Secrets of Willow House (Sandy Cove Book 1) by Susanne O’Leary @susl @Bookouture #bookreview #contemporary #romance

Title: Secrets of Willow House

Author: Susanne O’Leary

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication Date: March 25, 2019

Page Count: 283

My rating:   4 stars

About the book:

A heartwarming and moving story about secrets, fresh starts and the power of friendship, set in the wilds of Ireland’s shores.

Maeve McKenna is on the verge of a breakdown. Having worked herself into the ground as a sought-after interior designer in London, she’s in desperate need of a vacation.

Philomena Duffy is a little lonely. After losing her husband, their crumbling mansion, Willow House, feels awfully empty.

With the rugged shores of Ireland calling, Maeve visits her aunt Philomena in Sandy Cove, where she once, as a teenager, kissed a wild, mysterious boy – a kiss she has never been able to forget. The beautiful night’s sky is dotted with stars as far as the eye can see, and Maeve is worlds away from her chaotic life in the city.

As Maeve throws herself into restoring Willow House to its former glory, a deep friendship with Philomena begins to blossom. Surrounded by the faded walls and peeling carpets of the old mansion, together they stumble across a secret that turns their family upside down.

All the while, she can’t stop thinking about the enigmatic boy from her past, and that magical kiss… Is he still in Sandy Cove?

Just as she’s beginning to feel at home, reality calls. Part of Maeve can’t bear to leave Willow House and its rocky beach. Does she have the courage to leave the security of her old life behind, and put down new roots in Sandy Cove, or is that just a daydream?

Fans of Sheila O’Flanagan, Debbie Macomber and Mary Alice Monroe will fall head over heels for this stunning read.


Secrets of Willow House by Susanne O’Leary is a contemporary romance that unfortunately a lot of ladies may relate to. Who hasn’t felt a bit stressed and overworked in their lives? Who hasn’t let those relationships with various family slip away as there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for everything?

When Maeve begins to  feel rundown and overworked she makes a trip to  the doctor only to be told she needs a holiday now or her health  may be in danger. Working in interior design Maeve has clients contacting her at all hours with demands and a boss that won’t turn any new business away so she’s not at all surprised with the news.

Perhaps it’s coincidence or maybe it’s fate but just as Maeve’s planning to  travel back to I Ireland to rest and relax she gets a call from her aunt Philomena asking for help and knowing it’s been far too long she happily agrees. Maeve quickly finds herself feeling at home being where she grew up and what she and her aunt find surprise them both.

Secrets of Willow House was a charming little read that while I did not grow up in such a lovely setting I did relate with Maeve being so stressed and needing to  reconnect with family and this side of the story is just as charming as adding in a bit of  romance. The lovely seaside Irish setting just made this one all the more relaxing and enjoyable to  read too.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

 About the author:

Susanne O’Leary is the bestselling author of more than twenty novels, mainly in the romantic fiction genre, mostly romantic comedies, aka chick-lit.. Her four first novels were published in Ireland and then she started self-publishing in 2010. She has also written four crime novels and two in the historical fiction genre. She has been the wife of a diplomat (still is), a fitness teacher and a translator. She now writes full-time from either of two locations, a ramshackle house in County Tipperary, Ireland or a little cottage overlooking the Atlantic in Dingle, County Kerry. When she is not scaling the mountains of said counties or keeps fit in the local gym, she’s writing, producing a book every six months

Visit Susanne at her website,
or her blog,
Find her on Facebook,
and on Twitter,


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