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The Secret- Julie Garwood.

So I recently joined and online book club (Seasonally Booked Up) that reads all romance books. And they have a different theme for each season. The summer theme is #hothighlandersummer (or as my husband coined for me #kiltypleasures) 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Our first book we read was an older (90s) highlander romance by Julie Garwood, The Secret. I give it a solid 3 stars ⭐⭐⭐ (I'm a harsh rater than a lot of people. For me, one star is awful, two is not great, three is ok, for is good, five is great... So a three from me means it was just ok.)

Like a lot of older romances, The Secret had it's issues with hyper-masculinity and what not. And of course, a lot of it makes sense because she's literally in a warrior clan. One of the themes of the book was the women speaking up for themselves more so it sort of made up for some if it.

I was not overly fond of the head hopping sort of omniscient style, but I got used to it. It did seem a missed opportunity that the "villain" just sort of left without a word and when we saw in everyone's head up to that point, even minor characters, we got nothing from her. 🤷‍♀️

Some things I really did like were the themes of strong female friendship, an adorable prologue, nice bits of humor (the wedding scene, and all the scenes with the "elders" debating felt like they could have been bits out of Monty Python).

For an older romance scene there was a good deal of consent, there was only one sexy scene that was a bit cringey. Though there was a lot of grabbing and kissing even after one character said no, and possessive "mine" language (though, again, patriarchal warrior clan...)

It's funny, even though I didn't love this book, the set up for the sequel has me really intrigued to read more, lol.

Have you read this book? What are some other older romances you've enjoyed that still hold up today?

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