Monday, 31 July 2017

Rachel's Greek Island Cruise Holiday Reading

Well I'm back from a wonderful holiday, although I still have a house move to contemplate this week. Before it becomes too hectic, lets talk about my holiday and then I'll share with you the books that I read and some quick thoughts on them.

I had an amazing time on my cruise, the Norwegian Spirit is a lovely old ship, and having sailed on it last year I knew pretty much to expect. Completely different staff and very different passengers and itinerary made if feel like the brand new holiday it was.

Some of my highlights include taking part in a Wine and Chocolate pairing session, having Petros the Pelican walk past me in Mykonos as he is the Island's icon, seeing the iconic views over Santorini, taking a hop on, hop off bus tour of Rhodes, a horse and cart ride in Chania, Crete had me grinning like a mad woman, as did the Fridge Magnet Shop I found in the city. Then there was the beautiful sail in to Valetta, Malta that looks magnificent, and to top if all off my last day of the holiday proper I tool a trip down the Amalfi Coast. It was exhausting but the views will always stick with me and I now have a keen desire to return to all the towns visited.

You may think with a schedule that was as hectic as all that I wouldn't have a chance to read, well I did find some time.

Over 10 days I have managed to read 13 books which I was impressed by, as didn't think I would get that many in!

Amazon UK
Singles at Sea by Elaine Spires - 5 Stars

What a perfect book to start my cruise holiday reading off with, given its a story that takes in a singles holiday on a Norwegian Fjords cruise. As the fourth book in the series it was great to catch up with some of the recurring characters, as well as meet a whole new cast of holiday makers. This book could easily be read as a standalone, and it shows just how much mayhem can be fitted into a group holiday. It has made me even more convinced that I need to cruise the Fjords for myself as they sound brilliant.  There were some guests that I enjoyed the stories of more than others, but overall just loved this book completely and really want more from this fab series. 

Amazon UK
The Life You Left by Carmel Harrington - 5 Stars

This is a beautifully written story which I found completely believable. And this is despite the inclusion of a character who appears to have psychic abilities as that way the story was told, it just seemed normal, as did the character of Edward who really is rather special too.  I was almost in tears poolside as the book drew its conclusions and I was bereft at that it had to finish at all. An absolutely brilliant book by such an amazingly talented author. 

Amazon UK
The Cornish Guest House by Emma Burstall - 4.5 Stars

The only slight issue I had with this book was that I could predict roughly where the story was going. However despite that I thoroughly enjoyed the journey, and there are some fantastic characters. Tabitha is a hard character to gel with however as I got to read her back story I found myself really impressed with not only her, but the depth in the book. I found The Cornish Guest House to be oddly compulsive to read and although I remembered bits from the first book, it can easily be read as a standalone too. Really looking forward to starting book 3. 

Amazon UK
The Truth About You by Melissa Hill - 5 Stars

Thanks to the brilliant prologue I spent the entire book trying to second guess what would happen, and trying to work out just how it fitted into the stories being told. My mind must have come through many different possibilities while I was reading the story. There are 3 fantastic storylines in this book, with three women who all have one major thing in common. The mystery in the book also kept my attention, and I was thoroughly engrossed in reading this. 

Amazon UK
The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle - 5 Stars

This is laugh out loud level of funny. I found it to be a great journey of self discovery as Izzy has to say yes to one dare a month to try to improve her life. I loved the variety of the dares and what they tried to achieve, and really enjoyed watching how Izzy grew during the story. This is just a an all around fun book to read. 

Amazon UK
Killing Kate by Alex Lake - 5 Stars

Killing Kate kept me guessing right up to the end. It is an addictive read  that as it continued the tension was continually ramped up until we reach a simply stunning climax.  There is one incredibly creepy killer on the loose in this book, and as various things are finally revealed you realise just what a sick, calculating and twisted mind the author must have to come up with such a character! I completely lost track of time while I was reading this and I am looking forward to reading other books by the author. 

Amazon UK
Summer in Santorini by Holly Greene - 4.5 Stars

I read this while I was in Santorini for the day, and I could see just how accurate the descriptions of the island were. I loved all the Greek Food descriptions and found this to be a really sweet romantic novella. 

Amazon UK
Autumn in Crete by Holly Greene - 4 Stars

I read this the day before I was due in Crete and it really put in the right frame of mind for the island. It is a really easy and quick novella to read, with a sweet story that I did enjoy. 

Amazon UK
Hungry for Love by Lucy Beresford - 3 Stars

It took me a while to get used to Lucy Beresford's writing style and in fact work out who the characters were and what was really going on. About half way through it all clicked at which point I started to enjoy the book a bit more. There are plenty of mentions of food, in every chapter but I didn't feel hungry reading about it, as I think the descriptions were a bit lacking.  Although there were elements I did like, overall this book wasn't really for me,but I'm sure many others would enjoy it. 

Amazon UK
More than She Bargained For: The Prince's Waitress Wife / Powerful Greek, Unworldly Wife by Sarah Morgan - 5 Stars

There are two books in this compilations and although they both have a couple of elements in common, they are completely different stories. In the first book, there are hot and steamy sex scenes, and a relationship I was really rooting for. In the second book there was a mans' determination to keep his wife and some secrets were revealed. It was more about trust than the sex but still a fabulous read. This is what poolside holiday reading should be about, pure escapism! 

Amazon UK
The Lie of You by Jane Lythell - 4.5 Stars

Impressive debut novel from an author that I have started to really enjoy in her newer books. I loved seeing the two different view points Kathy and Heja. Kathy seemingly has a perfect life, yet Heja seems to have a massive grudge. Heja is a very intense character, and felt slightly creepy with it. Due to seeing both view points I knew what was going on at all times, but some of the explanations were very interesting and there is some great explanation for why Heja acts as she does. The tension really ramps up in this book, and its a story that grew on me continually as I was reading it. 

Amazon UK
Flings and Arrows by Debbie Viggiano - 4 Stars

I feel like Flings and Arrows would make a fantastic play, I could see it clearly on stage, as its so farcical in its nature that it would leave audiences rolling in the aisles. It is quite fun, but at times its hard to keep track of who thinks what about who, and just who is or isn't sleeping with who! For this is a classic book of misunderstandings, flirting, minor areas of police interest, through three generations of characters.  There is something in it for everyone and I found it a really fun book. 

Amazon UK
A Beginner's Guide to Salad by Jennifer Joyce - 4 Stars

Although at times I wanted to slap Ruth for some of the diets she was attempting and her motivation for trying to lose weight, I did really like Ruth as a character and enjoyed her housemates and also how she deals with her boss at work. She has a great support network and I loved Jared from the moment we meet him. The book is written from the focus of multiple characters and I think that works really well. There is just something about Ruth that you can't help loving, she had a horrible time of it at school but is still determined to go to her school reunion, which shows a lot of guts and leads to all sorts of questionable decisions.  I really enjoyed A Beginner's Guide to Salad, and I don't think I've ever written enjoy and salad in the same sentence before! 

So there it is all 13 books that I read over the past 10 days. Have you read any of them? Are you going anywhere on holiday this summer? What sorts of books do you like reading on your summer holidays? I would love to hear from you. 


  1. Welcome home, glad you had a great trip. Good luck with the move xxx


  2. Thanks for your review , Rachel. So glad you enjoyed Singles at Sea. Yes, you must cruise the Fjords. Everyone should! Good luck with your move! Xx


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