I very much enjoyed this story and definitely recommend it! Lynette is a very talented author and her books capture the imagination and draw you into the story so that you feel like you are a part of it. I really felt for Amber during her loneliness and isolation and for having to make such a monumental decision at such a young age. I loved the relationship with her and Bradley, and what an ending - absolutely perfect in my opinion! This is a feel good story that will leave you smiling! Christie M. Stenzel rated it at Goodreads
Quick read and fun characters. Great YA story in a beautiful Scotland setting. The characters were interesting and complex. Definitely an interesting take on the traditional shifter plotline. Kind of a cliffhanger ending, making me wonder if there's more to the story. A.L. Wright rated it at Goodreads
What the story is about:
Growing up in a secluded castle in the Scottish Highlands can be lonely and Amber Belvedere yearns to feel normal.
Her hopes are pinned on a fresh start in Edinburgh, away from her mist shrouded castle.
When Amber discovers secrets about her heritage and her parents, she discovers she is the one who comes to her friends' rescue every time they are in danger.
Her mother and father eloped, and now her grandfather's heart is filled with revenge. He cannot bear the thought any longer that her mother swore fealty to another clan.
Then there is Bradley Windsor, her best friend since they were little, but now he avoids her every chance he gets.
In a time before Bradley broke my heart, even before I felt there was no hope he would ever like me, I arrived at a secluded castle at the most northern borders of the Scottish Highlands.
It was so far removed from everything, it would take a person a day to reach the nearest other living, breathing human being.
Strange then, the manner in which I arrived. A bundle wrapped up in a tattered blanket, ensconced in a basket. There was no note, no farewell letter from a grieving mother, no goodbye, no explanation.
The castle in which I lived, stood majestically on a cliff and below it the ocean crashed into the rock face continuously, day and night. There was never a moment of utter silence, the sound of the ocean was the backdrop of my youth.
Sometimes, on particularly stormy days, the white spray from the waves would cascade over the high precipice and I loved standing under the spray. When I stretched my little arms up into the sky, it felt as if I was like the golden eagle flying in circles in the sky high above my head, and I too could fly to wherever the breeze took me. I could escape the confines of the castle grounds and see a world hidden away from me. A world where the sun’s bright spark lit up the always-dreary sky surrounding me.
Grey clouds usually sat closely around the castle walls and it was as if my world was restricted to the area surrounding my home.
On the rarest of occasions, the sun would find a gap between the clouds, and then sunlight would radiate down to the earth in long glowing stripes, but never for too long.
As a young girl, I spent many days sitting in the wide stone window seat in my bedroom, overlooking the stormy grey sea. With my legs pulled up to my chest and my chin resting on my knees, I would anticipate moving away and living somewhere where the sun always shined. Where the sky would be that elusive blue they talked about in books.
In my own perception, I grew up quite normal, even though I had no mother or father, and absolutely no idea where I came from. However, I could not miss something I never knew, and so in my mind everything was as it was supposed to be.
I was home schooled and my tutor, Mr. Glenfiddich always made sure I was shoulder high in reading material. Every Thursday he travelled to his home on the other side of the mist, which might as well have been in another universe, and then he would return on a Sunday evening with new books for me to read. Often I wished, he would invite me with him.
On weekends, when Mr. Glenfiddich went home, I would while my days away under the shade beneath the spreading limbs of chestnuts and oaks in the hidden hideout and watch the squirrels, rabbits and hedgehogs play. When I sat really, really still sometimes I would even see foxes leap and frolic. I fed them scraps of bread and fruit and imagined myself to be a friend to all the animals in the forest.
My most favourite times growing up was school holidays. Although school holidays never applied to me, this was the time when the servant’s children came to visit their parents, and I looked forward to the few days every couple of months when I could play with them. We would play hide-and-seek in the vast sparsely furnished rooms. Often we played catch or dared each other to see who could stand the closest to the cliff edge until one of the servants stopped us and we were all shepherded back to safety behind the walls of the castle. In winter, we built snowmen. We pretended to be kings and queens, to hunt and slay dragons, and to be blood thirsty Vikings coming to conquer a country.
After each holiday, I said goodbye to them sadly, and then the countdown started to the next holiday when they would come back again.
The servant’s children were of varying ages, and as I got older so they got older, and my circle of friends dwindled every year, as they stopped coming home as frequently as they did when they were little.
Bradley was only two years older than me, so by my fourteenth year he was the only one still coming home every holiday.
As he got older, it was as if time forgot about me. I still wanted to run outside, build snowmen, and dance in crazy circles on the wet grass in front of the walls of our castle, but Bradley did not want to play with me anymore. That was when loneliness started to settle even heavier on my shoulders and I had nothing to look forward to anymore.
Recently, when Bradley was home for the holidays, it felt as if he was avoiding me, as if the carefree happiness we used to have as children had been stolen from us.
Sometimes, I found him looking at me intensely and I would smile at him, hoping he would talk to me or offer to spend time with me, but he would only look away and then pretend as if I did not exist.