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Don't Say a Word

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  6,305 ratings  ·  519 reviews
While preparing for her wedding, Julia DeMarco comes across a famous photograph of a little girl in front of a Russian orphanage-and sees her own eyes staring back at her. But Julia is not an orphan, nor was she adopted. She knows where she comes from-or does she? Suddenly, the people she has loved and trusted are tainted by suspicion. The one person who is willing to help ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 396 pages
Published October 4th 2005 by Signet (first published 1998)
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Sleepless No read it immediately! A brilliant mystery! I was fascinated!
It is a standalone but I wanted to hear more about these complex and lovely people! I…more
No read it immediately! A brilliant mystery! I was fascinated!
It is a standalone but I wanted to hear more about these complex and lovely people! I was hooked by the explosive first pages and the intrique and intensity never waned!(less)
Sleepless I have a degree in English Lit, which really means nothing but I loved the book! I'm aware some other people didn't! I thought it was brilliant, and I…moreI have a degree in English Lit, which really means nothing but I loved the book! I'm aware some other people didn't! I thought it was brilliant, and I would advise you to read it!(less)

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3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,305 ratings  ·  519 reviews

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Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Strolling through a Russian Art Museum, Julia is enchanted by a photograph of a small orphan girl who is holding onto to an iron fence and she has a necklace exactly like hers when she was a child. With a closer look she sees that this photograph has a resemblance to pictures of her when she was very young. She dismisses the thoughts that she might have been adopted. The picture stays on her mind and she knows she has to track down the photographer and then she meets Alex. The picture was taken ...more
Jun 25, 2012 rated it did not like it
Do you ever have a book that you cannot understand why you keep reading? This was that book for me.

I initially picked up this book because I needed something that didn't require much thought after a long weekend, during which I had been a bridesmaid in a wedding. The plot sounded great, a little romance, a little mystery, some suspense. Within the first few pages I was SHOCKED at the writing. The sentences were too simple and there were no segways between sections.

The characters were barely be
Kathy Schultz
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Barbara Freethy sure knows how to write a mystery/thriller. I was engaged from the very first page and hardly set the book down until I had finished it. It was a good story, but the reason for only 4 stars is the somewhat graphic, gratuitous sex

Julia Demarco is planning her wedding when she comes upon a photograph taken 25 years previously of a three-year-old toddler in a Russian orphanage. The young girl in the photograph looks remarkably like Julia, especially since the child is wearing a swan
Ewa (✿◠‿◠)
I read earlier Angel Bay series, so I knew how to write Barbara, so I bought this book without thinking. So I thought, because I expected a romance, not a romantic thriller. It was a very nice surprise. Such that I could not break away from the book. Every now and then something happened, there were new questions, riddles.
I really need to be more familiar with the standalone books of Barbara Freethy, because they are worth it.
Bette Crosby
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well-plotted and fast paced with twists & turns for a number of surprises.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a Book Blogger at For the Southwest By the Southwest Book Corner. This is the first book that I have read of Barbara Freethy's, and I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely. I read this Free thru my public library.

This takes place mostly in San Francisco, CA with some travel to Russia and within the US. For the most part it is a clean book to read. There are a couple romantic scenes that would only be appropriate for PG 17, rest of the book was great.

You have a wonderful Romance with a gre
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first three quarters of the book. Cracking pace, great suspense, and a bit of romance that fitted nicely into the story without taking over from the suspense.

Then came the ending - the final denouement - and everything fell flat. Things didn't fully make sense, and a lot was left unexplained. I was very disappointed that the solution was not up the standard I had expected after the excellent build-up.

