Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £14.99

Buy Now for £14.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Set on the beautiful island of Islay, The Christmas Secret is a gripping story filled with emotion from Karen Swan, author of Christmas Under the Stars.

Alex Hyde is the leaders' leader. An executive coach par excellence, she's the person the great and the good turn to when the pressure gets too much; she can change the way they think, how they operate, she can turn around the very fortunes of their companies.

Her waiting list is months long, but even she can't turn down the unorthodox but highly lucrative crisis call that comes her way a few weeks before Christmas, regarding the troublesome - and troubled - head of an esteemed whisky company in Scotland: Lochlan Farquhar, CEO of Kentallen Distilleries, is a maverick, an enigma and a renegade, and Alex needs to get inside his head before he brings the company to its knees.

It should be business as usual. She can do this in her sleep. Only, when she gets to the remote island of Islay, with the winter snows falling, Alex finds herself out of her comfort zone. For once she's not in control - Lochlan, though darkly charismatic, is unpredictable and destructive, her usual methods gaining no traction with him - and with Christmas and her deadline fast approaching, she must win his trust and find a way to close on this deal.

But as she pulls ever closer to him, boundaries become blurred, loyalties loosen and Alex finds herself faced with an impossible choice as she realizes nothing and no-one is as they first seemed.

This audiobook contains an exclusive bonus feature with the author, Karen Swan, who shares some of the inspiration behind The Christmas Secret.

©2017 Karen Swan (P)2017 Macmillan Digital Audio

What listeners say about The Christmas Secret

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    134
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    121
  • 4 Stars
    34
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Story

This is the first Karen Swan book I have ever read/listened too and I am a new fan! The main female character was strong and determined and the storyline was compelling, funny and at times sad, but I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. I highly recommend this audiobook and I will definitely listen to another Karen Swan book hopefully with the same narrator as she was great.

7 people found this helpful

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

Beautifully written story in a lovely setting with lots unexpected twists

I absolutely loved this story. I connected wholly with the characters, island life and the unexpected twists and turns as I was fully immersed in their lives. Hoping for certain outcomes, dreading others! I was completely absorbed. It was a perfect Christmas holiday read. I could write so much more but don't want to give away any plots or relationships as that was part of the enjoyment. ... So just read it and enjoy it for yourself!

5 people found this helpful

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

Lighthearted reading

It’s a nice story. I didn’t quite understand the relevance of having the other piece of story going on, it was distracting and I ended up dreading those chapters... overall I always enjoy a happy Xmas read and this was no exception.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story and beautifully read

Really very much enjoyed this book. Beautifully written , entertaining and kept my interest throughout

4 people found this helpful

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

My first EVER review.......

I just loved this book! I loved and recognised explanations of feelings and judgements that are trapped inside me because I can never find the right words. I kept getting little flutters of release and freedom! I just wish I could hold onto them and remember them for ever! Thank you.....

1 person found this helpful

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

Secret!

I never read this author's material. I was impressed at the twists the story has, I thought it was going to be a regular Christmas story, which it is in some respects but, there was more to it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great Christmas romance with depth

I truly loved this story, full of depth and background, not just a boy meets girl love story. The characters were interesting and the audiobook well narrated.

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

Loved it definitely a Christmas feel good read !

Kept me on the edge and trying to work out the connection all the way through x
Love Karen Swan amazing author xx

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

Brilliant story

A wonderful book to listen to coming up to Christmas, loved the story twists and turns, ver absorbing would thoroughly recommend

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

Not Christmassy at all

I bought this book with the hope it would get me into the Christmas spirit, after all Christmas is in the title, but the link is so tedious, I think at one point they put up a tree and the canteen staff listened to some carols....that was it!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sally
  • Sally
  • 24-12-17

Was the narrator Nurse Turner?

This was a great story that went between present day back to 1918. The setting in Scotland sounds magical! The character struggles are relatable. Loved the narrator!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gail
  • Gail
  • 02-12-21

Disappointing ending

I picked this is the next book by Karen Swan that I read. It left me underwhelmed. Here is a supposedly self assured woman who falls to pieces at the first challenge all for an angry arrogant ass. No thanks.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ashlee White
  • Ashlee White
  • 26-07-21

So Grateful for This Book!

I’m an American with nearly half Scottish ancestry, hailing from Islay. Until I can visit, I find myself scrounging for books, Facebook groups of current life or history, and the like, just for a sense of life there. There are books that are reference/informational that I’ve enjoyed, but it is rare to find a fictional book set on Islay. This book is wonderful and left me wanting to hear more about my ancestral home.

If you’re looking for a full-of-Christmas book, this isn’t it. Christmas is woven into the story, but is not the focal point. The characters and their stories are. That’s just the way I like it! I’m not one for Hallmark movie type books where there’s a Christmas event every day. I love Christmas, but I like it peppered into fictional tales.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jan
  • Jan
  • 27-06-20

The Christmas Secret

The Christmas Secret, I know other people are loving this book but I have only read a couple of chapters and finding it the most dull depressing book I have read of Karen Swans. I loved Christmas at Tiffanys, Summer at Tiffanys, The Summer Without You. They were all entertaining light hearted books with a twist. But this book is nothing like these.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dani Harris
  • Dani Harris
  • 11-01-19

Laura Main - fabulous as always

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I loved it! Laura Main’s narration was what roped me in and it was even better than I anticipated! The story was entertaining, well thought out, and well described.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ashley
  • Ashley
  • 08-01-19

Sooo good

The narrator was so good, the history so enthralling, never knowing what was next, thinking I had it figured out but definitely was wrong..sigh. Such a good listen.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Donna F. Rodriguez
  • Donna F. Rodriguez
  • 06-02-18

Entertaining

I really enjoyed the storyline. I think the main female character was smart but the feeling of a strong female character is diminished by her consistently jumping to the wrong conclusions. This behavior becomes a bit tiring after awhile.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Spencer Kate
  • Spencer Kate
  • 23-12-17

Good for the Road

Enjoyed this one. Not one of this life altering books but good entertainment and found myself looking forward to listening! Reader is great!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for R. Johnson
  • R. Johnson
  • 22-12-17

Fabulous story from beginning to end

This book was wonderful. I loved every word from the first to the last. Some stories have lulls or are slow to start or get tidied up to quickly at the end. Not this one. Lovely, rich plots simultaneously pull you through twist after twist making you not want to stop listening. I stayed up late one to many nights!

The readers voice and accent only made the story more enjoyable.