Tuesday, 11 May 2021

Book Review - Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge

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Title: Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage
Author: Samantha Tonge
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 15th April
Rating: 5 Stars

A new start can come from the most unexpected places...
It's been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren't.

After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it's time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were... starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she's never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.

Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.

As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.

Well I think I've learnt more than I ever thought possible about tattoos over the course of the book, in part due to the really interesting snippets of information that have placed at the start of each chapter. 

And the various artworks and reasons behind people getting tattoos was definitely food for thought, and I'm very relieved to say that for a book that features a tattoo artist as its main character, there is very little mention of needles, given I absolutely hate them. 

From the moment Lizzie hears about and arrives at Streamside Cottage I had the feeling there was something being concealed. There is definitely a truth to discover and despite coming up with many half hearted theories I was completely surprised once the secrets were revealed. 

And suddenly with them, it makes various character behaviours over the course of book make that little bit more sense. 

Throughout the book we are treated to scenes from Lizzie's past, which explain her rather strict upbringing, and just why it is she had been estranged from her parents at the time of their death.  They felt so very real, that I could completely believe everything they did in relation to Lizzie's upbringing. 

I loved Leafton, what a gorgeous little village with a very friendly community.  I felt right at home in this setting, and the story kept me reading and when I was taking a break from the book for real life things, I was thinking about Streamside Cottage and trying to puzzle out the truth. 

Another excellent story from Samantha Tonge who just keeps on showing her versatility  in recent years from the more romance / rom-com sorts of stories, to her wonderful darker grittier womens fiction titles, and this one which felt like far more of a middle ground and no less impressive as a result. 

Thank you to Aria and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

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