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The Secret [Mass Market Paperback]

Julie Garwood
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 10.99
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Book Description

May 1 1992
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!

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Ever since they met as children at the annual summer festival on the border of their two countries, Judith Hampton of England has been fast friends with Frances Catherine Kirkaldy of Scotland. Despite the enmity between the two lands in this period (the late 12th century), Judith is determined to attend the birth of Frances Catherine's first child and find her father, a Scottish laird she has never seen (when they finally meet, it is not in the fashion she had anticipated). En route to her friend's Highland home, Judith charms her escort, Frances Catherine's brother-in-law Iain Maitland. So she is baffled when Iain withdraws into his role of clan laird. Equally confusing is Frances Catherine's claim that after years with the Maitlands, she is still an outsider. But Judith determinedly forges friendships and reexerts her charms over Iain, leading to a lively, unconventional wedding. Woven into Judith's story is an intriguing, almost heretical message for a romance novel: a woman needs more than the right man to have a full, happy life. That Garwood ( Guardian Angel ) can argue this point and still deliver a delightful tale is an accomplishment.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Vivacious Judith, a Brit, visits her friend in the untamed Scottish highlands of 1200. Little does she suspect that she will fall in love, marry, bring women's lib to her new village, and find her previously unknown father. The simple plot offers a pleasant blend of historical fiction and uncomplicated mystery. With well-developed, amusing characters, this entertaining novel pulls readers back in time to an unusual era, and is difficult to put down.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable! Feb. 29 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Julie Garwood is absolutely beautiful in her writing. This is one of my favorites from her, and I have many! 'The Secret' is funny, touching, heartwarming, and filled with out-loud gasps, sighs, and laughs. I don't think I've ever laughed so much reading a book.
She's very talented and knows how to layer up her characters to the point where you can guess what they'll do next. Her eye for detail is one remarkable thing, and it puts you back in time.
When I started this book, I was hooked. Never put it down! Iain Maitland and Judith Hampton, along with the many others, were greatly brought to life, and their arguments are hilarious. So is the way Iain confuses the heck out of Judith.
All together: A remarkable, beautiful romance. I recommend it to all who like to read a good book. I'd also recommend a few others writers, starting with an all-time fave, Nora Roberts --who also writes under the pen name JD Robb for her "... in Death" series. Barbara Delinsky, Luanne Rice, Danielle Steel, Debbie Macomber, Judith McNaught, and Stephanie Laurens are awesome, too! Check them out whenever you can. You won't regret!
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Secret is one of Julie Garwood's fantastic novels featuring a tough, sexy Scottish Laird and a daring and sweet English Lady. The Laird is Iain Maitland a rough and disciplined warrior who is used to being obeyed and has a temper like a thunderstorm. The Lady is Judith Hampton, a woman who has spent her life moving back and forth to live with different relatives but remains hopeful and cheery.
The character's personalities are really good. Iain is direct, forceful and protective, but as the book develops he really lets his guard down with Judith. Judith is sassy and bold and forward thinking, she tries to make things better for the women in Iain's clan, and Iain, being a nice guy in a bad boy's body backs her up and helps her get her way.
Overall I loved this book and reread it a lot. It's charming, funny and sentimental. The ending is great and leads me on to giving the sequel a mention. The sequel is called Ransom and is another one of my Five Star reviews and probably my favourite historical of them all. Reading The Secret really pays off because you can then find out about what happens to Brodick (sigh - surely the sexiest and strong yet kind hero ever written) and Ramsey (not half bad either!) as well as catching up on dear Judith and dishy Iain. In the next book two more heroines, the perceptive and smart Gillian and the naïve but lovable Brigid are introduced. So, what the hell are you waiting for? Read these books!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Favorite from Garwood Aug. 15 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Three words: Buy this book. This is one of Julie's best books. The story begins with the heroine, Judith, attending a Scottish fair when she is five years old. It is here that she meets her best friend, Mary Kathleen (also five) while battling a bee. In this friendship is the grounding Judith needs in her tumultous life.
Years later, Judith travels to Mary Kathleen in order to be present for the birth of Mary Kathleen's first child. To fetch her, Mary Kathleen sends her brotherin-law and laird, Ian, who promptly belives that Judith will have to be taken by force to Scotland. However, when he arrives, she is packed and ready to go.
The love story between Judity and Ian is amazing. It's sweet and progresses with believable pacing. The side characters of Brodrick and Ramsey set up another classic of Garwood "Ransom." However, it is important to realize that one of the main grounding points of this book is the friendship between the two women. This is not a topic often discussed or talked about in a romance novel, and provides a nice change of pace.
