Truly, Madly, Greekly

I had a wonderful couple of hours curled up in my chair, with the rain hammering down outside, imagining myself in a sunny resort in Corfu.

 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?

Another great book from Mandy Baggot and a bargain at only 99p – and the best cover of any of her books by far.

I always look forward to Mandy’s books and this one was no exception. Ellen and Lacey have gone to Corfu to start planning Lacey’s wedding. Ellen is glad to get away from her everyday life which is crumbling around her, but she finds it impossible to relax and enjoy the holiday. Enter Yan, a member of the hotel animation team who finds himself both irritated and intrigued by this uptight Englishwoman.

This is a great story for reading on the beach but you could read it anywhere and instantly be transported into sun, sea and sand. One of the things I love about Mandy’s books is the realism – forget billionaires falling in love with secretaries, this is something you actually could see happening. It was also interesting getting a bit of an insight into the life of the animation team – having been on package holidays I never really gave much thought to what they get up to on their time off!

I love Yan and Ellen and the fact they are normal people, they are both wounded, both hiding secrets and neither are looking for love. I am a sucker for accents on men and I had no trouble imagining the sexy accent Yan had – an accent always adds to the hero’s appeal. This is a story not just about a holiday romance but about trust, family, believing in yourself and not letting anyone hold you back.

The only thing that slightly irritated me about this book was Lacey.  I found it difficult to warm to her and wanted to give her a slap at times, but having said that it didn’t spoil the book for me. I had a wonderful couple of hours curled up in my chair, with the rain hammering down outside, imagining myself in a sunny resort in Corfu.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Mandy Baggot
  • Format: Kindle
  • Publisher: Bookouture
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Festival of Romance 2014

On Friday 12th and Saturday 13th of September, I headed down to Leighton Buzzard for the 2014 Festival of Romantic Fiction. I had a fantastic time and met lots of lovely authors and came away with a whole new list of books to check out.Bernadette O'Dwyer, Bella Osborne, Terri Nixon

I arrived on Friday and the first event I attended was Girls Night in with the authors Mandy Baggott, Jane Lovering, Jill Steeples and Rowan Coleman.  They each did a reading which even had (very good) singing from one author, and then they answered questions. All I can say is if there is a zombie apocalypse, keep your grandparents away from Mandy and if you have a diary, hide it from all of them! There was also pink fizz and cakes – a lovely start to the evening.

I then moved over to the author party (while not being an author this party was for all festival goers honest!), despite being there on my own I was made to feel extremely welcome there, especially by Mandy Baggott, Rhoda Baxter, Rachel Lyndhurst and Linn B Halton. After more wine it was time for bed.(L-R) Carmel Harrington, Katie Fforde, Liz Fenwick, Fiona Harper, Tracey Bloom (and of course George Clooney!)

Saturday I attended three events – the first was an afternoon with authors Fiona Harper, Tracy Bloom (who also bought George Clooney with her), Liz Fenwick, Carmel Harrington and Katie Fforde who all did readings and answered questions.

I then headed off to afternoon tea and had a lovely time chatting with the authors at my table and listening to readings from some of the award nominees. Every author I heard a reading from made me want to buy their book! Good job I have a birthday coming up – Amazon vouchers for the win!

It was then time to go and get ready for the awards evening which had some great dancing and singing from a local theatre school before the awards began. The award winners in the categories voted for by Romance Readers were

  • Best Romantic Read – One Step Closer to You by Alice Peterson
  • Best Historical Read – The Dress Thief by Natalie Meg Evans
  • Best Short Romance – Taming Her Italian Boss by Fiona Harper
  • Best Ebook – The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas
  • Best Author Published Romance – Christmas Yves by Nicola May

Caroline Raynor

There was also a new talent award chosen by professional authors and a publisher, this years winner was Caroline Rayner with Catherine Meadows as runner up – I might add they were both on the same table as me for afternoon tea, as was Fiona Harper so clearly I am a lucky charm 😉

After the awards, canapes and of course wine, Mandy, Linn, Kate and myself went for a curry only to find the restaurant was shutting and they turned us away – 11.15 on a Friday night, unheard of! Instead we headed to the kebab shop before heading to bed.

I had a fantastic time but was very surprised at the lack of regular readers like myself there, it was primarily authors. Having said that everyone was so friendly – as an example –  Saturday morning I was sitting by myself in the bar when Kate Nash noticed me on my own and recognised me from the day before as being with the festival. She then promptly introduced me to two authors sitting at the next table – Terri Nixon and Glynis Smy who were only too happy to chat and made me feel very welcome.

Mandy Baggott, Rachel LyndurstI know the organizers are desperate for more readers to attend and I can’t understand why they didn’t. As a big romance reader I was thrilled to find this event in the UK and will definitely be going again. Maybe next year we can get more readers to attend. Out of interest, what would other romance readers be looking for at a festival like this, what would make you want to go?