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  • Hannah Fielding - Romance Novelist

From the blurb:

Pennfleet might be a small town, but there’s never a dull moment in its narrow winding streets…

Kate has only planned a flying visit to clear out the family home after the death of her mother. When she finds an anonymous letter, she is drawn back into her own past.

Single dad Sam is juggling his deli and two lively teenagers, so romance is the last thing on his mind. Then Cupid fires an unexpected arrow – but what will his children think?

Nathan Fisher is happy with his lot, running picnic cruises up and down the river, but kissing the widow of the richest man in Pennfleet has disastrous consequences.

Vanessa knows what she has done is unseemly for a widow, but it’s the most fun she’s had for years. Must she always be on her best behaviour?

As autumn draws in and the nights grow longer, there are sure to be fireworks in this gloriously engaging novel from Veronica Henry, author of A Night on the Orient Express.

One of the best feelings in the world for me is to discover a new author whose work I find an affinity with – and then realise there are plenty more books by the author to dive into!

When I requested this book via NetGalley, it was on the strength of the cover and the blurb and because I wanted a lighter read than my last book. It wasn’t because I knew the author, Veronica Henry. But now, having read the book, I’m rather astonished I haven’t crossed paths with her work before, and I’m very eager to download her other books.

In her bio, the author describes her writing as ‘escapist fiction with an edge’, and I think that’s the perfect description of High Tide.

First, ‘escapist’. I was most definitely swept away into the story, and I believed wholeheartedly in the small coastal town and its inhabitants. I could picture it so clearly in my mind, so much so that I would love to visit.

What I really like about the author’s painting of the scene is that she is unafraid to be honest. It’s a real place where people have real problems. The quaint little shops are lovely for tourists, but hard work for the locals. Those who have grown up in Penfleet are being priced out of the market when it comes to buying a home, thanks to the influx of wealthy second-homers buying up property. And the sea that forms the backdrop to the story is not always placid and dreamy: it can be dangerous too.

Then there is ‘the edge’. I loved the depth to the story, and the sensitive and careful exploration of some gritty and difficult themes like grief. In a sense, the book did deliver on my desire for a light read – but it wasn’t fluffy and silly; it was grounded in realism, and at times I found the subject matter quite moving.

Quite my favourite aspect of the book is the author’s expert execution of a multi-layered story. I was equally engaged and intrigued by each of the story threads for both the male and the female characters – and there is quite a cast, many more than feature in the blurb.

This is feel-good fiction at its finest – the perfect book to take on holiday that will leave you feeling that every minute you dedicated to the reading was time very well spent.

Note: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

High Tide is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.

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