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The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley is part historical novel and part romance with a dash of family history.  I first saw this book in Target and wrote down the title hoping that one of the libraries would get it (because I don't buy my books; I borrow them from the library).  It took a long time but one of the libraries did eventually get a copy and I borrowed it.  I liked this book enough that I looked up Kearsley's other books, but a couple of them seemed like they kind of had similar plots with time travelling historical romances.  They didn't really pique my interest.

Best selling historical fiction novelist Carrie McClelland is struggling with her current novel, set in France amidst the intrigue of the exiled Scottish court of the last Stewart king.  Upon stumbling on the beautiful atmospheric ruins of Slains castle, whose resident noble family is at the heart of an ill fated Jacobite plot to land the Stewart king on Scotland's shores, Carrie knows she must reverse course with her novel and set it instead at Slains.

After relocating to Cruden Bay, home to Slains, Carrie finds that her story and characters flow and take shape as if they have a life of their own.  Channeling a story rife with exquisite historical details that she has never researched and therefore cannot know, Carrie is chilled to discover that perhaps her connection to these past events is rooted in some sort of ancestral memory passed down the generations and that the story she channels is actually that of her ancestor, Sophia Paterson.  Embarking upon a romance that strangely parallels her own ancestor's ill fated romance with a soldier, Carrie continues her all consuming journey into the past as she writes her book.

This novel is rich with the flavor of the Scottish dialect and spirit, heavy with searing betrayals, intrigues and tragedies that make it hard to put down until the stories of both Carrie and Sophia are resolved.  Historical romance lovers will enjoy this book.  I recommend you check it out the next time you visit the library.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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