Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage by Samantha Tonge is a page turner, filled with secrets, drama and romance.
Lizzie Lockhart, the main protagonist, is a tattoo artist living in London. Being an only child, she has led a sheltered life. Her parents have always been over-protective and caring. They have high expectations from her. But when Lizzie makes her own choices regarding her studies, and career; her parents do not take kindly to it, and it leads to them falling apart.
An estranged Lizzie is working really hard trying to establish herself. A visit from her aunt reveals shocking news; and Lizzie’s life takes a turn. Distraught and overcome with sadness, her work and creativity suffer. On the advice of her boss, she takes a break from work.
She moves in temporarily to her parents’ streamside cottage in Leafton–a cottage she was never aware of! In the countryside, away from the maddening city life, Lizzie discovers more secrets and unknown aspects of her life. And a shocking truth which her parents kept hidden from her all her life.
Leafton is a close-knit community, where people are friendly and forthcoming. But a few people avoid Lizzie when they find out her identity. Her charming and handsome neighbour Ben comes to her rescue. Together they get to work on the mysteries surrounding the cottage and Lizzie. As they fit in the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle, Ben and Lizzie end up falling in love (no surprises there!)
The story flips between present and the past, but there’s no lack of connectivity. Tonge has done an exceptionally brilliant job as regards the plot, setting, and character portrayal. The village of Leafton comes to life with her narrative and I could visualize the shops, the stream, and the villagers.
Every chapter begins with little tidbits about tattoos, and these facts are in some manner connected to the chapter.
The secret when revealed is shocking and sad. Tonge builds up the suspense slowly, giving a few hints here and there; but there’s no way of guessing the end. Every time I felt, I knew where the story was heading; I found myself far away from the truth.
Relatable characters, beautiful setting, and a gripping storyline make Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage an enjoyable and satisfying read.
This is my first-time reading Samantha Tonge, and I look forward to reading more from her.
I received a free ARC eBook from NetGalley and the publisher Aria & Aries in exchange for my honest opinions.
Wordsopedia rating 4.5/5
|Title: Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage||Author: Samantha Tonge|
|Publisher: Aria & Aries||Publication date: April 15, 2021|
|Genre: Fiction – Romance||Format: Kindle|
|ASIN: B08NWC5V52||No. of Pages: 263|
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About the Author
Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester, UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris.
When not writing, she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins. Her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart in 2015 and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo and in 2020 her novel Knowing You won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award.
Get in touch with the Author on her website.