This is the book that made Susanna Kearsley an autobuy for me. I read it and immediately started hunting down her backlist.
Easier said than done.
She's not a prolific author, like La Nora or JAK, and some of her books are out of print. A painful fact, sort of like a sesame seed under your dentures; it pokes at you when you least expect it.
Anyway! The Shadowy Horses had everything my little paranormal heart could desire. A hunky Scottish hero, a suave, trouble making ex, a smart heroine with her head screwed on right. And ghosts and history and an archeological site and a small boy with the Gift.
Okay, I'm going to cheat here and copy the blurb. Well hell, it says it so much better than I could and it actually reflects what's in the book - go figure.
"With its dark legends and passionate history, the windswept shores of Scotland were an archaeologist's dream. Verity Grey was thrilled by the challenge of uncovering an ancient Roman campsite in a small Scottish village. But as soon as she arrived, Verity felt danger in the air. She felt it in the icy reserve of archaeologist David Fortune. She saw it in the haunted eyes of the little boy who spoke of visions of a slain Roman sentinel. She heard it in the loneliest hours of the night, galloping across the moors - the unearthly sound of the legendary shadowy horses, who carried men away to the land of the dead. And as the ghostly appearances became more urgent and more chilling, Verity could no longer deny their message: Danger lurked in the Scottish mists - and threatened them all."
Kearsley is a wonderful writer - she has a way with words, as they say. A descriptive excerpt:
"A man was coming across the moor.
It might have been the fogged window, or the wild weather, or the rough and rolling landscape that, like all the Scottish Borderlands, held traces of the harsh and violent past - the echoed din of charging hooves, of chilling battle-cries and clashing broadswords. Whatever it was, it tricked my senses. the man, to my eyes, looked enormous, a great dark giant who moved over bracken and thorn with effortless stride. He might have been a specter from a bygone age, a fearless border laird come to challenge our rude intrusion on his lands - but the illusion only lasted a moment."
History entwines itself throughout the book, from the mystery of the lost legion - the Legio IX Hispania - to the the Great East Coast Fishing Disaster.
There is no explicit sex, but lots of warmth,not only between the h/h but with the secondary characters too. These are people you would like to know.
I highly recommend The Shadowy Horses and all of Susanna Kearsley's books.
Other books by Susanna Kearsley:
Season of Storms
The Winter Sea (Sophia's Secret)
Named of the Dragon
The Splendor Falls
The Gemini Game (OOP but you can buy it used at Amazon for $147.26!!)
Undertow (OOP but you can buy it at Amazon used for $102.03. The 3 cents might be the deal breaker though.)
And written under the name Emma Cole - Every Secret Thing.
If anyone knows why most of Kearsley's books are so expensive at Amazon.usa, please do let me know! I bought her latest, Winter Sea at Book Depository for a reasonable price and free shipping. : p Amazon!