29 May Escape to Lilacwell by Sasha Morgan
Adventure and romance in the English countryside
I’m always captivated by a campervan on the cover of a book – it suggests excitement, adventure and romance in unexpected places.
And where better to read such a story than lying in the sun on a sunbed in Crete? Sasha Morgan’s book Escape to Lilacwell fell into my suitcase, and I read it in just one sitting.
The premise of the story is familiar – Adira, a young lawyer, has fallen out of love with her job and jumps at her grandma Edie’s suggestion of taking a year out to explore Britain in a vintage campervan.
Maybe in discovering new places, she’ll also find herself a better future than the drudgery of the law office where she is overworked and under-appreciated.
But she doesn’t get very far when she ends up in the Cheshire village of Lilacwell, unwittingly trespassing on the land of 85-year-old Fletcher Hendricks.
Soon, she and the lonely old man are close friends – but there is more than just Fletcher and a broken-down campervan to keep her in Lilacwell.
Fletcher’s nephew and heir Jasper has returned from Dubai to check on his uncle. Strong, smouldering, rich and powerful, he’s a strong contender for the romance sadly lacking in Sasha’s life and sexual tension soon crackles between them.
Obstacles arise to thwart their passion, and it looks as if the couple may part forever. Can Fletcher save the day? He certainly does his best – and for an 85-year-old, he makes a pretty good Cupid!
Never lose faith in true love
This was a charming story with two strong main characters, but my heart secretly belongs to Fletcher. He’s made some massive mistakes in his life, but he’s acknowledged them, is willing to put them right, and never lost his faith in true love.
The other characters in Lilacwell all add to the general feel that it’s a place you’d be happy to pitch up in, and Adira soon finds herself part of the colourful community, using her hitherto hidden skills as a naturopath to endear her to elderly arthritic villagers, a young woman with fertility problems, and even to Jasper, who enjoys a therapeutic massage under her strong but tender hands. That scene could have got very steamy!
The narrative moves along nicely, the plot complemented by the lovely background of Lilacwells which contrasts not just with Adira’s previous life but with Jasper’s life in Dubai – where a smokin’ hot PA awaits his return and plots Adira’s downfall from afar! Zara’s a great additional element to the story … she’d never be any other girl’s best friend, but you can’t help admitting her cunning.
There is one element of the plot that I felt was under-exploited and that was Adira’s discovery that she may have a family connection to Lilacwell. This could have been a rich source of material, but it never really went anywhere
However, Escape To Lilacwell is just the first in a series, so perhaps author Sasha Morgan is keeping her powder dry on that one.
Overall, this was a lovely beach read, with romance, humour, a bit of spice (and bitchiness) and a happy ending.
You couldn’t ask for more.
About the Author
Sasha Morgan lives in a village by the coast in Lancashire with her husband and has one grown up son. She writes mainly contemporary fiction, with a touch of ‘spice’, probably due to all the Jilly Cooper novels she read as a teenager! Besides writing, Sasha loves drinking wine, country walks and curling up with a good book.
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