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The Secret (Highlands' Lairds #1)

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4.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  29,838 Ratings  ·  944 Reviews
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 ...more
ebook, 404 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Dutton Books (first published 1992)
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Amelie You can borrow them on openlibrary.org. Membership's free. There are a couple on Scribd, but you'll need a subscription. There's a 30-day free trial,…moreYou can borrow them on openlibrary.org. Membership's free. There are a couple on Scribd, but you'll need a subscription. There's a 30-day free trial, I think.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dina
Jul 02, 2011 Dina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book grabbed from the Prologue, filled with both endearing and funny moments. In a few pages, Ms. Garwood had me loving Judith, the heroine, and her friend Frances Catherine. By the end of Chapter 2, I was also in love with Iain, the hero, and smiling like a silly girl. What a nice way to start a book!

Judith and Frances Catherine met as children and formed an unlikely friendship. Judith was English and Frances Catherine was Scottish, and everyone knew that English and Scottish hated each ot
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Kristen
Delightful 4 stars

The Secret was a delight to read. I was easily swept into Julie Garwood’s world of witty dialogue, enchanting characters, and feel good romance.

I did, however, find it difficult to feel the connection and chemistry between Iain's and Judith's characters during the first half of the book. In fact, at times I felt there was more chemistry between Judith and Brodick than between Judith and Iain. Fortunately, by the end of the story I was a firm believer in Judith's and Iain's rela
...more
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

5 bloody brilliant, hot Highland Laird stars!

Audio/Kindle/Paperback Review

Very rarely do I have the opportunity to read a book that isn't a review required read, but I needed something familiar, something comforting this past week, and so I chose to re-read/listen to this story.

I am so, so very glad I did!

I had read The Secret (paperback) years ago and never reviewed because I was on a Julie Garwood binge. Book after book, I didn't have time to stop and write down my thoughts because I couldn
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Eastofoz
Mar 15, 2009 Eastofoz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers looking for a medieval with a strong hero & smart heroine
4.5 stars and it could’ve been 5 if there was just a smidge more “unglossed” steam, otherwise it’s beautifully written and the characters bounce off the pages. It’s the type of story you can lose yourself in and forget where you are –despite the annoying microscopic print!

Garwood does a fantastic job with the language in this book. She twists and turns simple things to make them all complicated and in the end it’s hilarious. There are so many parts left vague or unsaid and you keep on reading be
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D.G.
This is my first book by Julie Garwood and it may be my last.

Yes, I enjoyed this book but I found it too cutesy and simplistic. I think that if it had been either a funny book or a dark book I would have enjoyed it more, but this mix of funny banter with very dark topics didn’t do it for me.

On one hand, you have very serious topics: dangers and fear of pregnancy (which is the first time I have read in a historical so I give the author kudos for that), battles between clans in Scotland, the hatr
...more
Choko
Feb 07, 2016 Choko rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** 4 ***

A very sweet and pleasant Highlander Historical Romance! I enjoyed it exactly for what it was - a romance in a very difficult for women time. I know most of my GR friends get upset over the almost none existing female rights of those times and want all heroines to be strong, bold and independent, which would be absolutely absurd for their environment. Although I like the historical accurate portrayal of that, this book manages to successfully combine a close proximity to Historical accu
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Susanne


*Still dancing happy dance*

I am so grateful to my GR friends; otherwise I might have missed this gem! I don't know what to write. It was funny, heartwarming, charming, and romantic and amazing all wrapped in one. JG’s highland romances are quickly moving up on my favorite list.

Lady Judith Elizabeth is a wonderful (English) heroine and Iain is a clueless, arrogant Scottish lair who doesn't think he will fall in love – but of course he does *happy sigh* It might have been quite similar to The Bri
...more
Dina
Jul 01, 2014 Dina rated it it was amazing
Opening line: They became friends before they were old enough to understand they were supposed to hate each other.

That's got to be one of loveliest opening lines ever, and everything that came afterwards was as delightful as that. A true keeper that only gets better every time I reread it.
Kathleen
Repeating this one again! A feel-good favorite. Love these Highland Historicals. Garwood is a kick, a mix of humor, sizzle, and action. She can't be taken too seriously, since her heroes are over-the-top alpha and her plots are improbable.

As I read this — for the nth time— I smiled and chuckled, and then frowned at the hypocracy of the male-dominated church. Have read it oodles of times. Beautiful story. I just adore Iain Maitland and even his heroine, Judith.

