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't stop reading long enough to do so. This story will always be a favorite read, but as a listen? It's amazing!
New York Times best-selling author Julie Garwood captures the Highland splendor of medieval Scotland in this breathtaking love story. The inspiration for her acclaimed bestseller Ransom, this classic tale is a passionate masterpiece from one of the best-loved storytellers of all time.My review...
Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud and loyal. Her dear Scottish friend from childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another 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, however, for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land...Iain Maitland, laird of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.
In a spirited clash of wills and customs, Judith reveled in the melting bliss of Iain's searching kisses, his passionate caresses. Perplexed by her sprightly defiance, bemused by her tender nature, Iain felt his soul growing into the light and warmth of her love. Surely nothing would wrench her from the affection and trust of Iain and his clan...not even the truth about her father, a devastating secret that could shatter the boldest alliance, and the most glorious of loves!
Julie Garwood was my first venture into Historical Romance, and the genre became an instant favorite. I grabbed every single Garwood HR I could get my hands on, and wept when I learned she wasn't writing HR anymore.
Okay, maybe "wept" is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much!
When people ask what my favorite HR novel is, I always think of Garwood's books. The Prize, The Bride, The Wedding... it's hard to pick an all time favorite. But I can honestly say, The Secret is right up there on the list.
And I've fallen in love with it, all over again.
This past weekend I listened (and read along - Kindle) to Susan Duerden not just read the book, but perform it. Her incredible ability to let each character's unique personality shine through made this an absolute delight to experience.
The prologue is one of the best I had ever read, and now listening to Ms. Duerden bring the wee little girls, Judith and Frances Catherine to life... then bring them together again as grown women whose friendship passed the test of time and will inspire Lairds and clansmen... truly, I can't put into words how much I enjoyed this story. No, how much I LOVE this story! Every page, every sentence, every word...
The bottom line...
As I said, my reading time is precious to me and there isn't enough of it, but when I needed something familiar and comforting, I chose this book. That in itself should bear testament to how much I adore The Secret.
I sighed, I smiled, I laughed... the witty dialog and laugh out loud banter, the sexual chemistry... it captured my heart and made me fall in love with the obstinate Laird Iain Maitland and the adorable, equally obstinate Lady Judith, all over again.