Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Secret by Julie Garwood


I know what you're thinking. This book has been out forever. You should see my TBR pile. The Secret by Julie Garwood was recommended by a friend and is the first book in a series of three that share some related characters. I should also mention that I'm a sucker for a book series. Anyway... Judith Hampton is best friends with Frances Catherine Kirkaldy. Not a very shocking revelation unless you consider the fact that Judith is English and Frances Catherine is Scottish and they live in Great Britain during the 1200's. Any fan of historical romances will tell you that their friendship is a big no-no. By the time they figure out that they're supposed to be enemies, it's too late. The women in Frances Catherine's family have a history of dying in childbirth so Judith promises that she will be at her friend's side when the time comes for Frances Catherine to deliver her first child. When Frances Catherine marries and gets pregnant, she sends her brother-in-law, Iain Maitland, to escort Judith to Scotland. He's attracted to her, she's attracted to him... what could possibly go wrong? There are just a few pesky problems like the fact that their countries despise each other, Judith's views on women's rights are more liberal than the Scots', and then there's that secret mentioned in the title. Hey, it wouldn't be a romance novel if the happy ending occurred in the first 100 pages.

I will buy a book on the strength of Ms. Garwood's name alone. I know it's going to be a good story no matter what the topic is. She also knows how to right hilarious scenes which is much more difficult than inserting the occasional one-liner.

BEST FEATURE: The men. OMG, the men. They are so dreamy, I should have classified this as fantasy romance. Sigh.

WORST FEATURE: Overuse of the word 'appalling'. If you created a drinking game around this book for every time the word was used, you'd be plastered halfway through. Someone get that woman a thesaurus.

PARENTAL WARNING: mild violence and sexual content that isn't overly explicit

MY RATING: 3 - Loved the story, but loved the characters even more.

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