Recently I suffered a rather nasty bout of pneumonia. I rarely get sick, but this knocked me out for several weeks. So what’s a girl to do when she can’t get out of bed? In this case, I read lots and lots of books. I guess every cloud does have a silver lining!
Most of the time, I didn’t feel like reading anything too heavy. I needed fun, entertaining books. Sutherland’s Secret met these needs perfectly. This book kicks off Sharon Cullen’s new Highland Pride series, and I am a total sucker for anything related to Scotland, Jacobites, or the Highlands.
The action begins with Brice Sutherland, Earl of Dornach. A Jacobite sympathizer, he smuggles those wanted by the British to ships waiting in a nearby harbor. Those ships carry the wanted Jacobites to Canada where they start a new life. While out patrolling his estates, he comes across a dying and dirty English girl laying in the road. Expecting her to die before they reach his castle, he picks up her and carries her with him. However, she survives, and Brice hides her in his castle. Her name is Eleanor, and she carries a deadly secret that threatens her, Brice, and his smuggling operation.
In addition to the subject matter (remember, I am Jacobite fan girl), I enjoyed both main characters. Eleanor starts out naive and traumatized, but she grows up and becomes a strong woman. She stands up for what is right and doesn’t let others bully her. She is no damsel in distress waiting to be rescued. And thankfully, Brice appreciates a strong woman. Although he wants to protect her, he doesn’t expect her to be passive. He loves her strength of character and her intelligence.
Eleanor also encounters other strong females at Castle Dornach. They teach her that intelligence doesn’t always have to come from school and books. And all the females support each other in their paths. Lastly, the sex scenes are very hot and steamy. I didn’t find anything cheesy and I didn’t roll my eyes once.
If you’re looking for a steamy and entertaining summer read, I recommend picking up Sutherland’s Secret. I definitely plan to continue this series.
But will my mom like it?? Yes, I think she will. She likes romance books and historical fiction, and there is no cursing. She hates the F-word.
Book (ARC): Sutherland’s Secret
Author: Sharon Cullen
Publisher: Loveswept (Random House Publishing Group)
Date Published: January 19, 2016
Source: Net Galley