I highly recommend this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars --A story of friendship and love-- Jan. 1 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book that I've read by Julie Garwood, and I have to say that even though the author uses a bit of a formula for her stories, I stayed interested in the plot and the characters.
Judith Hampton and Frances Catherine had been friends since childhood and neither were bothered by the fact that Judith was English and Frances Catherine, Scottish. Frances Catherine's mother had died in childbirth and she had the fear that the same fate awaited her. The two friends made a pact that whenever Frances Catherine was married and ready to have a baby; Judith would be with her. Neither girl anticipated the fact that the Scottish lairds hated all things English and did not warm to the idea of having Judith visit Scotland.
After a lot of debating, several Scotsman, including Laird Ian Maitland, go to England to bring Judith to her friend's assistance. Judith and Ian are immediately attracted to each other, but both fight the love and affection that seems inevitable. This is a good love story, but I also found the information about birthing and mid-wives to be interesting. The horror that women faced when dealing with childbirth in the dark ages was unbelievably barbaric and often tragic.
Good read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A definite MUST for your 'Re-Read' Shelf! Nov. 29 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I know I have one, and this book is definitely in the top tier. There are some books by romance authors that you can just go and read over and over again, and I find that this is one of the best.
The story starts out charming and doesn't stop there. You're introduced to two little girls -- Judith and Frances Catherine, who should not be friends -- because one is English and one is Scottish. Of course, that never stopped anybody! They become best friends and maintain this bond through the years.
Fast forward a bit and Scottish Frances Catherine is expecting her first baby, and wants English Judith to be at her side. The laird, Iain Maitland, figures that Judith will say no to this request, and takes 3 of his men to go get her. To everyone's surprise, Judith is not only ready, but she's practically begging to be taken away from her abusive household.
Along the way, Iain and Judith fall in love, and the Secret of Judith's past threatens to tear them apart for all time. Of course, it won't because this is a romance novel, but there is still a lot of mystery and conflict surrounding the refreshingly innocent Judith.
There is a ton of humor in this book -- you will laugh over what the Scottish men say when they discuss Judith. You'll laugh over Judith's actions as she worries herself into a panic. I laughed my head off at the beginning of the book, with the strange friendship between Frances Catherine and Judith. It is obvious that Julie Garwood has a love for life and loves to laugh -- it is inherent through her books.
I cannot stress how much I love this book! Judith is very innocent and stubborn, and has had a hard life. You'll find yourself really cheering for her as the story goes by, and wanting everything to work out for her.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked it
I loved the friendships that formed in this novelle but it did seem that there was too much going on at times. Read more
Published 17 hours ago by rosewood
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyable reading.
Published 1 month ago by Patricia Kimmerly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great escape from everyday woes
Can't get enough of Julie Garwood. I've read everything she has published. Great escape from everyday woes.
Published 2 months ago by Terri
4.0 out of 5 stars awesome
Very good read:) I really enjoyed it! This is my first from this author and I'll definitely be reading more from her work!
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars ummm, I didn't really like it...
I DON'T know why a lot of readers love this book...maybe I'm weird or I have different taste...say whatever you want, But I REALLY think this book has no originality, has very weak... Read more
Published on March 13 2004 by Jem S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is a great book with superb characters and a great plot. Little did we know what would befall them in RANSOM, however. This book is similar to some other works by Ms. Read more
Published on March 12 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent... A favorite...
Julie Garwood is an absolute favorite. She's a beautiful writer and makes you fall in love with her characters and brings settings to life. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2004 by "cynthia52889"
4.0 out of 5 stars a wonderfully woven story...
Julie Garwood is a master story teller and this book will certainly not disappoint. You come to love Judith and her deep bond with her best friend, Frances. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2003 by Valerie S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching
If you crave for good love stories this is a definite MUST read....Julie Garwood "HAS" out-done herself this time.
Published on Aug. 26 2003 by "gingee_67"
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME
This book is awesome! The friendship of the two women (Frances Catherine and Judith "Elizabeth") from childhood to adulthood is wonderful to read. Read more
Published on July 30 2003 by V. Seaton
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