Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
In "Cliff of the Ruin", Bonnie McKernan paints a picture of New York and New Jersey in the late 19th century. Mae Kendrick, an artist and orphan in her late twenties, lives with her aunt, uncle and cousins on a farm in Stillwater, New Jersey. The book opens with the preparations for the marriage of one of her friends and the concerns of her family that Mae will not pick a suitor. Uncle Frank brings home with him an intriguing prospect, Will, someone he met during the Civil War, but, at the same time, Mae meets Kieran McCree, an enigmatic and handsome man who seems to exert some power over her.
McKernan blends history, mythology and adventure in "Cliff of the Ruin" in what may also be considered romantic suspense. Mae and Will are both strong, credible characters who you come to care about. Both are flawed and tormented by their pasts, and their interactions are at times humorous and sometimes maddening, but always quite realistic. Add in the ocean voyage Mae, her cousin, and Will take--and their adventures in Ireland--and you have an action and adventure tale that entertains on a number of levels. I particularly enjoyed how Irish mythology was woven into the plot and would love to see more work of this nature by McKernan.