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Three Little Secrets by Liz Carlyle
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Three Little Secrets (edition 2006)

by Liz Carlyle

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282339,987 (3.45)4
Member:winterlillies
Title:Three Little Secrets
Authors:Liz Carlyle
Info:Pocket Star (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Historical Romance, Your library
Rating:***
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Three Little Secrets by Liz Carlyle

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I'd heard bad things about Three Little Secrets and I thought...no, certainly not, Liz Carlyle is too good to write a really bad book. I was wrong. Three Little Secrets is awful.

The worst thing about the book, what struck me as being unforgivably sloppy, is how ham-handed the plot is.

Madeleine's son Geoff has "fits" and "strange notions" - but neither she nor anybody around her nas noticed that he manages to tell the future through his fits, averting peril to life and limb numerous times. It is staggeringly obvious whatis happening, but nobody has put two and two together. Since Geoff saves Merrick's life twice during the book with his visions, I was pretty stunned that it took him 300 pages to figure out what was going on.

Or, alternatively, Madeleine believes that her marriage to Merrick was annuled. Now, apparently at the time of her marraige she didn't know what an annulment was; fine, I'll buy that. What I had a hard time believing is that at the age of 30 she still doesn't know what an annulment is - or what the conditions of getting one are.

She's perfectly stunned when Merrick tells her they're still married, and that a couple who have married and consummated their marriage would have an almost impossible time getting an annulment. So she tells Merrick that he's lying, leaves, vows to find out the truth herself...yet days and maybe even weeks go by and she hasn't found any way to figure out what annulment is or how to get one. This means that during subsequent meetings she can continue to insist that Merrick is lying, and their marriage was annuled.

There are plenty more examples. The plotting is just sloppy, and unbelievable enough to make it hard to get into the novel.

I was also really unsatisfied with the romance. Madeleine comes across as a meek coward, very timid and unhappy after a life of being bullied by one person after another. She occasionally has flashes of backbone - when she mostly seems brittle and cold.

And Merrick very quickly steps into the role of a bully - yelling at her, controlling her, taunting her. Madeleine does her fair share of taunting in return, but she is so fragile and weak, while Merrick is so confident and strong, that all of these exchanges were depressingly lopsided.

Merrick and Madeleine do nothing but fight. They have those really painful, no-holds-barred fights that leave deep internal wounds. They seemed to me like a couple on the verge of a divorce, not a reconciliation - and I didn't want them to get together. If it meant anything like a continuation of what was happening in the novel, it would be a truly miserable marraige.

I liked Merrick well enough; he's a hard, ruthless, brilliant man who only thinks about making money and is very good at it. He comes across as self-controlled, emotionally deadened, but the demons of his past and their lingering effect on his present are believable.

But I did not like Merrick with Madeleine. I couldn't see how Merrick's disciplined and dominating personality could do anything but oppress Madeleine's much weaker one. I didn't understand what Merrick saw in Madeleine, other than her looks - he occasionally says that he loves her for being a strong and capable woman, but he's delusional if that's his reasoning.

All in all, the worst Liz Carlyle yet. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |
Good book, characters strong, plot interesting. ( )
  fredalss | Jun 1, 2008 |
When last they met Merrick and Madeleine were in Gretna Green after being wed. Now they're thirteen years older and have had a lot of experience of life since. There were a lot of lies told to both of them to break them up but will they survive a rematch?

It's a harmless read but there were times when I felt it was losing pace and I was losing interest. Not a bad read but I enjoyed the first in the series the best. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Mar 6, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743496124, Mass Market Paperback)

National bestselling author Liz Carlyle concludes her scandalous new trilogy with a sensuous novel of two star-crossed souls who share a secret or two . . . or three.

Once upon a time, they eloped. But then dashing Scotsman Merrick MacLachlan accepted payment from Lady Madeleine's father to have the marriage annulled. Or did he?

Two times, Maddie has wed. Once for love, once for comfort. Yet once more she is alone with only her beloved son and his haunting visions for company. Until fate thrusts her back into the arms of her first love.

Three little secrets dance between them. One is that he desires her as much as ever; another is that she's never forgotten his touch. But the scars of their youthful passion run deep, and the third secret will either mark their undoing . . . or spark the sizzling reunion they dare not dream of.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:05:40 -0400)

Wealthy real estate baron Merrick MacLachlan is the polar opposite of his polished, every-so-charming brother. While Sir Alasdair is fair and handsome, Merrick is a dark and brooding, both in looks and in temperament. But his rigid, tightly-controlled existence is about to spin out of control.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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