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Escape to the Art Cafe

Published Date: June 30, 2020

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Available in all formats


Book 3 in series.
Out now in paperback!

320 pages


Heartbreak and cake at the Art Café …

It was meant to be the perfect romantic holiday. But then Flora Bexton’s boyfriend does the unthinkable, and she responds in the only logical way: she steals his motorbike and escapes for a holiday by herself on the Welsh coast.

Far from the lonely trip she imagined, Flora soon finds comfort at the friendly local Art Café where the legendary hot chocolate and cake help to ease her troubled mind. And when Aussie-Welsh lifeguard Jake Foley steps in just when Flora needs help the most, she realises that her ‘holiday’ feels more like home with every passing day …

Book 3 – Art Café series. Book 1 – Summer at the Art Café. Book 2 – Meet Me at the Art Café.  Book 4 – Summer of Hopes and Dreams

Available as an eBook and audio on all platforms. Paperback available from all good bookshops and online stores. 

Sue McDonagh

Sue McDonagh’s career as a policewoman for Essex Police was cut short when she was diagnosed at the age of twenty-four with ovarian cancer. After a successful recovery and a stint working as a Press Officer she moved to Wales.

In Wales her love of art evolved into a full-time occupation and she made a living teaching and sketching portraits at shows. In 2014 she was a regional finalist for the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year. She now works exclusively to commissions from her art gallery.

In 2009 she learned to ride a motorbike, and now helps run Curvy Riders, a national, women only, motorbike club. Her joy of motorbikes and her love of writing inspired her to write the Art Café series.
Sue, granny of two little girls and proud mum of two stepsons, lives a mile from the sea in Wales. She can often be found with her border terrier, Scribbles, at her art gallery. Scribble thinks the customers only come in to see him. Sometimes, Sue thinks that too.

When she’s not painting, she’s writing or on her motorbike. She belongs to a local writing group and the Romantic Novelist’s Association.

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See all Sue’s novels here …

Customer Reviews


  1. Selina
    Selina at

    I selected this book based on the description on the back. I haven’t read any of Sue McDonagh’s other books. I loved the setting and found Flora really relatable. I felt involved with the emotional journey of the main characters. It takes me longer to read a book “I am into” because I like to re-read parts to savour the description or digest what has just happened in the plot. Needless to say, this took me longer to read because I loved the writing. I look forward to reading the preceding two books in this series.

  2. SJK
    SJK at

    I have read all 3 Art Cafe books & they are all excellent. When is the next one coming out? Characters are brilliant. Really enjoyed the storylines. Couldn’t put them down.

  3. SJK
    SJK at

    I have read all 3 Art Cafe books & loved them all. When is the next one coming out. Best novels I’ve read in ages. Lovely characters & story lines. Well done Sue.

  4. Wendy Cornwell
    Wendy Cornwell at

    I loved this book.
    Flora & Jake, were made for each other.
    Great story with wonderful characters.
    I hope the author is going to continue
    the story….
    Just brilliant!

  5. Helen Taylor
    Helen Taylor at

    Sue really takes you on a fantastic journey. I lost myself in this brilliant book with endearing characters . It was so well written. If you are not from Wales you would want to go there. If you don’t ride a motorbike you would want to try it. The characters come to life and you really feel you are there. Well done Sue.

  6. Edwina
    Edwina at

    Love this book,I have also read Sue’s other two, once I start I am hooked with the story, very well written,I enjoy the character’s,the setting in such a beautiful setting makes one feel their on holiday,really looking forward to the 4th!

  7. Luise Pirie
    Luise Pirie at

    I may have hurdled a book or two on my #TBR pile to get to this sooner rather than later, because I couldn’t wait any longer! I was not disappointed – Wonderfully written captivating the essence of relationships, friendships and love.

