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The Secret (Highlands' Lairds #1)
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The Secret (Highlands' Lairds #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  37,359 Ratings  ·  1,363 Reviews
Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud, as purposeful as she was loyal. The dear Scottish friend of her 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 for ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 379 pages
Published May 1st 1992 by Pocket Books (first published 1992)
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Amelie You can borrow them on 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 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)

Community Reviews

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Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession
The Secret, the 1st book in the Highlands' Lairds series, is now tied as my favorite Julie Garwood book with The Bride. I loved this one so much. It starts out so cute with two little girls, one Scottish, on English becoming friends. Judith and Frances Catherine were just so damn cute. Their friendship was like icing on the cake for me. I loved Iain. He was perfect. He just had so much more charm than other JG heroes I have read. I also really loved Judith. I loved that she was sassy, outspoken ...more
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
There was a lot to love about this book, but I think my favorite thing was the friendship between our heroine and her bestie. They grew up seeing each other once a year and had that kind of loyalty that only comes with being best girlfriends.

When our heroine's bestie, Frances Catherine, becomes pregnant, she calls upon our girl, Judith, to fulfill a promise she made to be there when the baby is born. This may seem like no big deal, but Judith is English and Frances Catherine is Scottish and in a
Chantal ❤️
This book was amazing!
I loved how possessive the hero was towards the heroine.
He would not let he ride with anyone else during their trip to the keep.
Omg he was just so sweet and he was loving.
Their chemistry was off the charts and the whole birthing rights and rituals was just great to read.
I had to look up everything.
Wow have we come a long way from these dark days.
The whole sin of eve thing was pissing me off.
It was those times I guess.
Still loved it.
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
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
Jan 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
*** 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
Stacey is Sassy
The Secret wasn't such a secret after all.

I loved The Secret and after listening to it for the first time and re-reading it for the 20 billionth time, I think I love it more.

Judith is a strong and feisty English woman whose best friend is a Scot. When she's asked to attend her friends birthing of her first child, she does not hesitate to pack her bags.

Ian is Laird and as a favour to his brother offers to collect the English woman. Ian thinks his brother is daft giving in to his woman and scoff
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
Shari Kay
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 ✭

This is a reread for me. I've had a few of them lately that have left me disappointed but not this one!

I loved it. I had a smile on my face for entire first part of the book. The banter between Iain and Judith is a hoot. The friendship between Judith and Frances Catherine was precious. Loved it!

So...why not a 5 star as I'd marked it in the past? I'm pickier now. Maybe even a bit jaded? IDK but for me it went just a bit OTT with how Judith changed the clan. Don't get me wrong, I love a histo
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: This wasn't quite as good as I had hoped it would be. I didn't dislike it, but I just didn't love it either. The prologue sucked me in right from the start! The girls' friendship was too cute and I was so excited to continue on the story. It has to be one of the best prologues I've read in a while! The friendship amongst the women (and a few of the elders) was definitely the highlight of the story for me. I felt like the romance was off to great start, but then quickly
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2017
Sigh!!! This was magnificent!!! I hadn't done a highlander book in a long while. The story was adorable. The writing was funny and the characters were endearing. Lovely!!!
~Nichole~  Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews
20 years ago all I read was historical romance. Unfortunately I can't remember any of them except Gone with the Wind.
So here I am a romance addict and I'm just now discovering Julie Garwood and all about the Alpha perfection of Scottish Highlanders. Iain just did it for me from the start. Brooding yet tender and kind. Funny and temperamental too. This story grabbed me at the prologue because one of my favorite things about any story is friendships between women. The secrets and bonds they share
Nov 17, 2008 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
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

*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
It's cheesy and probably not incredibly historically accurate, but still manages to be very enjoyable. I even find myself loving Garwood's Mary Sue heroines. I suppose she simply gets a pass for making it all so darn enjoyable. Recommended for days when you just want a light/sweet/feel good romance.
Kübra Yağmur
Böyle bir erkeği İskoç erkeği yazmak büyük suç ilan edilmeli ve Julie en ağır cezaya çarptırılmalı. Çünkü, Allah aşına, IAIN’de İNSAN MIYDI?
Onu geçtim OLAN VAR, OLMAYAN VAR ULAN, az insaflı ol yazarken!

descriptionÇiçeklerle Judith,” dedi. “Tapınak çiçeklerle dolacak. Söz veriyorum.”

