#Review: A Sunrise over Bali by Sandy Barker @sandybarker @0neMoreChapter_ @rararesources #blogtour #romcom #preorder #HolidayRomance #ASunriseOverBali

By | February 12, 2022

I’ve been really looking forward to this one – and I’m delighted today to be helping launch the blog tour for A Sunrise over Bali by Sandy Barker (you might just know by now that she’s one of my favourites!), and sharing my review. Published by One More Chapter, the ebook will be released on 17th February, available for preorder for kindle via Amazon (in the UK, US, Australia and Canada) and also via Google play and iBooks. The paperback will follow on 12th May, and that’s available for preorder too – via Amazon in your home country, but also through Waterstones, Foyles, or your preferred bookshop. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support (and for once more allowing me to post on the first day of the tour – she is good to me!), and to the publishers for my advance reading copy (provided via netgalley).

This is the fourth book in the Holiday Romance series – and no, I still haven’t managed to catch up with the first in the series, One Summer in Santorini (if you’d like to, it’s only 99p for your kindle). But I most certainly loved That Night In Paris (also 99p for your kindle) – the European tour, so many laughs, and the most perfect romance (you’ll find my review again here). A Sunset in Sydney was wonderful too (review here), with such well-handled handled emotional content, and the most wonderful settings. And then came her first standalone, The Christmas Swap – the one that made me declare that no-one writes female friendship quite like Sandy Barker (and you can read the review again here). That was followed by The Dating Game (perhaps my favourite so far – one of my Books of the Year in 2021 and never a moment’s doubt about its inclusion) – exceptionally entertaining, a complete page-turner filled with the most fantastic characters, a fascinating look behind the scenes of the making of a reality show, a convincing romance, a nice bit of armchair travel, and a real testament to the power of supportive friendship (you’ll find my full review here – and this one’s just 99p too!). But enough – I really need to get on with telling you how much I enjoyed her latest…

Home is where the heart is…


When Jaelee Tan leaves her high-flying PR job in Miami for a sabbatical in Bali, the last thing she expects is for it to become permanent. But when her boss demands the trip be cut short, Jae does the only thing she can think of and quits on the spot.


With two months in Bali, a new group of friends and the gorgeous scenery and beaches, Jae is determined to make the most of her new-found freedom. And when she locks eyes with hunky Scot, Alistair, Jae wonders if she’ll lose her heart to more than just a Balinese sunrise.


Escape to Bali in this uplifting novel full of friendship, laughter and romance, perfect for fans of Mandy Baggot, Julie Caplin and Holly Martin.


Join readers everywhere and prepare to fall for the most romantic escape of 2022…

There was so much I enjoyed about this book that I really don’t know where to start – but I’m going to begin with location. After a few years confined to our homes, I think everyone’s probably ready for some virtual travel – and where could be more aspirational (and inspirational too) than Bali? In this book, it’s so much more than a backdrop – it’s total escapism. The author’s wonderful descriptions entirely immerse you in the island paradise, and by the book’s end I really felt like I’d been on a really good holiday.

But the author uses her intimate knowledge of the island to give much more than a postcard representation. While the sunrise that gives the book its title takes your breath away (and a tear to your eye), and there’s nothing you yearn for more than to take your turn on a paddle board on the clear blue sea or to run on the isolated tracks, it doesn’t skirt away from some of the less picture-perfect detail – I never knew about the ever-present rubbish, and the way it detracts from the perfection. And I was absolutely fascinated by the whole idea of UROP – a resort catering for digital nomads, that contemporary phenomenon of people who can work anywhere with decent wifi and mobile reception (who knew?), and a lifestyle I’d really never heard of (and certainly not read about) before.

And it’s the perfect refuge for Jaelee, who needs to escape from her high-powered job in Miami for a while – and to lick her wounds after a relationship break-up she really hasn’t got over, and that feels much worse after encountering her former partner and his beautiful new wife at a friend’s birthday party. She feels betrayed, and really needs to run and hide for a while – and when the pressure of work follows her, with a demand for her to return forthwith to handle an unforeseen problem, she resigns from her job and kicks back to contemplate her uncertain future.

If you read That Night in Paris (and you really don’t have to – this book stands alone quite perfectly) you might remember Jaelee and her friendship with Cat as they travelled round Europe. In this one, they’re still in touch and it’s good to hear how life has moved on for her – but I will admit that I was slightly worried about Jaelee being the main character in this book when she really wasn’t someone I’d particularly warmed to. But I certainly engaged with her in this book, and felt for her from the very start – her first person account takes you right inside her thoughts, feeling all her fears and uncertainties, revealing her as a far more complex character than she at first might appear, and I was never anywhere but entirely in her corner.

And, as you can always expect from a book by Sandy Barker, there’s then a lovely focus on making connections and forming firm and supportive new female friendships – although Jaelee’s closeness with model-slash-actress Helena understandably does take just a little longer to develop. The whole supporting cast is wonderfully drawn, along with the relationships between them – there’s even a superbly characterful dog, the lovely Lu, initially untouchable but becoming steadily more friendly, and her appearances nicely punctuate the story. And Jaelee slowly gains a new confidence, has the unexpected opportunity to mend some trampled fences, and feels ready to set about making plans for her future.

And I haven’t even mentioned the romance yet, and it’s a major part of the story – there’s a real chemistry between her and hot Scot Alistair from the moment they first meet, some lovely exchanges, and things steadily heat up in a way I thoroughly enjoyed. But he’s every bit as complex as I like my romantic leads to be, and their mutual attraction felt both authentic and believable – but their developing relationship doesn’t progress as smoothly as you might expect or hope for, complicated by secrets that emerge and the intrusion of family issues. And the story does takes an unexpected turn for a while, away from Bali and into a situation that might cement or irretrievably damage their relationship – and it was a diversion I really enjoyed.

This is a book that certainly has all the lightness and touches of humour that I always enjoy about the author’s writing, but there’s also a real depth of emotion that I found particularly satisfying. And it’s a great story – it certainly kept me entirely hooked, hoping that Jaelee would have the happy ending she deserved. Beautifully done, as always – and a book I’d thoroughly recommend.

About the author

Sandy is a writer, traveller and hopeful romantic with a lengthy bucket list, and many of her travel adventures have found homes in her novels. She’s also an avid reader, a film buff, a wine lover and a coffee snob.

Sandy lives in Melbourne Australia with her partner, Ben, who she met while travelling in Greece. Their real-life love story inspired Sandy’s debut novel One Summer in Santorini, the first in the Holiday Romance series with One More Chapter, an imprint of HarperCollins.

The series continued in That Night in Paris and A Sunset in Sydney, and there are two more to come in 2022. Her first standalone novel The Christmas Swap celebrated her favourite time of the year, and that was followed by The Dating Game, a laugh-out-loud romcom set in the world of Reality TV.

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