Wednesday 4 October 2017

BLOG TOUR: Secrets We Keep - Faith Hogan

What a treat I have for you today!  I absolutely LOVE Faith Hogan's books so I am thrilled to be today's stop on the Secrets We Keep blog tour.  Read on for an extract, my review and a giveaway that I would give my right arm to win (but of course, I'm not entering).

Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: February 2017
Publisher: Aria Fiction – Head of Zeus
Two distant relatives, drawn together in companionship are forced to confront their pasts and learn that some people are good at keeping secrets and some secrets are never meant to be kept..
A bittersweet story of love, loss and life. Perfect for fans of Patricia Scanlan, Adele Parks and Rosamunde Pilcher.
The beautiful old Bath House in Ballytokeep has lain empty and abandoned for decades. For devoted pensioners Archie and Iris, it holds too many conflicting memories of their adolescent dalliances and tragic consequences – sometimes it’s better to leave the past where it belongs.
For highflying, top London divorce lawyer Kate Hunt, it’s a fresh start – maybe even her future. On a winter visit to see her estranged Aunt Iris she falls in love with the Bath House. Inspired, she moves to Ballytokeep leaving her past heartache 600 miles away – but can you ever escape your past or your destiny?

Extract from Secrets We Keep by Faith Hogan
I’ve never seen anything like it,’ Kate said. It was her first thought as they turned down the cove and saw the bathhouse snuggled into the cliff face. It was a turreted, stocky grown-ups sandcastle. ‘It could have been emptied from a child’s bucket,’ was her first reaction. It had been painted, white with a light blue trim once, then the waves and the spray had all but washed that away. It still sat proudly, if shabbily, on a huge flat rock, that upturned in a lip over the sea. It was a plate, large enough for any giant.
Genesis Rock – it’s a metamorphic rock, probably over a thousand million years old,’ Rita said. ‘Sorry, did I mention I taught geography and home economics, once upon a time.’
No, but I probably should have guessed.’
I don’t remember the bathhouse even being open. I could imagine that I’d have spent all my days here if I had.’ Rita looked at the washed white walls that reached high into the cliff face.
Well, Archie said they ran it for a few years, but he didn’t say when it shut.’ This place probably held sadness for Archie, if his brother died here. Kate couldn’t feel it. Instead, it made her feel energized, as though the sea was spraying something like an invitation deep into her lungs. It made her heart pound with an expectation she hadn’t felt in years. Even the deserted castle keep that loomed up in grey stone at the tip of the headland seemed to carry a hopeful secret in its towers.
It must have been lovely once. Even now, you can see.’ Rita rested her hands on the thick window ledge, her nose pressed firmly to the cold glass of the windows. ‘It looks like they just closed up one evening and never came back.’
Kate walked to the back of the bathhouse; it dug into the cliff face, as though the construction of one depended on the other. Alongside the building, a small narrow road clung to the cliff for a couple of hundred yards before it feathered off onto what counted as a main road in these parts. Far below, the waves lapped serenely against the stone. It was low tide now; Kate wondered how close the water actually came to the rock. ‘I’d love to get a look inside.’ Rita followed her round to the front of the bathhouse. They peered through a sea sprayed window for a few minutes. Inside, Kate could see there were tables and chairs, a small stove and an old-fashioned counter where once someone had taken orders for afternoon tea. ‘It’s a little café, wouldn’t it be lovely if it was open for coffee?’ Kate mused, it was so much more than just a bathhouse.

What did I think?
If you haven't come across Faith Hogan yet then boy, are you missing a treat.  I read her debut, My Husband's Wives, and was completely blown away by the effortless warmth of her writing that I knew from just one book that I had become a Faith Hogan fan! Faith is definitely an author to get excited about so I was eager to read her second book, Secrets We Keep
Kate has a heart-breaking story in her past which has seen her throw herself into her work and become one of the top divorce lawyers in London.  Her last relationship saw her very publicly being left at the altar and she has found it difficult to trust men again - so you can see why she has become a ruthless and much sought-after divorce lawyer!  On a visit to her roots in Ireland, she finds an abandoned bath house and decides to renovate and reopen it, with a little help from her family and new friends.
When the rumour mill starts churning about a buyer for the old ruined castle in Ballytokeep, Kate could never have imagined that her past would come back to haunt her.  Or is it fate?  As Kate begins to unearth some well buried family secrets, she realises that her roots go a little deeper in Ballytokeep than she originally thought.  Home is indeed where the heart is.
I have to say that the setting is simply amazing - the quiet (fictional) coastal town of Ballytokeep in Ireland.  Now being a coastal girl myself, I found it easy to visualise the location and could almost taste the salt on my lips and feel the wind in my hair.  I loved the thought of a ruined castle on the cliffs and an abandoned bath house by the shore.  I was reminded of my love for fairytales and how it's possibly every little girl's dream to live in a castle.  Faith Hogan has successfully captured this magical essence and moulded it into a modern day fairytale with real-life heartbreak, secrets and the inevitable (and much sought after) happy ending.
I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating:



Already an international best seller, Faith Hogan is an original voice in women’s fiction, she has been hailed as a Maeve Binchey for a new generation. Her stories are warm and rooted in a contemporary Irish landscape which has lost none of its wit or emotion thanks to its modern vibe.
Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.
‘Secrets We Keep,’ is her second novel published with Aria Fiction. Her first, My Husbands Wives has been a top ten best seller and is currently available in paperback.
Twitter: @gerhogan

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  1. Secrets We Keep sounds moody, atmospheric and intriguing. Thanks for the head-up Michelle.

  2. It makes me think of summer holidays because of the beach! - Jessica Barber

  3. summer holidays and walking on the beach

  4. a wonderful getaway, but going by the title, escapism

  5. Faraway shores, sun and relaxation. Away from the daily grind of everyday life.

  6. It makes me think of my teenage holiday romance in Malta

  7. It makes me think of being on holiday xx