Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Book Review - Singles & Spice by Elaine Spires

Amazon UK
Title: Singles & Spice
Author: Elaine Spires
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Review copy supplied by author
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: April 2014
Rating: 5 Stars

A singles' holiday to India's Golden Triangle - Taj Mahal, the pink city of Jaipur, tiger-spotting in Ranthambore, the noisy, crowded streets of Delhi - all go to make up a trip that is hot, humid and spicy. Eve Mitchell, Travel Together's tour manager extraordinaire has a couple of familiar faces in her little group of travellers and others that she hasn't met before; sexy man-eating pensioners, a compulsive over-eater, a constant whiner and a man with a personal problem. 

And there's a big surprise awaiting someone -and Eve - early one morning. By the end of the tour, which sees our group travelling by coach, rickshaw, train and elephant, she will know rather more about some of their innermost secrets than she'd like. But Eve deals with all the twists and turns the trip throws at her as we come to understand what makes people travel the world with a bunch of complete strangers and appreciate the success that is a singles' holiday. 

I have just spent a wonderful 10 days touring around India, seeing all the sights, spending time with an amusing tour group of single travellers, all from the comfort of my armchair, and in the space of one evening's very enjoyable reading. 

Eve Mitchell is back, and is this time guiding a tour group to India. For those of you who have read the first book in this singles trilogy, you will be glad to see a few recurring characters. If you are new to the series, then Singles and Spice can definitely be read as a standalone novel. If you did read Singles Holiday, and are worried this will be identical but in a different location, you could't be further from the truth. This is a guided tour, featuring various stops in Northern India, and not just a hotel stay with optional excursions. 

As a result the Travel Together tour group this time, spend a lot of time together, and as to be expected some members of the group do become quite close to each other. There are mentions not only of the Antigua trip in the previous book, but as others are repeat travellers with the company, we get small glimpses into the other tours and countries on offer by this company. If I was nervous of travelling abroad by myself, I would definitely be using Travel Together, after seeing how well they treat their guests. 

It felt as though you really were on holiday with this group, and there are some sights from this trip that will stay with me forever (I am aware on some level that this was a book, but never mind!). We see all sorts of wildlife from tigers to elephants and barely a snake in sight (which Eileen was very thankful about). 

With Ajit the local guide's expert knowledge, we are also treated to the facts about some of the temples and places of interest so get to learn a bit about India while we are reading this descriptive and enjoyable work of fiction. 

I could feel the heat on me, while reading this on a cold winters night, and felt as though I could hear all the sounds and smell the spices, that is the general atmosphere of India. Watch out for a wonderful scene at the Taj Mahal, which is incredibly romantic. 

As you can probably imagine, the tour group is made up of a complete mix of people, some a lot more pleasurable than others to be around, some that take some time to get to know, others with hidden secrets and then there are those determined to flout the rules at every step of the journey (while thinking they know more than the guides). You have probably seen these characters on your own holidays, and they will be people that you will learn to enjoy spending a ten day guided tour with. 

Set in an exotic location, Singles and Spice is a fantastic book that I loved reading every second of.  I pretty much read it, in one sitting, in a few short hours and love the quality of the writing, and the overall story. There were some sections that even had me giggling out loud. 

Thank you so much to Elaine Spires for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

1 comment:

  1. SO good to hear that you did a bit of armchair travel. Sounds definitely like one for us to pick up. Thanks for the great review!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...