Don't Say A Word

Don't Say A Word

4.1 1266
by Barbara Freethy

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12 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List!

From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy come an award winning tale of romance and suspense. Fans of Carla Neggars, Karen Robards, and Nora Roberts will enjoy this intricately suspenseful story that begins with the question — what if you looked exactly like someone in a famous

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12 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List!

From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy come an award winning tale of romance and suspense. Fans of Carla Neggars, Karen Robards, and Nora Roberts will enjoy this intricately suspenseful story that begins with the question — what if you looked exactly like someone in a famous photograph?

Everything she's been told about her past is a lie ...

Julie De Marco is planning a perfect San Francisco wedding when she comes face-to-face with a famous photograph, the startling inage of a little girl behind the iron gate of a foreign orphanage — a girl who looks exactly like her. But Julia isn't an orphan. She isn't adopted. And she's never been out of the country. She knows who she is — or does she?

Haunted by uncertainty, Julia sets off on a dangerous search for her true identity — her only clues a swan necklace and an old Russian doll, her only ally daring, sexy photographer Alex Manning. Suddenly nothing is as it seems. The people Julia loved and trusted become suspicious strangers. The relationships she believed in — with her mother, her sister, and her fiance — are shaken by new revelations. The only person she can trust is Alex, but he has secrets of his own. Each step brings her closer to a mysterious past that began a world away — a past that still has the power to threaten her life ... and change her future forever.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Powerful and absorbing ... Sheer hold-your-breath suspense." — Karen Robards

"An absorbing story of two people determined to unravel the secrets, betrayals, and questions about their past. The story builds to an explosive conclusion that will leave readers eagerly awaiting Barbara Freethy's next book." — Carla Neggars

"A page-turner that engages your mind while it tugs at your heartstrings ... DON'T SAY A WORD had made me a Barbara Freethy fan for life!" —Diane Chamberlain

"Dark, hidden secrets and stunning betrayal boil together in a potent and moving suspense. Freethy's story-telling ability is top-notch." — Romantic Times Magazine — 4 1/2 Stars - Top Pick of the Month!

Product Details

Hyde Street Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

It was a pricey location, but Julia had inherited some money from her mother that would pay for most of the wedding.

"The offices are downstairs," Michael added. "Let's go."

Julia drew in a deep breath as the moment of truth came rushing toward her. "I need to stop in the rest-room. Why don't you go ahead? I'll be right there."

When Michael left, Julia walked over to get a drink of water from a nearby fountain. She was sweating and her heart was practically jumping out of her chest. What on earth was the matter with her? She'd never felt so panicky in her life.

It was all the changes, she told herself again. Her emotions were too close to the surface. But she could do this. They were only picking a date. She wasn't going to say "I do" this afternoon. That would be months from now, when she was ready, really ready.

Feeling better, she headed downstairs, passing by several intriguing exhibits along the way. Maybe they could stop and take a look on the way out.

"Mrs. Harvey is finishing up another appointment," Michael told her as she joined him. "She'll be about ten minutes. I need to make a call. Can you hold down the fort?"

"Sure." Julia sat down on the couch, wishing Michael hadn't left. She really needed a distraction from her nerves. As the minutes passed, she became aware of the faint sound of music coming from down the hall. The melody was lovely but sad, filled with unanswered dreams, regrets. It reminded her of a piece played on the balalaika in one of her music classes in college, and it called to her in a way she couldn't resist. Music had always been her passion. Just a quick peek, she told herself, as she got to her feet and moved into the corridor.

The sounds of the strings grew louder as she entered the room at the end of the hall. It was a tape, she realized, playing in the background, intended no doubt to complement the equally haunting historic photographs on display. Within seconds she was caught up in a journey through time. She couldn't look away. And she didn't want to look away—especially when she came to the picture of the little girl.

Captioned "The Coldest War of All," the black-and-white photograph showed a girl of no more than three or four years old, standing behind the gate of an orphanage in Moscow. The photo had been taken by someone named Charles Manning, the same man who appeared to have taken many of the pictures in the exhibit.

Julia studied the picture in detail. She wasn't as interested in the Russian scene as she was in the girl. The child wore a heavy dark coat, pale thick stockings, and a black woolen cap over her curly blond hair. The expression in her eyes begged for someone—whoever was taking the picture, perhaps—to let her out, to set her free, to help her.

An uneasy feeling crept down Julia's spine. The girl's features, the oval shape of her face, the tiny freckle at the corner of her eyebrow, the slope of her small, upturned nose, seemed familiar. She noticed how the child's pudgy fingers clung to the bars of the gate. It was odd, but she could almost feel that cold steel beneath her own fingers. Her breath quickened. She'd seen this picture before, but where? A vague memory danced just out of reach.

Her gaze moved to the silver chain hanging around the girl's neck and the small charm dangling from it. It looked like a swan, a white swan, just like the one her mother had given to her when she was a little girl. Her heart thudded in her chest, and the panicky feeling she'd experienced earlier returned.


