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12.20.2016

The Cottage ~ Review

The Cottage
Secrets of the Shetlands #2
By Michael Phillips

Two weeks ago Alonnah "Loni" Ford found out that she was the heir to property in the Shetland Islands. But the Cottage is more than just a quaint Scottish home and the majority of Whales Reef is part of her inheritance.

Will the people ever accept an American as their Laird? And learning that the island is now in the hands of a woman might be more than the people of Whales Reef can accept. And when Loni hears that the Chief is not fond of Americans she's uncertain that she wants to meet the man the community feels she usurped.  

With everyone having an opinion about her fitness to determine the future of Whales Reef Loni herself becomes uncertain of her next step. Does she accept her inheritance and the responsibilities that come with it? Or does she decline it allowing the courts to decide the island's fate?

Before she can make a decision Loni must confront that which has held her hostage all her life - secrets have defined her life and now she must peel back the layers that have made her who she is. Can she discover who she is before it is too late?

In typical style Michael Phillips's book takes place in different times as the past of Whales Reef is revealed in connection with the current upheaval the island and community now faces. The past is taken from a journal that belonged to Loni's great-grandmother and is easily identifiable in the reading as it is in italics. I personally love this back and forth format that slowly reveals the back story. Also fun is allusions to previous series Michael Phillips has written (I quickly identified the Stonewycke and Heathersleigh Hall series character references). It is not necessary to read the first book in the series to be able to enjoy this (somehow I managed to miss the first book and yet still thoroughly this book, but now I want to know what happened earlier).

I received a copy of this book from the publisher with no expectation of a review positive or otherwise - all opinions expressed are my own.


About the Book:

Is the Future of Whales Reef in the Hands of an Outsider?


When Loni Ford is informed that she has inherited property in the Shetland Islands, she laughs. She wants nothing more than to sell it and be done with it. But when she arrives in the North Sea enclave, she is stunned to find that "the Cottage" is not at all what she expected, nor is David Tulloch, the man most of the islanders believe to be the rightful heir.

The locals could hardly be more surprised that the heir is a woman--and an American. Loni, in turn, finds the islanders quaint and a bit behind the times. Expecting David to be as provincial as the rest of his clan, she discovers that there is far more to the man than meets the eye. And there is something about the peaceful atmosphere of the place--and the character of its most prominent citizen--that soon gets under her skin.

Beneath the peaceful surface, however, change is threatening the island of Whales Reef. David's cousin Hardy Tulloch, whose claim to the inheritance now in Loni's hands was backed by oil investors, has not been deterred in his aim to control the island. But his co-conspirators have plans of their own, plans that put Loni's very life in danger. . . .