My hope is that this story will snuggle up with you in your magical me-time -moments’ unwinding this Summer. Let the stunning scenery stir you up to step into a season bursting with sunny promise.
The all-important blurb.
Sail away to beautiful Croatia for summer sun, sparkling turquoise seas and a holiday romance that’s forever…When no-nonsense, down-to-earth Maddie Wilcox is offered the chance to work on a luxury yacht for the summer, she can’t say no. Yes, she’ll be waiting on the posh guests… But island-hopping around the Adriatic Sea will more than make up for it–especially when Nick, her best friend Nina’s brother, is one of them. Sparks fly when they meet on board and Maddie can’t believe self-entitled jerk Nick is really related to Nina. But in a secret, picture-perfect cove, away from the real world, Maddie and Nick discover they might have more in common than they realise
Enjoy my 5* Review of The Secret Cove in Croatia. Written by Julie Caplin. Published by HarperImpulse July 2019 Purchase your own copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Cove-Croatia-Romantic-Escapes-ebook/dp/B07L7Y9LL5/
I have really enjoyed all of the Romantic Escapes series written by Julie Caplin. As Maddie might say, it was with ‘a little skip of happiness’ that I reached for my review copy. I was so delighted to be able to open up the next instalment. Although all of the books are standalone stories Julie has the most amazing eye for detail and just like painter Maddie, the heroine of this particular tale, she can paint the scenery of the landscape for us better even than any of the Golden Girls – picture Hvar – it’s the summer of 2019! She gets right to the heart of the community– taking in all the tourist sites but letting us get to know the locals and their customs too. I really do love the way she can let me sail away on my sofa.
Best of all I really love the way that she circles back and includes people from previous stories, delving deeper into the lives of characters from one book and giving them their own chance in the spotlight. One thing is for sure it makes me want to go back and read the whole series again. Her characters feel like old friends once you have spent a little bit of time in their company and I find myself thinking about them and missing them. Little windows back into their worlds really do bring the whole series to life.
This virtual visit to Croatia really struck a chord with me. Its not somewhere I have been or until last summer ever thought of going. But when they filmed the 2018 Mamma Mia 2 summer blockbuster, the crew didn’t go back to Greece, but took us out to Vis in Croatia. I had no idea it was so beautiful. So, when I saw the title of this boo, I was more than ready to dive in. I just love the colours, the water, the landscape and I was not disappointed, I truly felt like I was on holiday.
Maddie and Nick are adorable but the whole cast is intriguing. Holed up with them all was an experience! At times I didn’t know how Maddie coped with everyone, but I love that we get to see the whole of each character, the good, the bad and the ugly – somehow it makes them more real, more human. Aren’t we all just diamonds in the rough – with life smoothing of our edges and polishing us up a little. There is enough drama to keep us on the edge of our seats and enough beautiful views to make us catch our breath. I was delighted to be able to come on board some of the superyachts and soak up the sun and the stars. Ooh what a dream. I once saw these beauties being sold at the Southampton Boat Show when I worked there one summer. I remember how awe- inspiring they were. This lovely book welcomed me on board and made me feel like a film star – I could just imagine myself on a sun lounger with my oversized hat and sunglasses, a tasteful sarong and a cool iced drink to sip. I must admit I have never really been tempted by a cruise before but docking off at the little secret cove sounded so idyllic and special. I wanted to dive in and snorkel in the clear waters too. What a treat.
Coffee Cup Conversations and Teapot Talking Points:
If you and I dear reader were sitting down together today, perhaps in a cosy corner of the Aventurista, having both read the book, here are a few of the points we could mull over together, whilst trying out one of Maddie’s special cocktails.
Have you ever bought a painting of your holiday?
Maddie paints so beautifully and I have to say I am really envious of people who have that talent. I have neither the eye, the patience of the skill. What I do love though is colour. I remember when I lived in Spain a local bar owner gave me a painting from his bar when I left, having spent a year there studying Spanish. I was so touched. I also have a painting of Looe in Cornwall in my bedroom. It is one of my favourite holiday destinations and I just love having those bright summer beach colours in my house – I never tire of it, even in winter.
Have you ever been on a boating holiday?
I must admit that I would love to spend some time on a boat, I would really love to learn to sail. A barge holiday on a canal sounds such fun but being invited onto a yacht sounds idyllic. That’s what I loved about this story; it lets us the reader dream a little – why shouldn’t we head off for a bit of the millionaire lifestyle? I wonder if Air BnB rent rooms!!! I am not sure if I would quickly find my sea legs – but travelling around in this way does seem really compelling. Perfect for those of us who fancy the idea of being out and about on the water, getting away from it all rather than doing that on a huge cruise with a couple of hundred other tourists for company. This travel idea has really given me food for thought.
Do you like celebrity spotting?
Hanging out with the sparkling set of super models – Maddie is ready to spot some superstars. It got me thinking – have you ever spotted a celebrity sighting? I did once – a most uncanny day – I saw Gary Linekar and Maureen Lipman in separate carriages on the same train! But apart from that I rarely see anyone famous. A few have turned up in my classroom though – which I was very surprised by and proud not to have given anything away, maintaining my calm, professional manner much like Maddie does. still it was a real thrill on every occasion. I had to show Gordon Ramsey around our boarding house kitchens though – that made me chuckle. He couldn’t have been nicer.
Now, if you are anything like me, you will love getting to know the author: Julie Caplin.
Jules Wake announced at the age of 10 that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands, taking journalists on trips to awful places like Turin, Milan, Geneva, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam and occasionally losing the odd member of the press in an airport. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to eat amazing food, drink free alcohol, hone her writing skills on press releases and to research European cities for her books.
She writes best-selling warm-hearted contemporary fiction for HarperImpulse.
Under her pen name, Julie Caplin, her twelfth novel, The Secret Cove in Croatia published in ebook format this July.
I LOVE to interact and keep in touch with writers – either to share my thoughts on the book or to ask questions, but mainly just to hang out with people who love writing and reading and soul-surfing as much as I do. You can get in touch with Julie here:
Twitter: @JulieCaplin @JulesWake
So, dear reader, whilst you all head off to read summer holiday treat that won’t ruin your appetite, I’m going to get my butt in the chair and write but I won’t forget to search for some other book bounty to take us away into the sunset.