The Sunshine Hideaway, with its big bay windows and stunning view of Sunflower Island’s golden beaches, is the only place Madison Skylar has ever truly thought of as home. Could returning to the island be the second chance she needs?
When twenty-three-year-old Madison arrives at The Sunshine Hideaway, she discovers the beautiful little guesthouse is falling into disrepair. With the help of old friends Amy and Connor, Madison throws herself into creating a gorgeous wellness retreat, introducing yoga sessions, adventure walks and ice-cream sundaes with a delicious twist. But will it be enough to save her childhood home?
Handsome and mysterious Connor has lived on Sunflower Island his whole life. He works hard as a builder, with his faithful dog Jaws by his side, but something is missing and he dreams of bigger things. As Connor helps to revamp The Sunshine Hideaway, this could be his opportunity to tell the woman he’s secretly been in love with for years how he really feels…
As spontaneous and fun-loving Madison settles into life on the close-knit island, sparks fly between her and shy Connor as they clash on the reinvention of the guesthouse. Are the they too different to make things work or will Madison and Connor finally find true love this year?
What does TWG think?
Despite having such a calming front cover, Donna Ashcroft’s novel, in my opinion, has quite a few characters that I would put in the ‘marmite’ folder. Madison, one of the main characters, has had the travel bug for years, but now she feels that it’s the right time to put down roots with her family on Sunflower Island. When the going gets tough, Madison is very quick to spread her wings and take flight, so, when she manages to stay in one place for more than a few days, her old friends just can’t hide their surprise.
I couldn’t blame the other main character, Connor, for thinking the worst in Madison if that’s all he has ever known her to do, however I did think he was a little hard on her at times. His reservations were totally justified, I get that, but Madison was trying to make an effort and sniping at her wasn’t going to make her want to stay. That said, that girl could certainly hold her own and I repeat what I said above, the characters are definitely marmite because one moment I felt defensive of Madison, then the next she was annoying me with her throwing the teddy out of the pram because something didn’t go how she wanted it to. Her heart is in the right place, please don’t think that I didn’t like her, because I did most of the time. She just really needed to grow up and, for someone who has had so much independence travelling the world, it surprised me just how low her maturity was.
‘The Little Guesthouse of New Beginnings’ has such a heartwarming and romantic vibe to it, you’ll need to be made of stone not to be touched by the true friendships, evolving relationships, and delightful community spirit. I adored how the entire island came together to help one of their own, and I couldn’t help but be moved by the lengths they all went to to support one another. Why can’t everyone be like that!
The premise of the book gave me food for thought in terms of living your dreams, not settling for second best, and finding a place you can call home, and I thought that Donna Ashcroft wrote those elements from the heart as though it was her own little gift to her readers.
Even though I did enjoy the storyline and had a good giggle at the name of Connor’s dog, it wasn’t my favourite book the author has written. Nonetheless, the easy to read, calming nature of the book was very welcoming during a time I needed it the most.
A touching, light hearted read to put a smile on your face.
About the author.
Donna Ashcroft was born in London and grew up in Buckinghamshire. She went to university in Lancashire and, among other things, worked as a copywriter, buyer, waitress, secretary and marketing manager.
Donna wrote novels for over ten years before being published. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and was a joint winner of the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2017.
Donna loves a happy ending and is never happier than when she’s escaping into a romance novel or movie. When she’s not reading or writing she’ll probably be found hoovering … or negotiating with her teenagers about who is doing the washing up.