It’s a pleasure today to be joining the blog tour for One Greek Summer by Kate Frost, and sharing my review: published by Boldwood Books on 9th March, it’s now available as an ebook (free for kindle via Kindle Unlimited), in paperback, and also as an audiobook. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support, and to the publishers for my advance reading e-copy (provided via netgalley).
I’m really delighted to see Kate now writing for Boldwood. She was my guest for the first time way 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 then – after a bit of a wait – I read The Greek Heart, the third book in her Romantic Escape series: I was attracted by its gorgeous cover, but really enjoying watching Lottie making her romantic choices against a vividly drawn backdrop of Santorini and Paros, a lovely escapist read (you can read my review again here). And just look – this one has an equally beautiful cover, and I was really looking forward to meeting Harlow and spending time on beautiful Skopelos…
Taking a chance on love is just the beginning…
When Harlow Sands arrives on an idyllic Greek island to work on a big budget movie, it should be the opportunity of a lifetime. But her uncertainty over the direction of her life and the high expectations of Maeve Fennimore-Bell, her domineering Hollywood producer mum, threatens to ruin her summer on beautiful Skopelos.
Location manager Tyler Reed has his fair share of demons. His and Harlow’s lives have been entwined for over a decade and now forced to work together, their complicated past begins to unravel.
Harlow is desperate to break free and make her own way in the world, but with a fractured family, a long-hidden secret and a need to belong, can her happy-ever-after be found during one Greek summer?
Escape to the beautiful Greek isles with bestseller Kate Frost for the perfect uplifting, feel-good romantic read.
It’s a long time since I visited the Greek islands – but the descriptions littered throughout this book, appealing to all the senses, made me feel like I’d been on a really good holiday. And I’ve never been to Skopelos, but it’ll feel familiar to anyone who’s enjoyed the Mamma Mia films – in one lovely scene they even visit that church on top of the hill (you remember – that bit when you sobbed your heart out…), early in the morning so it’s not overrun with tourists. And when I say “all the senses”, I really mean it – the sights, the smells, the tastes (there’s a lot of delicious food in this book), the sun on your back, the sand between your toes… I loved it.
And befitting the Mamma Mia island, this is a book set in the world of film – Harlow (named after the film star) is in Skopelos to work for six weeks as assistant location manager on a big budget movie. She’s had a more elevated position on other films, but she’s considering her future – and this particular job came courtesy of her mother Maeve, the film’s high-powered producer. Although the location’s quite perfect, it does mean she’ll need to navigate around the difficult relationship with her mother – and her immediate superior is Tyler, their working days complicated by a friends-with-benefits history that she’s found difficult to escape from. But while setting up at The Olive Grove, she meets the restaurant owner’s (rather hot…) son, Adonis – he’s at a bit of a crossroads in his own life too, and the attraction between them, after a shaky start, begins to grow. But there are a lot of obstacles to overcome – the complications of Harlow’s family relationships, Tyler’s expectations that their former arrangements will resume, the jealousy of one of his more recent conquests – made more difficult by unresolved issues from the past, and with decisions to be made on where their future lives will take them.
I very much enjoyed the glimpses behind the scenes at big budget movie-making – all very authentically done, with a nice level of detail on the day-to-day activities. Harlow’s family issues were well-handled too – even if I did wish at times that she’d stand up for herself rather more. And the romance with Adonis was particularly nicely developed – their growing closeness had a pleasing chemistry, and just the right amount of will they/won’t they that I always enjoy. It’s a fairy classic romantic triangle – and that’s in no way a criticism – and I was always interested in and intrigued by how it might play out. The family relationships add a nice bit of depth and detail – Harlow’s family is a bit of a train wreck (but her father and his wife have particular warmth in their portrayal), but I really enjoyed the depiction of Adonis’ life surrounded by his extended family, however much he may yearn to escape.
I really enjoyed this one – it’s an excellent escapist read, a lovely bit of armchair travel, but with more than enough depth and intrigue to keep the pages turning. There’s quite a bit of emotional depth too – the romance, and all those layers of family and former relationships. If I have one small criticism, I’ll admit I did tire a little of the Mamma Mia references – scenes and settings were sometimes directly compared, and it wouldn’t have been entirely unexpected at one point had Cher emerged from her helicopter. But, after all, we’re in Skopelos – they’re references I can understand and most certainly forgive. The publishers promised “escapist” and “page-turning”, and the book most certainly delivers – nicely done, and I’ll look forward to seeing what Kate Frost does next.
About the author
Kate Frost is the author of several bestselling romantic escape novels including The Greek Heart and The Love Island Bookshop. She lives in Bristol and is the Director of Storytale Festival, a book festival for children and teens she co-founded in 2019.