Book Review: 'Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage' by Samantha Tonge.

I was super excited to dive into Samantha Togue's latest book 'Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage' the minute I read that Lizzie was a tattoo artist. I couldn't wait to visit the tattoo parlour where she worked and learn more about her. 


A new start can come from the most unexpected places...

It's been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren't.

After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it's time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were... starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she's never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.

Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.

As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.

                                                               My Review

I really enjoyed reading Lizzie's story; there was an incredibly warm and inviting way in which she spoke that made me feel connected to her throughout this lovely book. It was heart breaking learning of her parents passing and I felt for her when it came to needing a break from her work because she was finding it difficult to concentrate. Being a tattoo artist, there was no room for errors and so she decides to head to Streamside Cottage to get some much needed answers about her past and her parents, in addition, to a little rest away from the hustle and bustle of her city life in London.

I thought it was rather wonderful that upon stepping inside the idyllic and dreamy cottage, she felt comforted. I loved the way Lizzie spoke about the walls supporting her and it feeling like the place wrapped her in a hug when she needed it or answered her questions when she felt lost. The cottage and the town of Leafton sounded so welcoming and picturesque. I loved the descriptions of the quaint cafes and the stationary shop and the supermarket with the post office, it was all too cute and made me smile. 

What I found really awesome about 'Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage' was that Samantha created a real mysterious page turner. I was desperate to find out what the connection between Lizzie's family and the cottage was, as well as what was behind all the rumours and spooky ghost stories. As the story unravelled, I felt such a love and understanding towards her parents and their need to protect her, even if at times it was too much. I loved how Lizzie felt that too and how she was able to get some closure on her past and focus on all the magical and happy memories she had of them. This story touches on some difficult topics and shows how parenting is far from easy when it comes to figuring out what's best for your child while struggling with past trauma. I was happy when all the secrets came to light, especially for the likes of Trish, who I felt had been carrying such a sad weight for twenty years. It showed that good things can come when everything is out in the open. 

Lizzie building her life in Leafton and getting to know her neighbours, Ben and Jill, was also such a joyful part of the book. I really liked Jill and I adored that Ben was so kind and friendly to everyone around. He really gave off that cosy town vibe, helping everyone and being content in his hometown. I don't want to say too much about him and Lizzie's relationship for fear of spoiling the story, but their memories and adventures together are wonderfully endearing. 

Another cool piece of this book was that Samantha shares tattoo facts at the beginning of each chapter which I thoroughly enjoyed. I did especially like hearing about Lizzie's designs and more about the tattoo process and why she loved tattooing. Creating her own tattoo space was awesome and I loved that she got to make her dream come true with that and add her stamp to Streamside Cottage. My brain definitely started going through all the tattoo's I would like to get and wishing that I could visit Lizzie and have a chat with her about them. 

If you're looking for a heart warming, inspiring and beautiful read, then I highly recommend you pick up a copy of 'Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage' today! 

Happy reading. 


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