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.