“The Cottage” by Michael Phillips

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Michael Phillips Continues His Sweeping Shetland Islands Saga with The Cottage

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.

 

I enjoyed Michael Phillips’ first Secrets of the Shetlands novel, but he knocked it out of the park with The Cottage!  I couldn’t put this sequel down.  With the cast established and the location well painted, Phillips jumps right in with the suspense and intrigue.

I loved the faith journey that Loni went on in this story.  She learns and grows a great deal, not only about herself, but also about what she believes.  I like her take on friendships, on relationships, and her willingness to do the right thing even when it’s hard.  She’s a loveable main character and I was fascinated with her persona.

While the island itself was beautiful, it was the culture that caught my attention in this story.  I loved the history of the island, the way that the interactions between various people affected people’s attitudes and circumstances.  The flipping between the old stories and the new ones are some of my favorite vehicles for sharing that kind of history, and Phillips did an excellent job of using it here.

I couldn’t put The Cottage down.  I read it as fast as possible, in a single sitting, in a single day.  I couldn’t wait to find out the outcome of the island’s economy, Loni’s inheritance, and the love that blooms throughout its pages.  If you’re a fan of deep and meaningful stories with real people and exciting cultures, you should definitely read The Cottage.

I received a free copy of this book.  The opinions are my own.

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