Book Review: Greece Actually by Sue Roberts

About the Book:

Small, shy, safe. That’s how Becky lives ever since her last romantic calamity landed her in hospital. Her comfort zone is as confining as her tiny bank balance, and fiercely guarded by her totally over-the-top mum. But the news that her ex is back sniffing round is the final straw. In a very un-Becky move, she packs her bags for the Greek island of Skiathos. Maybe the setting of her favourite ABBA movie will be just the break from reality Becky needs…

Stepping aboard the Mamma Mia! boat tour, Becky leaves her fear in the port as she sings… out loud… in public, and cries Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! to everything the Greek life has to offer. She befriends locals young, old, and absolutely perfect (hello, sizzling hot restaurant-owner Kyros!), dines on freshly baked bread drizzled in golden olive oil on a starlit date, and walks barefoot along silky sandy beaches.

When Kyros asks her to stay longer, Becky is stunned. Could she really create a new life for herself here, and trust her heart with this smooth-talking charmer? But just as she’s thinking about putting down roots, her troublesome ex makes a dramatic return, begging for her back. Will she go back to playing it safe, or will she take a chance on Greece and embrace her true dancing queen?

My Thoughts:

Greece Actually is a light hearted summer or beach read that follows Becky as she goes to Greece with her two best friends. Having just come out of an abusive relationship and living a relatively low-key life, she jumps at the chance to house-sit for her uncle while he goes sailing. The story takes us on a journey around the Greek island of Skiathos and the surrounding places. We discover places to visit and some of the local food while also meeting people who live there.

The book blurb teases a Mamma Mia themed story or a love for the movie or even a love for ABBA songs. However, I did not find this translated into the story as Becky embraces the holiday with her friends. There is not a lot of backstory provided into the characters and thus they felt quite one-dimensional. Though I enjoyed reading about the bond between the friends, I felt that not enough attention was given to them and their lives.

This is a romance set in Greece and even the romance part was a little bit of a let down. We also do not see much of ‘the ex’ until almost the very end and it is not as dramatic as it was portrayed. I was not as invested in the characters as I had hoped to be while reading the book blurb. The highlight of the book is the setting and the beauty of the Greek islands. Overall this book can be read once, but I am sure that it would still be enjoyed by many.

Book Review – Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy (Christmas In Evergreen #3) by Nancy Naigle

About the Book:

Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy: Based on a Hallmark Channel original movie

An unexpected encounter… An extraordinary discovery… Welcome back to the town of Evergreen.

Katie, an author struggling to write her second novel, heads to Evergreen, Vermont for a holiday retreat—only to get an assignment to write an article about the town. On the train, she meets Ben, a former big-city reporter who’s now a librarian in Evergreen.

Katie’s initially skeptical about Evergreen’s love of Christmas; the place seems too good to be true. Meanwhile, Ben’s wary of Katie’s intentions. He’s protective of his small town, and he knows all too well how cynical the media can be. Then a hunt for a fifty-year-old time capsule leads to a remarkable discovery. As Katie and Ben get caught up in the community’s past and present, they both begin to envision new possibilities for the future.

This feel-good Christmas romance includes a free Hallmark original recipe for Cranberry Crostini.

My Thoughts:

A simple and straightforward story, Christmas in Evergreen will ensure that the reader has a wonderful time and will fall in love! The story is set in the picturesque town of Evergreen with it’s inhabitants more like family than neighbours. The story follows Katie as she comes to the town on holiday while trying to work up the inspiration to write her second novel. As we follow her exploration of Evergreen, we meet so many people and also learn their stories. Each shop has a history and a whole lot of charm.

I enjoyed reading about the long lost time capsule which added some intrigue to the while story and while the focus was on Katie, we did learn more about the people and their lives. This did not divert from the plot and I enjoyed getting to know everyone!

As Katie discovers more and starts to fall in love, the author ensures that we also learn about traditions and working together. This is quick and joyous read, perfect for the holidays!

Book Review: Christmas at Mistletoe Cove (Hope Island #3) by Holly Martin

About the Book:

Christmas at Mistletoe Cove

Growing up on Hope Island, Eden Lancaster always believed that if you wished hard enough for something, dreams really could come true. But Eden’s greatest wish is also her biggest secret: she has been completely in love with her childhood friend, the charming and attractive Dougie Harrison, for as long as she can remember. And he has no idea.

When Dougie leaves his successful life in New York to return home to Hope Island for good, Eden can’t escape her feelings. Her heart is full of hope that her romantic dreams are finally, at long last, going to come true…

This Christmas could change everything. But can a lifelong friendship really turn into the perfect romance? And will Eden get the happily ever after she’s always wished for?

My Thoughts:

 Christmas at Mistletoe Cove is the story of childhood friends Eden and Dougie, who have always loved each other but don’t realize that the other has the same feelings until much later. They both shy away from telling the other about their feelings which seems quite clear to everyone else around them. As much as I enjoyed the concept of magic and hope at the time of the holidays, the romance did not do much for me. It all felt rushed and sudden and then quite over the top. All of a sudden everything just works out and is perfect with a lot of over the top gestures to prove that dreams can come true. It seemed a bit too easy for me and thus I ended up skimming through some parts of the story that didn’t hold my attention. The characters are nice, but everyone seems to be rather perfect in how they are and their lives.

The concept of a happily ever after and finding love at the time of Christmas is wonderful and I am sure that fans of romance will enjoy this story!