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A Stranger's Secret (A Cliffs of Cornwall…
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A Stranger's Secret (A Cliffs of Cornwall Novel)

by Laurie Alice Eakes

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A Stranger’s Secret is the sixth book I have read by this author. In some ways, I might say it was better than the previous title in series, with its somewhat worn characterization of the superfluous and wonderful American hero. Morwenna was an interesting character in the last book, and is the protagonist in this one, which made things somewhat more interesting to see her come into her own, and her perspective on events.
I am sure though that her son’s name was changed- I’m sure I remember her calling him Conan after his father in the last one- but now he’s called Mihal- some kind of Cornish version of Michael, apparently. As for the hero- well like most in romance novels is was hugely handsome- though not as annoyingly sanctimonious as Rowan Curnow from the last book, and was at least credible. Except perhaps his Somerset accent.

There were also some wonderfully evocative and realistic depictions of the Cornish landscape, with some exiting scenes- but- I could say the first part of the novel was better. By the end I felt that the mystery was drawn out for too long, and events as well as the characters actions and responses became too predictable and repetitive. I mean David was poisoned something like three times- and the device of every chapter, or almost every chapter, having to end with some dramatic event or cliff-hanger just didn’t always work for me.
Could this reader be forgiven for mentioning Drama at the expense of other aspects of good storytelling?

Sadly also, this novel seemed to have a lot of the clichés of romantic fiction, with characters kissing and touching at really inappropriate or illogical moments- including in company- beating themselves up about how it was totally unseemly- then doing it again. I also found some of the characters attitudes annoyingly inconsistent. Morwenna’s grandparents for instance seemed to be presented as loving and having her best interests at heart one minute- then shortly after she would be griping about how ‘authoritarian’ they were. I have noticed that a few other books by this author seem to level the same accusation at authority figures such as parents- and it times it seems to be for no other reason than that they won’t let the protagonist do what they want- even if it’s dangerous, stupid or illogical, because it goes against their ideas of personal ‘freedom’.

On a personal level, I did not appreciate the passage in which one of the characters was scornful of the idea of freedom and equality- saying another character who believed it was as bad as an American- which seemed to be implying that such ideas were alien and abhorrent to ‘proper’ high-born Brits. To me, this seems a very arrogant notion, suggesting that Americans invented freedom and had some kind of monopoly on it.
American readers might attack me for this- but neither of the above is true.
Gripes aside, I would say this book was a marginal improvement on the last one, which annoyed me for several reasons which were mostly not present here. It is honestly not a bad novel, I just don’t think it’s that brilliant or has much to make it stand out from the crowd. Certainly worth reading as a decent regency with an interesting backdrop and a solid Christian theme. This series and author are not personal favourites, but others make like them better.

I received a free Kindle Edition of this book from Zondervan via Booklookbloggers for review. I was not required to write a positive one and all opinions expressed are my own.
( )
  Medievalgirl | Oct 4, 2016 |
Christian historical fiction, romance, A Cliffs of Cornwall series ( )
  JJMoore | Nov 21, 2015 |
One of the most suspenseful books I've read. It keeps you wondering from beginning to end.

A Christian Historical Romance set in 1813. I think it would have been helpful to have read the first book. You can read it as a stand alone, but I think it would have been a richer experience to have had the full background from the first book. Lady Morwenna Trelawny Penvenan is a widow wanting to hang onto her husband's impoverished estate for her son's inheritance. She won't accept help from her overbearing, wealthy Grandparents and tries to handle everything on her own. But her scandalous past and that of her husband holds her back.

David washes up on Morwenna's beach after wreckers lure the ship to unsafe waters along her shore. The wreckers are setting her up to make it look like she is doing it. But there was a reason he was on that ship. He was looking for answers about his father's death and the significance of the Trelawny medallion that his father had. The medallion that David had until Morwenna left him to get help. They both are seeking answers from each other, and both keeping secrets.

