Alice Archer has always faded into the background, and she's been pretty happy with it that way. She works hard, makes sure that she makes time for her dad and her not-so-nice sister Stella, and is generally a nice person to everyone she meets. So when her sister offers her a free holiday to the Greek island of Kethos for a week, Alice decides Stella's diva attitude can be put up with for a short week and jets off to the sunshine. There, she meets gardener Milo, who she befriends and falls in love with Kethos too. But all of a sudden, Alice realises men are finally starting to pay her attention - what is it that Alice has done to herself that has made her irresistible, and will she be able to make her feelings for Milo into anything that can work out for the pair of them?
This book has one of the most gorgeous and summery covers I have ever seen! It is just as beautiful in real life as it is on the computer screen, and it makes me want to be on a sunny balcony looking over an ocean just as blue as the one on here! The story is set on the Greek island of Kethos. Now, I've never been to Greece myself before but this book has certainly persuaded me that it might be a lovely place to go, it sounds very idyllic, and I'm just like Alice, in that I love to go exploring and soak up the culture, rather than just sit on the beach and get burnt! Connelly does write the island so vividly, you can picture everything in your mind as Alice is walking around and seeing the sights, especially the beautiful gardens at the Villa Argenti, they just sound stunning!
I really liked Alice, she was a great character, and as things got rather strange for her after talking to the Aphrodite statue, you can't help but like her even more for it, especially when things get a bit out of control! Now, I'll quickly mention that there's a bit of a magical element to this book and you have to kind of suspend your sensibilities for a minute when you're reading. Normally, that isn't my kind of thing but I really enjoyed it in this book and had no problem just taking it at face value and letting the story go on. Anyway, Alice is a bit cynical too and I think that helped for me. I also found her relationship with her father very touching to read, and this was one of my favourite parts of the story.
However, I have to confess I'm really not so keen on Alice's awful sister Stella. Normally in a book with a bad character, there is usually something a little bit redeeming about them somewhere along the line, but there really wasn't for Stella, and she was just so dislikeable. She was selfish, mean and just not a nice person in any way so while she made Alice look like an even better person, it's a shame there wasn't just one nice thing about her at all. Now to Milo. Well, he was a perfect leading man, handsome, hard-working, family oriented and just completely loveable - you can see why Alice was rather taken by him, and I enjoyed reading all about his gardening and how passionate he is about his family. I really enjoyed his parts of the story, even when Alice was not around, and he was certainly a favourite character of mine in the book.
I really enjoyed this book, and although I had a pretty good feeling how it was all going to end for these characters, I didn't mind when the ending came and it was what I had predicted it was going to be because the story it took to get there was so enjoyable to read. I find Connelly's writing really easy to read, and dip in and out of, and I think the fact I read this book in just one Saturday when Harry was away says a lot, I thoroughly enjoyed every page. It's got a beautiful setting that Connelly brings to life on the page, and I enjoyed that while the main story of course followed Alice and her escapades, every now and then there was a chapter dedicated to Milo and his life, which were really enjoyable to read for me. Connelly will certainly make you crave sunshine and a lovely holiday after reading this book, and I'm sure you'll wish you were there with Alice and Milo! A great book that I will definitely recommend for your summer reading pile.
ISBN: 978-1847562838. Published by Avon on 9th May 2013. Pages: 400. Also available as an eBook.
Thank you for reading, and to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitchloe.blogspot.com.