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Public Secrets

Written by: Nora Roberts
Narrated by: Renee Raudman
Length: 20 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 37.58
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts deftly blends romance and suspense in this compelling novel of a woman whose career, marriage, and very life are threatened by the truth about her own past.

Emma McAvoy may have grown up in the limelight, but some secrets are hidden in a darkness no light can reach. Now on the verge of a successful career, and having fallen in love with the man of her dreams, Emma is looking to the future. Yet it’s the past that is about to catch up with her.

For Emma, her childhood had been almost like a rags-to-riches fairy tale - until the tragic night that changed her family forever. But what Emma thinks she knows about that terrible night and the man she’s about to marry is only half the truth. The other half is locked away in the last place she’d ever think to look: her own memories. It’s a mystery a handsome and relentlessly driven homicide detective needs to solve in a case that’s haunted him for years - and a secret someone will kill to keep.

©2014 Nora Roberts (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved..

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not a typical Nora Roberts book

Liked it. Didn't love it. After the murder, I expected to jump ahead 10 or 15 years but that doesn't happen. The love match seems like a convenient plot detail more than a romance. There are some interesting details about rock and roll in the 60s to the 90s. it's good. Not gripping.

The narrator is probably a talented reader however her attempt at several accents falls flat at best. At worst, her voice becomes almost unintelligible and garbled. This would have been a better listen without the fake accents.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Book by Nora Robert enjoyed by me.

The narrator is very talented, she did a wonderful job with characters in this book.
Story line very interesting!
Thank you Nora!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love it

Great book! The best one I've ever 'read' from Nora Robert. Renee Raudman did such a great job narrating this book, she does different accents and voices.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I loved how the story spanned the course of the years. I was worried that with it being such a long book it would drag but I didn’t find that at all. #Audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a great read!!

an excellent read. it had comedy, romance, mystery and just enough intrigue to want more. loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Public Secrets

This was an excellent story. It had so many twists and turns and I found myself longing for more. The only part I wished would have been better is the performance. I didn’t care much for the dialect used. I still enjoyed the audiobook very much. Thank you. Toni

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • 2014-08-14

Long, Dark, Depressing, Boring & Disappointing

Normally I love Nora Roberts' work, but there's boatloads I dislike about this book. I rarely write a review unless I really love or really can't stand a book, but when I do, I go into detail. I'm trying not to give away major plot twists below.

First, I REALLY hate it when the copyrights listed on Audible read "2014" for author and audio publisher, but in reality the book has a 1990 publication date. Audible/Amazon, let's have some truth in labelling and note when it's really a reissue of an old book.

Second. a good editor would have cut out at least one-third of this book. The first 30-40% DRAGS to the extent that I'd zone out for several minutes - something I very rarely do when listening to ANY book - and worse, when I'd rewind I'd find that I didn't miss anything I hadn't heard before. After the first couple zone-outs, I didn't care enough to rewind to catch what I'd missed! That almost NEVER is the case.

Third, if I wanted to read an ode to rock, drugs, other drugs, more drugs, drug abuse, overdoses (I'm not sure I've come across so many different references to drugs in any other fiction book), capricious sex, semi-incestuous sex, AIDS, child abuse, physical abuse, murder, attempted murder, long-term betrayal, etc., etc. I'd read a biography of a 60's/70's rock icon. It seems the author was living out her teenage fantasies about British/Irish rockers. I suspect that a good number of those highly positive reviews are written by folks who either came of age in the 60's or have deep nostalgia or identification with the era. If you don't already love the 60's, I doubt you'll love this book.

Fourth, I'd have rated the book higher if the central mystery had been engaging. Nope. Even most of the primary characters seem to have lost interest in finding out "whodunnit" after a couple years Few additional clues were dropped over time. And worse, my immediate suspects turned out (many) hours later to be the primary culprits. Yawn. If this crime was not a purely random act, who else had any motive?

Fifth, at one point, the original primary detective showed out-of-character stupidity. Then at a critical turning point, the heroine is distressingly stupid. And finally, neither the detectives (nor the other main characters) actually solve the crime. They didn't identify any of the perps who, luckily, were all identified in other ways. Such good luck for our heroine they were so stupid, too. Sigh, it's disappointing when an author can't move the plot forward without resorting to that "let's have someone do something stupid" tactic - but multiple times in a single book? Nora, you're so much better than that - usually!

Sixth, there were so many male characters in this book frequently lumped together in conversation with each other that it was nearly impossible to follow who said what to whom. I think I'd have had a problem keeping the male characters straight without a chart even in written text, but it was very difficult in audio where the various voices were unclear. However, I feel sorry for the narrator who may have been as bored as I was and found it hard to keep the many characters separate in her mind as well. At a later point in the book one character had a serious illness and until more details were given I honestly couldn't remember who he was or why I should care.

