Cover Image: One Summer in Santorini

One Summer in Santorini

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

3.5 stars 
A light and funny at times read, with a perfect description of wonderful Greece islands and the tasty Mediterranean food.
Taking a break from her actual life, the heroine goes on a trip where she hopes for a change, a twist in her life. She will have her wish come true as she will meet not only one but two men interested in a romantic relationship with her.
The writing was good, the characters reliable but what i didn't really like was the banter and some repetition of the same questions/dialogue from either the main characters or the secondary ones. 
There's also the what if/ will they do this or will they do that questions that made me take a step back from the book because i just lost interest although i really wanted to love more this story.
Was this review helpful?
I love a book that can whisk me off to a glorious, sun filled destination and Sandy Barker didn’t let me down. 
One Summer in Santorini is a fun story with relationships and friendships at its heart as well as embracing the culture and surroundings of wherever you may roam.  I felt like I’ve been on adventure; Santorini is like a dream destination of mine so getting to hear these well written, idyllic descriptions were fantastic. 
Sarah is our leading lady; she is strong and independent and realising she lost a bit of herself within her last relationship she seizes the opportunity to travel again and chooses this 10 day yacht adventure to find herself again. 

It took me a little while to get used to Sarah, I can’t put my finger on why… I liked her but I thought she was going to be hard work – I’m glad I wrong, she turns out to be smart, kind and caring, considerate and a wonderful friend to those around her. 
She meets and is attracted to a fellow passenger, he is different, younger and her feelings seem pretty instant, she does try to fight them, but I was urging her on. I thought it was a perfect coupling from the start, definitely what she needed. I can appreciate the temptation with the silver fox, but I wasn’t rooting for him at all. He isn’t what she should have been looking for in my opinion. 
I loved the beautiful cast of characters, some very quirky, temperamental and I feel I would have loved to explore their stories a little more too. For example, what was Patricia all about, what happened next with her etc?
Sandys passion for Santorini and travelling is abundantly clear and is a real pleasure to read.  I laughed, I ‘arghed’ and I enjoyed. It’s a great read for the summer.
Was this review helpful?
UGHHHHHH. I love books set on vessels. I love books that involve travel–ESPECIALLY to other countries. Greece!! I love when all these things come with a huge side of romance. I expected to LOVE this. I did not expect to find the kind of disappointment I did in this book. 

1. Where do I even begin? I really disliked Sarah. She went on this trip hoping to avoid men at all costs. Did she? No. And instead of owning it and just being with men anyway (nobody would blame her), she just used her I-don’t-want-men-right-now mindset to justify her leading on one guy while leading on another guy and not really caring about the feelings of either one of them. She’s also very dull and boring and lacks personality. I kept forgetting her name.

2. The love interest is an American boy named Josh (I legit just had to check Goodreads to make sure that’s his name, so score one for me), but simply calling him an American doesn’t make him an American. He needs to sound like an American. Josh said things that sounded so non-American. For example, he said “Don’t poke your tongue out at me.” We don’t say that here! We say “Don’t stick your tongue out at me.” There were more non-American things he said, but you get the picture. He was also a snoozefest. I don’t have any clue what he does or who he is. And I’m pretty sure we are never told what he looks like. So I pictured a Ken doll because what else was I going to do?

3. The dialogue was pretty awful and made me want to scratch my eyes out. I like dialogue, but only if it’s interesting. I was beyond bored. Josh and Sarah in particular didn’t talk about anything interesting. I read this on my Kindle with the default font size, and these two doorknobs talked about how much they liked a movie for roughly 5 pages. FIVE PAGES. I did so much skimming to try and slog my through what felt like a very fly-on-the-wall kind of experience throughout the entire book. I felt like I was trapped in a room with two of the dullest people.

4. Every single day was the same. There was so much repetition. The characters wake up, they make toast, they eat breakfast as a group, they say “wow, nice view”, they disembark the boat and go explore various towns. Or they stay on the boat to talk because that’s all they do and who needs cute Greek towns when you can be boring instead? But these towns were all the same. Every town looked the same. I don’t even know why they got off the boat! It seemed like they just kept visiting the same place over and over again because nothing noteworthy was ever said about any of them. They shopped. They looked at the view. They ate food in some cafe or restaurant. But it was all the same food. I kept seeing the same Greek foods mentioned over and over again. Everything they ate was SO GOOD. There was so much horiatiki and it was all SO GOOD. It’s just salad, people! Talk about something else! Oh, and they would not shut up about the AMAZING tomatoes. They’re tomatoes. Move on.

