The Last Summer

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What to expect

Summer on St Kilda – a wild, remote Scottish island.
Two strangers from drastically different worlds meet . . .

Wild-spirited Effie Gillies has lived all her life on the small island of St Kilda but when Lord Sholto, heir to the Earl of Dumfries, visits, the attraction between them is instant. For one glorious week she guides the handsome young visitor around the isle, falling in love for the first time – until a storm hits and her world falls apart.

Three months later, St Kilda falls silent as the islanders are evacuated for a better life on the mainland. With her friends and family scattered, Effie is surprised to be offered a position working on the Earl’s estate. Sholto is back in her life but their differences now seem insurmountable, even as the simmering tension between them grows. And when a shocking discovery is made back on St Kilda, all her dreams for this bright new life are threatened by the dark secrets Effie and her friends thought they had left behind.

Opposites attract in this epic and spellbinding novel, which transports us from the untamed beauty of St Kilda to the glamour and intrigues of high society in the 1930s. The Last Summer is the first book in The Wild Isle series by Sunday Times bestseller Karen Swan, inspired by the true history of St Kilda and its small island community.

‘The most exciting, enchanting and evocative story of forbidden love I’ve ever read. I truly loved it and am waiting feverishly for the second instalment’ – Cathy Bramley, author of The Summer That Changed Us

‘Powerful writing and a wonderful premise make this a novel you’ll simultaneously want to savour and race through. I loved it and can’t wait for the next in the series!’ – Jill Mansell, author of And Now You’re Back

‘A delicious romantic tale of wild 1930s Scotland . . . perfect for everyone dreaming of summer’ – Rachel Hore, author of A Beautiful Spy

Critics Review

  • I so enjoyed The Last Summer by Karen Swan, which provides fascinating details about life on St Kilda prior to the evacuation of its inhabitants from the island. Powerful writing and a wonderful premise make this a novel you’ll simultaneously want to savour and race through. I loved it and can’t wait for the next in the series!

    Jill Mansell
  • The most exciting, enchanting and evocative story of forbidden love I’ve ever read. I truly loved it and am waiting feverishly for the second installment.

    Cathy Bramley
  • A delicious romantic tale of wild 1930s Scotland . . . perfect for everyone dreaming of summer

    Rachel Hore
  • A sweeping page-turner with an engrossing love story at its heart, this is an absolute treat for historical fiction fans. Swan is a superb storyteller. I loved it.

    Eve Chase author of The Glass House  
  • What a great adventure! The perfect way to tell the tale of the St Kilda’s population in fiction form. History fans will love the fascinating St Kilda detail woven throughout this thrilling romance. Wonderful!

    Jennifer Ryan, author of The Chilbury Ladies Choir and The Kitchen Front
  • Wonderfully romantic and epic in feel, this beautiful historical novel is a fascinating and deliciously escapist read

    Tasmina Perry, author of Guilty Pleasures and Perfect Strangers

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