Fifty and Fabulous

The thoughts, loves, rants, interests & inspirations for Gen X


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Book Review – Single For The Summer by Mandy Baggot

Tabytha Reviews…

Single for the Summer by Mandy Baggot

 

Here’s the official blurb;

***The go-to book for the summer, from everyone’s favourite getaway Queen, Mandy Baggot!***

Tess Parks has made up her mind: love isn’t for her.

When it comes to dating she has one rule: after six weeks with a guy, she ends it. So when her heartbroken best friend invites her for a girly getaway in Corfu, Tess is sure she can stick to their pact to stay single for the summer.

But then she meets the gorgeous restaurateur Andras…

To keep his overbearing mother off his back, Tess agrees to pretend to date him. But as the two spend time together, Tess begins to realise that this fake relationship is starting to feel like the best one she’s ever had…

A feel-good escapist beach read set against a beautiful Greek island backdrop. From the award-winning author of Truly, Madly Greekly and Those Summer Nights.

 

I Read It: 4th – 5th August 2017

Which Format: Kindle

Approx Length: 432 pages

My Goodreads Rating:  5 Stars

Single for the Summer is a stand-alone, contemporary romance book, a real happily ever after chick-lit summer read.

So, what kept me reading?

I am already a fan of Ms Baggot’s writing style; I love how easy to read her stories are, the way she weaves her plots, her inclusion of popular culture references, the humour and banter that is ever present and how she creates her characters, making them feel so real. Single for the Summer did not disappoint.

In this book I have to say that I loved Sonya; what a great character! I found her intelligent, funny, kind and caring; she was a wonderful presence, a great supporting character and contrast to our leading lady, Tess.  Our leading man, Andras, is one Greek god of a specimen; hunky, funny, considerate and a loyal family man – be still my beating heart. Can’t talk about characters without mentioning Hector, the escapologist, I loved that tortoise! What a unique addition to the story. So c’mon Mandy, how did Hector keep escaping his pen?

I loved the many amazing, beautiful and engaging descriptions throughout this book of all things Greek; the countryside, the food, the people and the customs. I felt transported to Corfu.  Your love of the island permeates every page, Mandy.

I experienced many emotions while reading this story; I cried, I laughed, I rolled my eyes and I even growled a couple of times. Lol! In other words this contemporary romance is a real page turner – it kept me gripped.

 

So, were there any downsides?

Now, I must be honest and confess that I found it very difficult to like a couple of characters in this story; our main character, Tess Parks and Isadora, Andras’ mother.

To begin with, I couldn’t stand Tess. It took until I was about a third of the way into the book and we learned a little bit about her past to allow me to understand her behaviour somewhat.

I was also very shocked and frustrated with Isadora’s behaviour throughout this book; her actions towards Tess and Sonya were polar-opposite to the Greek/Corfiot hospitality that I’ve heard about. I’m not letting Marietta off the hook lightly either…

Having said that, I know that this reaction is probably exactly what Ms Baggot was looking for; obstacles to overcome, characters to evolve, hidden reasons to be revealed…

 

In a nutshell…

I stayed up past midnight to finish this book, couldn’t stop reading – loved it. Single for the Summer is a stand-alone, contemporary romance book with Ms Baggot’s signature happily ever after ending; it’s a story of friendship, relationships and family, a wonderful journey full of laughter, tears and, of course, lots of love. If you enjoyed the ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ films, this book will be right up your street.

 

Links to be helpful:

Visit MANDY BAGGOT’s own website

See SINGLE FOR THE SUMMER on Goodreads.com

Buy SINGLE FOR THE SUMMER on Amazon.co.uk


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Tabytha Reviews… “Truly, Madly Greekly” by Mandy Baggot

Read: August 2015
Format: Kindle
My Rating: 4 Stars

…So what’s this book about?
So, “Truly, Madly, Greekly” is a stand-alone, contemporary romance book, a real happily ever after chick-lit summer read.

The blurb says:

Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot

Sun, sea and a sexy stranger – a whole lot of fun just got a lot more complicated!

Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart…

Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist.

But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she?”