5. The characters also had the same conversations over and over again. “Are you and Josh a thing? Did you sleep together? Did you sleep well? Are you ok? Are you drunk? This travel group is like family!” On and on and on.

6. This is seriously the most boring group of people. Some of them were very sweet and most were completely unremarkable. I’ve already forgotten all of them. They did nothing. They sat around the boat talking about boring stuff. Or they read. They didn’t go swimming off the boat or play games or do anything. They just sat. And talked. About boring things. At one point some dolphins swam in the boat’s wake, and it was seriously the most exciting part of the book for me.

7. The romance just bugged me. I’m fine with the age different between Josh and Sarah (I believe she’s 8-10 years older than he is), but it was brought up so much that I felt like I was supposed to be uncomfortable. And they kept saying they were just friends because neither one wanted to be in a relationship, but then they kept doing very relationshippy things like kissing and cuddling and getting jealous when the other noticed another member of the opposite sex. And it was all so insta-something. How do you look at a guy and decide he’s going to be your best friend by the end of the trip before you’ve even talked to him? And then it happened. It was all so formulaic and easy. And I really hate these two, whether what they have is a relationship or friendship. I just don’t like them. To go from “we’re just the best friends ever” to planning out their sexcapades and never shutting up about all the sex they want to have just… it just didn’t work for me! They felt too brother/sister to me at that point. I cringed a lot.

8. So what kept me reading? Well, there’s this older guy, James, that Sarah meets before the trip who is very drawn to her in a creepy “I’m going to kidnap you and hide you in a secret room in my fancy mansion” kind of way. He puts a little pep in her step because he’s a sexy and serious older man who strokes her ego and makes her feel alive, but she blows him off. But then they cross paths again and he was too smooth for comfort. I wanted to see if she picked our non-American American or our probable “import/export, a little of this, a little of that” creepily mysterious silver fox, so I kept going. I’m all about the drama.

9. Worst ending ever. We are left with all the loose, frayed ends just flapping around in the breeze. The book just ended. There was no climax, no resolution, no information. Just done. There’s no sequel, and I honestly don’t care enough to read one if there is one someday. But to put me through 400 pages of boredom only to leave me hanging just makes me mad. This book wasn’t worth my time.

10. There were some pretty scenery descriptions in the beginning that I liked (and they gave me high hopes for a wonderful trip to Greece), but they were used so many times that by the end I was begging to get off that boat.

Bottom line, I’m mad. lol. Maybe Josh’s non-American speak was fixed by an editor in the finished copy, but I highly doubt any of the rest of this was fixed because it’d have to be a completely different book. I’m so disappointed! One Summer In Santorini had all the makings of a very Jana book, but nope. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
As a self proclaimed grecophile I do love a book set in Greece especially at this time of year when thinking about what books to read in the summer sun. And what drew me to this one straight away was that Santorini was in the title and it’s one of the very few Greek islands that I’ve never actually been to despite a long time desire to visit. Sadly though, not all of the book is set on Santorini as Sarah is actually in Greece for a cruise around the islands nearby but from what I did read, Santorini is still a bucket list holiday destination for me.

The first thing I want to say about this book is DO NOT READ IT IF YOU ARE FEELING HUNGRY because the descriptions of the Greek food are mouth-wateringly delicious! I could practically taste the fresh, juicy tomatoes and feel the crumbly, salty feta melt on my tongue as Sandy Barker delivered a masterclass in Greek eating that made me miss the wonderful salads that I live on whilst on holiday there! I really wanted to just jump on a plane and leave the rainy UK behind for the beautiful Greek beaches and more olives than I could shake an olive wood stick at!!!

Sarah wasn’t the easiest of characters to warm to, to be fair but I became more fond of her as the book progressed. And I really wasn’t sure which of the 2 gorgeous men that she came into contact with I really wanted her to have her happy ever after with!! A younger American tourist on his first trip away from home and a sexy, silver fox couldn’t be further away from each other in looks and personality but both had their charms!!

