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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a powerful and emotional novel about one woman’s quest to uncover long-buried secrets about her family--secrets she will stop at nothing to uncover, no matter the consequences. At thirty, American photojournalist Serena Stone has already made a name for herself with her unique and dramatic coverage of wars in the Middle East, following in her famous father’s footsteps. But after his unexpected death in France, she ends her job at the renowned ...
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a powerful and emotional novel about one woman’s quest to uncover long-buried secrets about her family--secrets she will stop at nothing to uncover, no matter the consequences. At thirty, American photojournalist Serena Stone has already made a name for herself with her unique and dramatic coverage of wars in the Middle East, following in her famous father’s footsteps. But after his unexpected death in France, she ends her job at the renowned photo news agency, weary of years of danger. Leaving the front lines behind, Serena returns to New York where she starts work on a biography of her celebrated father. When Serena discovers that her former lover Zachary North is in trouble overseas, she's forced to leave the safety of her new life, and head back to a place she was trying to escape...and her life will never be the same again. As she brings Zac back to health in Venice, she discovers a shocking secret in the archives of her late father’s work. It is a secret that will propel her back to war-torn Libya, risking her life looking for clues that she hopes will piece together the mystery surrounding her parents’ marriage and the part of their life together that she never knew.
Well-kept secrets, passionate love, obsession, betrayal, redemption, and the power of the past to control the future propel Secrets from the Past, the explosive new novel from The New York Times bestselling author Barbara Taylor Bradford
LETTER FROM A STRANGER
“Every novel from this acclaimed and beloved author is avidly read, and its engrossing historical dimensions, family traumas, romance, and vivid settings will prove irresistible.”
“Loyal fans will tear up at the descriptions of enduring friendship and familial love.”
PLAYING THE GAME
“Vintage Bradford, with lavish descriptions of the pleasures of palate and palette, victims as virtuous as they are gorgeous, [and] cruel Lotharios.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Scintillating…plenty of intrigue, secrets, and steamy encounters.”—Booklist
“A page-turning plot that keeps you gripped through all of its 448 pages.”—Sunday Express
BREAKING THE RULES
“Satisfies on the fashion-and-passion front… at the heart of the action stands a determined heroine” —Publishers Weekly
“A sprawling novel…readers will be happy to dwell in the glamorous world of Bradford’s sophisticated characters.”—Booklist
“For the thirtieth anniversary of A Woman of Substance, Bradford has written a marvelous spin-off with all the drama, glamour, and romance readers expect. With a twenty-first-century woman of substance and characters from the Harte series, this nonstop read has it all.”—RT Book Reviews
…AND THE NOVELS IN THE RAVENSCAR SERIES
“Her most exciting series yet...It’s filled with romance, suspense and intrigue, and the richly detailed characters come vibrantly alive as expert pacing captures your attention from the very first page.”—RomanticTimes BOOKreviews, Top Pick
“Rife with dastardly internecine struggles, smoldering illicit passion, and cowardly insidious betrayals…[the Deravenels] pack as much intrigue as any Shakespearean royal drama.”
—Booklist on Being Elizabeth
“The queen of the bestseller list still rules with The Heir.”—Miami Herald
“Bestseller Bradford’s dynastic epic spanning the 20th century should tide over her fans…”
“Bradford’s characters are so real, readers clamor to know them better.”—USA Today
“This expertly crafted epic novel further explores the triumphs and tragedies of the Deravenel family. It will enthrall readers with its vivid characters and fast-paced, larger-than-life plot.”
