Public Secrets
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Public Secrets

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  7,491 ratings  ·  258 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
Kindle Edition, 512 pages
Published (first published 1990)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Isis FG
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
❀ 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
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
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!
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
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
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 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
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
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
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 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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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 ♥ Mr. Grey) *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
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
Jillian (Busy Moms Book Reviews)
Emma has spent her entire life growing up in the spotlight, her father Brian has been a rock star for as long as she can remember. She still has flashbacks of the night her little brother died and while she did see what happened she can’t remember. Emma marries a man that she thought she loved, even though she is still hasn’t forgotten the son of the detective who investigated her brother murder. The man abuses her and when she gets away she runs into the detectives’ son who is now a detective h...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maggie Bermann
Okay was really unsure of this at first. Its the first time Ive read a stand alone book of Nora Roberts. I love her triologys so was unsure if i would be left unsatisfied at the know wanting more??

Well lets just say WOW!

the story spans 20 years and from the start of Emma's story when she was 3 i was hooked. It draws you in,and you can actually see what Nora is writing about.

I know this book has had mixed reviews, and some feel too much time was spent in the past, building it up to the...more
Parts of this book read just like any headline you would read about most rock-n-roll bands. An up and coming rock star discovers his former lover has hiding his love child (and abusing her). He rescues the child, Emma, and for a while he, his wife, and their new son are very happy together. But then a botched kidnapping ends in tragedy, the band members start to bicker and the drugs start to take their toll, and somehow Emma has to find a way out of it all into some kind of normalcy. Through it...more
Kristy Miller
This is one of Nora's best books. It is not your typical romance novel, in fact I wouldn't even call it a romance novel.
We meet Emma when she is 3 years old. Jane is Emma's alcoholic and abusive mother, and is trying to use Emma to get her ex-lover, up and coming musician Brian McAvoy to marry her and take her away from the slums of London in the late 1960's. When Brian sees Emma for the first time, he bribes Jane to let him take Emma. For three years Emma has an enchanted life as the treasured...more
I enjoyed this book a lot. Roberts does a great job of sucking you into the characters' lives, and I loved all of the relationships she wove together. The only thing that disappointed me was the ending; it almost felt like she got tired of the story or had a deadline to make, so she just wrapped it up as quickly as possible. With how thoroughly she covered the earlier events, I think she could've done a better job fleshing out the ending and leaving the reader more satisfied.

I would definitely...more
Finished this one last night... Typical Nora Roberts (which = good read)... This one is set in the world of rock 'n roll and all it entails. But I just knew Drew was too good to be true and it's a shame Emma didn't. I did lose patience with her a time or two... I mean 'get a grip' and dump the jerk! That part of the book went on too long in my opinion..
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
TeenReads: Public Secrets Review 1 4 Feb 29, 2012 09:37PM  
  • Hunter's Moon
  • Pearl Cove (Donovan, #3)
  • Judgment in Death (In Death, #11)
  • Where There's Smoke
  • Deep Waters
  • Ready For Love (Ready For Romance & Ready For Marriage)
Jill March
J.D. Robb
Sarah Hardesty

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)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“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.”
More quotes…