It’s a little over a year since I reviewed Holly Hepburn’s The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures for My Weekly in a post you’ll find here. Today I’m delighted to be part of the launch celebrations for her latest book Escape to Darling Cove. My huge thanks to Sara-Jade Virtue for inviting me to participate and for providing a copy of Escape to Darling Cove in return for an honest review.
Escape to Darling Cove was published yesterday, 5th January 2023, by Simon and Schuster and is available for purchase through the links here.
Escape to darling Cove
The brand new series from Holly Hepburn, perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley and Katie Fforde. Originally published as novellas, this paperback contains all fours parts of the story from irresistible beginning to heart-warming conclusion.
Eve has always lived on Ennisfarne, an idyllic island just off the coast of Northumberland and only accessible when tides are low. There she runs a bar overlooking Darling Cove, a heavenly horseshoe-shaped beach named after her seafaring ancestors, whose links to the Farne Islands stretch back centuries.
Logan is a famous photographer desperate to evade the limelight after a difficult break-up. Renting a cottage from Eve, he chooses Ennisfarne in the hope of anonymity but is immediately spellbound by its natural beauty.
The pair don’t get off to the best start, butting heads over Eve’s adorable but boisterous Chocolate Labrador. But when Logan’s true identity is revealed, Eve realises her new tenant isn’t quite the man she thought he was. Is it too late to start again or will Logan’s island escape be over almost before it’s begun?
The brand new novel from Holly Hepburn, author of Coming Home to Brightwater Bay, will whisk you away to a sublime seaside retreat you’ll never want to leave.
My Review of Escape to Darling Cove
Logan needs a break from his hectic life.
Oh my goodness I loved Escape to Darling Cove. It is utterly gorgeous and transported me away from the cares of the world to its joyous setting. The descriptions of Ennisfarne Island are so convincingly beautiful it made me desperate to pack my bags and head there immediately. Holly Hepburn has a painterly style that creates such vivid and evocative images in the reader’s mind, truly bringing the landscape to life. The book is akin to a love letter to the Northumbrian coast. There’s a fabulous sense of community portrayed too which somehow seems to encompass the reader as well as Logan as he escapes from life.
What also struck me about Holly Hepburn’s writing was the genuine warmth and humanity that permeates her story. Reading Escape to Darling Cove felt a bit like coming home. Initially published as four separate episodes, the narrative melds together without a hitch in a smooth, enticing story that I found enchanting. The plot romps along with a satisfying blend of glamour and the more ordinary aspects of life so that it feels balanced, credible and enticing.
The characters are equally wonderful. I loved Eve’s feisty independence even when it meant she was scuppering her own happiness. I loved, too, the fact that she is called Eve. Her name is befitting of someone who illustrates the full depth of a woman’s character. Logan is incredibly attractive – not because he is handsome and mixes with the rich and famous, but because he illustrates the true values in life as he learns to adjust to Ennisfarne‘s environment. Through Logan, Holly Hepburn gives her readers an insight into how they might simplify and improve their own lives, making them happier as a result. This is a powerful theme in the book. All the more minor characters are distinct, real and clearly drawn so that I could imagine Escape to Darling Cove translating brilliantly to a television series.
Other themes of trust, art, friendship, love, family, belonging and nature, for example, add texture and interest so that Escape to Darling Cove feels layered, authentic and absolutely absorbing.
I absolutely adored Escape to Darling Cove. Certainly it is a love story, but it is so much more. Escape to Darling Cove is about finding meaningful value and contentment and Holly Hepburn’s skilful, mesmerising writing gives the reader those attributes in spades. Don’t miss this one!
About Holly Hepburn
Holly Hepburn has wanted to write books for as long she can remember but she was too scared to try. One day she decided to be brave and dipped a toe into the bubble bath of romantic fiction with her first novella, Cupidity, and she’s never looked back. She often tries to be funny to be funny, except for when faced with traffic wardens and border control staff. Her favourite things are making people smile and Aidan Turner.
She’s tried many jobs over the years, from barmaid to market researcher and she even had a brief flirtation with modelling. These days she is mostly found writing.