Friday, July 24, 2015

Double Feature Review: Romantic Getaways

By Melissa Amster

Both these books are about travel and romance, as well as women facing some problems back home, so I thought it would work well to pair them up for sharing about some hot summer reads. Also, both covers feature women in wide brimmed hats at the beach, facing the ocean.

**Both synopses courtesy of Goodreads**

French Coast by Anita Hughes

Serena has the job she's always dreamed of and Chase, the man her heart never dared to. As a new editor at Vogue, she bags the biggest interview of the year with Yvette Renault, the infamous former editor of French Vogue, in The Carlton-InterContinental Hotel during the Cannes Film Festival. She eagerly jets off to France while Chase stays home, working with her father, a former senator, on his upcoming mayoral campaign.

Everything feels unbelievably perfect...until it doesn't. The hotel loses her reservation hours before her big interview. Serena fears that she'll have to go home without her story, but then she meets Zoe, a quirky young woman staying in the suite below Yvette's who invites Serena to stay with her. Serena is grateful for her mysterious roommate's generosity, but it seems that there's more to her story than meets the eye. To make matters worse, soon after arriving in Cannes, Serena learns a shocking secret about her parents' marriage, and it isn't long before she begins to question her own relationship.With her deadline looming and pressure mounting, Serena will have to use her investigative journalism skills, new friendships, and a little luck to get her life and love back on track.

If you're looking for an indulgent, escapist read, you've come to the right place! In typical Anita Hughes style, she delivers exquisite settings, delicious sounding food, and hot romantic scenes. Readers will be in for quite an armchair adventure! While I don't know enough about fashion to picture certain designer couture, the name dropping was lost on me. However, I'm guessing the clothes were amazing too. There were some interesting twists that I did not see coming and kept me on my toes throughout the story. I did have a couple of concerns. One was that there was too much description nestled within each scene, which included people talking about clothes they wore decades ago to enhance a visualization. The other was that some chapters or sections ended abruptly instead of transitioning to the next chapter or section. Even so, it was an enjoyable novel and I'm excited to read Rome in Love soon.

Dream movie cast:
Serena: Laura Ramsey
Chase: Chris Pine
Nick: Adrian Grenier
Zoe: Tatiana Maslany
Yvette (young): Odette Annable

Thanks to Anita Hughes for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot

Sun, sea and a sexy stranger - a whole lot of fun just got a lot more complicated.

Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart…

Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist.

But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she?

I read Excess All Areas a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so it was nice to be back in Corfu, albeit with a new set of characters. The setting reminded me of the all-inclusive resort where I stayed for my honeymoon, even though that was in St. Lucia. It made me want to go back there, all the same! Overall, Truly, Madly, Greekly was a fun and entertaining story. There were some interesting conflicts that had an element of mystery and suspense to them, as they were built up throughout the story. The romantic chemistry was at just the right notch and there were some scenes that got the imagination going. Some aspects of the story made me think of Dirty Dancing, such as how Ellen and Lacey spent so much time with the resort staff and how Lacey was boy crazy and Ellen felt the need to protect her. If you're looking for a delightful beach read, you've found it!

Dream movie cast:
Ellen: Felicity Jones
Lacey: Lily James
Yan: Justin Baldoni

Thanks to Bookouture for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Anita Hughes:

More by Mandy Baggot:


Janine said...

I LOVED French Coast. Anita Hughes has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I can't wait for her new book to come out next month. I haven't read Truly Madly Greekly, but it sounds really good too. Since I don't get to take vacations, I always enjoy little getaways through reading.

Anonymous said...

I would love a chance to win these two books, I have heard a lot about both of them & they are a definite to be read. Thanks for this awesome chance & for all you do for your readers, I appreciate it. Linda May.

Mandy said...

Thank you so much for this lovely review! I have to say, French Coast does sound a treat!

Mandy :)

Melissa said...

This is just a review, no giveaway involved.

susieqlaw said...

The tweet says French Toast!