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Summer Loving - Allie Spencer

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2 Reviews

Genre: Fiction / Author: Allie Spencer / Paperback / 416 Pages / Book is published 2011-05-26 by Arrow

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    2 Reviews
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      21.07.2011 08:20
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      An Ideal holiday read

      This week I finally got up to date with my reading and finished reviewing the last of the books which had been sent to me so it was time for me to hit the shops for a spot of retail therapy and pick up a few books which I have been waiting to read. One of the books I have picked up is Allie Spencer Summer Loving. With this appalling summer us Brits seem to be having at the moment and my holiday still 6 months away I felt it was time to read something to give me the summer feeling!


      Plot
      There comes a point in a girl's life when she just needs to hang out with her girlfriends - preferably in Greece - so they can laugh, reminisce and perhaps indulge in a holiday romance or two. Beth has reached that point, and being a woman who likes to organise things, she arranges the holiday of her dreams for her and her three best friends. However, the bars, clubs and wild nights of their imaginings are a far cry from the slow, quiet pace of life on Liminaki. But if they thought that meant they were in for a peaceful time, they soon discover their mistake. For a start, Ginny drives everyone mad talking about her bleeping wedding. Anna falls hook, line and sinker for the waiter. Beth succumbs to the charms of a handsome sailor. And something is definitely Up with Kirsten. And then Beth's boyfriend turns up at a Very Bad Moment... surely things can't get any more complicated?

      My Opinion
      This is the first book I have read by Allie Spencer and what a great start it was for me. The story is set in Liminaki in Greece, which is a quiet village not quite what the ladies were expecting and although it was a shock to the ladies as this was not the holiday they were planning they gradually started to fall in love with the island and so did I and this is thanks for Allie's creative writing which described the idyllic scene of a perfect holiday destination. The way in which she describes Liminaki makes you feel as if you are there with the girls and makes you feel as if you really get to know the island. It was a similar style of writing to Belinda Jones. This gorgeous setting made a great base for a beautiful book.

      Our main character in this book is Beth who I found to be a very likeable character and it didn't take long to warm to her. Although I did love Beth my favourite female character in this book was Anna and I really wish we got to read more about her as she seemed like such a warm gentle and genuine character who never sees the bad in anyone. My one down point to this book is the character Ginny. I didn't like her from the moment she arrived in the book and I didn't enjoy any part of her in the book I don't think her presence was really needed in this little gem of a book. Allie got the male characters of this book spot on having both a true English gentle man and a gorgeous Greek piece of eye candy to keep us ladies entertained. I enjoyed both of their characters but I have to say that Bick the Greek guy had the slight edge for me as I always find Greek and Italian men a bit mysterious and charming!

      I found with this book rather than there being one main story line there were many different things going on as each of the girls seem to have their own problems going on which all come to light in the book. I did find that the book was predictable but this didn't ruin the book for me I still flowed along with the story.
      This is defiantly one to take on holiday with you as it really gets you in the holiday mood. You do get lost in the story which was a bit of a shock for me when I finished the book then looked out the window to see the rain and realised I am not in sunny Greece!! I would defiantly recommend this book and I eagerly await the next novel which I hope Allie has already made a start on!
      4/5

      Review also on my blog http://reabookreview.blogspot.com

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      • More +
        31.05.2011 16:33
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        Good summer read

        There comes a point in a girl's life when she just needs to hang out with her girlfriends - preferably in Greece - so they can laugh, reminisce and perhaps indulge in a holiday romance or two. Beth has reached that point, and being a woman who likes to organise things, she arranges the holiday of her dreams for her and her three best friends. However, the bars, clubs and wild nights of their imaginings are a far cry from the slow, quiet pace of life on Liminaki. But if they thought that meant they were in for a peaceful time, they soon discover their mistake. For a start, Ginny drives everyone mad talking about her bleeping wedding. Anna falls hook, line and sinker for the waiter. Beth succumbs to the charms of a handsome sailor. And something is definitely Up with Kirsten. And then Beth's boyfriend turns up at a Very Bad Moment... surely things can't get any more complicated?

