This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Susan Lobban
When Alice Archer is offered a week on the sunny Greek island of Kethos she jumps at the chance, even though it means spending time with her self obsessed sister Stella. Once there, in order to escape from Stella’s tantrums and demands, Alice loses herself in the wondrous surroundings steeped in history.
One of her trips out to explore takes her to Villa Argenti, where she meets Milo, a gorgeous gardener. He makes her feel like the only girl on the island, which is not something she has experienced before. Alice soon gets caught up in the magic of Kethos, but will she discover long lasting holiday romance is only a myth?
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As soon as this book arrived in the post, I could not wait to start it as the inviting blue sea on the cover instantly had me dreaming of holidays. I love destination reads as it does not matter if your summer holiday consists of sitting in the back garden with your feet in a paddling pool when you start to read you are transported to more exotic climes. This book did not disappoint.
Alice and Stella had a great sisterly dynamic to read about. Alice is plain and put upon, whereas Stella is just plain terrible! In the end Alice decides to change her life and forge forward in her own right spurred on by Stella’s put downs. I found it very satisfying that Alice emerged as a strong confident woman, while Stella learnt nothing and as such was left stagnating in her sister’s shadow. Rather than resort to everyone changing for the better and everything being rosy I loved that the author left Stella as she was. I felt by doing this it made Alice’s happy ending all the more sweeter.
If the lush descriptions of the Greek coast were not escapist enough, Alice finds herself immersed in her own Greek mythology tale. After making a wish at Aphrodite’s statue she is pursued by men everywhere even when she leaves Kethos behind. This magical aspect was hysterical, especially when her elderly next door neighbour decides to burst into a near naked serenade. What could have been silly made the story even more engrossing as Alice begins to question her holiday romance with Milo. As a reader you know exactly what Milo’s intentions are and that he has an Alice shaped hole in his life. His personal circumstances have shaped him as a man and he is just the kind of person you dream of bumping into on holiday and falling head over heels for.
I think this book has it all: it is a romantic, touching yet humorous read. Alice’s relationship with her elderly father mirrors Milo’s relationship with his sister in a heartfelt way. Their chance meeting leads to a tentative romance which I was rooting for success. I became swept up in the magical beauty and mysticism of Kethos and having never been to Greece before, I wished I was there!