This was a fun, romantic comedy with the most perfect setting! A cast of other crazy characters kept things interesting so that I was never quite sure how the book was going to end and I have to say, it was rather a surprise denouement for me!! But it has definitely left me wanting to read more by Sandy Barker in the future!
Was this review helpful?
Loved this book! Greece is on my bucket list and the way the author described the scenery I felt like I was the Result! Cute story!
Was this review helpful?
Singleton Sarah decides to indulge her love of travel with a sailing trip around the Greek islands amongst a group of strangers - an effort to remove herself from men in general but also do something for herself.  A sunny, romantic, flirty adventure follows against a beautiful backdrop making for an entertainingly escapist read. Enjoyable holiday read from your reading nook or otherwise.
Was this review helpful?
Sarah is in need of a holiday after breaking up with her boyfriend. So she heads to Europe from Australia to get away from her life as it is. She spends her first night in Europe with her sister in London before heading to Greece to have an adventure on a boat touring around the Greek islands.

Sarah wanted a break from men but that is not what happens as she gains attention from two men on this trip. But who will she choose?

Barker's book is perfect escapist summer fiction. A book that is easy to read and while away the hours as you are transported to the magical Greek islands and the heavenly food.
Was this review helpful?
This was an incredibly easy to read book, great fun with a vivacious protagonist. 
The setting was dreamy and the thoughts of a Greek island fill me with a yearning of my younger carefree days. We should all do it!  You can't help but like Sara and root for her with her adventures.  

Perfect for your holiday read. 

Thanks to Netgalley, Sandy Baker and Avon Books .
Was this review helpful?
First of all, I would just like to say that Sarah was an absolute inspiration to me throughout this book, with her constant drive to travel the world by herself. It’s something I’ve always wanted the courage for and this year I’ve had a good talk with myself to pop this bubble I’m stuck in, step out of my comfort zone and just go for it, whether it be on my own or with someone by my side. So, thank you Sandy for helping give me that push. 

Sarah is a likeable character from start to finish, with her fun and charismatic personality, you can totally see why pretty much every character fell in love with her after meeting. She brings so much life to the people around her and as cheesy as it sounds, she is sure to be the type of person who brightens up a room the moment she walks in. 

Everybody on the boat trip with Sarah were also unique individuals and they all worked together so well, eventually becoming a family. I loved hearing everyone’s life stories and watching them use this trip in Greece to somewhat better themselves and look at the world from other perspectives. 

Ah, Greece. Remind me to add this gorgeous location to my bucket list! Sandy literally sweeps you up in to a world of exotic places swarming with architecture, filled with the most delicious of foods – you feel like you’re right there on that boat and islands with Sarah, chilling and loving life. 

Now, let’s get to the nitty gritty part of the book where we join Sarah on her journey to choosing the man most right for her. Even still, I am torn between who Sarah should choose to be with, but I hope that she found a way to keep both of them in her life, romantically or not. I would definitely say I lean more towards Josh, as we spent the most time with him. James, I would say, is a safe option, but wouldn’t provide Sarah with the spontaneous adventure she needs. I’m torn!

An absolutely magical, fun and flirty read filled with adventure and excitement – perfect for the glorious sunshine we have at the moment.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun read. Light and beach.   I can see this book being !are i to a movie.   If this is truly how the author met her partner, how wonderful!!
Was this review helpful?
A quick easy summer read. Girl is hurt and mad with her ex-boyfriend. Goes on a cruize to the Greek Islands, and finds not one but two gorgeous men. One is a young American the other is an older wealthy man. Decisions, decisions. A good story, but a little dry at times, and was easy to skim. Would recommend as an easy take along.
Was this review helpful?
If you’re ever looking for a book to help escape your own life then look no further, because Barker truly made me feel like I was in Greece myself! This was pure fun, and the ideal read for this time of year, if you aren’t taking a vacation yourself this is the next best thing.

Sarah is the kind of character that I liked right away, she’s fun and has a fantastic sense of humor and is easily the type of friend I would like to have myself. Besides a fabulous protagonist her boat family was also an endearing bunch as well. Then on top of all that she finds herself in a bit of a love triangle which is always fun and interesting. There’s Josh, a younger man who also happens to be a passenger on the boat and then there’s also James, an older and more established gentleman. Both men are charming in their own way and she’s facing a pretty tough choice, but it was highly entertaining to watch her flirt with them and try and decide what she really wanted.

Definitely recommended by me, as I said before it has an amazing setting that will sweep you away to an exotic place, it has plenty of romance and is also infused with humor and friendship, what more could a girl want?! Another book about Sarah if you’re me, because this ended on a cliffhanger and I need to know what will happen next!!

