Book Review: Cliff of the Ruin by: Bonnie McKernan

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Abbott Press

Publish Date: November 20, 2012

Origins:  From Author for Review

Format:  Trade Paperback

Order Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: There are three good reasons why dashing Civil War hero and New York lawyer William Teague cannot tell artist Mae Kendrick he''s in love with her. One, she told him he was dull. Two, she is the niece of an important client. Three, she just hired him to find the man she doesn't remember marrying.

As Will manages this peculiar case, the search for Mae's husband unveils a shocking discovery about her childhood, one that shifts the investigation to the place of her birth--Ireland.

But on the voyage overseas, circumstances become increasingly bizarre. Mae suffers ghost-like visions and further memory loss, and Will is seduced by a beautiful stranger who just might be trying to kill him. When Mae suddenly vanishes like her husband, Will is forced to enter a thin place, an ancient monastic ruin leading to Ireland's Celtic otherworld, in what becomes a race against time to find her.

But are Will''s war-honed instincts any match for the alluring forces of Irish legend? Can he distinguish friend from foe? Can he protect Mae from the apparitions of her past? And how far beyond the breaking point can his secret love be tested?

Review: Mae Kendrick lives with her aunt, uncle, and cousins on a farm in Stillwater, New Jersey. She isn’t interested in a relationship or marriage, but wants to focus on her painting instead. She’s steadily reaching an ‘old-maid’ age while her friends, few as they are, are getting married and starting families. Yet, when Mae meets Kieran McCree while he’s out fishing on her uncle’s land, she’s oddly smitten. At the same time, Mae’s uncle has invited William Teague, a New York lawyer, to meet Mae and see if something more may come of it. Mae thinks Will is stodgy and boring, especially compared to Kieran.

One day Mae disappears, leaving a note about running off to get married, which worries her family greatly. When she returns, with very little memory of her time away, Will is summoned to find Mae’s errant husband. Along the way, they learn the truth of Mae’s past and Kieran’s interest in Mae. Now Will must fight against time and legend to save Mae from being caught up further in a battle which was started before she was born.

‘Cliff of the Ruin’ is a modern fairy tale (set in the 1800's), with charming characters and beautiful settings. The story starts out in New Jersey and ends in Ireland with the final showdown. At first the story was a bit slow, but the author was only building up momentum until the harrowing conclusion. I felt ‘Cliff of the Ruin’ is a beautiful tale about unexpected love and the cost of revenge. I was swept up in the everyday lives of Mae and her family, as well as the mystical and mysterious search for Kieran and Mae’s truth.


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