Title: The Secret
Series: Highlands’ Lairds #1
Author: Julie Garwood
Genre: Historical (Medieval) Romance, Scotland
Release Date: May 1, 1992
Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud, as purposeful as she was loyal. The dear Scottish friend of her childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another, private 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 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 revelled 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.
This is another book that I went into completely blind. I didn’t even know the name of the series that it was a part of, so I wasn’t aware that I was getting a Scottish hero. And well, I have a thing for Scottish heroes in my books, so there’s no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed this.
The book starts out with a young English girl meeting a young Scottish girl, Judith and Frances Catherine, at a festival on the border of the two countries. They become fast friends that keep picking up where they left off over the years. By the time they learn that they’re supposed to hate each other, it’s too late. They’ve formed a bond that won’t be broken.
Frances Catherine is now pregnant and insists that Judith is sent for. So, her husband’s brother, Iain, the clan’s Laird, is the one to go get her. And let’s say that sparks fly right from the start with them.
I absolutely loved Iain and Judith together. He’s such a protective, alpha man, but he’s also sweet, and smart enough to listen to Judith whenever there’s a problem. His clan is scared of change, but Iain encourages Judith to speak up about the things she sees that need to change.
The secret comes into play with who Judith’s father really is and the problems that could bring. The real struggle, though, comes with Judith accepting a new home in a strange land and a new found family. I LOVE how Iain fights for her, though.
Speaking of found family, Iain’s men. Too funny! This has one of the funniest marriage scenes I’ve ever read. But, Judith is also connecting with the women of the clan and not only finding people for herself to connect with, but Judith also builds connections between others in the clan.
This book was such a joy to read, and I can’t wait to read more from Garwood!
*I’m horrible about recognizing triggers, so always make sure to check them out if you have any.
I love a good Scottish hero. Do you have a fascination with heroes/heroines from certain places?
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