma is about to awaken to the chilling knowledge that the darkest secret of all is the one buried in her mind--a secret that someone may kill to keep.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:46 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Emma, the illegitimate child of a pop music star, is rescued from her violent, alcoholic mother by her famous father and brought into a world of glamour, wealth, and dark secrets.

» see all 3 descriptions

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Average: (3.73)
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