Friday, 14 June 2019

Spotlight & Review: The Baobab Beach Retreat by Kate Frost

The Baobab Beach Retreat by Kate Frost

An ex-husband, two potential lovers, one reckless decision. Will Connie ever be happy in love?
When Connie Stone leaves behind a cheating husband and heartache in the UK for her aunt's beach retreat, the last thing she wants is for her life to once again be complicated by men. 
Yet when her past follows her to Tanzania, her time to heal is short-lived and a selfish act shatters her hopes for a fresh start. An unexpected return to the UK reveals a long-hidden family secret that Connie has to deal with before she can decide the direction her life should take. Getting over a broken heart was never going to be easy. 
Can Connie put the past to rest and find peace and love in a country far from home?

I'm a big fan of reading novels set in exotic, off the beat locations and The Baobab Beach Retreat hits the spot for me as I devoured this thought-provoking escapist romance. 

For Connie Stone, going back to Tanzania is an opportunity to put some much-needed distance between herself and her cheating husband. On arrival, she embraces the familiarity of the place and the people she hasn't seen in many years. Whilst some things about her Aunt Bella's place are just as she remembers, others are different. Soon it becomes clear she too could be part of the plans Bella has for her business as a shocking secret from the past is exposed.

As the heroine of the story, Connie is a likeable woman who most readers will relate too. She's vulnerable but determined to put her life back on track. She embraces the chance to make herself useful at Mchanga, Bella's exclusive resort but also makes a few errors of judgement decisions as she settles into her new role. As an open-minded reader, I understand how Connie landed herself in the situations but importantly, there's no long-lasting harm or hurt feelings-only life lessons learned.

Ms Frost captures the essence of what makes Africa so special. The descriptions bring alive the ambience of Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania; the locations, food and architecture. For those of us who have been lucky enough to have travelled within the African continent, it's a chance to reminisce about the charm of the place even if it's not specifically Tanzania. The narrative is beautifully crafted by this new to me author. I was instantly sold on the location yet the plot is equally satisfying with far more depth than I anticipated-a positive reaction from me.

Ms Frost made it easy to imagine where the protagonists and notable characters are as much as the issues and conflicts they experience. I enjoyed the unexpected contrast and appreciated Connie's story has far more substance than a fluffy holiday romance. It's a gem of a read!

Overall, this novel has it all; heartache, intrigue and romance against a stunning tropical backdrop-perfect.

***Review copy received courtesy of the publisher Lemon Tree Press***

Kate Frost writes character-driven women’s fiction and romances, alongside Time Shifters, an award-winning time travel adventure trilogy for 9-12 year olds. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University where she’s also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates. She has eight books published, including her Greek and north Norfolk set series, The Butterfly Storm. The Baobab Beach Retreat is the first in what will be a series of foreign-set romances. Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, their five-year-old son (who still loves waking up before 5am), and their cute and chilled out Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

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