August 27, 2018
Rating: 5 Cups
Theodora “Theo” Barebone is a successful American house flipper. She is also still recovering from her husband’s infidelity, and their subsequent divorce. She goes to Scotland where she finds herself on the beautiful Isle of Islay. When she sees the Wayfarer’s Cottage on a tour and learns of its haunted history, she just knows she has to buy it.
Owen Beaumont did something unspeakable that he cannot remember in 1667. Now he is forced to endure purgatory, with short breaks via trips to his cottage and back again. The only thing is, his cottage and the people around outside look different. They dress differently, and have odd contraptions that he cannot begin to understand. Just when he might have a chance to figure some of it out, he is drawn back to his small, blistering hot cell. Until Theo moves into the cottage that is, and his world begins to change.
Theo is intrigued by the cottage and its haunted history. It is clear that all the locals believe that Owen Beaumont, a minister from the 1600’s haunts his former home. The thing is, from the very first time Theo is inside the cottage she feels she is not alone. When Owen finally materializes, no one is more stunned than Theo, and while she wants to believe it is all in her imagination, as Owen’s trips back and forth continue to happen, he begins to become more and more “real” to her. Eventually she realizes that Owen truly is a real being, though there is evidence he is not “living” per se. Neither knows what is going on because Owen cannot remember all of what happened to him that threw him into his purgatory to begin with, however, the more Theo gets to know him, the more determined she is to help him discover his memories, and find a way to keep him from returning to his cell. But a vengeful woman from the past will work hard to thwart them both, and if Owen and Theo do not find a way to strengthen their bond and find the task that will set the past right, she may yet win.
Oh, man, this was one of the best stories I have read in months! Just absolutely fantastic world building, character development, and storytelling all around. Owen and Theo’s story kept me on the edge of my seat until I read the very last page. The suspense was enough to make me scream, and even cry at times but that is what makes a story one of the best, the emotions that travel through it as the reader experiences everything the characters do. There is a ton of sexual tension in this story, but again, that is what made the story so wonderful, anyone can write a steamy sex scene, but if an author can get the emotions right, then that is what can make or break a bestseller in my opinion, and Ms. Winter did that in spades! If you enjoy paranormal romance with a lot of history and suspense, then you will most definitely want to read The Cottage! I highly recommend it!
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More