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The Secret by Julie Garwood
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The Secret

by Julie Garwood

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Highlands' Lairds (Apr 1992, book 1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,275206,179 (4.03)27
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  1. 00
    The Hepburn by Jan Westcott (myshelves)
    myshelves: Has plenty of romance, is set in 15th century Scotland, and also has a genuine historical background.
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» See also 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
A story that will make you laugh and cry, easily feeling the heroine’s emotions, is what the author’s historical books are famous for. And I’ve read this one at least a dozen times since it was first released over 20 years ago.

Lady Judith from England promised Frances Catherine from the Scottish Lowlands that she’d be there for the birth of her first child. The best friends haven’t seen each other in 4 years and Frances Catherine is married to a Maitland, a Highlander, whose clan does not like outsiders, much less the English. But Judith is determined to fulfill her promise and spends 2 years learning as much as she can from different midwifes while not actually ever witnessing a birth. A contingency of warriors comes to fetch Judith, led by her friend’s brother-in-law, the Maitland Laird. The two are attracted, but she knows nothing can come of it. The father she’s never met is Laird Mclean, the Maitland’s worst enemy.

The book is loaded with chaotic humor, more so in this story than even the others, as Judith finds a number of things and the way the clan has always lived, are backwards. She’d promised she wouldn’t be a bother or cause a problem with her presence, but you know we wouldn’t have much of a story if that didn’t happen. And it’s all for good.

Judith is both vulnerable in a number of ways, and yet determined to right wrongs or give someone a hand, even when doing so puts her in a really uncomfortable position. The fact that the Maitlands quickly accept her is done in a very believable way. Iain is a gruff character, as often befits the role of Laird. But from the start he’s possessive of Judith even while telling her not to put any meaning to their kisses. It doesn’t take him long to realize he can’t let her go and would walk through purgatory for her.

There are so many books by this author’s early writings that I would highly recommend. If the rating system was up to 10 stars, this is one of the few I’d give a 10 to. Would I feel the same way if I was reading the story now for the first time? The rating would be very good but not quite as high. What we expect and accept in the way two people treat each other has changed over the decades. ( )
  dearheart | Mar 29, 2014 |
Garwood's Medieval's hold a special place in my heart. While The Wedding will always be my favorite, The Secret comes in at a close second.


( )
  cranberrytarts | Sep 22, 2013 |
I loved this book. Funny, charming, steamy and lovely, a wonderful combination to spend a couple of hours.

Judith and Frances Catherine were supposed to be enemies, one being English and the other Scot, but their friendship survived along the years of the war and hatred.
When Frances Catherine married Patrick Maitland she made him promise that when she was with child she wanted her friend Judith with her. This was not an easy task because the Maitland clan hated almost everyone, especially the English but since a Maitland keeps his word, Judith was to come and escorted by none other than Ian Maitland, Patrick's older brother and laird of the clan.
Needless to say that Judith was not what they expected her to be. Beautiful, sassy, courageous, charming and not at all fearful of the might laird, she proved that an English woman is a normal woman.... except for a secret she and Frances Catherine shared all these years, one that could very well send her to England and away from Ian.

Well, I'm a sucker for medieval romance; there's something about a man on a horse, riding to battle with big weapons, full of muscles and a sexy kilt, with an air of arrogance and manners of a caveman.... I'm sure I'm not the only one :) but I digress....
I adored Judith, she is funny and bold with an innocence so charming that it's impossible not to like her. She's uncertain of her future and herself but she can turn that to her advantage and be even more likable. When she and Frances Catherine are together, they are really funny.
About Ian, well, I guess that one look at Judith turned her mind to mush because we do not see the warrior but a man speaking of love and worried about her happiness.
In general it was a great read, full of laughter and love. I recommend it to everyone who likes "light" historical romance. ( )
  Lost_Lenore | May 25, 2013 |
This is the 1st Julie Garwood book I ever read, actually, the first ROMANCE I ever read. and now I'm hooked! I love historical novels and thoroughly enjoyed this one. Julie has now moved into the genre of more moders, FBI-type books, but I really, really hope she revisits the historical "Laird and Lady" style. ( )
  coffeenut1992 | May 16, 2013 |
The Secret
4 Stars

Synopsis
Lady Judith Hampton is more than willing to traverse the harsh highlands to keep a childhood promise to be with her best friend during childbirth. However, little has prepared her for the Scottish brute sent to escort her nor for the passion he evokes in her. As Judith and Iain, Laird of the Maitland clan grow closer, Judith fears that the secret of her parentage will ultimately drive them apart.

Review
Engaging characters and a sweet romance with a hunky highlander.

I'm not usually a fan of plots with secrets as they tend to lead to silly and annoying conflicts. That said, the secret here is well done as it never becomes the focus of the story and is resolved in a timely fashion without becoming drawn out and frustrating.

The realistic portrayal of pregnancy and child birth in medieval times as well as the superstition surrounding them is very interesting although infuriating. Unfortunately, some of the other aspects of the setting are not as believable. The language and dialogue as well as some of the social mores are not consistent with the time period - no way would the Maitlands have overcome their prejudice against an English woman so quickly and the clan conflict is completely unrealistic - the 12th/13th century Scots were more a behead first and ask questions later type of people.

The romance is the best part of the book. Iain and Judith have some intense sexual chemistry that builds slowly toward the inevitable explosion and their sharp and witty banter is very entertaining. Judith is a spirited and feisty heroine with backbone of solid steel. Although her perfect beauty and saccharine sweet mannerisms are not that credible, these do not detract from her captivating personality. Iain is the typical strong/silent/arrogant warrior who falls for the only woman that stands up to him - of course, I can never get enough of these so it's all good.

The secondary characters are compelling, especially the elder council who provide some wonderful comic relief, and Broderik the brooding whose book I am looking forward to reading very soon. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julie Garwoodprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tanner, JillReadermain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Falkenstern, LisaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plasait, CatherineTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tóth Gizella,secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winter, Kerstinsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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They became friends before they were old enough to understand they were supposed to hate each other.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671744216, Mass Market Paperback)

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, private 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!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:16 -0400)

Travelling back to Scotland to visit an old friend, Judith Hampton takes the opportunity to meet the father she has never known. Along the way, she falls in love with the Scottish laird Iain Maitland, who tries to shield Judith from the truth about her father, the Laird Maclean.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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