Sutherland's Secret: A Highland Pride Novel

Sutherland's Secret: A Highland Pride Novel

by Sharon Cullen
4.6 25

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Sutherland's Secret: A Highland Pride Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't typically leave reviews, but I absolutely loved this book! It was such a touching story. It is tender, funny, and hella hot. I can't wait to read the next in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Many sex scenes do not make up for an obvious contrived plot and an OUTLANDER inspired story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a wonderful thrilling adventure in the Highlands. Loved all of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful and touching story. Kept my interest all the way through the book. Can't wait for the next book in this series. I highly recommend this book and hope the rest of this series is as good.
ASouthernGirlReads More than 1 year ago
Recently I suffered a rather nasty bout of pneumonia. I rarely get sick, but this knocked me out for several weeks. So what’s a girl to do when she can’t get out of bed? In this case, I read lots and lots of books. I guess every cloud does have a silver lining! Most of the time, I didn’t feel like reading anything too heavy. I needed fun, entertaining books. Sutherland’s Secret met these needs perfectly. This book kicks off Sharon Cullen’s new Highland Pride series, and I am a total sucker for anything related to Scotland, Jacobites, or the Highlands. The action begins with Brice Sutherland, Earl of Dornach. A Jacobite sympathizer, he smuggles those wanted by the British to ships waiting in a nearby harbor. Those ships carry the wanted Jacobites to Canada where they start a new life. While out patrolling his estates, he comes across a dying and dirty English girl laying in the road. Expecting her to die before they reach his castle, he picks up her and carries her with him. However, she survives, and Brice hides her in his castle. Her name is Eleanor, and she carries a deadly secret that threatens her, Brice, and his smuggling operation. In addition to the subject matter (remember, I am Jacobite fan girl), I enjoyed both main characters. Eleanor starts out naive and traumatized, but she grows up and becomes a strong woman. She stands up for what is right and doesn’t let others bully her. She is no damsel in distress waiting to be rescued. And thankfully, Brice appreciates a strong woman. Although he wants to protect her, he doesn’t expect her to be passive. He loves her strength of character and her intelligence. Eleanor also encounters other strong females at Castle Dornach. They teach her that intelligence doesn’t always have to come from school and books. And all the females support each other in their paths. Lastly, the sex scenes are very hot and steamy. I didn’t find anything cheesy and I didn’t roll my eyes once. If you’re looking for a steamy and entertaining summer read, I recommend picking up Sutherland’s Secret. But will my mom like it?? Yes, I think she will. She likes romance books and historical fiction, and there is no cursing.
Silk-Serif More than 1 year ago
Elanor Hirst, London socialite, cannot pass up the opportunity to travel to Scotland with her new husband Earl of Glendale. What was meant to be an exciting adventure to a foreign land became a nightmare that will change the course of Elanor's life forever. Her husband dead and a fugitive in an hostile country, Elanor is fearful for her life when she awakes in the arms of a dashing Scottish warrior. Although taught that the Scottish are a brutish and savage group Elanor develops deep affection for Sutherland and his people. In a world where nothing is certain Elanor finds herself falling for the least likely man in all of Scotland, and that love could put everything that man stands for in jeopardy. While Sutherland's Secret started off rough for me, I found in the end I enjoyed the historical aspects of this novel. I am Scottish in decent and am ashamed to admit that my knowledge of history is extremely "Canadian- centric". That is, I know plenty about Canada's role in history but I have never heard of Jacobites, the war between English and Scottish or the Battle of Culloden. I literally know nothing about my own Scottish heritage. Sadly (or was it an opportunity?!), reading Sutherland's Secret was a giant history lesson and my lack of knowledge of Scot history is shame inspiring. I loved learning about the Jacobites, the history behind their persecution and how they were smuggled from their own country to Canada in order to save their lives. Thanks to Sutherland's Secret I may have to delve into more Scottish historical literature. Clearly the country has a rich and dramatic history to which I have little to no knowledge! Sutherland's Secret started off rough for me because of the unnecessary inclusion of accents into the writing style. I have never been a fan of novels that include inflection into their narrative mostly because it's distracting and superfluous. Obviously, this is a personal taste and really has no real effect for readers in general. Just a small, whiny side note. I did feel that perhaps Brice and Elanor's relationship fell into the insta-love category. Once Elanor was healthy, things moved super fast in beginning stages of the romance. The couple proclaim love and even begin a sexual relationship far quicker than I personally would have liked. I am a huge fan of slow burn romance and felt like with some time and patience this would have been a wonderful romance novel. However, the amount of support that the couple showed one another once they hit their stride was inspiring. It's so rare to