A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman

A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman

Julie Shackman comes to the blog with a story of second chances, finding your joys and dealing with unexpected events in  

A Secret Scottish Escape  

Layla thought she had everything, until her fiancé died unexpectedly in the arms of his ex-wife. Devastated, angry and embarrassed, she’s determined to leave the little village she loves so much just to avoid the people who know / knew her story.  But there are things holding her back: friends, her father and the bond they share, and the fact that Layla always thought she’d live in Loch Harris after her mother decamped and left her and her father alone. There’s familiarity and comfort in being home, she just wants to forget her relationship with Mac and the aftermath.  

But Mac left her a significant amount of money and his attachment to Loch Harris make Layla uncomfortable. Until she learns that the local fisherman’s shop is being sold, and the venue, even as it stands, has views that are the best in town.  Using Mac’s money, she’s determined to make a ‘bespoke’ music venue, as she’s a life-long music fan and her father was a member of a popular rock band back in the day. Add to this, the rumors of a reclusive music legend living in a remote cottage outside town, with his deep soulful lyrics and voice really have Layla enthused.  

Rafe went to Loch Harris to escape his past in Australia – but an enthusiastic and friendly Layla accompanied by a teenage fangirl really cause him to hide deeper behind a mask, harsh words and silence.  Can the two ever find a way to make things work – and will Layla get her music venue started? 

The story starts out beautifully and every emotion that Layla experiences is clear and easy to feel and understand. When we add in the conflict with her long-absent mother and the drama there and mix in the story of Rafe and why he’s hiding out – and just who is stalking him (and why) just took away a bit of the focus for me here.  Don’t get it twisted – I was desperate to figure out all the bits, find some resolution and I couldn’t wait for the full description of Layla’s music venue – as she pulled out ALL the stops to make it work.  You’ll finish the last page with a smile – and want to head out to the highlands and be Loch-side for hours after.  

A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman

Title: A Secret Scottish Escape
Author: Julie Shackman
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Elements, Depression, Family Saga, Friendship, Grief, Mystery Elements, Romantic Elements, Scottish, Second Chance, Setting: Scotland, Small Town, Woman's Fiction
Published by: One More Chapter
ISBN: 0008455767
Published on: 21 May, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 432
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne Flame

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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…

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


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