Wildflower Bay by Rachael Lucas – review

Published by Pan

Publication date 11 August 2016

Source – review copy


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 . . .”

Isla has been so focussed on her career that the rest of her life has left her behind. Suddenly finding herself with nothing to do after a disaster at work she is dragged into helping her aunt in her hair salon on Auchenmor. Reluctantly roped in, and counting the days until she can leave Isla finds that the island and its inhabitants have started to work their magic on her, with possibly one resident having more effect than others…

I was soon absorbed in Isla’s tale and found myself nearly half way through the book before I put it down for the first time. Rachael Lucas has a wonderful writing style that draws the reader in, immediately making them feel at home and amongst friends.

This was a charming story set in a lovely location and filled with wonderful characters. Isla was a considerate person, kind to her friends but could also come across as brittle and distant. As the story develops we see her change as she makes friends and lets go of the past. Finn was funny and charming and it was lovely to see him change over the course of the story as his relationship with Isla developed. I loved the surrounding cast of characters, who all added warmth and humour to the story including Shannon and Jinny in the salon, Isla’s dad and Ruth, the independent 80 year old Isla befriends.

Rachael Lucas has set a previous novel in Auchenmor, Sealed With a Kiss which I have not read. This didn’t spoil my enjoyment of Wildflower Bay and I’ll certainly be reading Sealed With a Kiss soon.

This is a warm-hearted, humorous and entertaining book and I spent a lovely few hours lost in its pages.

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