Thursday, 26 May 2016

Book Review - The Summer Escape by Lily Graham - Greek Week

Amazon UK
Title: The Summer Escape
Author: Lily Graham
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley 
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 26th May 2016
Rating: 5 Stars

Amongst the beautiful olive groves and sea-front tavernas, summer has arrived on the sun-drenched island of Crete. 

After losing the love of her life, Ria’s life has been on hold. So when her boss becomes completely unbearable she makes the snap decision to run away to the Greek island of Crete, armed only with her passport. 

When Ria finds herself working for eccentric novelist Caroline, she meets handsome vineyard owner Tom. He’s charming, mysterious and Ria starts to wonder if it’s not just the beautiful Greek island that she’s falling for. 

But as Ria gets to know Tom better, she uncovers a tangled web of secrets. What is he hiding? Ria has some secrets of her own. Can she open up to Tom and learn to live again? 

This summer, escape to the sun with this charming and emotional story about starting over and grabbing happiness with both hands. 

What a charming book, with its excellent storyline, characters and above all sunny location of Crete. There is a mystery at the heart of the story, but yet I wouldn't define it as a mystery book, just as a romantic comedy, with a side helping of intrigue, and a very brave main character. 

It takes guts, or for you to be at the end of your tether, to one day instead of going into work, finding yourself at Heathrow airport with just your passport and handbag (and its a fluke that Ria even had the passport), and ending up slightly drunk but on a plane to Crete for you don't know how long. With my current frame of mind, I probably shouldn't have read the first section of the book, as the idea of jumping on a plane for some sun (and quitting the more troublesome of my jobs) is highly appealing! 

Ria had been an obituary writer for the past few years, despite suffering a couple of bereavements herself, so when her boss is particularly nasty yet again, and wants to turn Ria into a story, she quite rightly snaps and thankfully we end up with a fantastic story because of it. 

Ria finds a job working for Caroline Murray who is trying to put together her memoir, and desperately needs and assistant. Caroline's story is fascinating as her some of her tales about what she has been up to with various celebrities in the past.  She is a tonic of a person for Ria to be around and I always knew scenes involving her would be interesting. 

As I have said there is a mystery in the book, and that is to do with Tom's vineyard. Someone burnt it down 10  years ago and everyone thinks it was Tom, but Ria is not convinced. Tom is a handsome man, who seems to like spending time with Ria, and they do grow close. 

There are is lot of mention of Greek food, but apart from that I didn't get the strongest sense of being on a Greek Island. There was only one trip to a beach and most of the time Ria spent her days in the library, vineyard or working for Caroline. That being said the initial descriptions of Chania, when Ria lands in Crete were wonderful and do conjure the sights and smells of the old town.

The Summer Escape, is a story of hope and healing, of being able to turn your life around, the courage to make a massive change in your life before it grinds you down and above all of a slow to form romance. The writing is engaging and I found The Summer Escape to be a wonderfully quick and easy read, and one that I loved every second of. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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