Today's review is for Rachael Lucas' latest book, Wildflower Bay. It was firstly published as a 3-part serialised enovel and the paperback of the whole story has just been published. I had read and enjoyed both Rachael Lucas' previous books (especially her debut), so I was really excited to discover her latest story. Here's what I thought about it:
Title: Wildflower Bay
Author: Rachael Lucas
Published: August 11th 2016 by Pan
This little island has some big secrets...
Isla's got her dream job as head stylist at the most exclusive salon in Edinburgh. The fact that she's been so single-minded in her career that she's forgotten to have a life has completely passed her by - until disaster strikes.
Out of options, she heads to the remote island of Auchenmor to help out her aunt who is in desperate need of an extra pair of scissors at her salon.
A native to the island, Finn is thirty-five and reality has just hit him hard. His best friends are about to have a baby and everything is changing. When into his life walks Isla...
Review: In her latest book, Rachael Lucas takes us back to the island of Auchenmor. If you read her debut, Sealed with a Kiss, you'll remember this little island and one of the characters, Finn. I did, so I was really excited to be back as I had really good memories of this place. If you didn't, then you are in for a treat: discovering this stunning island with lots of secrets and a charming little community!
But the story starts in Edinburgh with Isla. She had quite a difficult childhood and never fitted in, but as an adult she has become a very successful and driven stylist. She finally has the perfect clothes, the perfect car and the perfect job... until she loses it. Getting to know Isla was very interesting. She projected herself as this super woman, confident, fashionable and strong but under this facade, she still was that little girl who had no friends. I could tell that life in Auchenmor would bring a new side of her out and we'd discover even more about her. And I was not wrong, I really enjoyed her flourishing, making friends and getting passionate about things outside of work.
The star of the story for me was not Isla though but Ruth. I first thought that this lovely old lady was just going to be a minor secondary character but the author surprised me making her one of the main characters. She became a real good friend to Isla but she also had her own story. I was really intrigued by her story and it surprised me more than once. It even brought some tears to my eyes. Ruth will be one of those characters difficult to forget, so wise and generous.
When I first picked this book (and after reading the blurb), I thought the love story would play quite a big part but it actually doesn't. You can tell that both Isla and Finn are interested in each other but their relationship grows really slowly and they share very few pages together. I mean, they both have many things to worry about apart from a possible relationship but I would have loved to see more scenes of them together. The same with the high school reunion Isla attends. She spends half the book worrying about it, getting ready for it, dreading it. And then in a couple of pages it's done.
But all in all, even if the story didn't turn out to be exactly as I expected, I enjoyed it immensely. Who doesn't love some surprises? It was great to catch up with old friends from Sealed with a Kiss but also discover these new characters. As I said, Ruth was a real gem and I'm sure her story will touch many hearts.
Rating: 4 stars