Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Secret by Julie Garwood

Genre: Historical Romance
Published: May 1992
Pages: 379

 I'm a sucker for a good historical romance, especially one set in the Scottish highlands & The Secret fits the bill perfectly. 

 Two 4 year olds, Judith Hampton, an English girl and Frances Catherine, a Scots lass form an unlikely friendship that defies time, distance and the hatred between their countries. Years later Frances Catherine is about to have her first child and Judith has promised to be with her for the birth. 

Iain Maitland, Laird of the Maitland clan convinces the clan council to honour his brother's promise to his wife; Patrick has given his word to Frances Catherine that her dearest friend Judith will be brought to her. Iain travels to England to retrieve Lady Judith & so begins Judith's journey to the highlands and into Iain's heart. 

Sparks fly immediately; the chemistry & physical attraction between the two is instantaneous, but the constant verbal sparring to keep each other at bay, is most amusing. The characters are absolutely delightful. Iain is honourable, protective, kind hearted and arrogant, and as Laird he is used to being obeyed. Judith is loyal, tender hearted, stubborn & brave. She challenges Iain's authority and clan traditions with a logic that is like a breath of fresh air. As Judith becomes indispensable to the clan the reader gets to know and love some of the other clan members; Alex, Brodick, Graham, Gelfrid. 

I'm going to share with you one of the hilarious and outrageous moments that had me laughing out loud. How's this for a marriage proposal

 ... Iain took hold of both her hands and squeezed to get her attention. Then he took a deep breath. Even with his men watching, he wanted the words to be right, his declaration to be one she would always remember. It was a damned awkward undertaking, trying to think of loving words, and he had absolutely no experience in this area, but he was still determined not to muck it up. The moment needed to be perfect for her. "Judith" he began.
"Yes, Iain?"
"I'm keeping you." 

The Secret is a captivating blend of love, friendship & childbirth in the 1200's. It's Iain & Judith's love story, it's about the enduring friendship & loyalty between Judith & Frances Catherine, & it's a remarkable look at the horrors and joys of childbirth and some of the barbaric midwifery practices encouraged by the church & their archaic beliefs. 

I'm looking forward to reading Ransom, as Julie Garwood returns to the Highlands with warriors Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. 

Visit Ms Garwood's website to find out more.


  1. This one is my favourite of Julie Garwood's so far!

  2. I heart Julie Garwood. Glad you enjoyed this book!

  3. Loved your review! have me wanting to read this book.
    I have read two other Julie Garwood books and liked them but I am thinking that I may like this one more than the others.

    Oh...loved the excerpt. What a way to propose! Had me chuckling.

  4. Sounds good. Great review. Not sure if it is the type I would read though, I shall definitely read up on Julie Garwood.

  5. Oh, dear, my TBR pile just got bigger. I'm adding this one. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. I like the sound of this one, I am such a sucker of the Highlands.
    nice review

  7. You had me adding this book to my list after reading your first line! Love historical romances and (after reading the whole review) this sounds like a winner. Thanks for the recommendation.

  8. Great review - I recently read this book and loved it!

  9. Great review-- I haven't read this book yet, but I've read a few of her others and loved them! This one is on my list for sure! ;)


  10. I like that the friendship between the two girls is also part of the story. Many times stories focus on the romantic couple.
    good review teddy!

  11. This is one of my favorite Julie Garwood's too - I loved the hero in this one, something about him puts him up there at almost the top of my list (after Jamie Fraser, of course.)

    I loved it how Judith would always cry and bawl before a birthing! LOL!

  12. Oh, my gosh! It's been *years* since I read a Julie Garwood book! When I read lots of romance novels, she was one that I knew I could depend on for a good story.


  13. This and Ransom are some of my favorites from Garwood. I like almost all of her historicals but another favorite is Saving Grace.


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