By: Juliana Gray
Published Year: 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this book.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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, which, according to family legend, once belonged to a selkie who rose from the sea in ancient times and married the castle’s first laird.
But Haywood and Truelove soon discover they’re not the only ones interested in the selkie’s strange hide, and when their mutual friend Lord Silverton vanishes in the night from an Edinburgh street, the mystery takes a dangerous turn through time, which only Haywood’s skills and Truelove’s bravery can solve…
As this is a sequel, I don’t really have first impressions. I’ll leave the link to my review of the first Emmaline Truelove novel, A Most Extraordinary Pursuit, here for you to find out what I thought of the first novel. Also, if you haven’t read the first book, I warn you there will most likely be some spoilers as I discuss this on.
What I thought
While I remember enjoying the first book, I’m pretty sure I enjoyed this one much more! I don’t have many lingering thoughts and feelings about the first book so that means it didn’t make a huge impression on me. I’m glad that I at least had enough of a memory that I enjoyed the first one to agree to review this one.
In the last novel, we were left with the concept that Max, the Duke of Olympia has the ability to pull people through time. Emmaline Truelove who was working as his secretary, is now working as his equal on researching how this happened and how to control it. A Strange Scottish Shore starts with Emmaline on her way to meet the Duke since he has found something interesting that he needs her help with. He also sends Silverton to keep an eye on Truelove. But while keeping on eye on Truelove and her papers she’s meant to be delivering to Max, he disappears.
This first book in this series was mostly an mysterious adventure with all of a sudden time travel thrown in at the end. This one is fully immersed in the time travel. It starts with Max and Emmaline trying to research what has happened and why and goes from there.
There is a lot more of Truelove and Silverton in this book and it is lovely. They are so sweet together and it is frustrating watching Truelove deny her feelings for him. I like that this is a different take on time travel with a love of historical fiction elements involved. The one (semi) problem I have with these stories is that there is so much information left out. I understand that a lot of it is left out because you’re discovering along with the characters, but there are still certain parts that I just don’t get. Hopefully they’ll become clearer as the series continues.
I really enjoyed how Gray incorporates the historical elements with the science fiction and with romance. It makes the time travel element a bit more relatable to readers who aren’t typically into that kind of thing. I also like that it allows Gray to explore different time periods and the cultures of that time period. I look forward to seeing where our adventurers go next!