find a novel with a couple who compliments one another's strengths and weaknesses so well. I really felt like Elanor and Brice because they had such a real connection. Also, I loved their relationship because it was so realistic regardless of how doubtful I was of their insta-love beginnings. Sutherland's Secret is your typical star croSutherland's Secret has decent character building other than the inital insta-lurve. I was over joyed to find that Sharon Cullen developed strong characters that didn't waver in their beliefs, had their own distinct personalities and were strong individuals. I was expecting to hate Elanor, but instead found myself relating to her on many levels. She didn't act the part of a victim, but instead found ways to repay Sutherland for taking her in. Even Sutherland seemed to maintain his character as a kind leader who cares about his people. All in all, Sutherland's Secret is a diamond in the rough.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Lady Eleanor Hirst, the Countess of Glendale, endured torture and beatings at the hands of Colonel Henry Blackwood. She thought he was a friend until he had her husband executed and her jailed. Finally she escaped this monster. Fate favored her when she was found by Brice Sutherland. Thanks to his tender care she recovers. Can she recover her life? Lady Eleanor is a magnificent heroine. Her interaction with Brice pulled me into their romance. It was wonderful to see her grow into a fearless and strong woman. Brice is a noble man. He's a true hero who will protect his woman with his life. When they are together, the sparks fly. I loved seeing them together. The wild beauty of Scotland adds to the feeling of danger. Sharon Cullem makes the characters come. I enjoyed her. characters and the suspenseful plot that filled me with excitement. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
This is book 1 in the Highland Pride series. When Brice Sutherland, the Earl of Dornoch, finds a half-dead woman in the middle of the road, he can't just leave her there. Even knowing that if he is found with her, it could mean his death, Brice takes the woman up on his horse with him and makes his way home. No one is more surprised than him, when the woman survives. But what surprises him even more is the attraction he feels for her. After his wife left him, Brice had given up on women. Lady Eleanor Hirst had been to hall and back when she was found by Brice, but did she escape from one hell just to be put into another? She soon learns that Brice doesn't mean her any harm and she relaxes her guard only to find herself wildly attracted to him. Brice and Eleanor both know that their being together could bring devastation to his clan, but they can't seem to stay away from each other. Can they figure out a way to stay together? Loved this story!! I don't think there has been a story of Cullen's that I haven't loved. I had loved her Secrets & Seduction series and wondered if this new Highlander series would be just as good. I shouldn't have worried. It doesn't matter what time period or country that Cullen is writing about, she is masterful at what she does. Bryce, wow!! You couldn't ask for a better hero in a story. He made me want to travel back in time just to meet him, LOL! He was a strong Highland laird, but he had a delicate side when dealing with the battered Eleanor. Eleanor was just as strong a character. To have endured what she did and still have the strength to survive and go after the man that treated her so poorly was amazing. I can't wait to Cullen's next book in the series. It stars Sutherland's friend, Colin MacLean! I don't know if I can wait until June! Thanks go out to Random House via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
SteppyD More than 1 year ago
They are super serious when they say if you love Maya Banks and Monica McCarty then you don't want to miss this book! I am a lover of both of those authors so I though I would give this book a go. And boy do I have to say I was NOT disappointed…..this book was AMAZING!!! I will definitely buy the future books in this series as well as other Sharon Cullen books. Brice Sutherland is a tough, yet kind-hearted Highland warrior which all lady readers will fall head-over-heels for and the torture that you find out Eleanor Hirst has gone through and her fighting personality will have you routing for her as the bad guy gets his comeuppance. Both of the main character's were developed very well and you will definitely fall in love with both of them. I couldn't put the book down because the whole story kept me on my toes and was excited to see what was going to happen next. Many important characters were developed in this first book and I am crossing my fingers that a few get their own book. Yay! MacLean's book is supposed to be next!! I can't wait!!! :D
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
This story has a lot of grit to it. Not everything is sunshine and roses. Eleanor's early life is all roses, but she learns the harshness of reality and loses her naivete. Despite all that, she trusts her instincts when she recovers under the care of Brice and his clan. Brice is a wonderful hero. He is hurt by all that his kinsmen are going through and does what he can to help, including picking up a dying woman and staying with her so that she will not die alone. I loved the 'new' Eleanor with her drive to help others, her promise to avenge her husband, and acceptance of the rougher life in the Highlands. Brice is so compassionate yet realistic about his situation, and his loyalty knows no bounds. I highly recommend this story. I had a chance to read this book through Netgalley for an honest review.
