Posted in Book Review, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance, Romantic Comedy

One Summer in Santorini Sandy Barker 4* #Review @AvonBooksUK @0neMoreChapter @sandybarker #greece #greekislands #santorini #sailing #holiday #romance #romcom

There was something in the air that night. . .

Sarah has had enough of men. It’s time to rekindle her first true love – travel – so she books a sailing trip around the Greek islands with a group of strangers.

The very last thing Sarah wants is to meet someone new… But then a gorgeous American man boards her yacht and she knows she’s in trouble. And when she also encounters a handsome silver fox who promises her the world, she realises that trouble really does come in twos.
 

Will Sarah dive into a holiday fling, embark on a relationship, or stick to her plan – steer clear of men, continue her love affair with feta, and find her own way after all?

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I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK – One More Chapter via NetGalley in return for an honest review.


 

My Thoughts…

What I enjoyed most about this story is its uniqueness. I expected a holiday romance, but whilst there is romance, this more about self-discovery, living life to the full, friendships and exploring the Greek Islands. The setting is well described focusing on the people, animals, scenery and food, which is described in a mouthwatering way.

Sarah is a character that grows on you, initially, I found her a little brash, but she has a sharp sense of humour and an innate honesty, which is endearing. The other element I like is that, even though she meets two possible lovers, the final chapters pose more questions than answers, which are both believable and intriguing.

The story engages on many levels; emotionally, humorously and visually. The characters are relatable. This isn’t a story that requires in-depth characterisation, Sarah only spends ten days with her sailing family, and even less with the ‘silver fox’, so she doesn’t know everything about them.

Her emotional journey is deep and eventful, and you finish the story believing she understands herself better, and her future will be more rewarding, which is a more than satisfying ending.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance

One Last Greek Summer – Mandy Baggot 5*#Review #BlogTour @Aria_Fiction @mandybaggot #Greece #Greek Islands #Corfu #Romance

Beth Martin is 31, newly divorced and wondering just what life holds for her…

Best-friend, Heidi, is adamant that all the answers lie in Corfu – the island where the girls partied away their youth. So cue a trip to a sun-drenched Greek island, ouzo cocktails, a trip down memory lane… and Alex Hallas, the man Beth has never quite forgotten.

As they dance under the stars, the sand beneath their toes, old feelings begin to resurface and Beth might just have a chance to take back her life. If they can learn to love the people they’ve become…

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I received a copy of this book from Aria-Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

There is always a generous comic element in this author’s stories, and this one illustrates it perfectly. Beth’s divorce is absolute, and her co-workers are throwing her a ‘Divorce Party’, to mark the occasion. Immediately, you appreciate how well Beth is liked, especially by her best-friend Heidi.

Rekindling, the freedom, high spirits and the simplicity of being twenty-one, on holiday, is their goal for Corfu, at thirty-one. Their adventure takes in the beauty of the Greek Island, even with accommodation disasters, wicked Mothers and having ten extra years of emotional baggage. The chance of romance and self -realisation beckons, and provides the reader with a humorous, picturesque, poignant and romantic trip to Corfu.

Realistically flawed characters, most of whom you warm to, a vividly described setting, a lovely dynamic between Beth and Heidi, whose friendship has strengthened over the ten years. The romance is expected, but no less sweet and makes this a perfect holiday read.

Mandy Baggot is an internationally 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 Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK, with her husband and two daughters.

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Posted in Book Review, Romance

His Shock Marriage in Greece – Jane Porter – 5* #Review @MillsandBoon @authorjanep #Romance #Modern #MillsandBoonInsiders #MarriageofConvenience #Greece #MondayMotivation #MondayBlogs

A merciless groom

A not-so-convenient bride

Scarred by his dark past, Damen Alexopoulos does not let emotion dictate anything—especially his choice of wife. So when his convenient society bride is switched at the altar for her innocent younger sister, Kassiani Dukas, Damen’s adamant their marriage will remain strictly business. He’s too damaged for anything more… Yet Kassiani’s determination to know him—and the intense passion of their Greek Island honeymoon—could be this ruthless Greek’s undoing!

