In the post-pandemic world Melodie feels lost and alone, desperate to find something to remind her of her previous life. She sets out on a trip to Corfu to reconnect with happier times, only to be haunted by memories and events from the past. While travelling Melodie meets an intriguing and handsome man who has the potential to change her future. However, will the young girl from the plane with piercing green eyes be the one to open the door to Melodie’s fate?
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
This is a story of contrasts. It is emotional, filled with knowledgeable descriptions and immerses the reader in life on Corfu. I’ve read many stories about this island, but the contemporary edge and originality make this a little different. It’s Melodie’s story of returning to Corfu in the aftermath of the global pandemic we are currently living through.
The warmth of her Greek friends, their way of life, and her memories allow her to heal and look to the future as she experiences a heartfelt journey of self-discovery. There is a slow-burn romance with themes of friendship and family drama.
It’s an exploration of modern life with a vivid setting and well-crafted characters and relationships.
Francesca Catlow loves to travel. Born and raised in the heart of Suffolk, Catlow has travelled extensively in Europe with her French husband and, more recently, their two young children. Of all the places she’s been it is the Greek islands that have captured her heart. She visits as often as family commitments allow.
She has previously written plays alongside being a lyricist and performer. This book is the first in a series.
When florist-to-the-stars Abbie Coleman catches a glimpse of her boyfriend through the window of Tiffany’s, she couldn’t be more excited. Keen to share her happiness, she organises a huge surprise party for all their family and friends… except things don’t quite work out as she expected, and instead of planning a flower-filled wedding, she finds herself single, and fired from a job she loves.
Desperate to escape her heartbreak, she jets off to her aunt’s quirky Hummingbird Hotel on the gorgeous island of Corfu. Little did she know that instead of spending her time lounging by the pool, drinking cocktails, and soaking up the sun, she’d be stepping into the role of the island’s newest hotelier.
The arrival of unexpected guests sends Abbie into a tailspin of panic, and she’s forced to turn to snippy, but charismatic, vineyard owner-turned-chef, Nikos Angelopoulos, for help. Why does the kitchen fill with smoke whenever she makes coffee? Why is there a naked man swimming in the pool? And why do the hotel’s toiletries turn their guests’ hair pink?
Despite all the chaos, the Hummingbird Hotel works its magic on Abbie, and she finds herself with a decision to make. Will she return home to the drizzly grey skies of London? Or will she take a leap of faith and embrace the new opportunities that little corner of paradise has to offer, and maybe, just maybe, discover a sprinkle of romance along the way?
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review
Abbie is a character who draws the reader into her world within minutes of meeting her. She’s creative, compassionate and hopeless at picking the right man. Discovering her estranged aunt’s legacy in Corfu is the perfect solution.
The chemistry between Abbie and the gorgeous but grumpy Nikos provides the humour, poignancy and romance in this story. The Hummingbird Hotel is not what she expects, and she is gifted with a mystery to solve, new opportunities and an unforgettable journey of self-realisation.
I love the relatable and vibrant characters. The vividly described setting allows the reader escapist virtual travel, and a lovely ending paves the way for the next book in the series, which I can’t wait to read.
Daisy James loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. She especially likes to create sunshine-filled settings in exotic locations – the Caribbean, Tuscany, Cornwall, Provence – so she can spend her time envisioning her characters enjoying the fabulous scenery and sampling the local food and drink.
When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.
Her work has got in the way of relationships before – but never like this…
Anna’s job as a geologist takes her all over the world, including to the beautiful island of Elba, where she’s sent to look for precious metals. And the island isn’t the only thing that’s gorgeous – she can’t believe her luck when she meets windsurfer Marco and sparks fly.
But Anna must keep her role on Elba a secret to avoid upsetting the locals, which means lying to Marco even as they grow closer. When her old friend Toby visits, Anna suddenly finds herself torn between the attentions of the two men. However, Anna’s not the only one keeping secrets.
Is Marco being entirely honest with her? And why did Toby really come to visit?
I received a copy of this book from Canelo via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
The perfect book to escape a rainy day. This story follows Anna, a geologist on the Island of Elba seeking rare geological treasures. There is a good mix of humour, mystery and romance in this story. Complex characters with secrets, not immediately obvious, to Anna add to the story’s conflicts. Anna’s life has lacked romance, but Elba is rich in men as well as minerals. Her encounters with Jack and Labrador George are insightful and poignant, adding emotional depth to this romantic comedy.
