Donna Ashcroft brings us back to Lockton with a story of coming home again and finding your way with
Summer in the Scottish Highlands
Paige left home at nineteen, fancying herself in love and leaving behind everything she knew, including her sense of optimism and dreams. Now a widow with young Grace in tow, she’s been ‘booked off’ work as an events planner for stress and has returned to Kindness Cottage to stay with her parents for a week until the close on her new home. Paige is stressed, striving to always be perfect, guilty for the death of her husband even as their marriage was little more than for show, and determined to stay only a short time.
Arriving exhausted and frustrated with her circumstances, it’s not long before she meets Johnny and his irrepressible (and ill-behaved) dog. There are sparks, but Paige is determined to not make connections of any sort – and to not get involved in her formerly beloved hometown. For his part, Johnny is regrouping after stress nearly killed him, and learning to stop and smell the roses despite his brother’s need of his help.
Slowly but surely, and with several delays from her realtor, Paige is roped in (or chooses to help out) at the library in town: a position that the former librarian Aileen had groomed her for since childhood. When Johnny decides to help out both Paige and at the library, even as he’s avoiding the ‘cheffing’ aspect of his life, he’s finding a new purpose and drive to cook again. With plenty of input from the oft-meddling but always well-intentioned villagers, a bit of a resolution for Johnny’s brother in terms of his romantic life, and a few obedience lessons for Johnny’s dog Mack, the two start to see that connection and happiness, as well as reliance on others, does not always lead to doom – and perhaps can provide a life you only imagined. A lovely, character-driven story that allows us to see the effects of stress, and several different ways of coping with it while finding new opportunities and dreams.
Title: Summer in the Scottish Highlands
Author: Donna Ashcroft
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, British, Depression, Dual Narration, Family Saga, Friendship, Humor elements, Mental Health, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Scotland, Small Town
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 4 June, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 hours: 53 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible
Escape to the gorgeous little village of Lockton in the Scottish Highlands, where you’ll discover sunshine, secrets and an unforgettable romance. It’s the perfect place to be this summer…
Thirty-year-old Paige Dougall’s life is a mess. Only a year ago she was smashing all of her life goals: handsome husband, high-flying job, cute kid. But in just under twelve months everything has gone wrong. Nursing a broken heart, single mother Paige returns to her childhood home in a picture-perfect Scottish village to try and get her life together.
Paige is too wrapped up in her worries to embrace the beautiful rolling hills and lavender-scented air of the highlands. That is until Johnny Becker, the infuriatingly cheerful chef, with his twinkling eyes and dimpled smile, steps onto the scene and provides Paige with some much-needed distraction…
Johnny challenges Paige to step outside her comfort zone and focus on the things that really matter. From food tasting, to puppy training, to mountain climbing, in every moment she spends with Johnny, Paige finds herself remembering how to live again… will she be able to love again too?
Across long sunshine-filled days, Paige and Johnny grow closer and she’s tempted to open her heart to him. But is happy-go-lucky Johnny hiding secrets of his own?
And can Paige learn to let go of her past and find happiness in the highlands?
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.