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#BlogTour #BookReview The Secret Seaside Escape by Heidi Swain (@Heidi_Swain) @TeamBATC @simonschusterUK #TheSecretSeasideEscape

I’m delighted to be on the blog tour today for The Secret Seaside Escape by Heidi Swain; I reviewed this glorious novel a little while back now, but when I was invited onto the tour I jumped at the chance to shout about it again! Thank you to Harriett for the invite, and once again Simon & Schuster/Books and the City for the eARC which I read in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Firstly, a little bit about the book

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Tess Tyler needs a break. Weighed down by her high-pressure job and her demanding father, she’s left little time to take care of herself. But after a shocking discovery sends her spiralling, she flees to Wynmouth, the seaside town she fell in love with as a child, to escape it all.

With its sandy beaches, stunning rock pools and welcoming community, Tess feels like she can finally breathe again. And as she grows ever closer to local barman Sam, she dares to dream that she might never return to her real life. But when a familiar face returns to town, Tess realises that there are secrets in Wynmouth too, and that her own past may be about to catch up with her . . .

The Secret Seaside Escape is published by Simon & Schuster and available to buy now in paperback, ebook and audio…

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My thoughts

I’m always overjoyed to see a new Heidi Swain novel, but when I saw this delicious burst of colour pop of a cover and realised we were heading to a whole new location – a seaside one at that – I was fit for bursting!

The Secret Seaside Escape follows Tess Tyler, who works for her father’s PR firm and for almost two years has thrown herself into working non-stop in the hope of it helping her grieve for, and get over the death of her mother – instead, it just got shut away in a box waiting to be reopened eventually, with added work pressures and her father’s work expectations mounting and mounting…

Tess often catches herself thinking back to her childhood family holidays on the Norfolk coast – in the seaside village of Wynmouth. She felt at her most happiest there – in fact, her mum and dad did too. When going through some of her mum’s possessions she finds a photo of herself outside Crows Nest Cottage – they’d never stayed there but she always felt it had a certain allure and charm to it. So, desperately in need of a work break, and when finding a diary of her mum’s that make’s her see her father very differently she looks the cottage up…

From the moment I stepped into Wynmouth alongside Tess I could honestly see and feel why she felt relaxed, free and at home there. Swain has drawn up such a quaint and charming setting where you feel the personality of the place straight away, and by the end of the novel it didn’t just become my favourite of her settings, I wanted to live in that dinky cottage, rent a beach-hut, discover the rockpools, sit and play scrabble and listen to spooky stories in the rustic Smuggler’s Inn – with the lovingly, bashful Sam, of course, and visit the bright and colourful Sophie to taste some of her mouth-watering, caribbean fusions and rum hot-chocolates at her equally bright and colourful beach cafe! It also seems that charm worked on Tess too, as despite just wanting to rest, it turns out that once there she can’t quite shut down her marketing brain and she ends up quickly getting involved with the local business owners over ways and ideas of how to get more visitors to Wynmouth and ultimately improve their profits – meaning she can just push her own problems back under the rug for a wee while longer.

If there’s one author out there who makes you feel nostalgia for things, it’s Swain, and through this tale she made me revisit my own happy childhood holiday memories in Filey – where my parents took myself and my brother every year! Each year we stayed in the same hillside cottage overlooking the beach, we ate fish & chips, we walked Filey Brigg with our buckets and nets discovering their own little rock-pools, and built boats by sand on the beach. I know the cottage is still there, but still to rent out I’m not sure. Maybe I should see…

Of course there’s all the usual delights you come to expect by this author in The Secret Seaside Escape: food, friendship, community and romance. Always highlighting important issues too within her stories: importance of community, shopping local, beach cleaning, and the positive impact that social media presence has on businesses’ are just some of which are touched upon. But I was rather shocked, pleasantly shocked I should add, by the slightly heavier feel in this one. There was mystery, intrigue and drama a plenty going on – from Tess’ mothers diary entries, an event that happened in the village over a decade ago between childhood friends Sam and Joe and a first kiss that happened behind the beach huts also many years ago whilst Tess holidayed there which sets the rather adorable romantic storyline into play and which I truly loved seeing unveil itself ! I feel these more layered storylines really showed a growth in Swain’s writing and whilst some things I worked out, others I really was surprised at and enjoyed discovering the ultimate ‘whys’.

The Secret Seaside Escape is a breath of seaside goodness – filled with buckets of wit, romance, secrets and drama, which ultimately left me so full of warmth for my own childhood holiday memories. Be sure to pop it on your spring/summer reading lists.

About the author

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Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times Top Ten best-selling author of SLEIGH RIDES AND SILVER BELLS AT THE CHRISTMAS FAIR. Her other titles include The Cherry Tree CaféSummer at Skylark FarmMince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas MarketComing Home to Cuckoo CottageSnowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland, Poppy’s Recipe for Life, The Christmas Wish List and The Secret Seaside Escape.

Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her tbr pile is always out of control!

Heidi loves to chat with her readers and you can get in touch via her Website|Twitter|Facebook

Thank you for taking the time to read my review. As always, a little like or share to spread the word is always most appreciated. Do check out the other blogger stops on The Secret Seaside Escape blog tour…

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One thought on “#BlogTour #BookReview The Secret Seaside Escape by Heidi Swain (@Heidi_Swain) @TeamBATC @simonschusterUK #TheSecretSeasideEscape

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