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I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Providing you can see beyond the rather contrived titles of Mills and Boon romances, which don’t seem to keep pace with the 21st-century covers and themes, they are very readable, and a pleasant way to while away a couple of hours.

‘Marriage of Convenience’, and ‘Mistaken Identity’, are the predominant tropes in this story, which involves Kass agreeing to be the last minute, stand-in bride, to save the family shipping firm, when her socialite sister runs away,

Ignored by those who should love her, Kass wants to escape, and realise her inheritance, which she only gets if she marries, or on her twenty-fifth birthday. She is naive, but knows what she wants, and hopes to improve her life, even if her husband to be doesn’t want to cooperate.

This is a passionate romance, dark and troubled because Damen has a tragic past that he tries to overcome, through anger and control. Kass is courageous and clever, and you cannot help, but empathise with her wish to help Damen become the man he should be.

A darkly dangerous romance that focuses on abuse, not a usual theme in this type of romance. It is sensitively written and provides strong conflict, to the happy-ever-after, the couple seeks. Naturally, this is Mills and Boon romance, so there is a hopeful, positive ending, which this enjoyable romantic story deserves.

Posted in Book Review, Romance

Wedding Night Reunion in Greece 4*#Review Annie West @MillsandBoon #Romance #Greece #RunawayBride #Marriageof Convenience

She’s his runaway bride…

…He’s come to claim his wedding night!

Emma Piper’s just promised to love, honour and cherish Greek tycoon Christo Karides…but then she overhears him admitting he married her purely for convenience. Bolting to her family’s beautiful Corfu villa, Emma doesn’t expect Christo to follow—especially, with seduction in mind! Their intense attraction promises an explosive reunion. Will a night in her husband’s bed show Emma there’s more to their marriage than just convenience…?

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I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This romantic tale features two popular tropes; runaway bride and marriage of convenience. Dutiful, kind and respectful Emma has just married cynical, sexy and world-weary Christo. The attraction is there, but she agrees to the marriage to honour her recently deceased grandfather, who wanted her safely married to a good man.

No stranger to loss, Emma is looking forward to making the best of her marriage, when she overhears Christo and his best friend talking. What she hears has her running to her legacy property in Corfu, to recover and recoup. When Christo follows, he wants his wife and his wedding night.

This is a sensual, traditional romantic story. Emma and Christo seem irreparably divided by what Emma hears and Christo’s lack of emotional involvement. He wants Emma to help with his niece who he is responsible before. Christo’s emotional journey is gradual and often painful, but his interaction with Emma changes him.

This is a genuine, emotional romance, with two glamorous but damaged protagonists. Their love story is fraught with predominately internal conflict, the chemistry is undeniable, and the ending is worth the angst and heart-searching the couple has to endure.

Posted in Book Review, Holiday Romance, Romance, Travel Blogging

A Greek Affair- 5* Review – Linn B. Halton – @HarperImpulse @LinnBHalton

More than just a holiday romance?

Her daughter, her job and divorcing her untrustworthy ex are Leah’s main priorities. She isn’t really bothered that her life might be missing a few things. But after winning a prestigious travel blogger award, she’s inundated with offers to review glamorous holiday destinations. Lying around drinking exotic cocktails and being paid for it! What could be better? Perhaps a romantic trip to idyllic Greece to find the one man who might make Leah risk her heart again…

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My Thoughts…

For Leah, the last seven years have been hard. After her ex betrayed her in the worst possible way. She ignored her pain and used her anger to make sure her daughter was emotionally and materially secure. Winning a prestigious travel blogger award means she now has choices, and a blogging trip to Greece shows her she is more than a mother, but can she risk her heart and her daughter’s emotional safety on another man?  I like the originality of this story, The settings are interesting and vibrant. Harrison is a surprising character but proves important in Leah’s rebuilding of her self esteem and emotional health.

Daniel and Leah feel an instant attraction when they meet, but their road to happiness is fraught with conflict and both need to find the courage to achieve the happy ever after they both long for. That’s not all, the conflicts keep on coming, just like real life, but Leah’s bravery and love help her make the right decisions for Rosie, her daughter, and ultimately herself.

I don’t see this as an escapist read, it’s too full of emotion, real-life conflict and experiences, but it is so worth reading. 

