Friday, May 8, 2015

You Say Savage, I Say Husband Material

"'Let me know, Iain.'
'Let you know what?'
'If you're going to keep her or not.'
'And if I'm not?'
'Then I am.'"
--Julie Garwood, The Secret

Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 384
Publication Date: May 1992
Source: Borrowed from library
Previous Books in Series: First in duo of companion novels
Goodreads Description

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, 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, 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!
This is my first historical romance book...ever. I know...I KNOW! The shock is there. Nobody is more surprised than me that I somehow missed this genre of reading. I skipped this stop on the reading train and went from contemporary straight to erotica. Smh. ANYWAYS! After reading Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer, the setting is a romance novel convention, I wanted to read ALL the romance novels. So I asked my amazing friend Alexa for a few recs...she returned with a massive list that I am more than excited to get through.

First on her list was her very first romance novel, The Secret by Julie Garwood. Y'all!! I am SO hapy I started with this but so totally fucked when every book after this doesn't live up to this one. It is SO incredibly swoony. We have an English lady who is BFFs with a Scottish woman, they met when they were too young to know they were supposed to hate each other. Frances Catherine is about to have birth and was promised by Judith, the Englishwoman, she would be there when she gave birth. Thus, Iain and three other Scotsmen travel to England to escort Judith back. This is an adventure in itself because we meet Iain *sigh* and he has a pretty immediate attraction to Judith and vice versa.

Their relationship from here on out is STEEPED with sexual tension! Holy shit. I thought I might actually faint at one point. The banter is witty and feiry and passionate. These two do not want to like each other but they do. I have a weakness for protective and possessive men and Iaian is both those things. I love when in the beginning of a relationship he just takes it upon himself to situation himself all up in her business. Doesn't let her ride with anyone else, opens his big mouth when somebody else tries to take notice of her. I love that. Love love LOVE that. It's so fricking adorable when the male is so distarught about his feelings and doesn't know how to process.

The dynamic between Iain and Judith is built on trust, listening, and understanding (for the most part). I mean, it doens't come right away but the trust is there. She knows she is safe with him and he knows he will do anything to protect her. I loved watching them talk out their emotions or struggles and I ADORED how he was to in tuned with her emotions. When he knew she was upset, he knew exactly how to calm her down or just wait until she processed evertyhing. Judith is a strong female character but also emotional in the best way possible.

Besides the romance, the BEST part of the book for me was her friendship with Fraces Catherine. Oh, my gosh. These two were just too much and the men knew it. Their banter and how they spoke to one another reminded me of me and my best friend (Hi Betty!). They joke with each other and tell the other the honest truth about what's going on. They let them know when they're being ridiculous and listen to the other. Their friendship was absolutely beautiful and it was one of my favorite, honestly THE favorite, part of the book for me.

The conflict of the book was pertinent but not too heavy. I really enjoyed this. I liked watching the relationship build rather than so much focus on outside influences and the secret Judith was keeping. How this played out and the truth behind her secret and fears as pretty awesome. I really enjoyed how it all turned out in the end and even I was shocked by some revelations.

This was my first soiree into the historical romance genre and it will not be my last, I'm already foaming at the mouth to get my hands on Ransom, the companion novel. and I am starting it immediately!

Backstage Pass
If you love the Scottish Highlands, fiery heroines, protective heros, and a swoony romance...this one's for you.


  1. Dude I seriously need this book. I have such a weakness for Scottish men!

  2. I AM SO FUCKING HAPPY. Yes, I said fucking. But if any book deserves a bit of my potty mouth when I proclaim joy over it, it's The Secret! It's so special to me that your first historical romance read was my first historical romance read. It's like another way that we have strengthened the bonds of our friendship! Ahem, I'm so, so, so happy to see such a lovely review for one of my favorites. And I'm dying to see the one for Ransom!

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