    Sue whisks us to Wales on a stolen motorbike to revisit the Art Cafe and a delightful holiday home that you will not want to leave. Flora is engaging to read about, she is formidable, feisty and endearing, like a pocket rocket in a cotton summer dress. Jake pitches up, full of lifeguard muscle, tenacity and more than a little uncertainty having returned to his grandparents hotel and trying to find his purpose in the changed setting. Old jealousies, new love and dastardly deeds are tied up in this inspiring and heart lifting novel.

    This is the third outing of stories set in Wales and each time I fall in love with yet more characters and the whole charming setting of Sue’s imagination.

    Each book stands alone, so don’t worry about reading them in order, but just make sure you do read them, you will not be disappointed.


  8. Reconciliation
    Reconciliation at

    What a breath of fresh air this was to read. I fell in love with the setting and my heart ached for Jake and Flora as I desperately wanted them to heal and find true friendship with each other, maybe even some romance. I loved that this book has a bit of everything in it, and isn’t stereotypical. Without giving spoilers there is a major incident which changes everyone’s lives, but will it be for the better?…you’ll have to read the book to find out ! Congratulations to the author and I’m really looking forward to the next instalment

  9. Janine
    Janine at

    I was so excited to read this book as I’ve loved being in Wales for the previous 2 (though no need to read them first) and I wasn’t disappointed. From the very first line, I was hooked and wanted to put a do not disturb sign up so I could immerse myself in the story of Flora and Jack.

    Flora was expecting a romantic weekend away for her 30th birthday but fate had other ideas and it was just as well or she wouldn’t have run in to the lovely Jack! It was great to catch up with the Art Café, its like one big happy family you want to be a part of for a short while, I thoroughly recommend it.

  10. Anne
    Anne at

    Flora returns to her childhood holiday home in Wales and meets Jake, when he saves her. Jake is a life guard, Flora a hairdresser. Their relationship hots up when she returns his bravery with a thank you haircut. Neither is looking for romance, but their mates’ dates are definitely ‘hotting up’ until Jake discovers Flora is spying on his grandparents’ hotel, and his grandmother discovers Flora rides a motorbike. This romcom has so much going for it. A really lovely read that has real laugh out loud moments. Another winning story from Sue McDonagh.

  11. Barbara p
    Barbara p at

    I really loved this book. The heroine, Flora, makes a grand entrance and gets you rooting for her from the very beginning. The hero, Jake, wow, male to dream of! He has everything, looks, personality, sensitivity and a sense of humour. The story romps along and I found I had finished it in three bites, none of the times did I realise I’d been reading for so long! The story is very well written with lots of threads to keep you alert and wanting to see what will happen next, all the way through the book. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. I am now looking forward to Sue’s next book.

  12. Yvonne Greene
    Yvonne Greene at

    Adored this story. Jake seems like a stereotypical lifeguard – handsome, cool and so sexy; however there are many sad secrets in his past. Can he moved past them to find happiness with Flora, who has escaped from a bad relationship? The characters and the setting are both wonderful. I highly recommend this novel from a very talented writer – you will love it!!

  13. Gill Leivers
    Gill Leivers at

    I somehow wasn’t quite gripped immediately with this book (down to me I think) so after a few chapters I put it down for the night. However, I picked it up again next day and then couldn’t put it down at all – I kept reading till it was finished. It is a good story with new characters, featuring our Art Cafe again, and it was lovely to meet earlier characters once more to add to their stories. I can only award a good 4 stars – who will we meet next time?

  14. Ruth
    Ruth at

    After receiving an unwelcome shock from her long term boyfriend, Flora pinches his motor bike and rides off to her mother’s holiday cottage in Wales intending to escape her heartache. Newly single and seeking adventure, she nearly drowns after a misguided attempt at bodyboarding. She’s saved when Jake the lifeguard he plucks her from the sea. After that things can only get better – and they certainly do as she befriends the locals and gets to know Jake better.

    The third in the mini series based around The Art Cafe in the Welsh Gower. If you’ve read others in the series you’ll recognise a few characters, Escape to the Art Cafe may be read as a stand alone book.

    This should be included in the book category of, feet up for a relaxing read.

    Still chuckling at the Welsh Salad: you’ll have to read the book to understand.

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