by Barbara Taylor Bradford

January 2003
ISBN: 0-312-30702-0
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press

The Harte Family has returned to the printed page after a very long vacation. Barbara Taylor Bradfordís beloved saga of Emma Harte and her descendants is rejuvenated in Emmaís Secret. Set in recent London, this story travels back to the days of the blitzkreig and blackouts, soldiers dancing in canteens, and a very intriguing riddle.

Lovely American Evan Hughes is devastated by her grandmotherís death. The frail emigre from Wales helped to raise her, and on her deathbed reveals a connection to the famous Emma Harte. When Evan travels to London, she decides to investigate her grandmotherís ties to the retailing tycoon. She is startled to discover that she has a more than passing resemblance for the current Harte matriarch, Paula McGill OíNeill.

With an impressive fashion resume, Evan soon finds herself employed with the family firm. She meshes well with a number of the cousins, and soon becomes the love interest of Gideon Harte. Will her history prove to be the undoing of this new romance?

Ms. Bradford is in top form. Emmaís Secret is a delight, especially for the legions of readers who loved the first three books about Emma and her family. It is a wonderful reunion, with so many familiar and beloved characters gracing the pages. The flashbacks and modern counterpoint are in perfect synch and the reader is never lost. While Evanís heritage is an integral part of the book, it is not the consuming force. The lives and loves of the younger generation takes front stage, including a dynastic alliance decades in the making.

Emmaís Secret will thrill Taylor fans with the well-crafted plot we know and love. It will also be introducing a new generation of readers to the saga that has endured and endeared us to Emma Harte and her clan. The author mentions more Harte Family stories are in process. I cannot wait! For those of you planning to attend RT in March, be sure to visit Ms. Bradford during the booksigning event. I will be there in spirit!

Reviewed in February 2004 by Paula.

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