I just went back and read my review of “The Inheritance”, first book in Secrets of the Shetlands series. I discovered that I, like other viewers, struggled with its lack of dialogue and felt that I was left hanging at its end. I can positively say that “The Cottage” takes up where “The Inheritance” left off but picks up the pace quite well and the characters begin to talk amongst themselves a bit more. Now that I’ve read both books I firmly believe that the first really set the stage for the rest of the series.

One thing I liked about “The Cottage” is how much some of the characters discussed the church and its theology. I’ll admit that I was in agreement with much that was said so I very much enjoyed those discussions.”The Cottage” was also more suspenseful with danger lurking for Loni because her approach as heir to Whale Island was not to someone’s liking. Then there was the potential romance I hoped would develop between Loni and David. Seems that a little progress was made but I’m still waiting for something more definite to happen – hopefully in the final book of the series.

If “The Cottage” has a major theme, it might be that “your sins will find you out”. Hardy, for one, ran his mouth way too much and revealed his plans without knowing it. Another man paid a very high price for his actions.

All in all, I have enjoyed this series very much and do plan to read the final installment, hopefully in the near future. This is a must series for those who love Scotland.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.


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. . . .


michael-phillips-2Michael Phillips is a bestselling author who has penned more than seventy books, both fiction and nonfiction. In addition, he has served as editor/redactor of nearly thirty more books. Over the past thirty years, his persistent efforts have helped reawaken interest in the writings of nineteenth century Scotsman George MacDonald. Michael and his wife, Judy, spend time each year in Scotland, but make their home near Sacramento, California. Visit Michael’s website at