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 Whale’s 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.
The Cottage by Michael Phillips is, unfortunately for me, the second book in a series called Secrets of the Shetlands. From the reviews I’ve read on the first book, The Inheritance, it apparently left people hanging so most readers of The Inheritance are glad that The Cottage has been released. On the other hand, I found that The Cottage could definitely be considered a stand alone book, since I had never read the first in this series. While I was able to fill in the blanks and follow the story without having read the first book, I would highly recommend any interested reader to read this series in order.
The setting for the story is in both Scotland and America, though most of the story is in Scotland. Loni (“Allonah”) Ford inherits property on the Shetland Islands and she is certain she has no interest in keeping it. Loni wants to sell the property so she heads off to see the cottage and to make arrangements to sell it. When she reaches the North Shore enclave she is surprised to see that the cottage isn’t simply a cottage, but instead, it’s a bit of a mansion.
While I’m usually not a fan of historical fiction, I found this book to be a great story. The storyline itself was interesting enough to keep me turning pages and I have no complaints about the fact that it was historical. The writer does a great job of keeping his audience interested throughout the book and the story itself is well-developed and beautifully written. It provides readers with several unexpected twists and turns, and the landscape itself – the Islands – were described so well that readers feel like they’ve been there before. The Quaker faith is discussed in this book, and it was particularly interesting to me, since I didn’t know much about it before.
Who is Michael Phillips?
In 1970, while students at Humboldt State University, Mike and Judy Phillips began what would become the One Way BookShop as a small, informal source of Christian books and materials for their fellow students. Over the next two decades God prospered those small beginnings, and now the bookstore is a thriving part of the Humboldt County Christian community.
Mike’s first published book was about his wife’s pregnancy and the birth of their twin sons. Through the years, God has continued to guide Mike in the production of books emphasizing strong spiritual values and unforgettable characters. In addition to being best sellers in Christian bookstores all across the country, Mike’s books have been offered through several book clubs, have been translated into a number of foreign languages, and have been published in over 120 editions in all, with sales of over 3 million. Mike is today recognized as one of the Christian bookselling industry’s most prolific and versatile authors.
Family is very important to Mike. He and his wife, Judy, have taught their three sons, Patrick, Robin, and Gregory, at home throughout their education. Home schooling enables the family to frequently accompany Mike in his work-related travels. It has always been Mike’s desire in his writing that all who read his books will find a closer and more real walk with God through the characters and stories. Both he and Judy enjoy responses from readers and find great encouragement from the letters they receive.
I received a copy of this book without cost from the publisher through the Bethany House Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.