—Romantic Times BOOKreviews (4 ½ stars) on The Heir
“The Ravenscar Dynasty has it all—power, betrayal, mystery...The characters are all complex, dynamic, and powerful, leading us through Edward Deravenel’s struggles one exciting step at a time.”—Romance Reviews Today
“Bradford’s fiction has long focused on strong heroines who succeed against great odds. Her latest novel, The Ravenscar Dynasty...is the first of a planned trilogy of novels, all destined for best-sellerdom.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
…AND HER ACCLAIMED HARTE SAGA
“The Harte saga is as much a force of nature as a work of fiction…the issues at stake still compel readers after 25 years. Bradford understood early on readers’ hunger for depictions of women who are strong and powerful and whose values embrace family. A quarter-century ago, Emma Harte crossed the no-woman’s-land that once divided family and business, and now generations of readers consider her a role model in their own lives.”—The Washington Post
“A truly remarkable conclusion to her beloved Harte family saga…riveting and intense. Not many novels have the ability to completely immerse the reader, but this one draws you into the story from the very first page.”—Romantic Times BOOKreviews on Just Rewards
“Bradford gives her readers more of what she does best—strong, savvy female protagonists who relentlessly pursue great destinies, characters much like the author herself…well-written and full of emotion…completely riveting…the plot, while always complex, has suspenseful moments to keep the pace sharp…good reading…Unexpected Blessings clearly shows why Bradford is still the premier writer of family sagas.”—Miami New Times
“The exploits and adventures of Bradford’s indomitable heroines continue to make for lusty escapist fiction in this robust fifth novel in the series.”—Publishers Weekly on Unexpected Blessings
“The enduring theme of family loyalty ennobles the Harte family saga and raises it to a heartwarming crescendo that longtime fans will appreciate.”—Book Page
“Readers who loved A Woman of Substance will enjoy Emma’s Secret.”—Denver Post
“In her 19th novel, the grande dame of mass-market fiction revisits her first heroine—the indomitable Emma Harte.”—New York Daily News on Emma’s Secret
“So many of us turn to novels like Barbara Taylor Bradford’s…for our daily dose of amour.”—Woman’s Day Magazine
“Promises to tantalize, mesmerize, and titillate readers of all ages. It has all the Bradford touches: strong and swift plot, hints of secrets about to be revealed…spellbinding.”—Roanoke Times
“A novel for everyone…A satisfying, lushly detailed saga.”—Rave Reviews on To Be the Best
“A master storyteller and character builder, Ms. Bradford again crafts another reader-holder novel…Act of Will is another winner.”—The Pittsburgh Press
“The men and woman are all gorgeous, rich, well-dressed.There are luxurious descriptions in this perfect page-turner.”—Philadelphia Inquirer on Hold the Dream
“A vibrantly characterized leading lady and a glimpse at the dazzling world of the rich and powerful.”—Working Woman
“Barbara Taylor Bradford is the storyteller of substance.”—The Times (London)
“Voice of the Heart is the sort of book I cannot resist, indeed I pray to find.”—The Washington Times Magazine
“Meant to be read in a peignoir on a chase lounge whist nibbling scented chocolates.”
“A rich tapestry of love and romance.”—San Diego Union
“It is easy to want every item Bradford catalogues, easy to imagine wearing it, eating and drinking it, driving it, smelling like it…The geography of Voice of the Heart takes a reader to all the right places.”—Los Angeles Times
“An extravagant, absorbing novel of love, courage, ambition, war, death, and passion.”
—The New York Times on A Woman of Substance
“A Woman of Substance [is] a long, satisfying novel of money, power, passion and revenge, set against the sweep of 20th century history.”—Los Angeles Times
“Wonderfully entertaining.”—Denver Post on A Woman of Substance
It was a beautiful day. The sky was a huge arc of delphinium blue, cloudless, and shimmering with bright sunlight above the soaring skyline of Manhattan. The city where I have lived, off and on, for most of my life was looking its best on this cold Saturday morning.
As I walked up Sutton Place, returning to my apartment, I began to shiver. Gusts of strong wind were blowing off the East River, and I was glad I was wearing jeans instead of a skirt, and warm clothes. Still shivering, I turned up the collar of my navy blue pea jacket and wrapped my cashmere scarf tighter around my neck.
It was unusually chilly for March. On the other hand, I was enjoying my walk after being holed up for four days endeavoring to finish a difficult chapter.
Although I am a photojournalist and photographer by profession, I recently decided to write a book, my first. Having hit a difficult part earlier this week, I’d been worrying it to death for days, like a dog with a bone. Finally I got it right last night. It felt good to get out, to stretch my legs, to look around me and to remind myself that there was a big wide world out here.
I increased my pace. Despite the sun, the wind was bitter. The weather seemed to be growing icier by the minute, and I hurried faster, almost running, needing to get home to the warmth.
My apartment was on the corner of Sutton and East Fifty-seventh, and I was relieved when it came into view. Once the traffic light changed, I dashed across the street and into my building, exclaiming to the doorman, as I sped past him, “It’s Arctic weather, Sam.”
“It is, Miss Stone. You’re better off staying inside today.”
I nodded, smiled, headed for the elevator. Once inside my apartment I hung up my scarf and pea jacket in the hall cupboard, went into the kitchen, put the kettle on for tea, and headed for my office.
I glanced at the answering machine on my desk and saw that I had two messages. I sat down, pressed play, and listened.
The first was from my older sister, Cara, who was calling from Nice. “Hi, Serena, it’s me. I’ve found another box of photographs, mostly of Mom. Looking fab. You might want to use a few in the book. Shall I send by FedEx? Or what? I’m heading out now, so leave a message. Or call me tomorrow. Big kiss.”
The second message was from my godfather. “It’s Harry. Just confirming Monday night, honey. Seven-thirty. Usual place. Don’t bother to call back. See ya.”
