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The Winter Sea


4.08  ·  Rating details ·  59,962 ratings  ·  6,715 reviews
In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.

Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next bestselling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write.
Hardcover, 527 pages
Published 2010 by Allison & Busby (first published September 22nd 2008)
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Amy I personally loved the fact that the author didn't go into sexual details. I'm really not into porn and some books are borderline in that area IMO. I …moreI personally loved the fact that the author didn't go into sexual details. I'm really not into porn and some books are borderline in that area IMO. I think she set up the "act" very romantically and lovingly. I don't need details to get the gist that sex happened and a bond occurred between the two people involved. (less)
Nolita If you liked the Outlander series, I'd recommend Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series. They're a similar time frame with lots of characters in an …moreIf you liked the Outlander series, I'd recommend Sara Donati's Into the Wilderness series. They're a similar time frame with lots of characters in an epic story. There isn't the time travel element, but a few Outlander characters do make cameo appearances. I love Outlander, and really enjoyed Into the Wilderness. Good luck!


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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  59,962 ratings  ·  6,715 reviews

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Katrina Passick Lumsden
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The five stars I've given this book reflects the high I'm still coming down from after having finished it. I think I might be in love with Susanna Kearsley. I read The Rose Garden earlier this year, and being a huge fan of time travel, devoured that shit like it was going out of style. Granted, it took me a little while to get into it because I found the pacing in the beginning to be kind of slow, but after getting over that bump in the road, there was no turning back.

The Winter Sea was a whole
L.E. Fidler
i have what can only be described as a love-hate relationship with this book. i found so much of it to feel incredibly stupid and yet i couldn't put it down. explain that one to me!'

warning: here there be spoilers.

10 Things I Hate About You:
1. the employment of a frame story - i'm pretty sure the conversation with her editor went something like this:
sk: it's going to be two books in one! one story will be set in modern day and the other will be her "historical" novel!
editor: oh, you mean, like
Lisa Kay
Update: 5/17/12
Rosalyn Landor has been nominated for the Audie Awards 2012 “Solo Narration-Female” category for her narration of The Winter Sea.


Slains Castle as it was in all its glory...

Slains Castle now...

★★★★☆ (This is a review of the audiobook.) I love to listen to the talented Rosalyn Landor read a book. Her elegant narration is perfect for this lyrical, atmospheric book. Ms. Landor does the accents nicely, especially the Scottish. She does a great job of the male and female voices in
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
4+ stars. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

My recent read of Kearsley's Bellewether left me slightly dissatisfied, but I knew (and was assured by historical novel-loving friends) that she was capable of far more engaging storytelling, so I dove into her older duology of Jacobite-era novels, The Winter Sea and The Firebird. Both of these books ― in which Kearsley employs her favored dual-timeline approach with romance subplots, a paranormal element, and stellar historical research ― were
Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reader beware: This author does not compare to Mary Stewart, Daphne Dumaurier or Diana Gabaldon. I really wish I could have given this book a 2.5. It was better than okay, but not much.

I really disliked the plot device of cutting back and forth from the 18th to the 21st century. When the 18th century story started to get interesting, the story would revert to the 21st century. The contemporary part of the story was dull and I didn’t care about the characters. The use of “genetic memory” as a pl
Emery Lee
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
8/15/11 - Addendum to original review. I did not rate this book after reading it because I was so upset about the ending, but in retrospect I have to allow that it was one of the best books (and perhaps THE BEST) I have read this year. While I am VERY stingy about 5 star ratings and this is NOT the HEA I would have chosen, I confess that the author's meticulous research, beautiful prose, and riveting parallel storyline has won me over in the end. I've decided to give it the 5 stars after all.

Wow! Sometimes it's worth it to step out of our comfort zone!

I don't read romance books often, so I'm glad when I pick one and it's that good. I loved that the main character was an author and I really appreciated learning about the Jacobites, wich I didn't know much about. The love story in the past was amazing and I could easily see this becoming a TV series. I would watch it for sure!

4.5 rounded up
Thanks to my mom for the recommendation!

May 10th, 2020
I’m glad in this ‘self published and write anything you want’ times, there are still author like Ms. Kearsley.