I would have liked to see the characters mature a bit more in the course of
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I really like this book. It was a fun and exciting read. Julia is engaged and her fiance wants to get going with the wedding plans. Julia's sisters suggests a museum for the wedding. While Julia and Michael are at the museum to meet with someone, she sees a picture of a young girl that closely resembles her. She looks up the photographer and discovers that he died years ago, but his son lives in the area. When Julia and Alex meet, the story takes off. Julia not only discovers she may not be who ...more
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For overall plot I'd give this a 4 but the romance didn't do it for me. I'd give it more of a 2.5. I didn't feel the chemistry between the hero and heroine and I really didn't like the heroine and her selfishness. But the story itself kept me interested to the end.
Kim Weiss
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
I ordered this book by accident on my kindle and decided to give it a chance. I wasn't sorry I did. There was much to like in this book. I would give it about a 3.5 stars, but decided to round up.

I liked the beginning part very much. While the characters were a little two-dimensional, it was still an improvement over the one-dimensional characters you see in most romance novels. At least these characters had some tastes and traits. I also liked the fact that the "dumped" character--a nice guy--h
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's a story about a girl finding things about her past and her family history. It's about 700 pages but the story is worth every word. So glad I found this story, so different than I was reading all summer long. I'm not much into mysteries but this had a twist that was definitely worth it. Enjoy.
Oct 20, 2008 rated it liked it
This was an OK book. From the get go, it seemed like Liz was better suited to Michael than Julia. It was so obvious, it almost seemed from time to time throughout the book that the author would make that a secondary plot line, but it never quite reached there. There were a lot of twists and turns, but really, it was kind of a chore to finish this one.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book!! My preferred reading is romantic suspense and I like a book a little heavier on the suspense side...which this was...but it still had some sweet romance. The chemistry between Alex and Julia was perfect. I loved how they supported each other. Alex was there for Julia every step of the way without suffocating her...he GOT her. Barbara Freethy tells a great story with plenty of family drama, danger, spys and then throws in some more twists that I didn't see coming.
I recommend
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Oy, where do I start? First, the grade here is for the content of the book. If I were grading the entire reading experience, I'm sure we'd probably get into negative stars. So, first the content. Skip the later stuff if you don't care about the rest of my bitching.

Okay, this story was just awful. Every trite cliche was contained in this one little story. What bothered me the most? The sister not wanting Julia to find out about her past made NO SENSE to me. The boyfriend made slightly more sense,
Teena in Toronto
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Julia is a DJ, in her mid-20s and engaged to Michael, who is pushing her to set a wedding date. Her mother has recently passed away. Her father immediately sold the family house and moved into an apartment and is drinking too much. Liz, her younger sister, moved in with her when their father sold the house.

Then she sees a picture of herself as a child in a Russian orphanage. How is that possible since she was born and raised in San Francisco?

She contacts Alex, the son of the late photographer wh
Aug 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very much a Freethy novel...So far, I see this kind of plot and story as her signature style. It's a love story basically, with twists and complications involving some kind of crime or other. It's formulaic, and so it is effective in capturing a reader's attention. I for one, can predict a happy ending, but getting there by reading through all the pages is always the fun part.

The plot deals with a woman engaged to be married who suddenly found herself questioning her roots...One thing led to ano
So many moving parts. Love, mystery, finding yourself, revealing your past, lies, and finding all your truths..all in one book. You actually get to know the characters and feel what they feel. I definitely can identify with the main character Julia (Yulia) and maybe that's why I really loved this book. I really liked her character and understood those that were against her trying to find herself even though I felt some gave her too much of a hard time about finding her truth.

"Sometimes stranger
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was my second book by this author, and while the story was great, better and deeper than "All She Ever Wanted", requiring more thought due to the mystery and historical aspect of the book, I didn't find it as difficult to put down. Some of the characters weren't developed as well as they could have been, and I found myself skimming just to get to the important aspects of the story. I think a lot of that had to do with the discrepencies in the beginning, a few typos (which can happen when a ...more
Michele Adams
Nov 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This is the first book in a long time that I stayed up all night reading. There should be more stars than 5.

