Just for a change, today I’m joining a blog tour on its final day and sharing my review (at last!) of A Sunset in Sydney by Sandy Barker, the third and final novel in the Holiday Romance series. Published by One More Chapter on 3rd July, this lovely book is now available as an e-book for Kindle, via Google Play and for Kobo: the paperback will follow on 17th September, and can be preordered now via Amazon, Waterstones, or your favourite local bookshop. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invitation and her ongoing support, and to the publishers for my advance reading copy (provided via netgalley).
It was an absolute delight to discover Sandy’s lovely writing with That Night In Paris (still just 99p for kindle!) – I just loved that whistle stop tour round Europe (especially right now, when we’re all wondering when we might be able to do something like that again…), Cat’s journey to happiness, the wonderful humour and that thoroughly perfect romance. You can read my review again here – but if you’re wondering where you’ll find my review of One Summer in Santorini (also 99p for your kindle), I’m rather ashamed to say that I still haven’t managed to fit in the reading. And I’ll admit that I did rather wonder if that might be a problem when this book is the sequel… so let’s find out, shall we?
How far would you go in the name of love?
Sarah Parsons has a choice ahead of her. After the trip of a lifetime she’s somehow returned home with TWO handsome men wanting to whisk her away into the sunset.
Pulled in two directions across the globe, it’s making life trickier than it sounds. Her gorgeous American, Josh, wants to meet Sarah in Hawaii for a holiday to remember. Meanwhile silver fox, James, plans to wine and dine her in London.
It’s a lot to handle for this Aussie girl, who had totally sworn off men!
Join Sarah after her adventure in One Summer in Santorini, for the heart-warming and uplifting third novel in The Holiday Romance series.
You will see that this book is the third in the Holiday Romance series, and the sequel to One Summer in Santorini – but don’t let that worry you for an instant. I read it without having managed to fit in the first book, and it was no problem at all picking up the threads from the earlier story. But if you’ve read That Night in Paris, the timeline of this one is rather clever – you’ll remember the sister to sister FaceTime calls as Cat travelled around Europe, and Sarah’s dilemma about the two men in her life, and this story straddles the same time period. I’ve made that sound rather strange, haven’t I – but trust me, it works really well.
There’s so much I really enjoyed about this book. I’ve grown really attached to these two sisters – they’re both such wonderfully drawn characters – and I loved being able to see the love and closeness in their relationship as Sarah visits London at the book’s start. Their relationship is very real though – sisters can, at times, be a bit of a pain too, and I really enjoyed all their sparring.
Being in London also allows Sarah to spend time with one of the two men in her life – silver fox James, who I’ll admit most certainly pushed all the right buttons for me. Well, he would for most people I think – he’s an absolute gentleman, considerate and caring, and the fact that he’s loaded and can show Sarah a lifestyle she could only dream about is another big tick in his favour. And he’s falling in love with her too – but does that make her choice easier, or so much more difficult?
And then there’s Josh – he’s younger and maybe more fun, but might he just be looking for a “vacationship” rather than any real commitment? Sarah’s really not sure – and she’s no more sure after their holiday in Hawaii, that most certainly has its ups and downs. So should she choose James? Or will Josh prove to love her after all? And there’s that other complication of course – Sarah’s in Australia, Josh in the US, and James is in London, so that’s certainly not going to make things any easier (oh, just you wait…!).
I’ll admit I had absolutely no idea how this story was going to turn out: there are a few surprises, her dilemma deepens, and I think I might just have been rather inclined to settle back into teaching and spend more time with my cat. But it does all get resolved – and no, of course I’m not going to tell you how that happens!
I must mention that as well as the relationship between the sisters, there’s some rather lovely female friendship in this book too – new friends, and those who you know well enough to accept their advice as they provide that safety net that everyone sometimes needs.
I really love Sandy Barker’s writing – she gives Sarah such a clear and consistent voice, and takes you right inside her head which can (despite her dilemma) be a really fun place to be. And while we’re talking about “place”, the settings in this book are quite wonderful, all brought to life with the most vivid descriptions – when I reached the end of this book, I really felt like I’d been globetrotting too. The humour is perfectly judged and ever present – and nicely balanced with the more emotional content and those moments of sadness and real poignancy. She does it all so well that I almost felt at times like I was the one needing to make the choice – although I’m rather glad I didn’t have to.
Sarah needs to discover herself and what really makes her happy – and I was entirely with her every step of the way. This was a book I thoroughly enjoyed – and would really recommend to others.
About the author
Sandy Barker is an Australian writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list and a cheeky sense of humour. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob.
Many of Sandy’s travel adventures have found homes in her writing, including her debut novel, a contemporary romance set in Greece, which was inspired by her true-life love story.