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The Secret Woman Mass Market Paperback – April 12, 1985

74 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

To all appearances, Anna Brett was a quiet, capable young woman whose only ambition was to carry on the profitable antiques business bequeathed her by a spinster aunt. And so she was -- until the memory of a cherished moment with a blue-eyed stranger suddenly returned to haunt her with savage intensity. It was then Anna discovered the secret woman who waited within her -- impetuous, daring . . . and dangerous.

About the Author

Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert, better known to readers as Victoria Holt, Philippa Carr, and Jean Plaidy, was one of the world's most beloved and enduring authors. Her career spanned five decades and she continued to write historical fiction and romantic suspense-until her death in 1993. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ivy Books (April 12, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449208788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449208786
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,415,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Andrea Egger, author of Grave Accusations on April 7, 2000
Format: Library Binding
Victoria Holt's romance novels aren't always gothic romances, but gothic romances are the only kind I'll read -- the genre with castles or at least scary mansions, and ghosts, and usually a young woman who seems vulnerable but actually escapes death several times and brings family secrets to light. When Holt writes a gothic romance, she is a master! "The Secret Woman" is among my favorites. It seems heroine Anna Brett is doomed to be a governess for a rich family in England, but she later is led through circumstances to the captain of a ship named "The Secret Woman" and its secrets, many of which are diamond in nature. She also learns about the secret woman within herself while trusting the wrong people and learning the hard way about evil in a friend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Fig-Barr on May 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was originally published in 1970. I first read it in the early '90's. I was sharing an office with a librarian and she suggested the author. Victoria Holt (Eleanor Hibbert and all of her pseudonyms) quickly became one of my favorite authors; although, in my opinion they're not all equal. I had to add it to my "e" collection as the old dog-eared paperback version is part of my physical library.

The Secret Women just takes me to another place in another time. Her hero is strong yet flawed. The whole premise is convoluted and unbelievable. Yet, the heroine is sympathic and thoughtful. I think she is a person many of us would want to know, help or simply resemble. The development of the relationships forged during the sea voyage is understandable. Something I have always particularly liked are the descriptions of the "Queen's House". I can close my eyes and see it.
Victoria Holt has been gone (died) since 1993, I believe. Some 21 years later I can still recommend her books to newbies who enjoy traveling through time and space in a book.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Linz on June 2, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
I read The Secret Woman my junior year in HS, and would get in trouble in class, becase I couldn't put the book down. The romantic story will trap you into believing that you are really there and part of the story. You will go on a wild trip with a young woman who falls in love with a man that is royalty. I really recommend reading this book whether for a school report or just for pleasure. I guarentee you'll fall into the story, and never want to put it down!! Victoria Holt is a wonderful autor and all her stories will trap you into believing you are there. PLEASE read this book!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Curious Dame on May 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Originally released in 1970, Victoria Holt’s gothic novel, The Secret Woman makes a renewed debut. After the deaths of her parents, her Aunt Charlotte becomes Anna’s legal guardian. They live in an old manor filled with antique furniture purchased and sold as part of her aunt’s business. Anna develops a strong interest and acquires much expertise regarding antiques, as she is being prepared to take over when her aunt dies.

At the age of twelve, Anna meets Redvers Stretton, one of the heirs to the Crediton family fortune. She falls in love and over the years becomes obsessed with the kind, handsome sea captain. When her aunt dies, suspicion falls on her, and she soon finds herself nearly destitute. Fate brings her back to Crediton Castle where she works as a governess. There she learns that Redvers is married to a sick wife named Monique and Chantel, the nurse who cares for her. Soon, Anna finds herself sailing to exotic islands near Australia where secrets will begin to unravel.

This is a wonderfully complex novel filled with plenty of secrets, a strong gothic atmosphere, a mystery involving a ship and missing diamonds, mind altering potions, a poignant love story, and fascinating characters that kept me entertained and guessing until the end. The start and middle of the story were slow, but near the middle, the story picks up and the pace is greatly increased. Despite this, the book is definitely worth reading for its lush storyline and great writing
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JR on February 21, 2009
Format: Leather Bound Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting story and, as usual with V.H. books, full of unexpected twists and turns. I was able to read the ending with pleasure, unlike a different book in which the hero was killed at the end. In this book, however, all finally ends well. I'm reading it again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Flazatty on January 5, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Anna Brett meets Chantel, the well-trained nurse, and her life will never be the same. Victorian intrigue with the added spice of romance in the tropical islands.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Sexton on November 11, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this when I was about 12 and have never forgotten it. It is my favorite 'historical romance' novel ever. Full of intrigue and myseteries and secrets. The narrator is someone I could relate to and the main male character, Redvers, so charming and warm and yet with a past ... of course. Lots of society both high and humble, exotic locales combined with homely England. So romantic. Great read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RueRue on January 17, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like many of the other reviewers, I read this as a teenager and loved it. Many years later, and it still holds up as a wonderful, atmospheric romance. Victoria Holt had a distinctive style to her prose and it pulls the reader into her stories. SO glad I rediscovered this book !
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