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"I learned long ago that being Lewis Carrol was infinitely more exciting than being Alice."--Joyce Carol Oates

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Secret by Julia Garwood

The Secret by Julie Garwood was originally published in 1992 by Pocket Books.

The story begins with the formation of a friendship between two little girls who normally would have never been friends. Judith Hampton is Engish but her loving aunt and uncle live on the border between England and Scotland and take her to the border festival where she meets Frances Katherine Kirkaldy. A punishment rock and a vicious little bee forges the girl's friendship forever.

Now it is years later, Frances Katherine is about to have her first child and Judith has promised to be there. Frances Katherine defies her husband's clan and requests that Judith be brought to her, despite the fact that they hate the English. Convincing the council of her bond with Judith, Iain Maitland, the clans laird and Frances Katherine's brother-in-law agrees to go to England and retrieve Judith. Besides, Judith is not only a woman but English, she will never keep to her word and agree to follow the barbarians into the Highlands.

Judith Hampton is packed and ready to leave when Iain Maitland and his warriors arrive at her home. Shocking the warriors by leaving without any hesitation, Judith begins the long journey to the Highlands and into Iain's heart.

More below the cut...

As the book progresses Iain struggles with making Judith understand that he is laird and she should obey all of his commands. Judith has a hard time understanding all of the Highlanders rules. Once they reach the clan, Frances Katherine is overjoyed with Judith's presence. Fearing for her life with the birthing of her babe, Judith soothes Frances Katherine by telling her all of the knowledge she had acquired in the last few years about being a midwife. Her knowledge turns into the clans saving grace from the current evil midwife.

Now Judith is finally making her place with the clan. Wait, did I mention her father is the Maitland's sworn enemy?

Births, fights, a backwards Clan Council, one stubborn laird, and a kidnapping make The Secret a great read!

Judith is a great heroine. She's tough, strong, self-assured but knows when things are too much and allows herself to lean on Iain for his strength and support. Iain is such a good alpha. He is stubborn, strong-willed and forceful. However, he knows that his defenses are no match for Judith.

This is one of my favorite scenes with Judith and Iain. Judith has just finished birthing her first baby and Iain has waited for her outside the house:

"She took a deep, cleansing breath. It didn't help. The shivers increased. She told herself she was going to be all right; she wouldn't disgrace herself. She'd gone through a frightening ordeal, yes, but she had gotten through it, and she could certainly get back to her own bed before she completely lost her dignity and started in sobbing and gagging and God only knew what else.

It was a logical plan to Judith, but her mind was telling her one thing and her heart was insisting upon another. She needed privacy now, yet at the same time she desperately wanted Iain's comfort, his strength. She'd used all hers up tonight. Heaven help her, she needed him.

It was an appalling realization. She hesitated for the barest of seconds. And then Iain opened his arms to her. She lost the battle then and there. She started running. To him. She threw herself against his chest, wrapped her arms around his waist and burst into uncrontrollable sobs.

He didn't say a word to her; he didn't have to."

For series enthusiasts: The Secret has connecting characters with the book, Ransom, and The Secret should be read first.

...Fiona...

1 touched me

Blogger Dylan pondered...

Oh gosh I love this book, but I love Ransom SO MUCH MORE! Iain Maitland is one bad mamajamma!

Aren't you glad you read this book? I love this book!!

7/18/2006 10:16:00 PM  

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