The Secret (Medieval, #1) - Julie Garwood This is the first Garwood I have ever read and I'm sitting wondering why, WHYYYYYYYYYYY did I wait so freaking long? I started this yesterday afternoon and I didn't stop reading until 2am! You know that a book is good when you forget to eat your dinner; forget to feed the cat (but remember before you go to bed at least); and get annoyed whenever you have to get up from the couch or answer the phone. Yeah, it was that freaking good. I couldn't put it down. The historical facts and concerns of the time (Church edict on women and childbirth being a prime example, as well as midwifery issues) were woven into this epic love story of Iain and Judith.

I fell so hard for Iaian I don't even know if I can think straight after all the action and romance that was going on in this book. When Iain, all surly and brooding, comes to pick her up and take her back to his keep to be with her bff, Frances Catherine, I knew, I just knew it was going to be a book I'd be sighing through. And I was right. Their travels were fraught with bickering, sexual tension, and sweet moments that had even my knees going weak. And when they arrived at his lands? Did he toss her aside since she was English? No. And that had me liking him even more. Despite the clan's issues with her nationality, Iain stayed by her side, comforted her, and ultimatley, made her his. Even when he knew the truth that Judith was sure would make him stop loving her.

This book wasn't all epic romance though. We also get a lot of humor infused throughout the story. Judith and her snarkiness, especially towards Iain and some of his men, cracked me up. And when she and Frances Catherine were together, talking about the men in their lives?! Ha!! I loved those parts. Not only was it nice to see the friendship, but their giggling over the guys was adorable.

Lastly, what perhaps struck me most about this book was not only the growth of the heroine, but the growth, and admission of that growth, by the hero. By the end of the book Iain had changed considerable, for the better, because of his love for Judith. And it didn't just change him in terms of he and Judith. In seeing the relationship between the two women Iain learned something about trust and the human condition that opened his eyes to new things. I'm not saying he's a changed man by the end and won't be big bad ass Laird of the clan, but he did acknowledge that he learned something from a woman (shocker, right?!) to Judith. I think that took a lot of guts for him to do and it made him, for me, even more bad ass. And it's something I don't see a lot in highlander and historical romance. Sure the hero always falls in love and changes but I've never seen this blatant an admission of it and a welcome of change to his lands/clan. (I swooned at how he was so cool with judith wanting to change somethings and he even encouraged her! See! This man is definitely making his way to the tippy top of my book boyfriend list...)

Although I got this from the library I am so snapping this up so I have a copy of my own to read again and again. I think this is on course to be the best book I've read all year, and trust me, that's saying a lot. I can't wait to read the rest in this series!