There's lots of "romantic tension" throughout. There were some parts that seemed more like "formula" writing to me. Like the scene where Morwenna goes for a horse ride with others, only to turn back and fall off her horse. Unless I missed something, it seemed the only point was that her clothes were too tight, popped open and became too revealing when she fell.

Other than that, it was a very good read and grabs your attention from the first paragraph. There are good Christian lessons here and there throughout the book about pride, honoring parents and trust in others and in God. The characters become endearing. I would like to know what becomes of everyone as time goes on! Love the cover. Zondervan seems to have a lot of great books.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan Publishers and BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”. http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html ( )
  Robin.Willson | Jun 4, 2015 |
Title: A Stranger’s Secret (Cliffs of Cornwall #2)
Author: Laurie Alice Eakes
Pages: 327
Year: 2015
Publisher: Zondervan
David Chastain arrives in Cornwall in a most unconventional fashion…as the sole survivor of a ship wreck. He is nursed back to health by Morwenna Penvenan. David had set out from his home where he works as a boat builder to find out more information about his father’s sudden death a month ago after his father left secretly with all the money the family had been saving. His father died in a place where he was not supposed to be and if David can’t find the answers he seeks, the family boat building business could very well go under. Did his beautiful rescuer have anything to do with his father’s death?
Morwenna Penvenan is a young widow with a small child, trying to hold on to his inheritance, but is losing the battle. She has little money, no means to earn any and a surfeit of pride that refuses to allow her to ask her grandparents for help. She is the target of a local group of ship wreckers and most believe she is part of the group due to her rebellious actions of the past. However, since her marriage more than two years ago, Morwenna has tried her best to live as a Christian. She discovers David’s battered body on the beach and takes care of him. While he heals, she wonders what he remembers of the ship wreck and if he can tell her anything that might lead to their capture. She is desperately trying to get investors to invest their money in the flooded tin and copper mines on her land so she can make some money to provide for her son and his future. Does David really remember nothing about the ship wreck as he claims?
This story has a good mystery, but doesn’t move too fast. There isn’t a lot of action until the couple of chapters with most of the story focused on the developing relationship between David and Morwenna. I liked the setting and Morwenna’s dedication to her son. David also was a good example of a man trying to live by the Christian principles taught to him by his parents. I could certainly relate to Morwenna’s pride and stubborn streak! I also liked reading about her struggles to live a new life as a Christian amidst a whole village that knew about her past; it made her character so much more realistic.
My rating is 4 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/. Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457 ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | May 10, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0310333407, Paperback)

As a grieving young widow, Morwenna only wants a quiet life for herself and her son. Until a man washes ashore, entangling her in a web of mystery that could threaten all she holds dear.

Lady Morwenna Trelawny Penvenan indulged in her fair share of dalliances in her youth, but now that she's the widowed mother to the heir of the Penvenan title, she's desperate to polish her reputation. When she's accused of deliberately luring ships to crash on the rocks to steal the cargo, Morwenna begins an investigation to uncover the real culprits and stumbles across an unconscious man lying in the sea's foam—a man wearing a medallion with the Trelawny crest around his neck.

The medallion is a mystery to David Chastain, a boat builder from Somerset. All David knows is that his father was found dead in Cornwall with the medallion in his possession after lying and stealing his family's money. And he knows the widow who rescued him is impossibly beautiful—and likely the siren who caused the shipwreck in the first place—as well as the hand behind whoever is trying to murder David.

As Morwenna nurses David back to health and tries to learn how he landed on her beach, suspicion and pride keep their growing attraction at bay. But can they join together to save Morwenna's name and estate and David’s life? Can they acknowledge the love they are both trying to deny?

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 04 Jul 2015 16:04:53 -0400)

A grieving young widow wants only a quiet live for herself and her son until a man washes ashore, entangling her in a mystery that threatens all she holds dear.

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