• Title: A Secret Scottish Escape
  • Author: Julie Shackman
  • Publisher: One More Chapter on May 21, 2021
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Pages: 399
  • Available Formats: Digital Edition
  • Rating: 4/5

Trigger Warnings: Car Accident (past)

Many thanks to Julie Shackman and Rachel’s Random Resources for providing me with a digital copy of A Secret Scottish Escape with a request for an honest review.

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A Secret Scottish Escape Blurb

Escape to the beautiful Scottish Highlands for a heartwarming and feel good cosy romance that will whisk you away from lockdown!

When Scotland’s sleepiest hamlet becomes the centre of hot gossip, Layla Devlin finds herself caught in a mystery…

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.

Now Layla finds herself facing a whole new kind of drama. Rumours swirl that a celebrity has moved into Coorie Cottage and Layla is determined to have him headline her opening night at local music venue The Conch Club. But the reclusive star is equally determined to thwart Layla’s efforts. Rafe Buchanan is in hiding for a reason, and soon his past comes to Loch Harris to haunt him…

Provided by Rachel’s Random Resources for Tour Purposes

My Review

A Secret Scottish Escape is one of those novels that you know you will love before you read the first page. When I read the synopsis, I knew that this would be a great book, and I wasn’t wrong. Julie Shackman writes some creative characters that make you either love them or hate them at first glance.

Layla is a freelance writer who receives some terrible news that leaves her broken and angry. But, with a bit of ingenuity, she comes up with a clever plan for the old bait shop. Her little town is losing its tourist attraction status. So Layla’s plan would not only help her but also help the whole community. She goes through some bumps and bruises to get to the end of her project but has lots of opportunities as well. Just wait until you meet her love interest. He is mysterious and dreamy.

However, Layla’s love story is not the only one in these pages. Layla’s dad and her best friend both find love in this novel. While those aren’t the central storyline, they are still sweet and touching. These little extras contribute to the gloriousness that is A Secret Scottish Escape. But, you know we can’t have all love and no friction, so Shackman gives us several characters to hate. I love how well-balanced this novel is regarding the characters.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Scottish setting. Layla and company live in a little village in Scotland. The old bait shop sits right out on the loch. You can sit and listen to the water rush by and see its mirrored reflection while relaxing on the jetty. Though that isn’t all, there is a great waterfall as well as plenty of wooded areas. The placement of the homes allows you to walk anywhere you want to go. Layla often walks to her dad’s house down the lane, as well as the town proper. It is an idyllic setting that I wish I could join.

My only complaint is that every man over the age of 40 is balding. I’m not sure why all the men have to be balding but repeats often enough that it stuck out in my mind. It is the silliest thing to notice, but I did.

Thus, it is with great delight that I award A Secret Scottish Escape 4 out of 5 stars. For all my romance-loving readers, this is a good one to pick up. It is fun, creative, and all-around brilliant.

About the Author – Julie Shackman

I am a contemporary romance author from Scotland, who is obsessed with stationery and handbags.

I am married with two sons and have a poodle cross Romanian rescue puppy called Cooper. A Secret Scottish Escape is my fifth book.

I trained as a journalist and studied Communication & Media. When I’m not reading or writing, I love getting out for long walks, listening to music and watching romcoms.

Author’s Contact Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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