This is a heartwarming travel romance with vibrant characters, vivid settings and gentle romance.
I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.
The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.
Love is in the air on the sun kissed sands of the Cornish coast, where the sea sparkles and romance sizzles on golden beaches. This stunning new novel by Holly Martin, bestselling author of Ice Creams at Emerald Cove, is guaranteed to steal your heart this summer.
Lyra Thomas has dreamed of living on Jewel Island ever since she first visited its breathtaking shores. And now her dream has come true – she has her own little cottage and a brand new job. But when Lyra sets out for a bike ride to explore her new home, a mishap has her crash-landing at the feet of the very handsome Nix Sanchez.
A true gentleman, Nix comes to Lyra’s rescue. His face is so familiar and yet they are strangers. But the more they talk, Lyra feels as though she has known Nix forever. What follows is the most magical night of Lyra’s life… until the spell is broken when the next morning she finds Nix has gone.
Feeling foolish Lyra vows to be more careful with her heart from now on. She’ll pretend Nix never existed. But destiny has other ideas and in a perfect twist of fate Lyra will discover that Nix Sanchez is impossible to forget…
Escape to sundrenched Jewel Island this summer where love, laughter and the thrill of adventure await. This gorgeous, romantic, feel-good read is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jill Mansell and Sue Moorcroft.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
Jewel Island is an idyllic setting for book 4 in the series. Lyra and Nix feature in this story, which also includes cameos from characters in the previous books. Lyra finds trusting others difficult. Nix has secrets too. Their meeting is chaotic and comical, but embarrassment and laughter soon turn to passion and intimate revelations as their unexpected attraction unfolds. Life and its conflicts intervene and send the couple on a romantic adventure full of conflicts, humour and misunderstanding.
This engaging story immerses the reader in life on Jewel Island and its iconic hotel with relatable characters, fun, and lots of romance. It’s addictive and uplifting reading and the perfect book for a summer afternoon.
Filmmaker Lily’s life is all about work and adventure. So when she suffers an accident on her travels and finds herself recuperating in the quiet French seaside village where she spent her childhood, she can’t wait to escape. Not least because Olivier – Lily’s childhood friend and former crush, who she has spent the last thirteen years avoiding – is staying next door . . .
Strong-minded masterbaker Olivier is happily settled in St Pierre, preparing to marry and put down roots. But Lily’s return to the village risks turning his carefully-laid plans upsidedown, and as the pair rediscover their familiar rivalry and fun, sparks fly.
Is Lily really as fearless and independent as she seems on the surface – or is she just running from the past? And what if Olivier is the only one who can teach her what it really means to be brave?
I received a copy of this book from Hodder and Stoughton via NetGalley.
Lily is an intrepid filmmaker with a conscience. Whilst filming at a coffee cooperative run by women in Columbia filming Lily is courageous in protecting the women when they are threatened but doesn’t come out of the incident unscathed. Returning to her grandmother in Provence has bittersweet memories, especially when she is met at the airport by Olivier, her best friend and teenage crush.
The friends to lovers romance between Lily and Olivier is conflicted. It develops realistically with many heartwarming, humorous and heartbreaking moments. Lily’s grandmother is a lovely character who has always positively influenced her life. The story flows well with an absorbing setting and believable cast of supporting characters.
The romantic tension is intense, and the reader realises how important the couple’s friendship is. Lily and Olivier undergo significant character development until they reach a dramatic and satisfying conclusion.
Friendship, family romance and self-realisation make this an engaging summer read.
Get swept into a summer of sunshine, soul-searching, and shameless matchmaking with this delightfully big-hearted road-trip adventure!
Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move in to a residential home. But she’s not having any of it. What she craves—what she needs—is adventure.
Liza is drowning under the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza long for a solo summer of her own.
Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can’t get her life together. But she knows something has to change.
When Martha sees Kathleen’s advertisement for a driver and companion to share an epic road trip across America with, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. She’s not the world’s best driver, but anything has to be better than living with her parents. And traveling with a stranger? No problem. Anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?
As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it’s never too late to start over.
I received a copy of this book from HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
The Summer Seekers encapsulates a Summer road trip, a marriage in trouble and three women at different life stages, all in need of emotional support. This multi-generational story is humorous, poignant and romantic as it explores friendship, marriage and mothers and daughter relationships.
