Sutherland's Secret - A review

Sutherland's Secret: A Highland Pride Novel - Sharon Cullen

This story started so amazingly captivating that I hoped it would remain so until the end but it just wasn’t so. I devoured the first few chapters in only a few hours but after a while I just had to put it down. No biggie, it happens. Sometimes you have to be away for a while to feel the heat again however I have to say that didn’t happen here.

The story takes place in Scotland after the battle of Culloden when there was still some talk of an uprising against the British, hence those thought to be traitors to the crown were being thrown in jail or worse. Our heroine Eleanor is witness to some terrible crimes against these so-called traitors and goes mute out of fear. She’s in a foreign country and doesn’t know anyone and feels she cannot trust anyone either so she pretty much gives up and is about to die when she meets our hero Brice. Given that they are both from the opposing “team” neither of them give in to trust the other however little by little he wins over her trust. She not so much his.
The historical subplot was amazing. For instance, we learn that there was an escape route that took many Jacobites and their possible allies from that area to Canada in search of a chance at life. We learn how the lairds and their people used to live at the times and how those in high ranks have used (and abused) their power since for ever. So as far as researching her topic and creating a plausible and vivid setting the author did a great job. Now, when it comes to the main characters I have a few cavils that unfortunately prevented me to enjoy the story to the fullest.

At the beginning of the story Eleanor sounded so vulnerable and terrified that her actions and reactions were completely understandable. However after a certain incident it was BOOM! a completely different character, and to me it wasn’t even a turning point in the story. She even recuperated her ability to speak without so much as a hint of a hoarse voice. I get that what she went through made her a stronger woman but the change felt forced as opposed to gradual. Then she went on to prove herself and her love for Brice over and over again and it still wasn’t enough for him. I have to say I wasn’t happy with the ending because of his attitude. And again I get the reasoning behind his feelings but he was way too possessive for reasons out of her control. Yes, there was definitely a HEA but it made me feel there was no middle ground when it came to it and that to Brice it was either my way or the highway.
Since this was the first of a series and my first from this author I will continue reading more by her and this series.


I received a copy of this story by Netgally in exchange for an honest review.