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30 April, 2009
Book Review: The House on the Shore by Victoria Howard
Read and reviewed for Armchair Interviews
Anna MacDonald has been betrayed! The coveted teaching position she has been waiting to get has been given to the other woman that her boss, and boyfriend, has been sleeping with. In anger, Anna quits her job, gives up her flat in Edinburgh, and takes off for the only place that she has ever felt truly happy. Anna’s late grandmother’s croft, located on the shores of Loch Hourn, in the Scottish Highlands.
The croft is isolated. Anna has no phone, no close neighbors, and only her two border collies for company. Her plan for the summer is to nurse her broken heart and pride back to normal while working on the novel she has been yearning to write for years. She doesn’t plan for company during this time. Especially not the unexpectedly handsome company offered in the form of the slightly rude American who knocks at her door one morning.
Luke Tallantyre is a well known artist from Cape Cod Massachusetts. Faced with an artistic dry spell, he has set sail for the unknown wilds of Scotland. He has braved the Atlantic Ocean alone, and has come to Loch Hourn. When his yacht develops a navigational problem, he ends up knocking on Anna’s door for help.
Anna is more than a little resentful of Luke’s intrusion. Faced with an attraction she doesn’t know how to handle after her last rejection, she finds him an unwelcome distraction into her hermetic life. However, when an unknown assassin tries several times to kill both Anna and Luke, they find themselves thrown together in an attempt to find out why.
Will Anna and Luke find out who is trying to kill them and why? Will either of them realize the opportunity for true love that arises during the time they spend together?
I really enjoyed this book. The story drew me in quickly. I found myself having to pace my reading speed in order not to rush through the book. I enjoyed Victoria Howard’s descriptions of the Scottish Highlands, and Loch Hourn. They made me even more convinced that this is a part of the world that I want to someday visit. This was a very compelling story, and I totally enjoyed it despite it being a very quick read. It was one of those rare books that left me thinking "I can't be done yet!" when I turned the last page.