This book had it all mystery, romance, suspense - some predictable and some not. I couldn't put it down. The cover does nothing for the book and although better than the original the author should think about redoing it. Maybe putting the girl at the gates ;-)\

Throughout the whole book I was guessing what the outcome could be. I had several scenarios going through my mind and didn't know w
Oct 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fluffy-books
1.5 stars. I'm not entirely sure how this book ended up on my Kindle. As soon as I started reading it I realized it was not just complete fluff but bad fluff, and maybe I was in the mood for bad fluff because I read the whole thing. I can't say I hated it, because I finished it, but it also is not a good book. There was a good concept there I think, it had the bones to potentially be a good story so I'll give a half star for that. But like a Lifetime movie the dialogue and the cheese just ruin i ...more
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good story about a woman who notices a photo in an art exhibit that looks like her as a child. The photo was taken at a Russian orphanage during the cold war. Other people thing the photo looks like her too, and some people are threatened by this. She's not adopted, she's never been to Russia but yet she has the same necklace as the girl in the photo and she has a partial set of Russian nesting dolls. So who is she? Does anyone know? Her mother has recently died and anything she ...more
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
Barbara Freethy and her San Francisco-domiciled mysteries are starting to become a fun escape for me!! Of the 3 I have read, this is by far the best.

A terrific heroine, a handsome hero, lots of twists and turns, spys, double cross, true love, the bad guys get their comeuppance, the good guys prevail and lots of happily ever after. What's not to love??

If you are looking for a serious read, full of symbolism and classical archetypes for the bookclub, look elsewhere; however, if you want a read tha
This was my first book that I read by Barbara Freethy, but if they all are as good as this one, I will be reading her for a long time. I loved this book. I picked it up over a year and a half ago when it was only 99 cents and I don't know what took me so long. Julia DeMarco sees a famous photo of a 3 year old that looks just like her at that age, but the picture was taken in Russia, where she has never been. That starts the book which is full of surprising twists and turns. I loved this story as ...more
Kristen James
Oct 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I gave this 5 stars because the plot ticked by with new information and events from page 1 to the end. I love that and don't see it in many books. I'll read romances where both people spend a quite a bit of time over thinking something, making it a bigger problem than it is. I get frustrated and skim, thinking it'd be so easy to fix with a simple conversation. That's not a strong plot to me. Freethyy did an excellent job of creating an unique and twisted plot with many layers that kept kept chan ...more
Donna Weber
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it
3 Stars This was my first book of Barbara Freethy and Don't Say A Word won’t be my last. It has a fast paced intriguing premise filled with many twists and turns that kept me wanting more. It may not be a book club discussion kind of book and has parts that are bit cliched and predictable but it was a fun fast read. I agree that there were story lines that could have been tied up at the end a little more. But after starting and putting down three books in a row (something I never do) it was an ...more
Marilyn Lagier
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Not bad at all. :-) I was intrigued because of the Russian/don't know family aspect of story. Unfortunately, that's where the similarities stop. I'm not young and beautiful, don't have the twin, don't have the totally sexy boyfriend...and I don't speak Russian. Oh well--it was an interesting read--romantic mystery--and sometimes we just need to zone out on books where we don't have to think--just enjoy.
Stacy Moses
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
OMG... Imagine being in a museum & seeing a photo of a small child, in a foreign country, and realizing that child looks like you at that age. That is the start of the life changing journey that Julia embarks on. I couldn't put the book down!! I loved it!
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marty Lawless
Recommended to Susan by: Judy Hodges
This book is a great "vacation read". Romance, mystery, interesting plot twists... I was glad I could just spend lots of time reading this book.

A few parts were predictable, and I had figured out some of the mystery elements, but other parts took me completely by surprise.
Jun 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
I learned that it's fun to read a non-literary book every so often!
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Barbara's love of writing developed out of a love of reading. Growing up in an all-boy neighborhood, she spent quite a bit of time reading through her mother's large library, many of which were romantic novels. After graduating from the University of California at Santa Barbara, she went into Public Relations, but soon discovered that writing was her true passion.

Barbara was traditionally publishe
“Today was a day for remembering only the good. And there had been a lot of good.” 7 likes
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