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

Posted in Book Review

5* Review: The Summer Flings Travel Club – Aimèe Duffy

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Winter Blurb

Armed with a degree that she doesn’t have a clue what to do with, Ciara Bree convinces her two best friends, Elle and Gem to spend their first summer of freedom backpacking across the globe. Now it’s time to shop, sunbathe, think about boys for a change, and party hard…

LA, Miami, Paris, Santorini, Ibiza, Florence and Dublin…these fabulous jet-setters are in for the summer of their lives.

From crashing celebrity parties in Tinseltown to grape-squishing in Florence, Ciara globetrots her way to happiness with her friends Elle and Gem by her side.

But Elle’s gorgeous cousin Zack keeps showing up, and while Ciara can think of a few ways to have fun with him, she starts to realise that her summer fling isn’t as uncomplicated as it should be…

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Winter My Review

The Summer Flings Travel Book

Originally published as serial parts, this is the full collection of Ciara, Elle and Gem’s summer adventures.
LA is the first delicious slice of fun and flirty mayhem for Ciara, Elle and Gem. The Oxford graduates leave their studies behind and set off on a backpacking tour of the world. LA is the first stop. Believe me if I could experience backpacking in the style these three do I would be first in line.
The setting is glitzy and glamorous, seen from Ciara’s point of view. Elle and Gem are trust fund babes but Ciara is different and looking at celebrity lifestyle through her eyes grounds this story in a pleasing way.
The three friends are likeable characters. Elle and Gem appear shallow but I suspect their individual stories will make the women beneath the public face, complex and interesting. Ciara is intelligent and attractive but a little scared of living. Elle and Gem care about her and want her to have fun and that’s what a trip of a lifetime should be right?
It couldn’t be a summer fling without a hot man and Zack certainly fulfils the role. Serious and sexy Ciara finds him hard to resist but is this just a fling or something more, guess we’ll have to see what happens in Miami.
LA is full of humorous, realistic, dialogue. I was ready to jump in their luggage after enjoying the pool and the party, eager to see what happens at the next destination of their adventure.
In Miami Ciara, Elle and Gem determined to enjoy the full beach and bar experience. Ciara has left a little of her heart back in LA but her friends won’t let her brood. Her ability to drink with the best of them wins her the undying gratitude of her friends and the chance of some extra holiday spending money.
Our Oxford graduates eager for new learning experiences enlist the help of three beach hotties to further their education. Zack in all his furious glory gatecrashes the girls’ impromptu pool party with their new friends. Zack addictive attraction for Ciara continues… The ice cream scene is definitely a must read.
There’s shopping, steamy sex and sun in this episode of ‘Summer Flings’ and an enticing taste of mystery…
Paris, the city of art, fashion and romance, is not what it first appears. Ciara is miserable without Zack and watching loving couples is the last thing she wants. Elle won’t let her brood and soon they are at an exclusive club, whilst the champagne flows, the mood darkens and soon the girls are in a living nightmare. This is definitely the cautionary part of the tale and an unexpected, if stormy encounter for Ciara leaves her wanting more.
In Santorini, the geeks go Greek and Ciara can’t wait to explore but Elle and Gem want to relax and enjoy the spa experience. Luckily for Ciara there is a surprise visitor. Full of humour and sizzling sensuality, the magic of the Greek Islands is much in evidence here.
Ibiza, the party island and the girls are determined to experience it all, more fun in the sun and maybe something more for Ciara.
Florence, the climax to their trip but there is more angst than fun here. Ciara’s emotional baggage makes her shy away from what she has with Zack with disastrous results for all of them.
Back home in Dublin, reality sets in and Ciara wonders what to do with the rest of her life. I love the email format of this section of the book, keeping it fast paced, yet showing what was happening in each of their lives. Gone are the fun and glamour of the previous chapters. Ciara finally confronts the reason behind her emotional detachment and there is a lovely romantic ending that shows that love is worth fighting for.
A book of contrasts, which work really well together, it’s easy reading with lots of humour, sizzle and emotion, the perfect summer book.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

The Summer Flings Travel Book by Aimee Duffy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Summer Flings Travel Book by Aimee Duffy

Aimee Duffy

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