The Beach Holiday by Isabelle Broom: fascinating, cut-throat world of publishing – book review –
But summer at the Hamptons – the stunning holiday playground for America’s rich and famous – throws up a leading man so perfect for her novel that Honor starts to lose sight of what is best for her rather than just the pursuit of her writing ambitions.
Summer wouldn’t be summer without a smart, sexy and escapist romance from Isabelle Broom, an author whose gift is to transport her readers to locations most of us could only ever admire in the pages of a glossy travel magazine.
So welcome to Southampton, one of a string of picturesque seaside towns located on the tip of Long Island, New York, noted for their gorgeous mansions, endless beaches, and eclectic mix of A-list celebrities escaping the city heat.
And meet Honor Butler from Cambridge, the unassuming daughter of her (mostly absent) US-based bestselling thriller writer father Jeffrey Butler who is, under duress, including his daughter in a summer stay at the Hamptons.
With a mother who owns a bookshop in Cambridge and an author father famous across the world, all Honor has ever wanted is to be successful. She is convinced it’s the only way she can impress the reluctant father she never met until she was eight, the now ex-boyfriend who gave up on her, and the nagging voice in her head that tells her she’s not good enough.
But wanting to tell a story is not the same as having a story to tell, and every successful story needs ‘a strong opening.’ So when she sees a writing competition offering a two-book publishing deal for a story inspired by both England and New York, Honor knows she has a personal knowledge of both but needs to find that much-needed ‘good idea.’
Luckily, she has been invited to spend the summer in the Hamptons with her father and Tallulah, the young writer he is ‘mentoring’ and Honor hopes it could be the dream setting for a book. What she doesn’t expect is to literally bump into her potential leading man in a cycling mishap outside a shop on her first day in the idyllic holiday location.
Publicity shy, British-born heart-throb Cellan Thomas is a Hollywood actor but he’s only recently out of rehab after a break-up with his high profile girlfriend and not on his best form. He tells Honor he’s a stunt man and soon Honor is flexing her long-unused ‘flirtatious muscles’ on Cellan.
Cellan is easy to talk to, more than a little attractive, and the ideal inspiration for that elusive romantic bestseller. But realising her writing dream could come at the expense of her own happy ever after...
If the full-on glamorous location alone isn’t enough to send Broom’s fans to seventh heaven then the sultry, simmering, sizzling romance between likeable Honor and luscious Cellan – a liaison littered with entertaining misunderstandings and Broom’s trademark wit and humour – is guaranteed to be an all-time favourite.
As the line between fact and fiction starts to blur, and the toxicity of social media makes it hard to know who to trust, the two protagonists are forced to negotiate a thorny path through truth, lies and treachery.
With sun, sand, secrets, complex family relationships, and the fascinating but cut-throat world of publishing, all playing major roles, The Beach Holiday is all you need for your own summer escape.
(Hodder, paperback, £8.99)