Sweet romance between Iain's brothe
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Casey ~Kaleidoscopic Killer of the Deep~
So much to love about this story!
Not only did this have a great story but there were great relationships beyond the female and male main characters. The characters were all strong and I adored them!

Bonus:
Lovely descriptions of the highlands that made me want to book a flight immediately.


A beautiful tale of friendship between two women that grew over a lifetime despite coming from backgrounds that should have prevented them from ever coming together in the first place.


Judith's internal monologu
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Sophie ♥
I won't be writing a review but I will write a few of my thoughts on this book. As much as a I liked the light-hearted tone of this book, I also felt that Julie Garwood essentially just glossed over any drama or angst. It was almost like she wanted to simplify everything for us. The plot wasn't very sophisticated, but I enjoyed her writing and wit enough for the plot to not really matter. I was slightly disappointed in the ending. The ending of a romance novel is usually the best part of the boo ...more
Lover of Romance
The Secret takes us back into time to the Scottish Highlands, medieval time period. Where we have Judith Hampton who is English, but never knew her father, except for his ring, and her mother not caring one whit about her welfare. Having gone from different relatives homes, and now a grown up woman, has studies childbirth for her closest and best friend Frances Catherine, who is married to the brother of Laird Maclean. So when the Iain's goes to retrieve Judith on behalf of his brother and his w ...more
Majo

Ame este libro de principio a fin, me fue imposible despegarme de sus páginas y me desvele para poder terminarlo. Es el primer libro que leo de Julie Garwood, pero no será el último, me enamore de la pluma de esta autora.
Me encantaron los protagonistas, son una pareja adorable. Además, cada uno por su lado son grandes personajes. Iain y Judith crecen individualmente durante el libro. Y aunque la trama principal solo es más importante en los últimos capítulos, la manera relajada de contarnos la
...more
Jane Stewart
Sort of ok, but not recommended.

I've read three Julie Garwood novels which were similar: The Secret, Saving Grace and Ransom. All three have an English heroine going to Scotland and falling in love with a Scottish laird. All three women were too saccharine for me. They bring some changes and knowledge to the Scottish people by telling them not to commit certain crimes, to be polite and to have better manners. For example one heroine says never steal horses, just borrow them and return them later
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Duchess Nicole
This was a solid read from Julie Garwood, if not exactly what I expected. Judith has been raised in England, tossed around by her mother between relatives, and believing her father to be dead. In fact, he is a Scottish laird. Judith's best friend from childhood, Frances Catherine, summons her to Scotland to be with her when she gives birth. She gladly takes the trip, as her mother is never around, and her uncle is a mean drunk. The man sent to escort her is the laird from Francis Catherine's cla ...more
Kaity
Review originally posted on Bitten Books and given 5 stars.

I couldn't have even begun to imagine a more heartwarming and amusing story than Judith and Iain's. Everything about this book was absolutely perfect. I loved all of the characters and loved to hate the villains. I'm amazed at how quickly each character stole my heart. Many of the minor characters, who only had their say for a few characters, manged to carve a place for themselves too.

The relationships were really what made this book. My
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Laura V.
2015 Reading Challenge: #29 Un libro ambientado en un lugar que siempre hayas querido conocer: Escocia

Judith es una Garwood de pies a cabeza. Con toda su inocencia, valentía, generosidad esta chica me ha ganado. Iain es un loco malo que cae rendido cuando la ve. Juntos hacen todo un poco bonito. *-*

Me ha gustado, me he reído, y he lloriqueado un poco.

Me ha gustado cómo a pesar de ambientarse en un período medieval, Judith busque reivindicar los derechos de la mujer en la comunidad de Iain. Y co
...more
KatLynne
Re-read this old favorite again this week and I'm happy to say it's still one of my all time favorites. I love this simple, funny, charming romance:)!
Sha Mslvoe ♥♥♥
All historicals from Julie Garwood are not to be miss. She's a master romance writer and "The Secret" is one of her best. I must admit that every one of Ms. Garwood's books are wonderful, splendid, amazing love story.

The story was touching, funny and romantic. Definitely a KEEPER.
Sammy
3.5 stars it is ...
It feels so good to be back in highlands , the beautiful locations ,the great warriors & the striking romance ...


This books grabs you from page one , the childhood friends , Frances Catherine & Judith Elizabeth gives you a glimpse of how their friendship began ...


