#aww2020 · 2020 Reviews · Australian · contemporary fiction · romance · small town

Book Review: Summer at Urchin’s Bluff by Eliza Bennetts

Title: Summer at Urchin’s Bluffsummer at urchin's bluff small

Author: Eliza Bennetts

Published: June 20th 2019

Publisher: Eliza Bennetts

Pages: 334

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4 stars

Emma Stapleton’s husband was a good guy. At least, that’s what she’d thought before he dumped their fourteen-year marriage down the toilet. She and her twelve-year-old son are left reeling, and a holiday to the beautiful beachside town of Urchin’s Bluff promises to be an escape for them both.

Emma plans to enjoy the small-town charm, swimming, and spending time with her best friend, Jane. However, a chance meeting with Cole Merchant–local firefighter and chronic bachelor–sets her pulse racing. Too bad Emma’s sworn off men.

While she unwinds in the quaint beachside setting, Emma falls in love with life by the sea … and the locals steal her heart as well. Just when it looks as if everything is about to come together for Emma, disaster comes calling–in more ways than one.


A story of second chances and matters heart defines Summer at Urchin’s Bluff by Eliza Bennetts. A life affirming contemporary fiction novel, with a touch of romance, this series opener was a more than pleasant read from start to finish.

Summer at Urchin’s Bluff brings the reader Emma Stapleton’s story. Emma has recently been hit hard by a series of unexpected blows. Dealing with a heartbreaking marriage breakdown, Emma sets her sights on a much needed holiday getaway. Emma and her son seek solace in the beachside locale of Urchin’s Bluff. Using this time to rest and recoup, Emma is soon taken by Urchin Bluff’s charms. Supporting her through this time is her friend Jane. When local bachelor Cole crosses paths with Emma an instant connection is made, but Emma is hesitant to do anything about her feelings due to her unresolved marriage issues. Slowly, Emma begins to embrace life again. Her broken heart begins to heal and she gains her confidence back. As quickly as Emma starts to consider the possibility of letting a new love into her life, something threatens to derail it all.  Questions of love, choice, duty, expectation, loyalty, fulfilment and happiness come into play in Summer at Urchin’s Bluff.

Summer at Urchin’s Bluff marks the start of the ‘Seasons’ series by Australian author Eliza Bennetts. I have two more issues in this delightful mature age romance series sitting on my shelves waiting to be read. The first thing that struck me about this book and writing was just how down to earth the tone and the writing style is, which is thanks to the author’s craftsmanship.

Eliza Bennetts sure does pit her lead against a few obstacles, but these are common problems that many of us will be able to relate to on a very personal level. Alternatively,  we may know of a relative or friend who has faced, or is currently dealing with a marriage breakdown and infidelity issues. I have to say it felt great to read about a character who was much closer in age to me (40 plus), as I have struggled of late to relate to some contemporary romance books featuring much younger protagonists. In Summer at Urchin’s Bluff, Bennetts helps us to understand the pure emotions and crushing blows experienced by a woman impacted by the demise of a long standing marriage. Bennetts also explores the fear and anxiety Emma feels by being left alone, with a teenage son to care for and her own broken heart to mend. Thankfully there are support systems in place, from friendship and the healing power of a sea change.

Urchin’s Bluff was a delight to visit. It reminded me of some of the small coastal towns we have here in the south west region of WA. I could very easily picture this locale, which is brought to life thanks to the author’s strong descriptions. Bennetts devotes plenty of time to placing her reader in her principal locale. I could completely understand why Emma was drawn to this place and why it was a source of such soul nourishing solace. Those who enjoy small town rural fiction tales will be sure to connect to Summer at Urchin’s Bluff.

Bennetts presents us with two leads, Emma and Cole, who both have their own set of personal struggles to overcome. These issues form the crux of the novel, providing a source of interest, empathy, tension, drama and emotion. I think Cole and Emma made a great couple. I enjoyed following their pathway to love and life repair. Bennetts introduces a mix of friendship, second chance love, steamy moments, tension, uncertainty and heartache to this tale. It certainly made for an involving novel. After plenty of hiccups, Bennetts closes her first novel of the Seasons series off in a more than satisfactory manner. I know I was tempted to pull the next book I have in the series immediately off the shelf, if only housework and cooking didn’t have to take precedence!

The cold winter nights slowly creeping in means that we will be turning to books that offer us warmth and comfort. I recommend Summer at Urchin’s Bluff by Eliza Bennetts to contemporary fiction fans and those who cannot resist a small town romance.

Summer at Urchin’s Bluff by Eliza Bennetts was published on 20th June 2019. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Summer at Urchin’s Bluff, Eliza Bennetts, visit here.

Summer at Urchin’s Bluff is book #55 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge




10 thoughts on “Book Review: Summer at Urchin’s Bluff by Eliza Bennetts

  1. What a wonderful review! I’ve not heard of this author but seems like a book that is worth reading. How’d you find this author, Amanda?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! i cam across this author via the Happy Valley guys (do you follow them?) I couldn’t resist that cover so I ordered myself a copy via the author as she is self published. I was then contacted by her after to review two more of her books in this series, which I am embarassed to say have been sitting on my review shelf for far too long. I think if you like Maggie Christensen you will enjoy this author too, her protagonists are slightly younger, but it’s very easy light reading.


      1. No, I haven’t I’ll have to check them out. Oh yes, I love Maggie’s books well, book as I’ve only read one so far. We both have so much to catch up on. I promised the author Joanne Dannon I would read one of her books in January but it just didn’t happen as they’re ebooks. I did order a book through her so I think I’ll have to use it for the backlist challenge in July as it’s a christmas story and as it’s christmas in July it would be perfect.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s great, have fun checking them out, I hope that they appeal.
        Enjoy catching up on Maggie’s books, they are always very easy and inviting reads. I have a couple here to catch up too. It must be hard to remember to get through the ebooks too. Without the physical presence to remind you they would be easy to overlook. A Christmas in July read sounds utterly delightful, what a good idea!


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