Monday, 13 February 2017

Book Review - The Holiday by Erica James - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #52

Amazon UK
Title: The Holiday
Author: Erica James
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 23rd December 2009 
Rating: 3 Stars

Torn between struggling to live up to the expectations of being a Modern Woman and ridding herself of the effect of a repressed upbringing, Izzy Jordan would be the first to admit that it's time to take stock of her life. She's thirty-one, with a teaching career on the skids - not surprising, really, given that she harbours a strong desire to lock her pupils in the art room cupboard and throw away the key. She also has a manipulative mother and an ex-boyfriend whose parting shot was to tell her she was boring in bed!

So when she's invited to spend the summer on Corfu and is offered the chance of a no-strings holiday romance with the irresistible Theo, what should she do? Go for it, or listen to the voice of Modern Woman and tell him to sling his hook? Just as she thinks she's made up her mind, along comes Mark, whose turbulent past sets in motion a series of dramatic events...

On paper this should be the sort of book I would love, after all it is set in Corfu, features a sexy greek man, definitely has romance in it, and is by an author I have enjoyed in the past. 

Now I don't know if this is simply a case of reading it at the wrong time for me, or whether the book generally just wasn't for me, but I have struggled to finish this book. I know my heart sank a bit when I loaded it onto my kindle and I realised there were over 500 pages, at a time where I am tending to prefer shorter books. Now that wouldn't have been a problem at all had a I felt remotely engaged in the story telling. 

However I just found it a slog to keep picking up the book. There were sections, odd chapters here and there that I did really enjoy, but they didn't last long and there was still the rest of the book to read. It felt oddly inconsistent with its quality. 

I absolutely loved the last 20% where there was some great drama, but the storyline it was concluding was one that had been mentioned early on and then forgotten about until that point.  There is also a chapter mid way through that is full of drama and I loved it. Anytime there was a degree of action, and I found myself putting aside my doubts and enjoying the book on a temporary basis, which is what kept me reading. 

The main romance in the book I found fairly predictable as to which of the two potential men Izzy would end up with, unfortunately I had an inkling incredibly early on in the book. 

What also confused me was that at times the timeline went into the pasts of the main characters, to give vital background information, but there was no warning, no sub headings, or mention at the start of the chapter, so I was finding myself disorientated. 

Ultimately I loved the setting of Corfu, and any of the sight seeing, I loved the sexy Greek man Theo and everything that he was involved in, especially when he was pretending to be someone he wasn't, I loved the sightseeing and also the characterisation of Max's parents, and a couple of the other more over the top characters. It is a book with some high points, unfortunately I just think it could have been better, and it just didn't grip me the way previous books by Erika James have before. 

To the five of you lovely blog followers who voted for The Holiday, I am glad that you did as in theory that should have been a book I would have enjoyed...however I did find myself slightly frustrated while reading it and wondering why on earth I let people pick books for me! Ah well, onwards and upwards, lets see where this weeks vote feature will go...which should be live on my other post of the day! 

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