Sanırım bu, bugüne kadar okuduğum en muhteşem İskoç romanıydı! Başından sonuna kadar her kelimesine bayıldım. Karakterleri, olayları ve aklınıza gelecek her şeyinden bahsediyorum. Dibimin düşme
Büşra Öztürk

Sevgi sözcüklerine dair düşünmeyi gerektiren, oldukça beceriksizce bir girişimdi bu ve Iain'in bu alanda kesinlikle hiç deneyimi yoktu. Yine de Iain bir çuval inciri berbat etmemeye kararlıydı. Bu anın Judith için kusursuz olması gerekiyordu. Iain sözüne, "Judith..." diyerek başladı. 
"Evet, Iain?"
"Ben seni alıkoyuyorum."
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tbr-2017
I had plans to read this for Romance Book Bingo 2017, but I already read a book for Man in the Kilt, so this book is just something that I read for my own enjoyment.

As a long time Julie Garwood fan, I have to say the saddest day for me was when she stopped writing her historical books. I have tried to get into her contemporary works, and each and every time ended up DNFing the book. I still have most of her historical books on my shelves at home, so it was great to read this and "Saving Grace" t
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Doğru kelime buysa vizyon sahibi bir hikayeydi ama içimdeki ne İskoç ne de historical ateşini yakabildi...

Julie teyzeden çok daha iyilerini okuduk 😍
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!

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
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017
*2.5 STARS*
I loved how the main character stood up for women's rights and everything, but there was literally no plot and it was hella boring :(
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
3,5 ⭐

Sevgili buddym Kübra sayesinde başladım bu kitaba Yoksa öyle İskoç filan krizlerine girmem yani Yoksa aramam ama bulmuşsam alırım bi dal. 😀

Kitaptaki erkek karaktere öyle tav olmadım sanırım etek giyen erkek fikrini kafamdan atamadım 😂kadın karakter ve diğer yan karakterler tam evlere şenlikti. Öyle muhteşem bir kurgusu yoktu ama aktı gitti asla sıkmadı kimse göze batmadı tam bu sıcak havalarda kafa dağıtmadık muhteşem bir kitap mutlaka öneririm.

PS: Ayrıca o hamile muhabbetleri neydi ayol r
Lakshmi C
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really LOVED The Secret and this will feature in my best 2017 reads. The book was poignant, romantic and it made me laugh often.

The story opens with a beautiful, innocent friendship.
“Papa, am I damn Scots?”
“You most certainly are not.”
“Am I?” Judith asked, her worry obvious in her voice.
“You’re English, Judith,” her friend’s papa patiently explained.
“Am I damn English?”
Her friend’s papa was clearly exasperated. “Nobody’s damn anything,”

I loved the rapport among the women in this one. The
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Another bit of Julie Garwood goodness! Loved Judith. She was sweet yet strong and loyal. Probably one of my favorite heroines ever. My only wish was more time with them together and an epilogue.
Heather❀Book and a Blanket❀
Just fantastic! I don't know what it is about these highland romances that get me every single time. This is historical romance at its best. Shame on me for just now discovering Julie Garwood in 2017.
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Born in Sin (Brotherhood of the Sword #3/MacAllister, #2)
  • The Hawk (Highland Guard, #2)
  • Something Wonderful (Sequels, #2)
  • Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1)
  • Laird of the Mist (MacGregors, #1)
  • Surrender (MacKinnon’s Rangers,  #1)
  • The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (MacKenzies & McBrides, #3)
  • Then Came You (The Gamblers, #1)
  • Prisoner of My Desire
  • The Warlord (Montagues, #1)
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 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.”
“Don't you dare weep," he commanded.
"You've broken my heart."
"I'll fix it later.”
More quotes…