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The Soldier's Secret

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A picture of pure shock and curiosity, Emma placed her empty glass down, “Surely, you are not suggesting I dress as a man and enlist in the Union Army!”
“That is precisely what I am suggesting.”

In an era when women are adornments, Northerner Emma Mansfield finds it challenging to fit the mold. It becomes an impossible task when her country is torn apart by
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 27th 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Soldier's Secret by Heather Osborne is a very enjoyable historical fiction novel set during the Civil War. The story focuses on New York debutante Emma Mansfield who is unlike any other well to do female of her acquaintance (she is uninterested in dating and only finding a suitable match). After her older brother goes off to war - and then her younger brother runs away to join the Confederacy - she too joins the Union Army in disguise as a young artillery soldier named Emmett Hawkins in an a ...more
William Stuart
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found about this book on Facebook when a friend of mine wrote a review. Intrigued by his review, I decided to step way outside my normal genres to read a Civil War historical romance. Great decision!

Synopsis (from the author): A picture of pure shock and curiosity, Emma placed her empty glass down, “Surely, you are not suggesting I dress as a man and enlist in the Union Army!”
“That is precisely what I am suggesting.”

In an era when women are adornments, Northerner Emma Mansfield f
Mark Tilbury
This is only one of a few books I've read that have featured the American civil war. It was obvious that Heather had done a lot of research for the book as being in among the battles seemed very realistic. The relationships between the soldiers were also really well done.

Emma/Emmet/Em experiences all the horrors of war after concealing her identity and joining the Union army. Wanting news of her brothers, she quickly has to learn to act like a man and fight in war alongside the rest
Ju Ephraime
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book with some hesitation. I’d read plenty of books and seen plenty of movies about the Civil War, why read one more, but I’m glad I did. This book is not only about the Civil War but about its impact on one family’s life and the extraordinary length one young woman goes through to serve her country and be close to the man she loves. Emma refused to follow protocol and remain at home while the men in her life were being injured and put in harm’s way every day, so she joined the fra ...more
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm usually a paranormal romance fan and would not normally give this book a second glance but I won the book in a competition and I’m so glad I did.

There was action as the author tells the story of the historic battles won/lost and well researched accounts of the horrors of the war and the cruelty of soldiers toward the enemy

There was romance in the relationship between Emma and her fiancé Colin which is a slow sweet romance with emotion rather than explicit sex scenes

Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The author has written a wonderful story of love during the War of Northern Aggression. The H/h were both from the North, but the story played out of brother against brother in this sad time of American History.

Ms. Osborne gave very developed and complex characters in her story-which was a refreshing surprise.

(I was given a copy of the audio book by the author for a review.)
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting Civil War story with a sweet romance. My rating 4.25.

Emma is a blossoming, proper young woman living with her family in Rochester, New York. Her father operates a local general store and her two brothers are expected to help in the store as they grow older. Emma meets the local doctor, Colin, and they quickly become enchanted with each other. But war disturbs the plans of everyone.

Will, the elder brother has determined to enlist and fight for the Un
This was a very touching read so much more than a romance but a wonderful read filled of so much pain and sorrow for all of those who fault in a war where really both sides lost so much. The author shows how brother fault against brother, father against son. This is one author that has done her research giving you a wonderful powerful read full of mystery, pain, love and romance.

Heather Osborne as a narrator gave so much too this audio from her wonderful talented voice to her many wo
Zeecé Lugo
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Soldier’s Secret is historical fiction set during the American Civil War. The heroine, Emma Mansfield, is engaged to be married to a dashing young doctor, but life has other adventures in store for her. Her older brother signs up to fight for the Union Army, but her younger brother runs away and joins the Confederate Army. Later on, her fiancé also joins the Union as an army doctor. As the war progresses and letters from the field fail to arrive, Emma becomes desperate to hear from the men she ...more
Lorrie Farrelly
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The gripping story of a young woman whose life as the daughter of a close-knit and wealthy New York family is nearly as fraught with danger and suspense as her life as a passing-for-male Union soldier during the Civil War, THE SOLDIER'S SECRET is an engrossing page-turner.

Desperate to learn the fates of her brothers, one a Union soldier, the other Confederate, Emma Mansfield defies both convention and common sense when she takes the daring and reckless step of joining the Union Army
C.J. Rutherford
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've ever read!

I had the privilege to beta read this book. And it was a privilege, believe me.

Let me start by saying that this isn't a genre I normally read, but I'm a huge American Civil War buff, so I was intrigued when I was asked to read it.

I am so glad I accepted. The book tells the story of Emma Mansfield, a young woman from a well to do family living in Rochester, NY. It's the early days of the Civil War, and her older brother joins up on the
I enjoyed listening to this drama which follows the life of Emma during the Civil War and her dressing as a man to enlist in the Union Army. I felt the author took time to develop Emma's character before she went to war and this helped me care about her. For me, the domestic scenes were described very well and evocative of the era. However I did feel some parts of the story didn't work well and were rather coincidental. For example, it was never fully explained why one brother went to fight with ...more
Sahara Foley
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Soldier’s Secret has been awarded the Readers Favorite Five Star badge. And I certainly understand why. This story is beautifully written and steeped with rich historical events. Not the best from our history, and definitely the most costly in needless death tolls. Heather Osborne depicts the horrible fighting and living conditions during the Civil War in great detail and I can’t even begin to imagine what life as a soldier had to have been like. Why a woman, especially from a genteel backgr ...more
Demelza Carlton
I love historical fiction and I loved the detailed research evident in this book. The rich portrayal of main characters Emma Mansfield and Dr Colin McCafferty brought the story to life brilliantly, drawing me in deeper until the end. I expected a historical romance and found it was just as much historical fiction, with romance the last thing on the main characters' minds most of the time.