Kathleen loves her rambling Cornish cottage close to the beach packed with a lifetime of memories. Liza is the lynchpin of her family, weighed down with her catastrophising and keeping her family’s life stress-free. Kathleen and Liza are emotionally estranged but still care deeply for each other. Martha, unconnected with the women, facilitates Kathleen’s latest adventure despite Liza’s misgivings and her own anxiety.
Martha and Kathleen take a road trip on Route 66. Liza reconnects with her true self in her Cornish childhood home. This is not a travelogue, but there are some good descriptions of places visited.
Gentle romance, relatable characters, and an uplifting conclusion. An addictive Summer read.
The #1 bestseller is back with an uplifting, escapist read that will brighten the gloomiest day!
A warm, sun-baked terrace.
The rustle of verdant green vines.
The sun slowly dipping behind the Umbrian mountains.
And the chink of wine glasses as the first cork of the evening is popped…
Welcome to Italy. A place that holds the answer to Zia-Lucia Costa Chalmers’ many questions. Not least, how she ended up with such a mouthful of a name.
When Zia discovers that her mother wasn’t who she thought she was, she realises the time has come to search out the Italian family she’s never known.
However, as she delves into the secrets of her past, she doesn’t bargain on having to think about her future too. But with local vineyard owner, Piero, living next door, Zia knows she has a serious distraction who may prove difficult to ignore…
This summer, join Zia as she sets out to uncover her past. But can she find the future she’s always dreamed of along the way?
I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Set in a picturesque Italian setting, this intriguing family mystery has drama, romance and secrets. Zia no longer has any close family and wants to discover her roots. Her friendship with Ursula sustains her, but Ursula has her own relationship problems. Then there’s Piero, an attractive neighbour, who is torn between family loyalty, and self-preservation.
A multilayered plot keeps the reader engaged and subject to a myriad of emotions. The characters are as vibrant as the vivid setting, not everyone is likeable, but all add to the story’s ambience and authenticity.
This is a detailed and well-paced story. It allows the reader to immerse themselves in the characters’ lives and the Italian ethos. If you want to escape from reality or even the rainy weather, this is the perfect solution.
Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has reached the #1 spot on Kindle UK. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Published by HarperCollins in the UK, US and Canada and by other publishers around the world.
The innocent, the playboy… And their seven-night passion!
Archivist Merle’s dream job in an abandoned mansion on New Zealand’s Waiheke Island gives her the isolation she craves and the freedom to delight in its extravagance. Then infamous owner Ash arrives, without warning…
Used to women falling at his feet, Ash is ever so intrigued when he interrupts virginal siren Merle in his bath – and she tries to conceal her shock…then her red-hot reaction! He’s back for one week only to lay his tarnished past to rest. Might he find solace in the intriguing Merle instead…?
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
A sizzling romance, set on a private island, a fast-paced, physical attraction, catalyses gradual emotional commitment.
This story is full of introspection and internal conflict. Merle’s teenage years were lonely and starved of affection. Ash has regrets from his youth that he can’t let go. The romance is passionate and the dialogue vibrant. Merle’s character development is good. Ash’s self-realisation is not as significant, but he gets there in the end.
The Kafenion has much more to offer than just coffee and cake!
The Kafenion is undergoing its regular seasonal change from traditional coffee shop and local hangout to summertime hotspot for the massive influx of tourists who visit the Greek island each year.
The furniture has been updated, the new signs for more specific coffee types have been installed, the basic cookies have been replaced with a tempting range of cakes and desserts and a fresh coat of paint has added an optimistic glow to the place, which always attracts the many visitors who are looking for a treat.
Jane has been working on the island for a few years and finds a job in the kafenion for her friend Helen, who is hoping for some fun and romance during the summer.
Xenon and Kyriakos both make regular deliveries of fresh produce to the kafenion and they find other reasons to want to visit when Jane and Helen are around, but are they both interested in the same girl?
Georgina discovers the kafenion while searching for information from her mother’s past, but does Pericles have all the answers or will he just cause more confusion?
Visit the kafenion during a Greek summer season to see how the staff and their regulars navigate their way through complex working and romantic relationships. This is the eleventh book of standalone reads in the Aegean Sun series.
Stephanie Wood writes contemporary fiction in the form of novels, novellas and short stories and you can find the running order of her titles on the ‘look inside’ of any book.
She published the AEGEAN SUN series of books as a fly-on-the-wall vision of life in a Greek resort during the summer season, using her extensive experience as a holiday rep to bring some unusual incidents to life on the page. The series began as an exploration of the various ways in which tourists make the most of their holidays and how they interact with the locals while they are visiting. The later books in the series have taken a closer look at the locals themselves and show how their lives and relationships are sometimes changed by the regular influx of seasonal visitors.
