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

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*NEW* December TBR

I’ve done some recent re-designing on my blog, and thought it the perfect time to make some changes around here! My reading goal for 2017 is 25 books. I thought I’d set it low since I will be working & attending school full-time. Who doesn’t love to exceed a goal anyway, right?! So, partially to keep tabs on myself & partially to interact with you guys a bit more, each month I’ll be posting my TBR list here! ***see below for a question***

Most of my TBR pile consists of ARC’s and review requests, but come January it will be more of my own purchases and choices, I’ll be cutting back on marketed reviews because of a heavy semester. Below you’ll find my TBR list for the month of December along with each book’s details & synopsis. Skip to the bottom to comment and be so kind as to answer this question for me:

*** I’d love for this to be a much more interactive blog, so I was thinking about starting read-alongs on my FB page that will follow my TBR list posted at the beginning of each month. Would you participate? What would I need to do to in order to garner your interest? I’d absolutely love & appreciate any feedback from you guys! ***


The Books

eth-cover  acotar-cover  rotc-cover  tc-over


eth-coverTitleEver the Hunted 
Author – Erin Summerill
Genre – YA/high fantasy
Length/Pub – 400 pages, ARC (pub. 12/27/16)
Synopsis – Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.


acotar-coverTitle – A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author – Sarah J. Maas
Genre – YA/fantasy
Length/Pub – 416 pages, 2015
Synopsis – 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 grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.


rotc-coverTitle – Return of the Continuums (13th Continuum #2)
Author – Jennifer Brody
Genre – YA/sci-fi/dystopia
Length/Pub – 432 pages, 2016
Synopsis – As Myra and her friends set out to find the First Continuum, Captain Aero Wright and two companions from the outer space Second Continuum find themselves banished for treason and stranded on Earth. Wright has vowed to complete his late father’s mission to recolonize their ancestral planet, but his true mission is to find the mysterious girl who haunts his dreams. Meanwhile, Myra and the young refugees of the underwater Thirteenth Continuum must make an unlikely ally if they are going to survive the hostile surface world and reach their destination, the nexus of humanity’s hope for survival. As their paths begin to converge, the Beacons that guide and connect Myra and Aero begin to prove their power, and a shadowy force with a centuries-old grudge reveals itself.


tc-overTitle – The Cottage (Secret of the Shetlands #2)
Author – Michael Phillips
Genre – Christian Fiction
Length/Pub – 416 pages, 2016
Synopsis – 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 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.


If you’ve made it this far, or you’ve skipped to the bottom as instructed above (hehe), please leave a comment below and tell me what you think about the following:

*** I’d love for this to be a much more interactive blog, so I was thinking about starting read-alongs on my FB page that will follow my TBR list posted at the beginning of each month. Would you participate? What would I need to do to in order to garner your interest? I’d absolutely love & appreciate any feedback from you guys! ***

Thank you SO much for your love and support!

Savana