This is certainly not a bubble gum book which widely available lately, and you just need to read it once and the story will stay with you forever. The last book I felt this way, was Jennifer Donnelly, The Tea Rose.

Yep! This type of book is very rare and that’s why, it made me more appreciate the throughly research work this author done for her story.

I don’t know what more can I write h
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical, 2018
I am not generally a reader of romances but this is a very well done historical romance that I really enjoyed. The novel is written in two parallel story lines (and romances!), with an author in the current day writing a historical novel about the Jacobite uprising in 1708, so that her main character's voice relates the events leading up to the uprising and the attempt to bring James Stewart to Scotalnd from his exile in France to claim the Scottish crown.

Carrie McClelland writes historical nov
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, romance
If you knew me at all in person, you’d know that I am a lover of history. Though I am always interested in history of any kind, my particular interests range from ancient Egypt, it’s ties to ancient Rome, and how that all eventually leads to England before it was England, across the sea to the Danes and the Northmen, and back again to England, Scotland and Ireland. What fascinates me most is how the influences of all these great people through history still dictate so very much of what we do tod ...more
Jul 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Mary Stewart and Daphne duMaurier
Recommended to Hannah by: Myself
Re-read 2/22/13
Just as excellent the second time around.
Now to dive into The Firebird :D

Original Review
From the onset of Susanna Kearsley's, The Winter Sea, fate clearly plays a large part in the destiny of writer Carrie McClelland, as well as the novel she is researching on the unsuccessful Jacobite uprising of 1708. A detour to Slains Castle on the rugged west coast of Scotland solidifies Carrie's desire to move her base of operations there. After meeting with her agent and good friend, Jane,
Mar 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
Historical fiction is not usually my genre. I picked up this book because I thought it would also contain a paranormal element. Well, it does not - or very slightly so -, but I loved it nonetheless.
Whoever compared it to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander in their reviews is seriously misleading readers, because this book has basically very little to do with it and it does not deal with time travel at all.

The narrative technique was very good. The story is told by a writer, Carrie McClelland, who trav
Diane S ☔
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have been hearing about this books for months in different groups I belong to, everyone who has read it saying they have absolutely loved it. Finally read it and loved it too. Such an interesting mix of history, genealogy, present and past, and romance, as I read I became totally immersed in both stories.
Wonderful characters and I appreciated the fact that the author included a postscript detailing exactly which characters and what part of the story was actually historical fact.
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
History has all but forgotten...In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown.


Or at least, it's severely misleading. The book does seem meticulously researched, and I have no doubt that the attempted coup d'etat actually happened, but it's not what this book is about.

What this book actually is about: young women taking long walks on the cliffs and beaches of Scotland and
Listened to this one on audio for a challenge as the narrator won an Audie award for solo female narration. I found the narrator boring and distracting, but I was determined to finish this book.

The story itself is rich in history and mystery, set against a gorgeous background. Parallel storylines cross paths from early 1700's the Jacobite uprising to present day author finding her characters' voices. Handsome men, castles, and a Scottish lilt to top it off-- what's not to love? The characters we
Ann Aguirre
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is such a beautiful book. I've never seen dual storylines intertwined with such facility and elegance. Usually, when the author take this approach, one will be more appealing than the other, but both stories were fascinating.

The historical detail was meticulous; the writing is lyrical and evocative. The characters feel real.

This book made me cry. I would recommend it for readers of Diana Gabaldon. Yes, it's that good.
Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-uns, historical
I've seen Susanna Kearsley's name pop up hither and yon around the blogosphere for going on a year now. I added her name to my list of authors to check out awhile back and I've spent the intervening time idly wondered whether the enticing comparisons to the likes of Mary Stewart had some merit. Not long ago I decided THE WINTER SEA would be the perfect maiden voyage with Kearsley. Published a couple of years ago in the UK, the U.S. edition was slated to come out December 1st and I added it to my ...more
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Narrator did an amazing job :)

Once again, in awe of this author's ability to throw me into her world and forget my life exists for awhile *happy sigh*

Original review:

(view spoiler)
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. This is a classic case of the right book finding the right time. I know I've picked this book up several times with the intent to read it and it just didn't look all that compelling. Nothing really grabbed me about it beyond the cover, I didn't really know much about that historical period, and I'm not really a person who reads romance novels regularly. I'd read a kind of heavy, dark book though and needed something light. A friend recommended something short that was perfect. I enjoy ...more
I would like to file a lawsuit and claim damages from the author/publisher for RIPPING MY HEART OUT AND BREAKING ME INTO TINY LITTLE PIECES.