Some of the battle details in the book were a bit dry for my taste, though as I imagine the alternative woul
Jalpa Williby
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This historical fiction was truly a great read. It took place during the Civil War era, literally in the middle of the battle field. Worried about her brothers serving in the war, Emma disguised herself as a male and enlisted as a soldier. I really enjoyed Emma's character. She was a strong female and really nothing stopped her from finding her answers. Emma not only had to figure out a way to survive the war, but the villain of the story was searching for her. She found herself on the run as sh ...more
Dena Nicotra
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I started reading this book I was immediately reminded of "Gone With the Wind" - but that quickly changed....this is not a story of female fragility. In fact, it is anything but. Em makes decisions and finds herself in positions that will have the reader both fearful for her and cheering her on. Love, honor, determination, and sheer grit drive her to restore her family under the harshest circumstances of war in a bygone era. The characters are rich, the story is compelling and the pace will k ...more
Luke Taylor
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Adults
My stars? Five stars! As Cold Mountain is one of my favorite movies I was predisposed to enjoy this story, especially considering the brilliant twist of the plot; in which Emma Mansfield, out of moral compunction to see to her brother's safety and that of her fiancee, transforms herself into a man to join the Union Army, and in the process, finds herself in the gauntlet of the bloodiest war of American history. Heather Osborne writes the battle scenes with a plucky hand, and by squinting through ...more
Lucinda Moebius
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Little Romance with the Historical fiction

I enjoyed the sweet romantic element of this story. Set against the background of war, this story has all the elements of romance, history, conflict and surprise necessary for fantastic story-telling. The female protagonist isn't a delicate flower waiting for her hero to come home to save her. She is a strong character who has the chance to be a hero herself. The romantic aspect of the story doesn't overwhelm the plot and allows for a well-developed c
Alathia Morgan
Most stories about the Civil War are about the girl waiting at home for the boy to fight and come back to her, well not this story.
Emma enlists as a young man called Em who is familiar with artillery. On a mission to find her brothers who were fighting on opposites sides, Em is torn between her loyalty to the cause and saving her family. When an officer takes an interest in Em's rebel brother, she is forced to rescue him and flee to safety. Labeled as deserters they can't make it far on th
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

This is a historical fiction set during the Civil War. It explores many facets of the conflict and how it affected one family in particular , and friends and neighbors as well.

I would read/ listen to other works by this author .

The narration was excellent,
Cheryl Richards
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well written

The journey of Emma and Colin felt almost real and Emma's quiet courage was held through out the story. This author took me effortlessly from scene to scene, and her descriptions never overpowered, but expertly placed me standing next to her characters. Very well written.
InD'tale Magazine
This well-crafted audiobook is a hit on all fronts, and highly recommended to anyone with an interest in historical fiction.

Read full review in the 2017 October issue of InD'tale Magazine.
Cherime MacFarlane
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There were some twists in this one and a great deal of history. The plot was out of the ordinary. I've read a couple with the same general premise, but his one took things further and did a good job. Interesting, engrossing read. I enjoyed it.
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really liked this book. Adult book just picked off the shelf. historical fiction about a girl pretending to be a boy so she can fight in the war.
Ian King
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant! I have not heard a story like this in a long time and thoroughly enjoyed it!
The characters and their motivations to do what they do throughout this story, are anchored in this well researched, never put it down, historic journey through the Civil war in America; it had me from the beginning!
There are twists through the story that you won't see coming and multiple characters that you'll love, while there are others that you will hate. This story flows so smooth that y
Brenda Mohammed
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Soldier's Secret was a well-written historical fiction novel set during the American Civil War.
The love affair of Colin and Emma was the highlight of the story.
Emma was a brave young girl who was determined to find her brothers and would go to any lengths to do so.
She not only found her brothers but met her fiance, a doctor in the army, married him, and had a baby.
The plot was delightful and the author must be commended.
I enjoyed the book.
Tabitha H Judson
An ok civil war story. Good historical references.

The timeline is choppy and the mystery is obvious but the infusion of historical facts helps to carry the plot. Based mostly n maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and new york, the idea of a woman secretly enlisting was not particularly believable.
Kimberly Westrope
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
While I love the premise of this story, it felt a bit too generalized rather than an in depth look at what it was like to be a woman posing as a male soldier during the civil war. I didn't really feel emotionally attached to any of the characters, except when one young man was killed. I don't think we are given a close enough look at the characters to really get to know them and become attached.

I listened to the audio version and I found the narration a bit hard to follow at times. M
NanaShauna Joesten
rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2019
rated it liked it
Sep 22, 2016
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Heather Osborne was born and raised in California. She has a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Victimology, as well as coursework in Early Childhood Education. In 2009, she moved to Scotland. Heather has been writing short stories for as long as she can remember. She also has written and directed several plays. In her spare time, Heather enjoys reading, writing (of course!), theatre, as well ...more