…So, what did I like about it?
I am already a fan of Mandy Baggot’s writing style; I find her books well written, easy to read with an engaging plot. This latest novel was no exception.
Although this story is set over a 7 day period, it didn’t ever feel rushed. It had a lovely gentle pace with various story aspects being revealed over time. I knew that the story would end happily (it’s a Mandy Baggot trademark!) but it did keep me guessing as to how it was going to get there.
This romantic tale did make me laugh, it also made me cry and the sexual anticipation between our main characters, Ellen and Yan certainly got me hot under the collar more times than I care to share with you here. 😉
I loved the effervescent, Dasha, in fact, all of the characters felt real to me and although I’ve never been to Corfu, Ms Baggot’s wonderful descriptive talents transported me there with easy!

…So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
Well, the only things that seemed to constantly grate on my nerves were the things that were meant to. For example; Ellen’s half-sister Lacey being such a self-centred, spoilt brat (what a child! *tut*), Ellen keeping all those secrets and not talking about what was on her mind (or in her heart), Yan was too much of a considerate gentleman 😉 although fellow employee Sergei was enough of a man-whore/gigolo for the both of them! lol! 😉 and, of course there was the constant badgering by the animation team at the hotel to get guest joining organised activities (eek! aren’t people allowed to just sit poolside and relax at this all-inclusive 5 star resort! I couldn’t think of a worse holiday!), but of course without all of these things, there wouldn’t be a story. Lol! So let’s add happily frustrated to the list of emotions that this book put me through. 😉

…So, basically what I’m saying is… Reading in hammock
Despite the “frustrations” I really liked this book! If you’re a fan of summer romance stories then I think you should buy this one. It’s a perfect read for those lazy days sat on a beach or by the pool while on holiday, although, I’m sure it could turn a drab, grey day into a little ray of sunshine too.

Mandy Baggot’s Website

Buy from Amazon UK

Faery Red Lily


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Book Review: Return to Bluebell Hill, by Rebecca Pugh

Another compelling review from the lovely Paris (that’s another book added to my Amazon wish list! Lol!)

Paris Baker's Book Nook

As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh’s sparkling debut novel.

Return to Bluebell Hill 04

Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of…

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Love Lies Bleeding by Meghan Ciana Doidge

…So what’s this story about?

Our main character is Pamela, a heartbroken woman whose fiancé, Grady, has just died. He was the love of her life and she wants to join him. We find out that Grady, unbeknownst to Pamela, was a spy and unfortunately both his employers and his enemies all think that he shared top secret information with her through, what they think are, coded e-mails.

So, instead of her planned suicide, Pamela is kidnapped by black ops agents, tortured by mobster warlords, hunted by a psychotic killer and chased by zombies!

The Blurb says:

This novella (approximately 28,000 words) is adapted from a screenplay written by the author. As such, it is best to let the story wash over you … like you would watch a movie.

WARNING: Love Lies Bleeding is a darkly comedic, bloody romance about love conquering all, even death. This is NOT a young adult novel. It contains graphic violence, nasty language, and more than a little bit of flesh eating. There are no soft kisses, soulful stares, or moonlit rainstorms.

 

…So, what did I like about it?

I loved this darkly comic love story and read it in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down! I felt comfortable with the easy writing style and descriptive language used. Pamela’s complete desolation was almost tangible but her indelible resolve to die on her terms gives her the strength that I look for in main characters. I found myself completely engaging with her story and enjoyed the many plot twists & turns; I laughed, I cried and I felt my pulse quicken during this unusual tale.

 

…So, was there anything that didn’t work?

To be honest, although I knew that this story had zombies in it, when I started reading I wasn’t sure how or why they would fit in. Without giving anything away, Ms Doidge nailed it! For me, anyway, it totally worked.

 

…So, basically what I’m saying is…

This book blew me away! Can’t believe more people haven’t read it. I feel that it was the “zombie” twist that lets this book dip it’s toes into the urban fantasy genre but that it is primarily a thriller with a contemporary romance feel. It has a brutal “True Romance”/”Reservoir Dogs” feel but with hints of the cornetto trilogy comedy about it (Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s trio of films; “Shaun of the Dead”, “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End”) which I love. This story is hard to pigeon-hole and even harder to forget.