Hello bookworm, it’s lovely to see you again! Please excuse the sand on the floor; I took a well earned break from my usual duties and, with the help of the Travel Books, visited many beautiful places. A benefit of being a Keeper of Books in a mystical library is I get to travel to far flung destinations without jet lag or queues, but no matter what I try, I somehow still end up bringing back sand in my suitcase…
Speaking of beautiful places for holidays, have you heard about Aegean Sun: The Kafenion by Stephanie Wood? Here, sit down on this deckchair (smuggled in my suitcase, don’t tell anyone) with a cup of Greek coffee and baklava while I tell you all about it.
Firstly, here’s the blurb: The Kafenion has much more to offer than just coffee and cake!
The Kafenion is undergoing its regular seasonal change from traditional coffee shop and local hangout to summertime hotspot for the massive influx of tourists who visit the Greek island each year.
The furniture has been updated, the new signs for more specific coffee types have been installed, the basic cookies have been replaced with a tempting range of cakes and desserts and a fresh coat of paint has added an optimistic glow to the place, which always attracts the many visitors who are looking for a treat.
Jane has been working on the island for a few years and finds a job in the kafenion for her friend Helen, who is hoping for some fun and romance during the summer.
Xenon and Kyriakos both make regular deliveries of fresh produce to the kafenion and they find other reasons to want to visit when Jane and Helen are around, but are they both interested in the same girl?
Georgina discovers the kafenion while searching for information from her mother’s past, but does Pericles have all the answers or will he just cause more confusion?
Visit the kafenion during a Greek summer season to see how the staff and their regulars navigate their way through complex working and romantic relationships.
This is the eleventh book of standalone reads in the Aegean Sun series.
Ideal for fans of contemporary romance writers Sandy Barker, Kate Frost and Jo Thomas.
Here’s a little about the author: Stephanie Wood writes contemporary fiction in the form of novels, novellas and short stories and you can find the running order of her titles on the ‘look inside’ of any book.
She published the AEGEAN SUN series of books as a fly-on-the-wall vision of life in a Greek resort during the summer season, using her extensive experience as a holiday rep to bring some unusual incidents to life on the page. The series began as an exploration of the various ways in which tourists make the most of their holidays and how they interact with the locals while they are visiting. The later books in the series have taken a closer look at the locals themselves and show how their lives and relationships are sometimes changed by the regular influx of seasonal visitors.
Stephanie lives in Lancashire where, apart from reading and writing, she loves gardening and cycling and is a huge fan of the soaps Emmerdale and Neighbours.
If you would like to sign up to her newsletter (with around four messages per year) you can do so on the contact page of her website http://www.stephaniewood.co.uk and, as a thank you, will receive the free short story THE ZIA SUNSET EXCURSION.
Now, here’s my review: This was a great read for the long bank holiday weekend as I didn’t have to concentrate on confusing twists and turns but was able to drift leisurely through the story as the various plot lines unfolded. The hardest part of reading this was the yearning I felt to travel abroad and immerse myself in another culture but the author created such a vibrant picture of the setting that I could imagine I was there. The descriptions of the local sweet delicacies had my mouth watering but my attempt at making Greek coffee without a brika (or authentic Greek coffee grounds for that matter) most definitely didn’t!
I generally liked the main protagonists Helen and Georgina although I rolled my eyes a few times when Helen was jealous of one of her friends yet again. But that’s somewhat realistic I guess, since nobody thinks pure, kind thoughts all the time. I wanted to shake Georgina to help her see the truth standing right in front of her during her journey of discovery but I’m glad she got there in the end!
Maria and Costas were an interesting couple. I don’t know much about Greek culture in terms of men’s behaviour in a marriage but I disliked his attitude towards women and felt a little frustrated that Maria accepted his lothario ways with little in the way of consequences.
The book is described as one of a series of standalones and I agree with that description to an extent. I think it would be interesting to read them in order to follow the various characters and see them presumably featured more heavily in some and having minor roles in others as their character arcs flow through the series.
All in all, I’d say this is a mellow read, ideal to relax in the garden with, although I’m keeping my fingers crossed we can lie on a beach somewhere with this series before too long! 3.5 / 5 stars from me.
If you are interested in buying this book for yourself, just click on the book image above to go to the relevant page on Amazon. I don’t receive anything for providing the purchase or author website links, I’m just being a helpful bookworm. Thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel’s Random Resources for the gifted digital copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.
Well, bookworm, I’d better go and inspect the book shelves to make sure the Genres have all behaved for the substitute Keeper of Books while I was gone. I have a sneaky suspicion they may have been up to no good, swapping dust jackets and snuggling up with other Genres after dark, so it’s time I restored order. Until next time, bookworm, farewell!