The CHRISTMAS ON THE CLOSE series is set in a British suburban cul-de-sac over the festive period and visits each house individually to discover how the neighbours who live there celebrate the season in their own special way.
Stephanie lives in Lancashire where, apart from reading and writing, she loves gardening and cycling and is a huge fan of the soaps Emmerdale and Neighbours. If you would like to sign up to her newsletter list (with around four messages per year) you can do so on the contact page of her website and, as a thank you, will receive the free short story THE ZIA SUNSET EXCURSION.
After a summer of staying in, it’s time to let your hair down and escape to Greece!
For Lucie Burrows, it’s time to embrace Greek life and put the past behind her! Having spent the summer of 2020 battling a global health crisis, Lucie Burrows is looking forward to a summer out of lockdown.
When best friend, Gavin, finds them the perfect Greek escape Lucie finally starts to think this summer might just go without a hitch.But after a landslide puts the village into a local lockdown, Lucie is thrown together with Michalis Andino, the super sexy village doctor. It’s not quite the holiday she had planned, but things could certainly be worse.
As Lucie relaxes into the Greek way of life, she begins to wonder whether this lockdown might just end in a new life, a new love…
I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus – Aria via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is a lovely laugh out loud romantic comedy set mainly in Corfu. There are many humorous moments and countless romantic encounters. Set in a post-Covid19 world, it acknowledges the courage of key workers and the effect on our everyday lives of the pandemic.
There is so much to enjoy in this story. Passionate romance, vibrant characters and the vivid setting make this story full of drama, humour and poignancy, come alive, letting the reader escape to the sunshine. There was one aspect I didn’t enjoy, and that was the setting in the butcher’s shop and the associated humour. I have strong beliefs about animals, so this element was tough to read for me. Overall this is an engaging story.
Escaping it, but not ignoring it!
Why I wrote about the pandemic in my latest rom com…
Let me say this first, my brand-new book – Staying Out for the Summer – is all the summer escapist fiction you’ve come to expect from me! There’s a gorgeous Greek hero, a heroine and a best friend that you will be rooting for, plus all the sun, sea and sizzling flavours of Greece wrapped up in the pages too! But does it mention the worldwide pandemic we’re still going through? Yes, it does!
When I started writing this book it was July 2020, we were out of restrictions and I was in the middle of spending six weeks at my house in Corfu, Greece. I certainly thought, by the time this book was published, the pandemic would be completely behind us and if there were any restrictions still in place they would be minimal. How wrong was I? I don’t know how many times I had to make edits to what was happening in the book with regard to rules of six, all the tiers and Christmas arrangements. However, even after all that, I don’t feel I was wrong to write about Coronavirus and have it as the backdrop to this story.
I always write about topical subjects in my books with references to pop culture and I like to have a big touch of reality amid the fiction. My characters discuss things that are going on in the world, what TV shows they’re watching or music their listening to, it’s all very current and relatable. I chose to write about the pandemic because we have all been through it together. It has touched everyone. Yes, we might have had very different experiences of it, but we have all had to stay home and face limited lives and some of us have been ill with the virus or sadly lost people that we love to it. The hero in Staying Out for the Summer – Michalis – is a Greek doctor who specialises in the lungs and my heroine – Lucie – is an NHS nurse who has been working tirelessly trying to save as many lives as she can. This book and their stories is my tribute to the medical staff around the globe and all the keyworkers who have risked their lives doing all those things we take for granted to keep the world going.
I know a lot of other writers have decided to avoid writing about Covid-19 in their books because they feel readers are looking to get away from all that. I understand that completely and, as I said straight off, my book is going to take you to Greece for all the fun in the sun and so much more. But, for me, I felt if I didn’t acknowledge that this has happened in our lives it would be like sweeping under the carpet all the sacrifices people have made over the past year. Whatever we feel about it, no matter how dreadful it has been – and continues to be – I don’t think we should pretend it didn’t happen. I want people to read this book and feel. It’s really a salute to all the good that happened during the hardest times and a testament to our strength and resilience. It’s also a big nod to the fact that brighter times are coming. We just have to hang in there!
So, grab a cool drink, snuggle up and let me transport you to Corfu where the weather is beautiful, and the hot Greek doctor is ready to see you now…
Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy’s books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian. Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.