Review By Veronica

Reading Summer at the Santorini Bookshop is like being wrapped in the coziest of blankets.

Favourite Quote:

It’s sort of entrancing watching him slip between the two languages effortlessly. Why is Gran not using English? Perhaps she’s trying to fit in, be respectful learning the local language. There’s something about the guy that is so familiar and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Ah! Got it. Georgios is the epitome of tall, dark and handsome, with his symmetrical sun-kissed features and athletic physique. 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

After losing her job as a book scout, hopeless romantic Evie needs a fresh start. So when she hears that her eccentric grandmother has just taken on a small bookshop in Santorini, Evie jumps at the chance to visit her.

But life on the island is not as idyllic as it first seems. Gran has a tempestuous relationship with her landlord and he’s threatening to take the bookshop away from her. So when Gran asks Evie to fake date her landlord’s Greek God of a grandson, Georgios, to keep the family on side, she reluctantly agrees.

As the sun sets on Evie’s Greek holiday, can she save the bookshop – and fake date her way to love?

It’s no secret that I am a HUGE fan of Rebecca Raisin’s books. She is one of my insta-buy authors. Her books are always the perfect pick-me-up reads, and this book is no exception. This story charmed my socks off. I found myself falling fast and hard for this book. So what makes this book so damn wonderful. First is the setting. Santorini is a magical, breathtaking island and the perfect location for a romance story. Rebecca perfectly captured the island’s beauty with lush and vivid descriptions. All the people, culture, and food came to life in this story, and I felt like I was back on this island. I might have also been checking out vacation packages to Santorini because I wanted to return to this so much after reading this book. We also got to spend time in a bookshop that just sang to my soul. I could visualize this bookshop, with all its gorgeous colours, the bright sun shining through the windows, and all the pups running around. It was paradise.

The character that stole the spotlight in this book was Gran. She is delightful, spunky, and just so full of life. I adored everything about her. In this book, she is married to husband number nine, who is MIA in this story. I LOVED hearing all the stories of how her past husbands tragically and bizarrely died. I could sit down all day and listen to her stories. She has lived such an interesting life. Her character was unpredictable. You had no idea what she was going to do or say. It made for such a fun reading experience. The rest of the characters added charm and humour to the story. Everything just worked beautifully together. All the quirky dogs that Gran had adopted were utterly delightful. They added that charming comic relief to the story.

Evie is a bookworm and prefers to spend her time with books rather than people. She hates being in crowds and really underestimates her self-worth at times. Bookworms will connect with Evie’s character and her passion for the written word. She is a fan of romances, and all of the reasons why she loves romance books are the same reasons why I love this genre. I connected with her so easily. Evie’s growth in this book happens in two ways. One is learning to put herself out there and realizing that she can interact with people and even host a large book event. The other way she grows is through her relationship with Georgios. Both MCs are introverted bookworms who hide away from their emotions. It takes some not-so-subtle nudging from Gran to get these two to be brave enough to open up their hearts to one another.

The overall story has this fun, charming vibe to it. It’s an incredibly easy book to read. I had to stop myself a couple of times because I didn’t want to read this book too fast because that would mean it would be over too quickly. There are lots of funny moments, usually centred around Gran or the pups. But Evie also can get herself into a pickle sometimes, and she has this wonderful tendency to overthink things. Basically, she thinks everything is going to either kill her or cause her bodily harm. She reminds me of Rosie (from Rosie’s Travelling Tea Shop). Even though there are a lot of fluff and light moments in this book, there are still some deeper, quiet moments where these connections between the characters really shine, especially between Evie and her Gran.

The romance is very sweet. The love story between Georgios and Evie is a lovely blend of fake dating and forced proximity. It also has this “don’t judge a book by its cover” feel to it. Evie is instantly attracted to Georgios and thinks he is this Greek god who might also be a womanizer because of his looks. But she realizes that even though Georgios is drop-dead gorgeous, he is incredibly shy and doesn’t know how to interact with women romantically. It’s adorable. I loved these two. Their love for books really draws them together. It was incredibly heartwarming watching these two open up with each other and share their dreams and fears.

Summer at the Santorini Bookshop is Rebecca Raisin at her best. This book is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Thank you, HQ and Rachel Random Resources, for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.