The only reason I give 2 stars instead of 1 is for the slightly more interesting last fourth of the book. But even that was a close call.

76 of 81 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Njm
  • 2015-11-12

Worst accents ever heard on Audible?

I'm not sure anyone could listen to this book without being totally distracted by the reader's horrendous accents. Irish meets New Jersey or British meets standard American meets New Yorker? Yikes.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Olivia
  • 2014-07-31

Long book, but worth every hour!!

Any additional comments?



Nora Roberts has crafted an absorbing tale of love, fame, wealth, and betrayal that is infused with Renee Raudman’s exceptional narration. Little Emma McAvoy spends the first three years of her life terrified by a drug addicted, abusive mother who readily gives Emma to her famous rock star father in exchange for money. Brian McAvoy adores his baby girl and raises her in a world of affluence, security, and celebrity, occasionally darkened by drugs and promiscuity. Emma slowly accepts that she is safe and surrounded by love from her “Da”, her caring stepmom, and the capricious members of her father’s band. When her stepbrother is born, four year-old Emma is overcome with love for the baby and devotes herself to his care and protection. As Emma matures into an educated, accomplished, and beautiful young lady, the story takes a dark turn of treachery that will have you on the edge of your seat. Two men enter her life, both declaring their love - only one, however, is to be trusted. Excellent story!

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Liesl
  • 2014-10-22

Loved it

I enjoy books that are so long as it gives me time to really get to know the characters and you "live" them for a while. The story was excellent and once you make peace with the fact that not all the accents are accurate, the narrator is also pretty good. Well worth the credit!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer Lynn Nolan
  • 2014-08-06

Terrible accents

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the narrator's performance was even half decent

Would you be willing to try another one of Renee Raudman’s performances?

Absolutely nothing that involves accents of any kind. Her voice is very nice and very pleasant to listen to... Until she tries to sound like a Cockney or an Irish woman.

What character would you cut from Public Secrets?

I don't know. I couldn't listen to the whole book

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • carol
  • 2014-07-31

public secrets

Through the years I have listen to every nora roberts audio book I could afford. This is my favorite! What a great story. Nora thank you for the years of entertainment.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Chloe
  • 2014-08-07

Cringe-worthy narrator

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Renee Raudman?

I LOVED the narrator from the COLLECTOR. Please bring her back!

I could not stand Renee Raudman, especially when she faked an Irish/English accent. I went over the top when she tried to do a little child's voice which was akin to nails on a chaklboard. I'm not sure if I can listen to the rest of the book although I really do want to give it a chance.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robbin Blackmon
  • 2015-09-05

Life

This was one of the best books I've read by Nora Roberts! It was excellent the characters and storyline fantastic. Life's twists and turns and survival. Such a talented writer!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gale Ann
  • 2014-09-28

I loved everything about it!

What did you love best about Public Secrets?

I loved the main character, Emma, the colorful people in her life, especially her "Da." Nora Roberts really fleshed him out along with all the other supporting characters, especially the band mates and those close to them. There was plenty of steam which accompanied the love scenes. I'm not into sex story lines without the emotion attached so this was very satisfying.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Public Secrets?

When as a little girl, Emma came upon what had happened the night of her parents' party and any scene with MIchael. Descriptions of the crazy world of rock stars was well done and very interesting. The lifestyle of the band was fascinating and they were all loveable.

What does Renee Raudman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I LOVED Renee Raudman's narration. I like her better and better to the point where I seek out novels that she has narrated. Her accents are excellent. I can tell when she's narrating a male character. Her voice is different, distinctive and to my ears wonderfully expressive. Keep up the great work, Renee!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I could have done a marathon listen. Since it's 20 hours plus long that was pretty much not going to happen. This is a book I will go back and listen to again. This is notable because I normally never read, listen or watch books, audiobooks or movies more than once. Public Secrets breaks that rule.

Any additional comments?

Public Secrets is a classic example of the excellent product that Nora Roberts creates when she does a full blown 400+ page novel. Like the recently published, "The Witness," and "The Collector" she writes mystery and intrigue into her stories. Her H & H are beautiful, flawed, and redeemable characters for which the reader roots for a happy ending. Thank you for the many hours of please, Nora Roberts!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara Breto
  • 2014-08-02

THE BEST OF THE BEST

I LOVE NORA ROBERTS!! this book is just amazing. The narrator is AWESOME. Felt like I was watching a movie. Nora, we need more stories like this one.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful