#Review: My Greek Island Summer by Mandy Baggot @mandybaggot @Aria_Fiction #blogtour #romcom #holidayread #Corfu #MandyBaggot20

By | April 21, 2020

It’s a real pleasure today to be joining the blog tour and sharing my review of My Greek Island Summer by Mandy Baggot – published as an e-book by Aria Fiction on 2nd April (available for kindle – also via Kindle Unlimited – for Kobo, and via Google Play), with the paperback to follow on 4th June (available for pre-order). My thanks to Vicky at Head of Zeus/Aria for the invitation and support, and for my advance reading e-copy (provided via NetGalley).

There’s a bit of a celebration around this lovely book too – can you believe it’s Mandy’s 20th book? Congratulations to her – and I’m slightly ashamed that I’ve only managed to read two before now (could all my other author friends stop writing for a while, do you think, just to let me catch up?!) but thoroughly enjoyed them. And they were both very different – the first was Truly, Madly, Greekly back in May 2015 (which I thoroughly enjoyed – you’ll find my review here). The other was the gorgeous One Wish in Manhattan, one of those perfect Christmas reads that I still remember setting aside with a sob at its perfect ending (you’ll find that review here). But although she’s pretty wonderful at Christmas too, Mandy really is the Queen of Greek romance – and this wonderful book only confirms that yet again…

Two weeks. One unforgettable trip to Corfu. A chance to change her life.


Becky Rose has just landed her dream job house-sitting at a top-end villa on the island of Corfu. What could be better than two weeks laying by an infinity pool overlooking the gorgeous Ionian waters while mending her broken heart.


Elias Mardas is travelling back to Corfu on business whilst dealing with his own personal demons. Late arriving in Athens, Becky and Elias have to spend a night in the Greek capital. When they have to emergency land in Kefalonia, Becky’s got to decide whether to suck up the adventure and this gorgeous companion she seems to have been thrown together with or panic about when she’s going to arrive at Corfu…


Finally reaching the beautiful island, Becky is happy to put Elias behind her and get on with her adventure. Until he turns up at the villa…

This book starts fairly gently, with Becky working in her sister’s sandwich shop, working long hours, putting her own twist on the fillings while engaged in a bit of gentle banter with the women she works with. She has an endearing edge of sadness about her – unlucky in love (and we later find out quite how unlucky), missing her father, really put upon – and I took to her and her people-pleasing personality immediately. Her sister though is a bit of a horror, and very well-drawn: when Becky decides she has to have a holiday and finds the chance of some house-sitting in Corfu, her sister might not be too happy but I really cheered for her.

But things don’t go entirely smoothly: she has the journey from hell, with a couple of unexpected sight-seeing opportunities, and it takes some time to finally arrive in Corfu. And along the way, she makes two new friends – the rather gorgeous (with a sadness of his own) Elias in the next seat, and the distinctly zany Petra who attaches herself like a limpet after a chance meeting in the queue for the aeroplane toilet. Having arrived, Becky looks forward to a couple of weeks doing very little, enjoying the villa’s infinity pool and switching off for a while – but, for all sorts of reasons, things don’t quite turn out that way.

I do rather suspect the author might not have been picturing a reader of my age group when she started putting this one together – and I did initially wonder if it was going to be the book for me. There are lots (seriously – lots and lots) of contemporary pop culture references, and I’ll admit that a number of them really passed my by (though thanks to Google, I did learn a little…). And then there was Petra – totally without filters, I didn’t find her at all “entertaining” at first, just intensely rude and annoying (and perhaps a little dangerous too), and I really rather hoped she’d disappear from the story. Even Becky – although I did really like her – was rather more immature and naive than I might have liked…

But that’s where those negative thoughts end (and they were really only ever a doubt that I was the right reader). This story was quite wonderful, with the cleverest of writing, characters who develop and unfold and show surprising depth, all set against a perfectly drawn Corfu backdrop. I’ve spent a lot of time in Greece and its islands over the years, and the author lovingly recreates the detail of everything I so fondly remember – the village, the pace of life, the characters, the food (oh, the food… and Becky’s passion for tastes and flavours really brought those parts to life). There are a few moments of humour that verge on the slapstick, but nothing ever too OTT – I smiled (a lot), and particularly enjoyed the relationships and the way the characters changed and developed.

There’s a mystery here, and an edge of danger at times – but what I loved the most was the central romance, so beautifully done from the different viewpoints of Becky and Elias, getting under their skin and digging more deeply into their emotions, their fears, and the experiences that have changed them, making it all feel totally authentic and believable.

I might have begun by doubting I was going to enjoy this book – by the end, I entirely loved it, and every one of its characters and the story that quite swept me away. It’s most definitely a perfect one for your holidays – but if that’s not going to happen this year, do try it in your back garden in the sunshine instead, with a glass or two of something. That’s what I did – and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience…

About the author

Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016. Mandy’s books have so far been translated into German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian. Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1’s Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor. Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

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