        I'm a big fan of Allie Spencer, I thoroughly enjoyed her two Little Black Dress novels Tug of Love and The Not-So-Secret Diary of a City Girl so it's fair to say that I was incredibly happy when I saw Allie had scored herself a new deal with Arrow, an imprint of Random House, and that her novel Summer Loving would be released in 2011. Once I knew a copy was on its way to me, I was ecstatic and I was very eager to read it. It took a while to arrive - pesky postal system - but once it did I started it immediately. It took me a mere two days to finish, and for the most part I thoroughly enjoyed the novel.

        I love, love, love, love, love novels set in holiday destinations. Greece, Spain, Italy, I swallow them whole because I've only ever holidayed in Alicante in Spain, Tenerife in the Canary Islands and Florida in the USA. Summer Holiday is set in Liminaki in Greece, I've never heard of the island, but I like the idea of visiting Greece so the setting of the novel made me love the novel immediately. Spencer presents Liminaki is such a wonderful way, sure it doesn't have bars or a huge nightlife presence, but the slow pace of life and quiet of the island sounds wonderful. I've got no idea if it is an actual Greek island but if it is (and even if it isn't) Spencer has very much presented Greece in a very beautiful light. Usually book destinations are a secondary thing when I'm reading novels but I was really impressed by how detailed Liminaki was and it was definitely a massive part of the novel.

        Obviously the beautiful setting isn't all that the book is about and we follow four best friends throughout their two week holiday: Beth, Kirsten, Anna and Ginny. They're friends, have been for ages, but because they're dotted about all over the World they rarely have a chance to meet up so take the opportunity to holiday in Liminaki and re-establish their friendships with each other. I liked the plot of the novel and for the most part I thought it was presented very well but there were a few things I had an issue with. All of the girls have their own problems, but rather than sharing them the way regular friends would (if I had a problem, I would certainly discuss it with a friend), instead all four try to tackle their problems in secret. For me that was a bit false. Because surely you just don't do that? I couldn't understand Kirsten's hesitance to tell her best friend her troubles. I also thought the Ginny/Beth tension was horribly obvious. I knew precisely what had gone on there and it was very much as cliched as I expected it to be, sadly. But for the most part I was happy with how the plot went, how it panned out.

        Aside from a few minor niggles I found the characters to be delightful. Beth's irrational anger over the fact the guy she meets, Dan, used to work at the bank that killed her business aside, I liked Beth. She was very real, very likeable and as our leading lady it was probably a good thing I liked her so much. Anna was probably my second favourite character, I loved her sweet nature and the slow-burn romance she had with Nick, I would have loved if we could have seen their relationship develop through their eyes rather than Beth who narrates the story. Kirsten was a well-rounded character, although, again I question her need for secrecy. I never really found any love for Ginny; for the entire novel she was just a pain in the proverbial. I couldn't understand why three lovely people like Beth, Kirsten and Anna would be friends with someone like Ginny. As for the male characters, I fell head over heels for both Dan and Nick. I think Nick probably edges it for me, though! He was just so wonderful and dreamy (believe me, I am the type of person who doesn't use the word 'dreamy').

        I must say, I didn't think Summer Loving was as well written as the other two novels Allie has had published. For starters (and yes, pernickety Leah is alive and kicking right now) there is an absolute deluge of colons in the novel. There are colons where there should be commas or full stops and it took all of my wills not to get a marker pen and smudge them out. Truly, if someone who edited this novel looked through it now and counted up the colons they would cry into their manuscripts. I know I'm picky, and I'm going to resist to point out the editing errors I noticed, for fear of you all hating me (I can't help it! Honest!). Despite my pernickety-ness I did thoroughly enjoy the book. I really and truly hope that Allie is busy writing a new novel that will be out next year, because she is so good at writing an easy holiday read that manages to have it all. Romance, relationships, friendships and, best of all, a sunny destination! I'd definitely suggest packing this one in your suitcase this summer or sitting in the back garden with it on a sunny afternoon, it will transport you all the way to Liminaki and you'll feel as though you've had a holiday yourself once you've finished!

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