It’s 3:40 am and I cannot believe I started reading this at 11 pm with the intention of sampling a chapter before bed. Goodbye, any semblance of a normal sleeping schedule for the next few days.

The ending. WHYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4.5 I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time stars.

Reading Susanna Kearsley is such fun. I find that I both want to read faster so that I can see what will happen and read slower so that I can stay in this story and this world just a little bit longer. She sifts in just the right amount of romance, mystery and history to make a perfect cake, and she is one of the few writers who can keep me as interested in the modern-day story she is telling as the historical one. I typically find myse
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
DNF - page 88

I just could not get into this historical fiction. The story was dry, the character’s novel that she was writing that we got glimpses into were much to be desired, and there’s a reason why this sat on my shelf for like 5 years. It just did not interest me.
Christina White
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley really seemed like a book I would love as it dealt with a part of Scottish history that I was not familiar with. I had not read a book set in Scotland before and was eager to get started on this novel after reading the fascinating blurb.

"In the spring of 1708 an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. Now Carrie Mc Clelland hopes to turn the stroy into her n
Lillian ☁ Cloud 9 Books ☁
***** 5 Stars *****

"For if there was no winter, we could never hope for spring."

I'm speechless. I didn't think I'd end up enjoying this book, but I became obsessed with the romance and history.

Carrie is a talented author working on her next novel. As she's traveling around, she feels an odd pull towards the ruins of Slains Castle. A pull so strong, she stops everything to focus on its past.

Throughout her research, she receives unexplainable memories and dreams about the past.... Sophie's
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

At length, at length, I have thee in my Arms; Tho' our Malevolent Stars have struggled hard, And held us long asunder. -John Dryden's King Arthur.

What a fabulous book... or should I say book inside a book? Which apparently is based on real life? If you like romance and you like history.. you will love this. I can't believe it's taken me this long to read it. And of course, it's sparked another urge to return to Scotland. I'm afraid I'll just have to move there someday. I highly recom
THE WINTER SEA (Dual-period novel/Romance-Carrie McClelland-Scotland-Cont/1708) - Ex
Kearsley, Susanna – Standalone
Allison & Busby, Ltd., 2008, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780749080976

First Sentence: It wasn’t chance.

Bestselling author Carrie McClelland comes from France, where she is working on a book related to the 1708 attempted return of James Stewart to regain his throne. On the way to the christening of her friend and agent’s baby, she takes a side road and is drawn to Slains Castle.


This is yet another book which I probably would not have read had it not been for reviews on Goodreads and recommendations from several GR friends which prompted me to read another novel by Kearsley, Every Secret Thing. I liked Every Secret Thing enough to want to read more of Kearsley’s work.

This novel has dual time lines. There is a contemporary narrative, told in the first person. The narrator is an author writing a historical novel about a failed Jacobite rebellion which took place in 1708
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first Kearsley novel and it was such a captivating reading experience. She is an elegant writer, and though the story has some slower scenes where not a great deal happens in terms of plot, I still felt very engaged and drawn into the worlds she is creating. I really liked too the dual stories and perspectives.

The contemporary setting features Canadian historical novelist, Carrie McClellan, who has been attempting to jumpstart a new book project without much luck - that is until she arrives
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Play Book Tag: The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley - 4* 3 8 May 04, 2021 06:37AM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Romance novel about an writer visiting Scotland. [s] 5 53 Mar 16, 2019 03:30PM  
Books and Jams Re...: Chapters 16-End 7 27 Feb 20, 2018 02:00PM  
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Books and Jams Re...: Chapters 7-12 9 13 Feb 04, 2018 06:41AM  

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New York Times, USA Today, and Globe and Mail bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is a former museum curator who loves restoring the lost voices of real people to the page, interweaving romance and historical intrigue with modern adventure.

Her books, published in translation in more than 20 countries, have won the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, a RITA Award, and Nat

Other books in the series

Slains (3 books)
  • The Firebird (Slains, #2)
  • The Vanished Days

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