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Secret Vows [Kindle Edition]

Mary Reed McCall
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $7.00 (58%)

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Book Description

“Mary Reed McCall never fails to deliver a romance that grabs your every emotion.” ~ NYT Bestselling author Julia Quinn

“Readers count on McCall for accurate, steamy, exciting medieval romances.” Romantic Times Book Reviews

A Desperate Choice…

After suffering under the iron fists of powerful men her whole life, Catherine of Somerset considers herself fortunate when fate makes her a widow and frees her two children from a cruel father’s tyranny. But her relief is short-lived. Her even more brutal brother-in-law Eduard, a High Champion of the king, arrives to claim his estate, and Catherine is swept into a nightmare. Eduard offers Catherine a terrible choice: Either she will assume a false identity and marry the fierce warrior knight who is his chief rival, paving the way for the man’s murder...or her children will die. That the handsome stranger she is bound to destroy proves honorable and good – deadly on the field, yet gentle and compassionate with her – wrenches her heart. Yet she cannot falter, or her innocent babes will pay the price.

A Forbidden Passion…

Baron Grayson de Camville bears a secret of his own – a haunted past that helped shape him into a relentless force of justice as King Henry III’s most skillful High Champion. When he agrees to take a bride, Gray merely fulfills his king’s command, but neither he nor Catherine is prepared for the passionate completion they find in each other’s arms. Desire grows with each moment together, with each sweet touch and soul-shattering kiss, until there is no escape from the ecstasy of their union...or from the lies that threaten to tear them apart. It is a tender trap, and one that can only be broken by surrendering to love and the most dangerous action of all – relinquishing once and for all every one of their...


Secret Vows was a Finalist for the Reviewers International Organization Dorothy Parker Award, the Francis Award for Best Medieval Romance, and the 2002 RITA Award for Best First Book.

Editorial Reviews


"A dazzling debut. This lush and lyrical story captivated me from the very first page!" -- Teresa Medeiros

"A magical, medieval tale that captures your heart. This book has it all. I couldn't put it down." -- Samantha James

From the Publisher

"A dazzling debut...This lush and lyrical story captured me from the very first page!" --Teresa Medeiros, author of A Kiss To Remember

"Vividly drawn characters, pageantry and intrigue - and tender, heartfelt emotion...a magical medieval tale that captures your heart and won't let go. This book has it all. I couldn't put it down until the very last page was turned." --New York Times bestselling author Samantha James

