Public Secrets
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Public Secrets

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  8,109 ratings  ·  274 reviews
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 daught...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published March 2nd 1998 by Bantam (first published 1990)
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Isis FG
Aug 15, 2008 Isis FG rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Isis FG by: favorite author
Public Secrets isn't one of Nora Roberts most popular books. It's not one that gets mentioned much and I know a lot of her readers don't particularly care for it. But there's something about this book that thoroughly captures me. It's one of my all-time favorite books. I think I've read it about 6 times now.

It's a rather atypical romance novel (semi-romantic suspense) because the romance doesn't really come into play seriously until the last 150 pages. This book is more about the heroine, Emma,...more
Bridget
This is an oldie but a goodie. I first read Public Secrets over 15 years ago and since then I continually pick it back up for a reread. I just finished rereading the story after a good 7 or 8 year break and I am so happy to say that it's still as compelling, intriguing, and delightful as it was the first time I read it.

This story in particular is a favorite of mine as it follow the story of not just the main character Emma, but an entire cast of characters that you love to love and love to hate...more
Michelle
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...more
Sarah
Synopsis above, not going to make my own.

This was a great book from Nora Roberts, better than some of the others I have read. It is one of her time progression novels, so a lot of the book is about Emma's childhood and the lives of the band members. The major romance between Emma and Michael doesn't really begin until after half of the book is already over with, somewhere in the last 175 pages or so.

I loved reading about all the lives in this book, though. Usually NR focuses on the main two cha...more
Lizzy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
❀ Mary ❀
Me alegré muchísimo cuando editaron este libro al español y mucho más cuando lo encontré en la librería. Es espectacular, tiene tanta trama y personajes que es realmente difícil comentarlo en pocas palabras, pero a pesar de ser un poco largo, ya que narra la vida de los miembros de una banda de rock y su familia a través de 20 años, el libro es fluido con la perfecta cantidad de detalles para no perderse durante los saltos de tiempo sin llegar a ser tedioso, en otras palabras la combinación perf...more
Teena in Toronto
I liked this book ... there was a lot to it and a lot going on.

It starts out in the 1970s in the early years when the English rock band, Devastation, is just starting to become famous. Emma's father, Brian, is the lead singer and she's friends with the other three guys in the band. There's lots of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll along with the times a'changin'.

We follow Emma after her brother dies, until she's in her twenties, and everyone in her family and circle. I liked the characters we are supp...more
Erica
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lora Tihomirova
I simply loved this book. I honestly couldn't put it down. The characters were touching and real, not flawless and perfect but real.
What I hated was being in Emma's head. Not the writing hate, I just loved the story, but rather the existantial hate. I don't want to think of child abuse, that's just one of the most horrible things out there. And the worst of it was that, even when she grew up in a loving environment with all luxuries etc., in the end she was still the traumatised little girl who...more
Lisa James
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!
Caitlin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cecely
This was not one of my favorites from Roberts, but it was well written and a good read. Most of the reasoning for my rating has to do with pacing. It's not that the story ever lags, but there was a section I felt lasted too many chapters. That being said, it's more of my personal distaste for the subject matter going on in the story--brutal domestic abuse and violence against children. It makes me sick to even read about such things and know they exist in reality. So, though it may be a bit unfa...more
Marian
Excellent mystery, kept me guess, plus if you're from the sixties, this book rocked.
Trewen
I really liked this story until the end.
So I knocked the rating down a bit.

Such an engaging story that spans about 20 years. When I put the book down, the characters stayed fresh in my mind and I couldn't wait to see them again.
The down fall for me was the Hero. He was a good guy but I found him to be too impatient for our Heroine and then when they're finally together I never felt a real connection between them.
Also, the ending, which finally wraps up a major piece of the story was way too tidy...more
Michele
This book was a little slow in the beginning as it built the story, but the book was great! You find you needed all the slow moments to build to the end! It was such a great story to watch Emma grow up and see the world through her eyes as a child, a teenager and then to adult. It showed her handling stardom and becoming her own person. And then when she falls in love...it was painful to read about but in the end...she stood up and took control.

I so recommend this book! It is definitely worth t...more
Duncan Mandel

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 sa

...more
Supraja
Writing a romance is hard enough, but making it believable is something else altogether. But there isn't a line in the book that made me feel like I was reading fiction. This story can easily be a reality for many people.

The book revolves mainly around Emma McAvoy, the "love-child" of a rising Rockstar, Brian McAvoy. She is brought by an alcoholic and abusive mother. She meets her dad for the first time, at the age of three, who takes her away from her alcoholic and abusive mother. It had been l...more
steph
This book reminded me why I like Nora Roberts. I'll admit, I haven't been impressed with her lately (and by lately I'm pretty sure any book she's written in the last decade because it felt like too many of the same re-tellings to me), but this one, I really enjoyed and in fact stayed up late last night because I was halfway through and didn't want to stop. I love that this story took place over about a span of thirty years or so. I love that it was about rockers and stardom and drugs and family...more
Jodie
I just dont know what I can say in a review to do this book justice. At first I thought I'd hate the book going through the life of Emma from a three year old I to adulthood, but it was necessary to build the characters and the world around them.

