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The Winter Sea

(Slains #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  56,119 ratings  ·  6,399 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.
Paperback, 536 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark (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)

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Katrina Passick Lumsden
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
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.

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 didnt care about the characters. The use of genetic memory as a plot
Im 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 thats why, it made me more appreciate the throughly research work this author done for her story.

I dont know what more can I write here,
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
If you knew me at all in person, youd 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, its 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 ...more
Jul 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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,
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, romance, 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
Mar 18, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ann Aguirre
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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)
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 ...more
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, 500
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
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Diane S ☔
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
DNF - page 88

I just could not get into this historical fiction. The story was dry, the characters novel that she was writing that we got glimpses into were much to be desired, and theres a reason why this sat on my shelf for like 5 years. It just did not interest me.
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
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 wasnt 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 agents baby, she takes a side road and is drawn to Slains Castle.

Christina White
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

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 Kearsleys 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.
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
3.3 stars

Whereeer I go, my Soul shall stay with thee:
Tis but my Shadow that I take away;

First off, the delicious history in this was my favorite part. I loved how the author intertwined real historical events and people while adding artistic flair. Amazing.

Far more than most of my friends have rated this very highly, and the writing definitely deserves it. Unfortunately, while I loved the history and writing quality, the back and forth past and present perspectives didn't fully gel with me.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For some reason this one was hard for me to get into. However, as the book progressed I enjoyed the storyline more. I love historical fiction, but this felt like I had a history lesson that wasn't any too interesting jammed down my throat. I like it pureed into a smoothie so I barely know I'm learning anything nutritious. Yum. Smoothie. Sweet story but not the best I've read.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Oh my. What a story this was. ❤ The location, the history, the love story. All of it was simply fabulous.

Actually there is a story within this story. You will most certainly fall in love with Sophia and John and all that swirls around them. And Catherine and Graham will warm your heart.

It came highly recommended to me and I will pass that along as well. A must read for sure!!

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 recommend
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Romance novel about an writer visiting Scotland. [s] 5 52 Mar 17, 2019 02:00AM  
Books and Jams Re...: Chapters 16-End 7 25 Feb 21, 2018 01:30AM  
Books and Jams Re...: Chapters 1-6 11 25 Feb 20, 2018 04:30AM  
Books and Jams Re...: Chapters 13-15 5 14 Feb 06, 2018 05:09AM  
Books and Jams Re...: Chapters 7-12 9 13 Feb 04, 2018 06:11PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #76 The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley 1 1 Jun 10, 2016 09:29PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Slains (2 books)
  • The Firebird (Slains, #2)

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