The Secret Seaside Escape by Heidi Swain: Brimming with mysteries, simmering romance, laughter, tears and friendship - book review -

As high-flying PR executive Tess Tyler heads for mental and physical meltdown, there is just one place she wants to escape to… the small seaside town which was her childhood sanctuary.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 11:08 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 11:10 am
The Secret Seaside Escape
The Secret Seaside Escape

As high-flying PR executive Tess Tyler heads for mental and physical meltdown, there is just one place she wants to escape to… the small seaside town which was her childhood sanctuary.

If you are eager to make your own escape from the lockdown blues, recharge your feelgood batteries with a simply sensational summer sparkler from Heidi Swain who has won thousands of hearts with her enchanting books set in Wynbridge, the fictional Fenland town where love blossoms whatever the season.

Swain, who lives with her family in beautiful south Norfolk, has a well-earned reputation for heartwarming and entertaining stories which showcase her talent for blending escapist romance, culinary delights, and a perfectly imagined cast of characters with some real-life challenges in the modern world.

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In The Secret Seaside Escape, we move out of bustling Wynbridge to discover the Norfolk coastal delights of Wynmouth, a summer sunshine haven of sandy beaches, glittering rock pools, warm friendships, the green shoots of new love… and some unexpected surprises!

Tess Tyler is the senior project manager in Tyler PR, the family firm, but the almost daily rigours of her high-flying job are taking her close to ‘burn-out.’ Weighed down by the pressures of her work and her demanding father, she has left little time to take care of herself.

And when her biggest ever project goes belly-up just a week before launch day, she knows she has to get away. It’s less than two years since the death of her mother and Tess has never mourned her properly, believing that ‘marching on’ was the best way of coping with her grief.

Her mental turmoil takes a further downward spiral when she makes a shocking discovery in her mother’s recently rediscovered diaries and she flees to Wynmouth, the charming seaside town she fell in love with as a child on annual summer holidays but hasn’t visited since she was a teenager.

With its beautiful beaches, fresh salty air, wheeling seagulls and welcoming locals, Tess soon settles into her rented Crow’s Nest Cottage and feels like she can finally breathe again. And as she grows ever closer to Sam, the cottage’s owner and landlord of the next door pub, 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…

Brimming with mysteries, simmering romance, laughter, tears and friendship, and guaranteed to leave readers with a much-need sense of optimism, this twisting, turning tale is the ideal substitute summer holiday getaway.

Swain has a strong sense of community and a keen eye for human drama and family conflict, and using her natural warmth and compassion, she brings us one of her most endearing and engrossing stories yet as we join Tess on a turbulent journey of self-discovery which has as many pitfalls as high points.

With its picture perfect landscape and vibrant cast of characters, The Secret Seaside Escape is not just an escapist dream but has a wonderful way of showing how the past slowly catches up with the present, the importance of getting our priorities right, and that taking chances can bring precious rewards.

Add on some of Swain’s tasty, dainty dishes, and you have a reading feast fit to set before any king or queen!

(Simon & Schuster, paperback, £7.99)