The relationship between Emma and the band members (including her dad) was simply beautiful, this book made me laugh, cry and evoked a serious emotional reaction.

I adored Brian and Johnno and Stevie was just divine as was Pm. I didn't t know who'd done...more
Alison Cairns
I found this book compelling. It was a roller coaster of a rock and roll story. The characters were brought to life in a manner that had you loving or hating them from the first time of meeting them. You felt for Emma from the start and just wanted everything to work out for her. There were plenty of gasp moments, and I did hold my breath a few times. I hadn't picked out who the main "baddy" was so that came as a surprise at the end. I came across this book by accident and as with most Nora Robe...more
Jenn
Absolutely NOT my favorite Nora Roberts book. I had to force myself to get through the first 250 pages without giving up. Too many details on insignificant matters. When you near the last 100 pages, the story is fantastic. Less about the past and more about the present would have made a world of difference. It is not a captivating story. It takes forever for Emma to grow up from 3 years to approx 18 years. I found it a very hard book to enjoy.

I get it; sex, drugs and rock & roll and drugs a...more
Carol  MacInnis
Three year old Emma McAvoy feared her single abusive alcoholic mother, Jane Palmer. So when her father, Brian McAvoy, up and coming rock star came to take her away from Jane, she hoped the abuse would cease. She was pleasantly surprised to be shown only love & affection from her father and her 'new' mom Be. When Bev gave birth to Emma's baby brother Darren, Emma loved him so much, she vowed to always protect him. But one fateful night while the band was partying, someone came into Darren's r...more
Rebecca Mabe
I enjoyed reading this book but man...it took me forever to get through. I picked it up intending it to be a "light" read before jumping into George R.R. Martin's Epic Song of Fire and Ice Series. So much for any preconceived notions that I had about this one. This book tackles some serious issues; domestic violence, alcoholism, drug use, child murder,AIDS, adultery, and betrayal. I wouldn't necessarily label this one a romance, it's more of a fictional family saga about a group of irish rocksta...more
Jonetta
Emma McAvoy met her rock star father for the first time at the age of three when her mother, a pitiful but vengeful mess, forced the interaction. Brian McAvoy had no idea of her existence and fell in love with his daughter, his spitting image, at first sight. From here on out, the tale unfolds about their lives, a saga of heartache, betrayal, love and commitment.

It's hard to capsulize this book into a one-paragraph summary as it chronicles the lives of this family over a 20-year time span. Even...more
LaDonna
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Farinha
‘Public Secrets’ gives us a tour through two decades of Emma McAvoy’s life. First as a young child that suffers at the hands of her birth mother and as the unexpected and unwanted daughter of an arising rock star. Then as the foreign element in a pop music’s band road to success. And later as a young woman and her choices and fears that led her to marriage and a new king of hell.

As the only witness of a failed attempt kidnapping, Emma keeps struggling with putting the pieces together. The unavoi...more
Nancy
Emma. Beautiful, intelligent, and 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 Emma 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 band mates, and his new wife, she f...more
Desiree
This was one of the first romance novels I read as a teenager.

I absolutely adored it. The characters were engaging and memorable. I went through the ups and the downs of the characters. Sometimes I like and/or love a character, other times didn't like them so much.

There are scenes that stick out for me. The opening chapter when Brian first meets Emma and sees the way she's been living just touches my heart. The brief scenes when Emma and Michael met when they were younger. The part when Emma w...more
Hazel G. (I ♥ Mancandy) *Craves the Angst Reviews* .
Public Secrets is a romance-mystery-suspense novel written by Nora Roberts. In my opinion, even though this is one of Roberts earlier works, its one of her best titles in a long and varied career of amazing material. Ive personally read this title over ten times. Its definitly one of my favorites and one I come back to time and again when I just want a great romance to read the night away with. It follows the life of Emma MacAvoy from age three, up. Her trials and heartache will literally bring...more
Shauni
I have great memories of this book and decided it was time to take Nora Roberts Public Secrets off the shelf and enjoy it once more. While it was definitely as good as I remembered there was so much more to this book than just a romance. In fact I wouldn't really even call this book a Romance but because NR wrote it, the publishing industry lacks imagination and insists on calling it so.

This book is a retrospective of life, love, family, connections and how you learn to deal with it all.

At the...more
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TeenReads: Public Secrets Review 1 4 Feb 29, 2012 09:37PM  
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Eleanor Marie Robertson was born on October 10, 1950 in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. She was the youngest of five children, also the only girl, of a marriage with Irish ancestors. Her family were avid readers, so books were always important in her life. She attended a Catholic school and credits the nuns with instilling in her a sense of discipline. During her...more
More about Nora Roberts...
Vision in White (Bride Quartet, #1) Born in Fire (Born In Trilogy, #1) Blue Dahlia (In The Garden, #1) The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro, #1) Dance Upon the Air (Three Sisters Island, #1)

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“Shall I tell you what rock and roll is, Johnno, from someone who doesn't perform, but observes?
It's restless and rude. It's defiant and daring. It's a fist shaken at age. It's a voice that often screams out questions because the answers are always changing. The very young play it because they're searching for some way to express their anger or joy, their confusion and their dreams. Once in a while, and only once in a while, someone comes along who truly understands, who has the gift to transfer all those needs and emotions into music.”
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