A completely gorgeous story about lost loves and small-town secrets that will sweep you away to the Irish coast.
Maggie remembers her summers in the village of Sandy Cove in Ireland like they were yesterday. She and her family would swim in the crystal-clear waters, collect beautiful seashells and relax on the sand. So when she sees that her family’s old coastguard cottage is available, she wonders if renting it for the summer will finally help her move on from the man who just broke her heart.
As soon as Maggie arrives she is delighted to find her childhood best-friend Sorcha and Sorcha’s cousin Brian still living in town. They enjoy cosy nights in the local harbour pub, with its stunning views across the ocean, as if no time has passed. And when Brian reveals he had a fierce teenage crush on Maggie, she can’t help but notice just how handsome he has become.
But then Maggie finds a worn metal box hidden in the attic of the house, full of love letters she exchanged with a sweet American boy she met one summer. During their last night together, star-gazing on the beach, they promised to find each other again. Soon it becomes clear that Maggie is not the only one returning to Sandy Cove.
Torn between her growing feelings for Brian and the romance she’s held in her heart for many years, Maggie realises that her summer may be more complicated than she’d expected. Will Maggie finally find a true love who can sweep her off her feet or will this holiday in Sandy Cove be her last?
Fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Sheila O’Flanagan and Debbie Macomber will fall head over heels for this enchanting, feel-good romance.
Author: Susanne O'Leary
Series: Starlight Cottages Book 3
Genre: Women's Fiction; Romance
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 272
Date of Publication: December 17, 2021
My Rating: 5 Stars
In this heartwarming story by Susanne O'Leary, Maggie plans on spending her summer months in the village of Sandy Cove, Ireland. She has very fond memories of the lovely village and the time away will give her a chance to reboot. Her marriage has ended, and her children are out on her own. Maggie hopes that her time away will help to heal her heart.
When she spots old friend Sorcha, Maggie knows she made the right decision. The two hit it off as if their thirty years apart never happened. Maggie also sees Sorcha's cousin Brian again, who is now the village vet. But, who she really wants to see again is someone from America named Paul. When she was a teen the two grew very close and even wrote letters for quite a while. Will returning to Sandy Cove somehow make it possible for Maggie to truly go home again? To reawaken feelings of love for Paul?
Maggie truly begins to enjoy herself, especially when her teen love comes back in her life for a time. However, Maggie also finds herself drawn to Brian. Meanwhile, as a teacher, Maggie knows her summer months won't last forever.
This lovely story is rather light at romance as it explores Maggie and the discontent that led her to Sandy Cove. There is also a bit of drama about the village and its inhabitants. As this is the third book in a delightful series, I did enjoy the cameos from characters in previous books. However, as this is about Maggie, it would do very well as a standalone. Maggie was a true delight and I loved seeing her evolve in the pages of this well-written book.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book - and everything else I have read by this prolific author - is how she is so adept at pulling readers into her stories. I really felt like I was there with Maggie. Whether she was remembering the first time she stepped into the cottage where she would be spending her summer, or as she rekindled old friendships. Even with her trying to find that long-ago love. I also enjoyed the way the villagers all rallied about when it came to common goals. In all, this was a wonderful story and I cannot wait to read whatever comes next for Ms. O'Leary.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
The wife of a former diplomat, she has also been a fitness teacher and a translator. She now writes full-time from either of two locations, a rambling house in County Tipperary, Ireland or a little cottage overlooking the Atlantic in Dingle, County Kerry. When she is not scaling the mountains of said counties, or doing yoga, she keeps writing, producing a book every six months.