The whistling kettle brought me to my feet and I went back to the kitchen. As I made the tea I felt a frisson of apprehension, then an odd sense of foreboding … something bad was going to happen … I felt it in my bones.
I pushed this dark feeling away, carried the mug of tea back to my office, telling myself that I usually experienced premonitions only when I was at the front, when I sensed imminent danger, knew I had to run for my life before I was blown to smithereens by a bomb, or took a bullet. To have such feelings now was irrational. I shook my head, chiding myself for being overly imaginative. But in fact I was to remember this moment later and wonder if I had some sort of sixth sense.
Copyright © 2013 by Beaji Enterprises, Inc.
Posted April 9, 2013
So – I should admit right here and now that Barbara Taylor Bradford was my gateway author to the romance genre. A favorite of my grandmother and great aunt, I would grab her books from their bedside tables and sneak off to read: devouring each book as soon as it appeared. To have the opportunity to read one of her books for review was a major source of excitement. And, Secrets from the Past did not disappoint in the least.
Focusing on Serena, a recently retired from the front war photographer, we are slowly introduced into her life, as she reflects on her past while compiling her father’s photos into a memoir composite. Recovering from her father’s death, the end of her first serious relationship, and at a bit of loose ends, she is the main point of view to guide us through her story. One peppered with loving family memories, travel, antiquated clichés from her grandmother, and continuous ‘watching over’ by her father’s best friend and boss, Harry.
Add to this, other story lines that involve Serena’s twin sisters, a co-worker, the maintenance for the house the three inherited from their parents in Nice, the Arab Spring uprisings, and a series of photographs that provide only questions with few answers, the different threads all weave a beautiful pattern of a life of a woman well loved and cared for by family and co-workers alike.
The pages flew by, highlighted by descriptions of Venice, Nice, New York and Libya the sense of the worldliness of characters and the story was heightened and the descriptions helped to place visual references for the characters and scenes, making them more familiar. The addition of information about PTSD and the oddly chaotic behavior patterns gives readers a solid sense of the difficulties experienced by those who suffer, and the glimpses into a photojournalists life felt like an introductory course in “can you manage this?”.
The multiple story lines weave together to provide the reader with visual and tactile references and an emotional understanding of the story that enriches in a way that just reading words would never do without the author’s skilled writing. Emotionally complex characters, with defined personalities and solid voices all present fact and display relationship dynamics that are easy to relate to real lives. Mingled with a touch of romance and sensually detailed intimate scenes that are a feast for the imagination, the connections romantic and familial are solid, defined and palpable.
Solid writing, great characters, compelling action, glamor and secrets all combine to make this book a very good read – one that many can and will enjoy.
I received a Galley Copy from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review for the Jeep Diva. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
18 out of 18 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 22, 2013
I love Barbara Taylor Bradford's books and this one is no exception. She knows how to make her characters real and their stories believable. There is nothing better than spending an afternoon with Barbara Taylor Bradford! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it highly.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 18, 2013
American journalist Serena Stone has followed in her dad’s footsteps being a front line was photographer. She chooses to leave the front lines when her father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. Serena finds out her former boyfriend and fellow was photographer, Zac, has returned from the front lines and is struggling with PTSD and is asking for her. In heading to help him she knows that her life will never be the same.
Secrets from the Past is a captivating story in which every character jumps right off the page and becomes real. Serena is the main character but I loved Harry. As Serena’s dad’s best friend since childhood, he has stepped into the role of “father” and protects and nutures Serena and her sisters. I loved that he let Serena live her life, but still managed to guide her in the right direction. He was also the keeper of secrets and knew when it was time to share and when to step back and let things go unsaid.
Zac and Serena’s relationship would be described as true love. The turbulence side of their relationship troubled me. To know that Zac, even before PTSD, has a tendancy to yell and scream at Serena when mad scares me. I understood that they were “it” for each other and truly enjoyed their relationship when it was good and healthy.
This is an emotional book with secrets, betrayal, redemption, and love. You will not be able to put this story down. I highly recommend it
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2013
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Posted May 17, 2013
I was a little disappointed with this book. I picked it up because I remember reading A Woman of Substance years ago. This book doesn't even compare to it. As I was reading it, I felt like it was not written by the same author. The story isn't bad, it's just not great.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 11, 2013
I always enjoy Bradford, but this wasn't my favorite. Her earlier novels had more plot, and the characters were much more interesting. I'd rather re-read A Woman of Substance than this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2013
Posted May 9, 2013
If I had read this book without knowing who the author was, I would have never, ever guessed it was by Barbara Taylor Bradford. It seemed very amateurish, with all the "she said", "he said" and " I said" sentences. It was disjointed and without depth. I have always loved her books, so this one was a huge disappointment.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
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