Sissymae1 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the series "Highland Pride". I love Sharon Cullen books and this one did not disappoint! It comes with a lot of emotions, of sad, anger and most all love. Brice Sutherland, the Earl of Dornach who is our hero, comes across what he thought at first were a bundle of 'rags' in the middle of the road/path. He find not rags but our heroine, Eleanor Hirst. Eleanor has had a hard time of it.. her husband has been hanged falsely as a traitor, she has been in prison for not taking the offer of "protection" of the man who took her husband position in the military. Eleanor has escaped only to be found by Brice... this starts their love story and how they overcame so much to be together. I really enjoyed this book and so happy that it starts a series... I can't wait to read the next book!
def618 More than 1 year ago
I'm new to this author, but love Scottish books so I asked NetGalley for an ARC. It is a good book and it holds your attention. Sutherland's Secret takes place in the months following the battle of Culloden (1745). The hero, Brice Sutherland, Earl of Dornach did not fight for either side. But the damage the English are doing to his country has caused him to help those who have lost their homes to flee to Canada. While out with his men, he comes across an unconscious woman. He does not want the English to find her so takes her with him to his castle to care for her. He is attracted to her even though she is English. Lady Eleanor Hirst came with her husband to Scotland with no idea of life in a country at war. Her husband is betrayed and killed by a fellow officer who wants to wed her for his own gain. When she wants nothing to do with him, he has her imprisoned. She eventually escapes, starved, scarred and near death when Brice finds her. She falls in love with Brice, likes living in Scotland but wants revenge on the man who had her falsely imprisoned. I do not like to read or write plot spoilers. I like to discover the intricacies of the plot as I read. I will be reading the next book in this series, "MacLean's Passion", and hope you try this one.
caragon6 More than 1 year ago
This story was exciting from page one. We meet Eleanor on a deserted road where the Highlander Lord Brice Sutherland finds her nearly dead. There begins one of the most exciting adventures as we get swept in the story of Brice and Eleanor. I loved watching Eleanor's character evolve throughout the story and you couldn't help, but fall in love with Brice for his chivalry and tenderness. The pacing was good that kept the story flowing along with the setting and Scottish brogue lent to further enveloping you in the story. The tension of turmoil from the villain kept you turning the page it kept your heart racing. I loved that a real battle from history and its consequences were used this also gave the story an air of possibility. I would recommend this book for an exciting read. I was given an advanced copy from NetGalley for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for my honest reviews WOW! I really loved this book -- and I don't say that often. I read it straight through -- I couldn't put it down. This is a new author for me and I'll definitely read other books by her. It has a wonderfully sweet love story and the required HEA has enough tear-jerky moments to keep you sniffling (and I never sniffle) and enough suspense to keep you turning the pages. The book takes place in Scotland just after the battle of Culloden when the English are ravaging Scotland. Brice Sutherland and some of his clan are returning home from a multi-clan meeting when they pass a dirty clump of rags in the road. Brice, for some reason, gets off his horse and starts picking at the rags -- only to discover that the rags are actually a scarred, beaten, emaciated, smelly female that he feels will be dead before morning. He sends his men on toward home and tells them he will stay until she dies because nobody should die alone. He picks her up onto his horse and begins carrying her through the woods toward his home -- figuring he'll bury her along the way. She, Eleanor Hirst, is still alive when they reach Brice's castle and he takes her in and they nurse her back top health. She has the english army looking for her -- at least one Colonel who has falsely imprisoned her after he has murdered her husband. Eleanor and Brice fall in love even though it will cost him and his clan their lives and property if they are caught harboring her. He's also helping Jacobites escape Scotland and go to Canada. The english looking for Eleanor makes transporting the Jacobites more risky. There is a nice twist in the HEA in the epilogue. This is an excellent book read it -- I think you'll like it.
JoRead More than 1 year ago
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.
jdh2690 More than 1 year ago
Brice and Eleanor…what an exciting and love-ly couple! A strong Highland Earl with large holdings to protect and a pampered English woman found battered and unconscious on a road near his holdings. This story was written so well that I felt like a witness, saw Brice falling for an “enemy” woman, and saw Eleanor coming back to life and becoming a strong Highland supporter, and likewise falling for the Highland Earl. It was a truly swoon-worthy romance and I found myself resenting daily household duties that would encroach on my reading time so I could finish the story sooner! Though this was my first story by Ms. Cullen, I will now be reading her other releases because I loved this story so much.
