book review · chick-lit · Contemporary Romance · humour · NetGalley · relationships · women's fiction

Book Review – One Summer in Santorini

One Summer in Santorini

by Sandy Barker

There was something in the air that night. . .

Sarah has had enough of men. It’s time to rekindle her first true love – travel – so she books a sailing trip around the Greek islands with a group of strangers.

The very last thing Sarah wants is to meet someone new… But then a gorgeous American man boards her yacht and she knows she’s in trouble. And when she also encounters a handsome silver fox who promises her the world, she realises that trouble really does come in twos.

Will Sarah dive into a holiday fling, embark on a relationship, or stick to her plan – steer clear of men, continue her love affair with feta, and find her own way after all?

What others are saying …

The perfect holiday read to escape with this summer for fans of Annie Robertson’s My Mamma Mia Summer and Mandy Baggot’s One Last Greek Summer.

‘A summery romantic debut from a fresh voice in romantic fiction. Made me want to pack my bags for the Greek islands this instant!’ Phillipa Ashley, bestselling author of A Perfect Cornish Summer

‘A fun and flirty escapist read.’ Samantha Tonge, bestselling author of Knowing You

My Review …

A feast for the eyes with beautiful scenes of the Greek islands, a feast in general with plates of delicious Greek food, and lashings of sharp, witty humour to give you belly ache.

The story began well, with Sarah’s funny and relatable view of her break-up with Neil as told to her sister before she set off for her ‘get over it all’ jaunt around the Greek isles. On a whim she’d booked the trip – a ten-day break on a boat with strangers! And why not? After Neil, she deserved some ‘me’ time, and where better than halfway across the world, on a boat in the the middle of the ocean. If that’s not escapism, then I don’t know what is.

As we found out though, Sarah is not the luckiest of travellers – and this time was no different, losing her driver’s licence and wallet before the trip even began. Her bad luck jinx seemed to follow her everywhere, although spotting a cute American at the bus station, and then again on her bus … well, it took the edge off things. And, well, whaddya know he’s on the same trip too! Things were looking up. Or were they?

Her fellow passengers on the boat turned out to be the nicest bunch ever, restoring her faith in strangers and really helping her to relax and live in the moment. Even her roommate Hannah – a bit odd at first – became a trusted friend.

But it was her relationship with the cute American, Josh, that drove the story. She hadn’t planned on meeting anyone, let alone being as attracted to him as she clearly was. He, too, was on board just for the travel and the experience, having never left the US before, and he was most certainly not looking for love.

Despite both Sarah and Josh recognising the mutual attraction, there was a lot of ‘will they / won’t they’ going on, and this was exacerbated further with the arrival of James, aka the Silver Fox, an older, rich man who made no bones about being attracted to Sarah. She knew exactly where she stood with James; with Josh it was never totally clear, although there was a hint of jealousy when Josh realised he had a rival.

In between the ‘romance that could have been’, the group took in some amazing sights, ate some wonderful food and, as a result, bookings to Santorini will probably skyrocket as more readers learn of its beauty and that it has the best tomatoes in the world!

Saying goodbye was never going to be easy; Sarah had made some strong bonds with her fellow travellers. But as she headed back to London for a final week with her sister before flying home to Sydney, her dilemma was never more evident.

Josh, despite occasional signs to the contrary, seemed to just want a travel ‘bud’, whereas James was much keener and determined to meet up with her while she’s in London.

What’s a girl to do? She wanted a BIGGER life, but can she handle the options available to her? I guess we’ll find out in the next book. Looking forward to it already 🙂

I enjoyed this story, the imagery drew me in, the food made me drool, and the witty asides made me chuckle. I’ll definitely be back for seconds.

My thanks to Sandy Barker, Avon Books UK and Netgalley for a copy of this book. This review is all mine, and made of my own free will 😉

As always,

Africa · blog tour · book review · corruption · crime · thriller

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Teeth of Giants

The Teeth of Giants

by Gordon Wallis

In the brutal war on Elephant poaching in Africa one man takes a stand against a ruthless international ivory smuggling syndicate. A stand that almost costs him everything.

Jason Green never for one minute expected the appalling violence and horror he would endure when he returned to Africa to pay his respects to an old friend. 

A profound sense of guilt and nostalgia prompts London based ex soldier Jason Green to return to Africa for the funeral of an old friend killed in suspicious circumstances in The Zambezi Valley. He is about to be sucked into the murky and brutal underworld of the illegal ivory trade. Grave injury and a burning desire for revenge thrust Green from the blistering heat of The Zambezi Valley to the tropical coast of Mozambique and beyond. Every tortured step of this journey is fraught with extreme danger and the ever present threat of death. 

The Teeth Of Giants is the second novel by Gordon Wallis featuring his main character Jason Green. Readers of thrillers set in Africa will devour the frenetic pace and sheer brutality of this gritty crime thriller. 

Pick up The Teeth Of Giants today and prepare for the ride of your life.

Purchase Links:

UK –

US –

About the Author

Gordon Wallis is a 50 year old author based in Zimbabwe , Southern Africa. Born of British parents he has lived there all his life. A keen reader of thriller novels , particularly those set in Africa , he has travelled extensively in Africa , Europe , The Middle East and Asia. He runs a number of businesses in Zimbabwe and is single.

Social Media Links –

My review

This was the first book I’d read by Gordon Wallis and, despite it featuring the same character as his previous novel, I didn’t feel disadvantaged by not knowing the main character, Jason Green, prior to this story. If I were to sum this book up in one sentence, I’d say it was “exciting, fast-paced and hugely addictive, set against a stunning backdrop.”

The settings were so vividly drawn, I felt totally immersed in Jason’s world right from the tense investigation of the camp back in 1979; the putrid sewer he and Kriel were confined to in order not to get caught had me holding my nose and my breath.

When Kriel’s wife passed over the hard drive which inevitably cost her husband his life, then the anticipation of a fantastic – and horrific – adventure drew me in completely. Stunning wildlife settings painted a beautiful world, but one marred by the hunters and crooks who sought to kill elephants for their ivory tusks, or to massacre rhinos for their horns just to feed the demand from unscrupulous companies exporting their ‘wares’ to China.

It was clear from the start that Jason would pick up where Kriel had left off, not only delivering that report to Switzerland but by closing down the hunters and businesses by whatever means possible. So, you can see what I mean by exciting and fast-paced.

There were a few inconsistencies that caught my eye – I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to detail, it’s the editor in me 😦

The main one being that when Hannes Kriel died in the present day (by which I assume 2019), he was 51, yet he and Jason – whose age is not disclosed – were on a mission together back in 1979, forty years earlier. That slight glitch jumped out at me, but says more about me as a reader than anything because I just had to do the sums.

For me, the story was written in such a style that is not so common these days, with more telling than showing. That said, it didn’t spoil the story in any way. In fact, it was more gripping than many stories that ‘show’ too much at the expense of the story.

I often wondered – as did Jason – now and then, why he didn’t just take the hard drive home – or at least email / post it right at the beginning. He didn’t have to take on the battles he did, he could have let justice do its job – or was he saying he didn’t trust the system – in which case why bother with exposing the corruption at all? Although, I’m glad he didn’t do that, it would have been a very short, and dull, story had he done so. And, besides, I’d have missed the great drone experiences, where Jason captured so much of the evidence he added to Kriel’s report.

In all, this was a story of total adventure where real danger lies in exposing the utter greed of the few. There’s a very real message within these pages. If only there were more real-life Jason Greens to end this exploitation of Africa, which is driving so many great creatures into extinction.

Definitely an author whose books I’ll will seek out in the future.

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As always,