I was really pleased when the marketing manager of Avon Books got in touch to let me know a new Phillipa Ashley series was starting and I could access the first new book via NetGalley. I have really liked her books in the past and felt this was a bit of a new departure and richer and deeper, a good progression!

Rose follows a trail of clues from Cambridge, where she works as an academic, having had to put her career on hold while she recovered from a life-threatening illness, to a tiny coastal Cornish village, desperate to find the donor who saved her life after an event in her life triggers the possibility of another new start.

Of course, Cornish village communities being what they are, Rose is soon sucked into local life, and she’s almost counted as a local, since she’s working on an archaeological dig in the area and also applying for funding to do more. She bonds with a local shop owner, the very much non-woo-believing Oriel, who happens to run a shop full of crystals and pixie lore, gets involved with the Regatta, starts to learn to sail and meets the hunky Morvah brothers, one of whom might hold the key to her search. But of course, the more she gets to know everyone on their own terms – and hers – the less she feels she can reveal why she came here in the first place.

I loved the interesting setting with lots of sailing and archaeological/academic detail which made it a nice and deep, satisfying read. I also loved reading about some of the standing stone sites I know (Ashley cheerfully admits to moving some of these around a little for the sake of the story and I’m fine when that’s clear!) and the whole area is described beautifully, as always. There’s comedy and suspense enough to keep you reading on but enjoying it in a light way.

I was really pleased to see the diversity back. Of course no Cornish village is going to be like an urban area in the Midlands, but Oriel has a firm girlfriend and neither of them is a stereotype, and there’s a boatyard apprentice called Gurdeep who brings in excellent snacks, as well as mentions of the wealthy boat-commissioning Choudhourys. So it’s delicately done but brings an extra dimension that I very much appreciate.

A really good read with a great heroine who makes mistakes but who you can really root for. I look forward to more in the series!

Thank you Avon Books for making a copy of this book available to me on NetGalley in return for an honest review.