Than comes our main attraction , the laird of the clain : Iian ... devastatingly handsome , loves to order & has a habit of getting his things the way he wants ... well thats about to change ...


Judith Eliz
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Cheryl
I knew Julie Garwood would not let me down!
This story was sweet and funny, I found myself laughing and smiling throughout much of the book! I loved Iain and the way he would just sit back and watch Judith and all the thoughts that went through his head. I also loved the way he was always raising one eyebrow at her, I could just imagine it!! Judith was also a great character, so sweet and passionate about everything!

Iain has got to be one of my favorite Heroes! I just love him!!


Characters:
Iain-
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Katherine
If you didn't like "The Bride" I think you will like this story. Judith is just sweet, you can't help but like her. Some very funny situation and some serious times too. I will definitely read "Ransom".

February 2nd 2016 reread and still love it.
Michelle
Judith and Frances Catherine were too young to realize they should be enemies when they met during an annual festival and instantly became friends. Despite the animosity between the Scots and English both girls remained friends through the years and looked forward to the three weeks they would spend together every year. Frances eventually married a Scot and moved to his land ending the girls’ yearly tradition but Judith made a promise that when the time came to the birthing of Frances’ first bor ...more
Jess
Aug 07, 2010 Jess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the Medieval series, and it takes place in the 1200's in Scotland. Ever since reading one of Garwood's HR series books, I've had a little bit of an obsession with Scottish lairds. This book definitely fulfilled my current need to read more.

In this book Judith is waiting for someone to get her so she can go visit her friend in Scotland. Judith knows her friend is pregnant and wants to be there for her to help her through the birth. Iain is laird of his clan and wants not
...more
Aleksandra
Dec 23, 2015 Aleksandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Za moj prvi susret sa Garwoodicom izvrsno, zabavno, ljubavni par očaravajućeg odnosa, ona jaka i svojeglava, on šarmantan i emotivan, a alfa mužjak...uglavnom jedan od najboljih do sada pročitanih iz žanra ljubavno-povijesnih romana tako da nastavljam čitati ovu autoricu. Realno ovo je ipak zbog žanra kojem pripada 4+ ali pošto takve ocjene nema onda ipak pet zvjezdica :)
LibraryLass
My star rating:

Plot: 5/5
Pacing: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
World: Highlands Scotland
Romance: 5/5

Enjoyment level: 5/5 stars

One of my most favourite historical romances.
Lulu
Jan 27, 2015 Lulu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read The Secret and many other Julie Garwood historical romances quite a few years ago. I'm going to be re-reading them and am interested to see if they are as good now as I remember them being.
Susan (susayq ~)
4.5 stars! This is exactly what I needed...a romance that was sweet with enough funny parts that I went to bed with a smile on my face :)

I don't think I've ever read a funnier wedding scene than in this! If you read it for nothing other than laughing through that, do it!

I loved that Judith was willing to look like a fool to make her point with not only her husband, Laird Iain, but the elders of the clan as well. But Judith didn't just play the fool in here; she also stepped up and did what was
...more
Venus Blancia
Because I need withdrawal from addiction of the Outlander and this too just kept me drowning into loving the Highlands. Ransom is the next book and another great read. Lady Gillian is my favorite heroine of all Julie Garwood's heroines.
Raine
I loved this book! I thought it was great! Almost as great as my favorite The Bride. I love Judith and how she overcomes her fears to be there for her best friend's birth.
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With more than 35 million books in print and 26 NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers, Julie Garwood has earned a position among America's favorite fiction writers.

Born and raised in Kansas City, MO, Ms. Garwood attributes much of her success to growing up in a large family of Irish heritage. "The Irish are great storytellers who relish getting all of the details and nuances of every situation. Add in the fa
...more
More about Julie Garwood...

Other Books in the Series

Highlands' Lairds (3 books)
  • Ransom (Highlands' Lairds, #2)
  • Shadow Music (Highlands' Lairds, #3)

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“He shrugged. "I was...thinking."
"About what?"
"The fires of purgatory."
She had to sit down. He wasn't making any sense now. "What does that mean?" she asked.
"Patrick told me he would walk through the fires of purgatory if he had to in order to please his wife."
She went over to the bed and sat down on the side. "And?" she prodded when he didn't continue.
He stripped out of his clothing and walked over to her. He pulled her to her feet and stared down to her.
"And I have only just realized I would do the same for you.”
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“Don't you dare weep," he commanded.
"You've broken my heart."
"I 'll fix it later.”
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