It’s a pleasure today to be joining the blog tour for The Greek Heart by Kate Frost, and to share my review: the third standalone book in the Romantic Escape series, it was published for kindle (just 99p, or free via Kindle Unlimited) on 20th September. My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the author for providing my reading e-copy.
It’s not the first time I’ve featured Kate – she was my guest back in 2016, for the publication of Beneath the Apple Blossom, when she shared the realities of writing a novel while raising a toddler (you’ll find that post again here). But it is the first time I’ve read one of her books, and I was attracted both by the storyline and that lovely cover (wouldn’t you like to be standing there too?). Let’s take a closer look…
A broken heart, an island escape, a boy from the past. Will Lottie’s search lead to love?
When a special anniversary takes Lottie on a journey to find the little boy she once knew, it’s a chance to put heartache behind her.
Lottie’s search takes her to Greece and a family who have known about her for decades. A warm welcome gives her some much-needed time out and the chance to reflect. Yet an emotional revelation and two handsome but complicated brothers make her question her past decisions.
Learning to love herself and be content on her own is the first step. But will Lottie be able to follow her heart and find lasting happiness?
This really has been the year of the travel-based romance – when our own lives have been to desperately confined, there’s really nothing much better than being able to wander through favourite holiday destinations without leaving the comfort and safety of your armchair. The author recreates quite perfectly the atmosphere of both beautiful Santorini and nearby Paros – both islands I’ve holidayed on in the past – and when this book ended I felt as if I’d been allowed a return visit. With even more synchronicity, I was also living in Cardiff – just like Lottie – at the time I visited: and there’s a third destination too in the story where I’ve been fortunate enough to take a short break, equally beautifully drawn.
But while the travel elements are really well drawn – the buildings, the sights, the flowers, the food and the sunshine – this lovely book is very much about Lottie’s personal journey, her search for herself while pursuing a treasured memory from her childhood, pushing her boundaries and discovering what makes her happy. I found her particularly easy to identify with – in her forties, driven and successful at work, but with a far less happy personal life littered with failed relationships. Her first step is to become comfortable with herself, to find the courage to change her life – and I really enjoyed her friendship with Maggie, whose easy free-wheeling lifestyle enables Lottie to loosen up and live a little too.
Her quest for that childhood happy memory – wherever it might take her – then sees her travelling on to Paros, tracking down the family she had reason to remember so fondly. Another wonderful character is introduced – Eleni, the mother, warm and caring, touched by great sadness – along with her two remaining adult sons. There’s a romantic triangle of sorts – one son who remains something of an enigma for a while, spiky and difficult, the other making no secret of his attraction to Lottie but failing to ignite the necessary spark. Although Lottie’s romantic choice drives the story – in a way that surprised, but was well worked through, always strong and believable – it’s her personal growth, her new comfort within her own skin that I particularly liked, the way she put the past to rest and embraced the possibilities of the future.
The writing is excellent – the vivid descriptions of the various locations that flood the senses, the handling of the romantic possibilities, but particularly the more emotional moments and Lottie’s internal journey. Warm, uplifting, and emotionally satisfying – this was a romantic escape I really enjoyed.
About the author
Kate Frost is the author of character-driven women’s fiction (The Butterfly Storm series and Beneath the Apple Blossom), romantic escape novels (The Baobab Beach Retreat, A Starlit Summer, The Greek Heart and The Amsterdam Affair), and Time Shifters, a time travel adventure trilogy for children. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates.
Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, young son, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Frodo. She feels very lucky to spend her days writing, but when she’s not working on a novel, she’s the Director of Storytale Festival, a new city-wide children’s book festival that she co-founded in Bristol in 2019 with the ethos of making books accessible to all and encouraging children and teens to read, write and be creative.