Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary, Rachel's Random Resources, Romance, Scarred hero

A Secret Scottish Escape by Julie Shackman

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Escape to the beautiful Scottish Highlands for a heartwarming and feel-good cosy romance that will whisk you away from lockdown!

When Scotland’s sleepiest hamlet becomes the centre of hot gossip, Layla Devlin finds herself caught in a mystery…

When Layla’s fiancée has an unexpected heart attack and dies – in another woman’s arms, no less – Layla is determined to pack up and leave Loch Harris, the village she’s always called home. But an unexpected inheritance and love for her quiet corner of Scotland send her down a new path.

Now Layla finds herself facing a whole new kind of drama. Rumours swirl that a celebrity has moved into Coorie Cottage and Layla is determined to have him headline her opening night at local music venue The Conch Club. But the reclusive star is equally determined to thwart Layla’s efforts. Rafe Buchanan is in hiding for a reason, and soon his past comes to Loch Harris to haunt him…


This is a fabulous story of a woman trying to overcome a betrayal, an unexpected death, and questionable paternity, all while accepting guilt money to help bring back life to her community. Oh, and let’s not forget the mysterious masked man who has captured her attention. A lot is going on, but it flows together nicely as Layla gets what she deserves.

Speaking of Layla, she’s a kind, generous, and passionate person who comes back from a nasty shock by giving back to her community. She has a lot going on with the untimely and uncomfortable death of her fiancé, her mother’s flippant and nasty remark about her paternity, her best friend’s love life, a mystery to solve, and a new business to get ready. Her idea to create a music venue to help the dwindling tourism in her home of Loch Harris is genius and who better to have for her opening act than her dad’s former rock band, Battalion. But first, her dad has to get the retired band members to agree which may be difficult considering an important talk he needs to have with one of them.  Her “neighborly” ways are part of her charm, so when Layla asks the mysterious and reclusive singer simply called Mask to perform as well, he shoots her down…until he sends her some tapes with his new songs to play during her grand opening. Can you say whiplash? The guy is rude to her one minute and then engages with her the next. But Layla is a determined gal as she plans to find out who is, what caused the scar on his face, and who the strange woman is who is dead set on ruining him by gossip. Can she finally find happiness in the Highlands?

I have to say, I love Layla’s dad, Harry. He’s a very caring and cool father with a green thumb who adores his daughter and it’s fun to see him find a little happiness himself.  Layla’s best friend and commitment-phobe, Faith, has her own attraction going on which Layla gives a little push in the right direction. Mask, is a broken man with a truckload of guilt that finds solace in gardening and singing. Until he meets the woman who can save him from himself.  Also, it must be my week in reading about evil mothers because Layla’s mother, Tina, fits the bill when she abandons her husband and daughter for a more glamourous life only to come back when Layla inherits some money. Don’t worry, she gets her just desserts.

This book had me at Scotland and romance. If you enjoy lovely stories filled with heartache, hope, and compelling and engaging characters in a beautiful Scottish setting, give this book a try.

Thank you to Ms. Shackman for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


A Secret Scottish Escape

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Julie ShackmanI am a contemporary romance author from Scotland, who is obsessed with stationery and handbags.

I am married with two sons and have a poodle cross Romanian rescue puppy called Cooper. A Secret Scottish Escape is my fifth book.

I trained as a journalist and studied Communication & Media. When I’m not reading or writing, I love getting out for long walks, listening to music, and watching romcoms.

Follow Julie on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.


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