Wednesday 10 January 2024

Guest Review: Secrets of Starshine Cove by Debbie Johnson

Cally, a devoted single mum, is stretched thin between caring for her clingy mother and her day job as a hairdresser with an always sympathetic ear. When her life in Liverpool is suddenly upended, she grabs her son Sam and jumps in the car to drive south for Christmas. Searching for a tiny speck of a village she once visited as a child, they nearly give up when a snowstorm hits, only to unexpectedly stumble across it: Welcome to Starshine Cove.

Amidst the welcoming – if slightly mad – locals, Cally finds some unexpected new friendships and even the beginnings of something more. But as the year draws to a close, she faces a tough decision: she and Sam can’t stay here forever, and the future looks a lot less jolly back home…

Review: This is the second book from Debbie Johnson set in the magical and mysterious Dorset village of Starshine Cove, so difficult to find but also hard to leave behind. It follows on from Escape to Starshine Cove, but can be read as a standalone story. I was looking forward to reading this book, having enjoyed the first tale about the village and its inhabitants. It proved one of those stories that pulled me in quickly and kept me coming back until the very end.

The narrative in this case focuses on single mother Cally and teenage son Sam. With Christmas fast approaching, Cally’s world caring for Sam and her needy mother while working hard as a hairdresser suddenly changes, leaving her with time on her hands, a strange situation for her. Without really knowing where they are going, she loads Sam into the car and sets off for a village where she has happy memories of spending Christmas as a child. When they have almost given up trying to find this elusive place, a sign magically appears directing them to Starshine Cove. Both Cally and Sam are astonished by the welcoming atmosphere in the village and the way they are absorbed into the community. One family in particular appeals to Cally, and, as she gets close to them, she wonders how she will ever be able to leave Starshine Cove and return to the life she knew before.

I absolutely loved this book and can highly recommend it, whether or not you have read the first story about this village. The storyline here has so much to offer, filled as it is with romance, humour and amazing characters, all wrapped up in a Christmas book. It is pure escapism, leaving the reader wishing that Starshine Cove really existed and that they could live among these kind people in this wonderful seaside setting - great writing from Debbie Johnson as always.

To order your copy now, just click here!

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