One Summer in Santorini in three words: Picturesque, Fun and Cute
Was this review helpful?
Okay my two biggest bucket list trips are to Italy and Greece so I always love reading stories set in either country. 

This story of Sarah going on a dream trip after a horrible break up, declaring she will be single forever when she bumps into the American boy, Josh, who ends up on the same sailing boat she is booked on. 

This story is laugh out loud funny at many parts which I really loved but it also makes you stop and appreciate simple things in life like a good tomato, a beautiful sunrise or the happiness new friends can bring to your life.  

The book just flowed from one page to the next! A perfect summer read and the details of the Greek islands make your mouth water for a fabulous trip in the Mediterranean!
Was this review helpful?
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 ;)
Was this review helpful?
Fabulous summer read, really enjoyed this book and there were times when it made me laugh out loud. Would definitely recommend
Was this review helpful?
This was a fantastic summer beach/pool read. The setting, the all made for a magical, light hearted story.
Was this review helpful?
Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
Was this review helpful?
Firstly i am so excited about being on this tour! One Summer In Santorini is so a bit of me!

Santorini is somewhere i have wanted to visit desperately especially over the last year or so, its just so - oh well, you can see. So what better solution that  book visit. 

Sarah has had enough with men, she hasn't being herself for a long time, not since her ex took that away from her, she used to travel, be vibrant, explore the world and enjoy the sites and sounds so she books a trip. A sailing trip around the Greek islands with a bunch of strangers should help bring peace to her soul.

What Sarah did not anticipate was finding a man, well - not just one but two. Firstly the cute american boy - who is sweet, makes her smile, understands her and wants to experience life on the same wavelength. Then there is the millionaire, the silver fox, who wants the finer things in life. Sarah - who had no intention of meeting anyone then meets two wonderful men, throw in some friends that become family and you have a delightful read.

So, whilst Sarah is battling with herself we take a tour or the Greek islands and sample all the places have to offer, we see the sights, we sample the food. Let me tell you this book has me craving Greek salad, i want ripe tomatoes & feta. Gosh i want warm pita and tzatziki, oh i want slow cooked lamb and even the awful wine.

This book was a perfect antidote to a miserable day, it fed my soul with food, sights and travel. Sandy has a way of writing that puts you in the location, i have always said i loved good food description and this was up there in terms of that. The characters were all likeable and relatable, all experiencing their own journey.
Was this review helpful?
It is that time of year when thoughts turn to the perfect sunbed by a pool or failing that a nice comfy deckchair in a sunny park or garden. It is summer-time and as we slap on the factor 30 sun cream we can dream about an idyllic sunshine holiday in the mediterranean or something similar. 

Aussie Sarah has had enough of men. Having recently emerged from a disastrous relationship with a cheating ex she has sworn off getting involved with anyone. She used to be quite adventurous before the ex destroyed her confidence so she decides that the perfect cure is a ten day trip sailing around the Greek islands with a crew of complete strangers. 

Of course before she even sets foot on the yacht she falls in lust with a young American tourist on the bus in Santorini. Josh is a fun distraction that she is desperate to keep at arms length so that she doesn't alienate the other people on the trip. Before long Sarah finds herself with a dilemma as the wealthy and gorgeous Silver Fox begins vying for her affections as well. Decisions, decisions... 

Barker does a great job of transporting you straight into a vista of white washed buildings, azure blue seas and golden sandy beaches in baking sunshine with the added extra of the most amazing food. Bliss! Honestly you'll be craving feta and Greek salads after reading this book. It's a fun debut read and even more intriguing when you read the author's notes at the end. 

One Summer in Santorini is a must have book for this years summer holiday - even if you're not actually going away you'll feel like you have after this little romp around the islands. Plus it has a book cover to die for - the perfect book to leave on your sun lounger by the pool! 

Supplied by Net Galley and Avon Books UK in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
“One Summer in Santorini” follows Sarah, a somewhat newly single, mid-30’s woman from Australia as she embarks on a ten day sailing trip through Greece with a group of seven strangers. Inspiring by the author’s own life, the strangers on the boat quickly become friends, and then family, and one man in particular becomes a bit more. This book is the definition of a simple and effortless beach read. A picturesque Greece backdrop, boating, and plenty of shared food and drinks with friends and lovers fill the novel. It was an easy read, perfect for a summer day while relaxing. I requested to read this book because going to Greece would be a dream vacation, and of course reading it made me want to go even more. It’s a cute book and I’d recommend if you just want something light and fun to read!

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?