Title: Sutherland’s Secret A Highland Pride Novel
Author: Sharon Cullen
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish
Story Setting: Scotland, 1746
Published by: Loveswept
Published Date: January 19, 2016
Sold by: Random House LLC
A Highland Pride Novel:
About the Story: If you love Maya Banks and Monica McCarty, don’t miss USA Today bestselling author Sharon Cullen’s Highland Pride novels! Sutherland’s Secret kicks off a series that’s overflowing with mouthwatering Scottish warriors, captivating history, and forbidden desire.
Terror reigns in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden. As British troops obliterate the last traces of the Jacobite cause, Brice Sutherland, the Earl of Dornach, risks everything to arrange a covert escape route to Canada for his fellow Scots.
But when he encounters a dying Englishwoman, hauntingly beautiful though scarred by manacles and unable to speak, Brice’s true courage is put to the test. Nothing but ruin could result from helping her, or worse: falling in love.
The pampered daughter of a marquess, Eleanor Hirst, was the talk of the London season when she wed the Earl of Glendale. Little did she know that his posting as an officer in Scotland would be their undoing. Now her husband is dead and Eleanor is a fugitive in a hostile country. Desperate for help, she throws herself on the mercy of Brice Sutherland, a handsome Scottish warrior who should be her enemy. Instead, he cares for her tenderly, reviving her shattered spirit—and awakening urges unlike any she’s ever known.
My Thoughts: If you are a reader who follows my reviews, you’ll find I reviewed MacLean’s Passion by Sharon Cullen on June 11, 2016 and raved over the story. Not to let grass grow under my feet when I love a series, I decided to read book one. Additionally, if you follow what type of books I review, you’ll find I’m partial to historical romance, leaning heavily on stories located in the highlands, medieval reads, then sprinkling my reads with some contemporary, fantasy and Regency romance.
By reading book one I discovered more of the relationship between Colin MacLean (hero in book two) and Brice Sutherland. I also learned more about the disdain the majority of clan lairds had for Campbell. Yet, it this story, as well as book 2, Campbell bales certain clansmen out of trouble. And in looking ahead (can’t help it in the series), I see the next book in the series is titled Campbell’s Redemption. Until now, I can’t figure out why this Campbell helps the highlanders for he is very chummy with the English and has gained some respect from them.
Colin MacLean is rather hot-headed and does some things impetuously. Brice is much less so. He’s quite methodical and weighs things carefully before doing them. After all, he is a laird with a great responsibility, fewer men and women in his clan after the Battle of Culloden and just tries to avoid any trouble with the English. He love Scotland and goes so far as to use his resources to secret Scots away from Scotland who are hunted by the English. When least expected fate intervenes…
Brice spotted the cause of his mount’s fright. A pile of rags lying in the middle of the road. The hairs on the back of Brice’s neck prickled, and he held up his fist in a silent command to stop the line of warriors behind him. … Using his broadsword, he poked at the rags. They were disgustingly filthy, caked with mud and what looked like blood…And they stank.”
Lachlan, Brice’s second in command, stepped up beside him and peered down at the refuse. “’Tis nothing but rags. Let’s move on.”
Brice bent down and pulled at the rage. Beside him, Lachlan gasped and Brice shot to his feet with a curse. ‘Twas no pile of rags but a body.
So once again, author Sharon Cullen had me by the hook. Emotions already were volatile among the men; mine were added. The English were patrolling throughout Scotland. Was this a trick? The body, dear reader, was none other than a woman barely alive. Could Brice just leave her knowing their very code of honor was to protect women and children? What code would he follow? One to protect himself, his men and ultimately his clan? No, no, no! I stood around the group, telling them all they had to pick her up! No one heard me (of course), but thankfully Brice picked her up. At least he could stay somewhere off the road, let her die and give her a burial.
Eleanor, the ‘pile of rags’, did not die (she was one strong woman, sorely used—emotionally and physically beaten).
Brice had no choice, he took her to his keep, Castle Dornach. She survived, but she couldn’t talk. She had little trust for any man, for she had been through much. Her story revolves around the greed of one man who apparently would commit murder for what he wants.
And Brice’s story revolves around her. This is a wonderful story of passion, intrigue, cruelty, doing the right thing, surviving and all overlayed by love of kilted men with honor in abundance. Love the story, love the series and love how Sharon Cullen wraps me in plaids, completely part of the clan!
About the Author: After earning a degree in journalism from Ohio University Sharon found that the stories inside her head were more interesting than what was going on in the world around her. Yet, it wasn’t until years later that she decided to pursue her secret dream of writing a romance novel. Since then she’s been published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance and contemporary romance. The Notorious Lady Anne is her first historical romance.
Sharon’s other job descriptions include chauffer, laundress, cook and mediator to her three very busy kids, her husband and two dogs. She lives in southwest Ohio with her brood although her dream is to someday retire to St. Maarten and live on the beach.
If you’d like to find out more about Sharon and her books, you can visit her at her blog or her website. She’s addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion—books