The Cottage, a novel by Michael Phillips, is the second book in the Secrets of the Shetlands series. While The Cottage can be read as a stand alone book, I highly recommend reading the first book, The Inheritance, as it is beautifully written. The Cottage opens in 2006. Loni Ford, an American, is now in Whales Reef which is in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. Her reason for being there is an unusual one. She has inherited land and a great deal more in this area. She is now a millionaire and ultimately responsible for the livelihood of the residents. Still struggling to adjust to the inheritance, she verbally commits to have a distant cousin manage things once she returns to her life in Washington, D.C. Fortunately, she overhears him boasting that he will basically cheat and rob her. She turns to David Tulloch, a man whose commitment to the people of Whales Reef is rock solid. A relationship develops and when it seems all is going well, a misunderstanding sends Loni fleeing back to America. David follows her there with the hope of convincing her to return to Whales Reef. During their absence, there are forces developing that threaten to turn the population against Loni. Does Loni have the strength to gain control of the situation?
Loni and David are fascinating characters. They are deep and complex people who know what is worth doing and what really matters. The author brings both the setting and the people to life in such a way that the reader will think about them long after having finished the book. This is a very special book and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I highly recommend reading this beautifully written novel.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Bethany House Publishers and the opinions expressed in this review are my own.