She jumped at the sound of Michael's booming voice. She'd forgotten about him.

"Mrs. Harvey is waiting for us," he said as he crossed the room. "What are you doing in here?"

"Looking at the photos."

"We don't have time for that. Come on."

"Just a second." She pointed at the photograph. "Does this girl seem familiar to you?"

Michael gave the photo a quick glance. "I don't think so. Why?"

"I have a necklace just like the one that little girl is wearing," she added. "Isn't that odd?"

"Why would it be odd? It doesn't look unusual to me.

Of course it didn't. There were probably a million girls who had that same necklace. "You're right. Let's go." But as she turned to follow Michael out of the room, she couldn't help taking one last look at the picture. The girl's eyes called out to her—eyes that looked so much like her own. But that little girl in the photograph didn't have anything to do with her—did she?

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Don't Say a Word 4.1 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 1266 reviews.
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It has a story that warms your heart and keeps you entertained!
ShellyRae04 More than 1 year ago
Amazing read!!! I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! I want more and more of Barbara Freethy!!! Excellent! Shelly
Gnick49 More than 1 year ago
What a fantastic book. I was completely caught up in the story from the first page. I had to know Julia's story! Nice mix of romance and suspense. I highly recommend it!
janekelly1 More than 1 year ago
Great romantic mystery, not at all predictable. The writing was good and the ending was very satisfying and surprising.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barbara Freethy did an excellent job building both the storyline and the characters in Don't Say A Word. It was a quick read but I was sad when it was done. This is my second Freethy book and they have both been excellent. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
smhale16 More than 1 year ago
First I have read this author and I look forward to reading more. The book was never slow and was hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Barbara Freethy style lends itself to be a a good, entertaining read with plots that have interesting twists and turns. So set yourself up in a comfy chair and relax with a good read.
Lady-E More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed with this book! I read the reviews and was really looking forward to getting started. I had to force myself to continue reading, the writing itself was kind of lame...corny...I don't know how else to say it. Might appeal to a much younger audience. I've been reading for over 1/2 of my life and I like a book with more substance (as far as the writing). The story was ok, but it kind of felt like I had borrowed a book from my daughter (if I had one) or a teen-age friend?! Not that I don't like love and suspense but if your wanting something to immerse yourself in...this is not it!
gabook More than 1 year ago
but then gets really cheesy. I became very annoyed w/main character, Julia. I don't understand why the author felt compelled to make her talk constantly...and say the strangest things. I don't know, I thought the story/plot was really good, but I didn't enjoy the small talk throughout the book. I felt a lot was unneccesary and out of place. It was like Julia was just talking for the sake of talking and most of it didn't fit with what was going on in her life. This book is long so it just grated on me about half-way through. oh well. others seem to enjoy so to each his own :)
SallyB1020 More than 1 year ago
Great book. If you like romance and suspense, you'll love this story. Surprising and wonderful ending!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although i tend to like books with a bit more "meat" or substance to them, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was "light", an easy, yet interesting read. Not too taxing on the brain. You know, sometimes that's all you want or need! I liked the twists and turns (although I knew who the bad guy was way before he was revealed)...I liked the main characters...i found them believable , although sometimes their conversations were corny....if you want a good, interesting, book but not one that is "deep" and "intellectual", what i would call a great beach or vacation book, this is the one!!
Titokaca More than 1 year ago
Best book I've read in awhile! It would make a fantastic movie. Hooked me on page one. Just when I thought I had it all figured it out the author proved me wrong LOL.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Could not put down. What a unique plot, refreshingly different...great characters & storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book started out good, kept you hooked and wanting to find out everything about the characters. Barbara Freethy does a great job of developing the story along with the characters. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unique mystery and plot. The story leads to new revolations as the mystery unfolds that change the life of the heroine. I found it hard to put the book down and enjoyed reading it.
Helen Griffith More than 1 year ago
It was sooo good! I couldnt put it down! I loved this book so much! The only complaint i have is that the ending seemed a little sudden and abrupt at first, but after a couple of seconds, it doesnt feel all that sudden anymore. Its all good. I LOVED this book!
Laura712 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I could not put it down until I was done! So many twist and turns! I never had a book bring me to tears. I just hope all her books are this good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great read. There was good humor throughout the book and just loved the story.
Cynthia Pinkston More than 1 year ago
Purchased on sale and it was totally worth it! Loved it! Great read and couldn't put it down. First time reader of this author and I will be back.
tlh72 More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading this book; couldn't put it down. Perfect combination of mystery and romance.
Brooke Crume More than 1 year ago
I read it in three days and enjoyed every bit of it. Kept me very involved and interested. I plan to read more by Barbara Freethy and you can't beat the prices of all of her books.
Shelby622 More than 1 year ago
Put aside some time to read this one. Once you start, you won't want to stop. Great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful read good mystery mixed with romance some very good plot twists
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. I did not put it down until I was finished. Never a dull moment... twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat!!! I look forward to read more by this author!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps you interested the whole way through. I was adopted and could relate to some aspects of the story.