JuliaAD More than 1 year ago
The characters are great! Brice Sutherland has a lot of secrets. When he is riding home, he sees a pile of rags laying in the middle of the road. It isn't rags, it is a woman. She is so near death that he doesn't think she will live through the night. She does live and becomes another of his secrets. She has a wild tale to tell and he must help her. Eleanor falls in love with Brice, but tries to leave him as she doesn't want to put Brice and his people in more danger because of her enemies. Brice doesn't want to give her up, but he knows that if he doesn't it will bring a lot of trouble to his doorstep.
KimP65 More than 1 year ago
Wow! Just Wow! This story was absolutely brilliant. The writing was amazing. The story line kept me hooked from beginning to end. I was so enthralled and had to find out how it ended, never wanting to put the book down. The characters were strong, courageous and exciting. I really appreciated the depiction of the British in this story, when reading a Scotland book in or around the war you don't often find the honest story telling, it's usually told with all British being horrible but this gave a sincere and fair depiction of the characters both good and bad. The excitement of the clan was brought to life with the attention to detail. I loved that the author went so far as to explain the customs as they were, not as they are sometimes want to be. This is truly an historic depiction of historic events that will make you fall in love with the Scots all over again.
KimRocha More than 1 year ago
Following a meeting with the lairds and families of Scotland, Brice Sutherland, the Earl of Dornach and his men find a woman near death in a pile of tattered garments in the middle of the road towards home. When Brice sends his men on ahead home, his intentions of comforting the woman in her last probable hours is foremost in his thoughts. He never thought the battered and beaten lass would survive the night, but when she proves him wrong, his only choice is to take her to his home and nurse her back to health. Not knowing her identity could be the downfall could be dangerous, but the only honorable thing to do is help her. English lady, Eleanor Hirst went from being the toast of the ton to a prisoner in a Scottish dungeon. Unbelievably, her jailers are none other than her own countryman. With her husband accused of being a traitor to the crown and Eleanor watching him hang before her eyes, a proposal by her husband's executioner leave her shocked and betrayed when her refusal to marry the man thrown in a cell and beaten for weeks, She seizes her chance to escape the horror, preferring to die free than at the hands of evil. Upon awakening in the forest with a strange Scot tending to her wounds, Eleanor finds herself without a voice and her future uncertain. Understanding somewhat what's happened to the wounded woman, Brice tries to ease her fears. He brings her into his home and treats her with care, only to have her more confused. When the people who should very well be her enemy, harbor her from the man who caused her harm, Eleanor begins to blossom once again among her new comrades. Brice's attraction to the English high born, widow could very well mean the end of him, but the call to Eleanor is a strong one and giving in is sweet ecstasy. How will two people from two different worlds at war with one another overcome not only that war, but the evil of the man seeking to extinguish the only proof that he is the traitor? When given the choice of returning to her family fold, or remaining with the man she has come so fiercely to love, will Eleanor choose love? Grab Sharon Cullen's latest great read, SUTHERLAND'S SECRET, to find out. SUTHERLAND'S SECRET, the first book in the Highland Pride series is an attention grabber and keeper. This well written story with strong and interesting characters leaves me yearning for the next tale author Sharon Cullen has to offer. Brice Sutherland is tough as nails when it comes to those under his protection, but for as tough as he can be under the worst of circumstances he is as endearing, patient and compassionate with Eleanor. This woman has been though hell and back but with Brice's care, she blooms into the woman she never knew she could be, and that transformation is a sight to see. Definitely a winner for Sharon Cullen.
stanhope3234 More than 1 year ago
This is my first book by author Sharon Cullen and it most definitely will not be my last. I loved everything about this book. The characters are true alpha Highlanders and strong females. It's filled with romance and intrigue and a great plot. I can't wait to read the next book in this series and reading Ms. Cullen's past books.
debwill74 More than 1 year ago
Are you looking for a man who's big, strong, brave, ferociously loyal to his country and loves fiercely? Then Brice Sutherland may be the man for you. Sutherland's Secret is an unbelievably great read. Sharan Cullen puts you in the story and makes you want to be there in the Highlands. Elanor Hirst has just escaped one horrific experience and awakens to what could possibly be an even worse nightmare. She doesn't have many options and doesn't know a soul she can turn to. Brice Sutherland. head of the Sutherland Clan has just discovered a woman who is nearly dead in the middle of the road and he now has to figure out what to do with her. What happens when an English lady meets a Scottish warrior? Find out in Sutherland's Secret. I received this copy of Sutherland's Secret by Sharon Cullen from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book , first book of this authors that I have read. Now I want to eat them all. Could not put this book down. A good book is not only one you can't putdown, it makes you laugh at times and think I did not see that coming.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept my interest all the way though the novel