Product Details

  • File Size: 463 KB
  • Print Length: 372 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0380817853
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Who Dares Wins Publishing (September 4, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0062W7YDQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,886 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read January 4, 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This story is about Catherine and Grayston and is set in the 13th century. Grayson, a powerful lord, is ordered by the King to marry Elise to try and stop a conflict between her brother Eduard and Grayson. Grayson has no choice but to agree. However the bride that comes to him is not Elise but is Elise's widowed sister-in-law Catherine.
Eduard, a very nasty person and makes my top ten bad guy list, decides that since the King has ordered the marriage of his sister Elise to Grayson he would have her set him up to be murdered several months after their vows. That way no one would suspect Eduards or Elises involvement and Graysons property would then become his.
Elise, having been severely abused by Eduard and not wanting to be an accessory to Graysons murder, commits suicide, leaving Eduard in a quandry. That's when Catherine comes into the picture. Since Grayson, or anyone for that matter, has never really seen Catherine before, he beats Catherine for days to submit to his murderous plot. She refuses until he kidnaps and threatens to kill her children. She is then forced to comply and assumes the role of Elise. The story continues with relationship developement and some good action scenes. Both characters have their own problems to work out, which is done pretty smoothly.
This story also has an interesting twist which really hooked me. The prologue starts in first person, as if Catherine was writing the reader a letter. You could really feel Catherine's pain and hopelessness in the writings. The first chapter then goes into 3rd person.
This book will definately be a keeper of mine for a long time.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stunning Debut!!!!!!!!! October 22, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It is absolutely unbelievable Mary Reed McCall is a first time author. Set in medieval England, its the story of Catherine of Somerset who has recently become a widow. Her brother-in-law, Eduard Montford, after his first choice, his sister dies, blackmails Catherine into marrying Grayson de Camville, a much-esteemed knight with great holdings. Eduard is as cruel as
her husband had been and Catherine is subject to beatings and blackmail -- he tells her he will have her twin son and daughter killed if she does not do as he has told her -- which is to gain her new husband's trust and set him up to be killed.
Gray is fighting demons of his own. Neither Catherine nor Gray plan on falling in love, just doing as they feel they must. Catherine, masquerading as her deceased sister-in-law, has to pretend to Gray that she's a virgin. There's a great jousting scene and the author gives a wonderful sense of time and place. Catherine and Gray are both wonderful characters (Gray is a beta male -- or maybe gamma - but I love 'em) and Eduard is a villain to top all villains - you know, one of those whose very presence on the page is an indicator of a riveting scene to come.
The prologue (and the epilogue) of SECRET VOWS is written in first person and this is very effective tool in garnering reader sympathy for the heroine. SECRET VOWS is not only of the best first books I've read in a very long time, but one of the best medieval romances I've ever read. The book is historically accurate and the history acts as more than just wallpaper, but NEVER overtakes the story. Mary Reed McCall has a great future ahead of her if SECRET VOWS is any indication of her talent. This book is highly recommended and definitely makes my list for top 10 books read in 2001.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No problem giving this keeper a 5*....... June 3, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
When the book started with a first person narrative, it stopped me cold. I reluctantly trudge through it but was already thinking about tossing it. Well, I am glad that I did. It may start out a bit slow but by chapter 3, you can NOT put this down. The characters are so real, issues, warts and all. Our heroine starts out as emotionally and physically beaten and terrified.She's been forced into an evil plot to save her children by a sadistic, psychotic man. Our groom has demons that torment him and is also forced to wed against his will. This sounds same old-same old.......and to that point it probably is. BUT the rest of the story takes it in different directions. You will never regret reading this story. Accolades to Ms. McCall.The epilogue is also first person by our heroine but by then she is a strong, confident woman and it is perfectly done. The notes by the author explain several cultural aspects of the time and are informative and helpful. far we've come as woman and as a society. Hoping for a sequel about sir alban.....enjoy.........
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars can't wait for her next one October 1, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Before this was released I was told of it from a friend of the author. I went to the website to read the available first chapter. Since it was her first book I didn't set my hopes too high, my standards being near impossible to attain. I'm a big fan of Virginia Henley, Mallory Burgess, Jo Beverley and Julie Garwood. I like detail.
Imagine my surprise! This book has all of the "necessary" ingredients for me. I could not put it down. Literally. I actually tried to get my hands on a copy from my "friend" before it hit the stores because the sample on the web page had me so intrigued. And to think I almost didn't go past the prologue because of the format. What a mistake that would have been.
... This is not your average girl meets knight,pretends she hates him while she gives her virginal body to him anyway story. Refreshing. And you can bet I'm trying to get my hands on a copy of the next one already, too. Five Stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This was an awesome read! I Love the dialogue and story line
This was an awesome read! I Love the dialogue and story line
Published 2 months ago by Suzanne Kolc
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
I loved this book. Set in the medievals, it follows the story of Catherine, an abused woman (by her previous husband) and Grayson (her new and reluctant husband). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Avid reader
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent midevel..
Excellent midevel romance with lots action and a great love story. One of the best I've ever read. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading in this genre.
Published 7 months ago by Terri Flatt
4.0 out of 5 stars Secret Vows
Catherine of Somerset had seemed to always have brutal men in her life; her father and her husband, Geoffrey de Montford was another; the only good thing of their marriage was her... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Lily
3.0 out of 5 stars Up To A Point
This book began well. The characters in the beginning were interesting. After reading further I just skipped to the ending. I guess I have read too many of this kind of book. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Emma
3.0 out of 5 stars a good read
this is a good book - a solid 4+ stars without the Kindle issues... what I didn't enjoy: The last line of each page was missing - too much thinking involved with that, made it... Read more
Published on April 1, 2012 by MaggieB
4.0 out of 5 stars disappointed in format
This book was definitely a good read, however I was very disappointed with the Kindle version...many times sentences were missing as I turned the pages. Read more
Published on February 19, 2012 by new to Kindle
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it a lot!
Baron Grayson de Camville, one of King Henry's High Champions, is forced by the King to marry the sister of his biggest opponent who is Eduard Montford, another of the king's High... Read more
Published on January 8, 2012 by Book lover
1.0 out of 5 stars not worth the time or money
This book was a disappointment in so many ways, the story seems interesting enough..but really? The main characters are shallow, the plot is forced and the dialogue is... Read more
Published on December 6, 2011 by graviola
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved This Book
Absolutely loved this book. Found it hard to put down at times. It had just the right amount of history with the romance. You could feel the emotions of the characters at times. Read more
Published on November 12, 2011 by ME to TN
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More About the Author

Award-winning author Mary Reed McCall was a finalist for Romance Writer's of America's Best First Book RITA Award and has won the Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Medieval Romance. She grew up in a rural area of Upstate New York as part of a large and loving family. Before becoming a writer, she first considered a career in national security, studying for a brief time at the University of Leningrad before completing undergraduate degrees in Russian and English back in the United States, followed by a Master's degree in English Literature. The sixth of seven girls in her family, Mary now makes her permanent home in New York State, with her husband and children. When she is not writing or involved with family activities, she teaches high school and college level English.

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