Scotland, 1906. A mysterious object discovered inside an ancient castle calls Maximilian Haywood, the new Duke of Olympia, and his fellow researcher Emmeline Truelove north to the remote Orkney Islands. No stranger to the study of anachronisms in archeological digs, Haywood is nevertheless puzzled by the artifact: a suit of clothing that, according to family legend, once belonged to a selkie who rose from the sea and married the castle’s first laird.
But Haywood and Truelove soon realize they’re not the only ones interested in the selkie’s strange hide. When their mutual friend Lord Silverton vanishes in the night from an Edinburgh street, their quest takes a dangerous turn through time, which puts Haywood’s extraordinary talents—and Truelove’s courage—to their most breathtaking test yet.
Publication Date: September 19th, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Received From: Netgalley in exchange for honest feedback
My Rating: 4/5
I am a sucker for anything Scottish, so obviously this title hooked me right away! I do like the cover, though it puts me more in mind of a cozy mystery, and other readers on Goodreads have shelved it in mystery, so I spent most of the book thinking it was a mystery, and I'm pretty sure that it showed up in that genre to me on Netgalley, even though they considered it Historical Fiction and Romance in the write up. Be that as it may, there IS a mystery to be solved, and a very interesting one at that!
First off, this is the second in a series, but that didn't give me too much trouble, other than making me want to go back and read the first one! It has several of my favorite touchstones, time travel, archaeology, mysterious artifacts and Scotland, and it didn't disappoint! I found Truelove to be a bit like Amelia Peabody in my favorite Egyptian mystery series by Elizabeth Peters, which is to say, she must be in the middle of everything and she will satisfy her curiosity, even at great danger to herself! I'd like to see the development of her friendly/working relationship with Max which I believe happens in the first book, as we don't see much of him here. It seems like a very close friendship, which causes more than a few misunderstandings for them, The main focus of the story is on Truelove and Silverton (also an enigma as we get to see two very different versions of his personality).
There are many twists and plenty of action! I expected the ending to work out differently than it did, and I'm interested to see where the series goes from here, because the premise can't just end there! I definitely recommend this one to the Scotland/Ancient Scotland romance and time traveling fans, this wasn't your typical historical romance in my opinion, as my notion that it was a mystery really never ended. I felt there was just as much focus on that, as on the romance, and I'm interested in more!