The Summer Escape by Lily Graham.
Published: 26th May 2016 by Bookouture.
Available on Amazon in Kindle format.
‘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.‘
This is becoming a habit of mine. ‘What is?’ I hear you ask, leaning forward on the edge of your seats waiting patiently for my words…….
Sorry, I went on holiday, to Crete for approximately six hours. Well, it only took me six hours to read! Back to my habit. This was yet another book I judged by its cover. Sorry!! I hadn’t read the blurb before I began to read it, I just spotted the cover and the author on Twitter and went to read it for a review. Simple as that. Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advance copy of the book!
At first glance, the cover made me think it was going to be a light-hearted, romantic, simplistic book which gives you an idea to find a holiday romance on your travels. Is that what you’re thinking it’s about?
Welcome to Ria’s life, or lack of, seeing as she is stuck in a job with a boss and a colleague that finds fault in everything she writes. Ria finds herself in a difficult situation after terrible things happened in her life, making her future become full of uncertainty. No five-year plan anymore so to speak. Should she stay, or should she go?
Ria makes a decision that changes her life once and for all. A decision that puts her on the path that a loved one had wanted for her all along. But how influential was that loved one? Will Ria be able to honour her loved ones dreams, but more importantly, will Ria be able to find herself again and honour her own dreams?
Along the way you meet vibrant and exciting characters, some who you probably won’t pay too much attention to at first, and some that you wish you had paid more attention to. On her travels, Ria finds herself in hot water, more than once, thinking that she was about to lose her new-found life. Can she hold onto it? Will Ria finally get the happy ending she has dreamt about? Or will Ria find herself going back to living with her parents, working with a teacher’s pet?
After reading the book, I found my first glance to be somewhat incorrect. I mean, it is a romantic story, very romantic. However, oh my goodness me! It isn’t simplistic at all and I love that! The amount of skeletons that you see come from the closet is unbelievable. The amount of secrets that ONE family, sorry, no, one person can have is absurd! Absurd in a ‘this makes fantastic reading’ kind of way. I felt sorry for Ria throughout most of it because she has had an incredibly tough time, and you find yourself willing her to succeed and be happy. Even when she lands herself in hot water you will probably find yourself willing for her still, wanting her to finish what she started! I wouldn’t suggest reading this book when you’re hungry though. You go to several bakeries in the story, more than once, and unless you don’t like Greek pastries then you’re going to be a tad stuck. I have never tried Greek pastries myself, but oh I want to now.
Several times during the book I laughed out loud, the humour and jokes between Ria and Caroline (her new boss) are on point. Modern humour. This book should have come with a warning though: ‘WARNING: do not, under any circumstances, forget the tissues’. Why? Because you will cry! I hope you do actually, because if you don’t then I’m even more soppy than I thought and I cannot have that. So when you read it, cry. Deal?
‘The Summer Escape’ is a book about love, dreams, second chances, but more importantly; truth. It is such an unpredictable read which will have you captivated by the end of the first chapter. Lily Graham has written a book that will stay in the back of your mind, in a good way, and make you question your own paths in life. Are you living your life for somebody else, or are you living your life for YOU?
I have had the absolute pleasure the past few days to get to know Lily, and not only is she a wonderful writer, she is also a wonderful person. You’re all in for a good time with this book. Lily, I cannot wait for your next book, please keep me updated! If it’s anything like this one, it will be incredible!