My anguished howl of “nooooo” as I finished The Cornish Escape, by Lily Graham, was so loud I had to go and check I hadn’t woken Freya who was sleeping in the next room.
I simply couldn’t help it – it wasn’t that I didn’t like the ending so much as I wanted the book to carry on and on and on.
The description on the front cover “A beautiful summer romance to warm your heart” really doesn’t do it justice because it’s so much more than that.
For a start it’s two romances, albeit set in different eras, as well as a detective story with a hint of the paranormal all rolled into one.
I’ll tell you what else it is; a cleverly written, wonderfully romantic, compelling read, featuring love lost and found, set against a beautiful Cornish backdrop, which really comes to life on the page.
Here’s the blurb:
Victoria Langley’s world crumbles when her husband leaves, but she knows exactly where to go to mend her broken heart. The rugged shores of Cornwall will be her perfect sanctuary.
In the quaint, little village of Tregollan, nestled in the sea cliffs, Victoria is drawn to Seafall Cottage, covered in vines and gracefully falling apart. Inside she finds a diary full of secrets, from 1905.
Victoria is determined to unravel the diary’s mystery, but the residents of Tregollan are tight-lipped about Tilly Asprey, the cottage’s last owner. Just as she reaches a dead end, Victoria meets Adam Waters, the lawyer handling the cottage’s sale. He’s handsome, charming, and has a missing piece of the puzzle.
Tilly’s diary tells a devastating love story that mirrors Victoria’s own. Can Victoria learn from Tilly’s mistakes, and give herself a second chance at love? Or is history doomed to repeat itself?
I was caught from the very first, beautifully written, paragraph of this book and it just carried on getting better. My heart swelled as the love stories developed and then ached when both romances faltered. I was definitely invested – so much so that by the end I was ready to sell up and move to Cornwall.
The characters, past and present, felt like old friends quite soon into the story. Looking back now I can appreciate the plot is incredibly well-planned and probably took a lot of work but while reading it flowed so well, I was carried along as if floating on a summer sea breeze.
There were enough clues to maybe guess how it would end but it still came as a bit of a shock – hence my reaction. I realise now it was the perfect way to finish (no spoilers, promise) but I would have been quite happy with another chapter at the time.
Lily Graham’s first two books have definitely won a place in my TBR pile for the summer.
My rating: Four and a half stars.
Thank you to Bookouture (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.