One Summer in Santorini
By Sandy Barker
Publication date: June 2019
Publisher: Avon Books (HarperCollins)
Sarah has had enough of men. It’s time to rekindle her first true love – travel – so she books a sailing trip around the Greek islands with a group of strangers.
The very last thing Sarah wants is to meet someone new, but then a gorgeous American man boards her yacht… And when she also encounters a handsome silver fox who promises her the world, she realises that trouble really does come in twos. (HarperCollins)
When Sandy Barker invited me to participate in her new release blog tour, I didn’t realise it would involve paying for a family holiday in the Greek Islands. But this is pretty much the inevitable result of reading One Summer in Santorini at the start of a Sydney winter, not to mention the fact that I’ve never been to Greece with my Greek husband, which pretty much settles it.
The gorgeous cover says it all about this light, airy comedy romance. Sandy Barker is a talented new writer with a great ear for modern dialogue and internal monologue – some of Sarah’s private thoughts had me laughing out loud. Sarah reminded me a lot of Stephanie Plum, Janet Evanovitch’s heroine in the ‘One for the Money’ series, with a similar mix of sassy confidence and vulnerability. The caught-between-two-men motif also reminded me of Stephanie’s persistent dilemma between the policeman Morelli, and the outlaw, Ranger. If you are willing to swap light crime for a virtual holiday in the Greek Islands, this could be one for Stephanie Plum fans.
I was genuinely curious about who Sarah would end up with, even though her dilemma was so foreign to me. My late thirties were taken up with parenting small children and I found it a bit hard to slip into Sarah’s unencumbered life. Not to mention slipping into her once-or-twice-a-day gym body! It did make me think about how different life would have been if I was single in my late thirties and not planning to have children, and reminisce about the freedom and excitement—and pitfalls—of solo travel.
While this was lighter than most of what I’ve been choosing lately, overall I really enjoyed Sarah’s optimistic worldview and lust for life and I think that regular readers of contemporary romance will thoroughly enjoy this book, particularly if they love travel and food. There are times in life when light escapism is exactly what you want or need–if that’s you then seek this one out.