Book Review: The Cottage by Michael Phillips

thecottage-ciTitleThe Cottage (Secrets of the Shetlands #2)
Author: Michael Phillips
Pages: 416
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Genre: Christian Fiction
SummaryWhen 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 Whale’s 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.

TRB Review – 4/5 

The fantastic Scottish accents and gorgeous Shetland scenery combined with good hearted humor and a riveting storyline keeps you hooked from the first chapter!

I did not have the chance to read the prequel to this novel, Inheritance (Secrets of the Shetlands #1), but without any prior context I can happily say that it was a pleasant and compelling read regardless. I honestly don’t know that you even need to read the first book to follow the character development, but it’s always a good idea to go in order!

It took me quite a while to get to this review, which was a mix of my own and other sources faults. I am so glad that I read it though! It’s not often in an ever growing world of erotica and paranormal romance publications that we find a decent Christian Fiction novel. What I quickly learned to like about Michael Phillip’s writing is that he weaves a fantastic story while teaching valuable lessons, he takes the time to define and develop his characters, and keeps your wheels turning all the while.

“A wise man knoweth when he has contracted foot-in-mouth disease.” – The Cottage, Michael Phillips

Loni Ford really resonates with me because she is a kind hearted but very driven woman. She has a great career and has worked hard to get herself there, so when her life is turned upside down by the surprise inheritance in the Shetland Isles, her reaction is of no surprise to me! She develops beautifully, and is very easy to relate to. Her struggles are human, and her thoughts were way too similar to mine!

The story really gets gripping toward the middle/latter half of the book, so much builds on the struggles of the town and the new threats by Hardy Tulloch that you just want to keep reading! It was very difficult to put down, and it even has me considering starting from the beginning with book one and continuing with the third installment! This is a very lighthearted read that can be enjoyed any time of day, but prepare yourself for endless hours of not wanting to put the book down!

I received a complementary copy of this book from the Bethany House Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

michael-phillipsMICHAEL PHILLIPS (b.1946), one of many in a rising generation of spiritual offspring of C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and the legacy of the Inklings, has made it his life’s passion to promote the teachings of these giants of the past.

Michael Phillips is considered to be one of the most versatile and prolific Christian authors of our time. To those unfamiliar with his work, the question, “What kind of books does Michael Phillips write?” has no easy answer. He began his distinguished writing career in 1977 with several non-fiction titles.  Since that time, he has authored over twenty non-fiction books, most notably dealing with the nature and character of God and the Fatherhood of God. After turning to the writing of novels in the mid – 1980s, Phillips has penned some sixty fiction titles of great variety.  The enormous breadth of his faithful audience is testimony that his writings are universal in their appeal.  Most of his series have been best sellers in the Christian market.

To find out more about this author, visit his website and Facebook page!

You can purchase The Cottage from one of your favorite online retailers below:
Amazon, Baker Book House (Bethany House), Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository


Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas


When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

TRB Review – 5/5

An impressive reweaving of the classic Beauty and the Beast with it’s own fantastic twist on the enchanting world of magic and faeries. Sarah J Maas did an incredible job creating a world that not for one second did I want to leave for my own reality!

The honest reason that I started this book (it should be known early on that this was my first Maas novel) was because of all the hype that I saw on social media about it and it’s sequel, A Court of Mist and Fury. By the time I came around to joining the Maas fandom, there were already five books in her Throne of Glass series and two in this series. I do own Throne of Glass, but my boyfriend started reading it at the same time I started ACOTAR so I’ll be moving on to that one a few weeks from now. Sometimes I think I have too many books, then I laugh and remind myself that there is no such thing as I run to my bookshelves and start singing merrily while I admire them all in their glory!

I’ll probably lose some bookish friends over what I am saying here, but perhaps it will be understood that I have not yet continued on to ACOMAF (which has been ordered btw, it should be arriving Tuesday afternoon). That seems to be where most of the hype stems from. Rhysand anyone? Maybe I’ll be forgiven.

Okay. Here goes.

For all of the hype that this series received, I don’t fully understand what was so fantastic. I only say this because it took almost 100 pages for me to truly be convinced it was worth finishing, and I honestly didn’t even realize that there were traces of a Beauty and the Beast retelling until my bf pointed out the running theme in her books after he read something about it online. Then it clicked. That’s enough negativity, I admit that I became addicted quickly once the story picked up!

The main character, Feyre, is well rounded from the start. Her struggles and upbringing do her no favors, and in spite of those things she blossoms into a very strong female protagonist. Her main concerns are consistently the safety and wellness of her sisters and father, which was refreshing to see. Of course there’s the romance that builds up as the story moves forward, OH THE ROMANCE!! Sometimes I really despise writing no-spoiler reviews because I have so many questions and I need answers 😬 Discussion anyone?

I’d like to see a bit less of the more of the broken and hopeless Feyre, and more of the fiesty and courageous gal that had this conversation:

“Do you ever stop being so serious and dull?”
“Do you ever stop being such a prick?” I snapped back.
Dead—really, truly, I should have been dead for that.
But Lucien grinned at me. “Much better.”

I was very impressed with the mortal/magical realm(s) that Maas created. The creatures, Fae and Faeries specifically, were unlike anything I’ve read before. There were some completely new aspects to these creatures that I’ve not seen in a story before, but her descriptiveness really brought out the vivid imagery in my mind and made it very possible to picture everything. Of course, at one point I got caught up in fan art on Pinterest too, seeing other people’s renditions of characters is always exciting!

Once I fell for the characters and things started getting a bit more interesting, I couldn’t put this book down. I binge read it in about 3 days (considering I have full-time work and school, that’s the fastest I’ve read a book in years) and I seriously debated for an additional 24 hours whether or not it would be appropriate to revoke my book ban to order ACOMAF, which definitely happened. I’m hoping that ACOMAF is not as slow starting, I truly do have a new outlook going into the sequel even if it is 85% for my excitement in discovering Rhysand and all of his glory that people can’t stop raving about!

Have you read A Court of Thorns and Roses? Tell us what YOU thought about it in the comments below!

This book was provided by SocialBookCo in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:


Sarah J. Maas is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series, as well as A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury. A New York native, Sarah currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and dog.

Visit her website or connect with Sarah via FB, Twitter, and Instagram!

If you haven’t already purchased this fantastic book, follow my custom link to SocialBookCo and they’ll help you find the lowest price via TONS of different retailers!