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Romance novel set on Santorini, Greece

14th October 2016

Santorini Sunsets by Anita Hughes, romance novel set on Santorini, Greece.

Anita Hughes is very good at bringing a romantic world to life where men are men and women are indulged and cosseted – a touch of 1950s glamour, set in present day, where cocktails and fashion are integral to the high flying society she brings to life in her novels. There is sumptuous food of the locality, robes galore and handsome men to keep your interest as she sets her story against a beautiful backdrop.

romance novel set on santorini

In this book she has turned to the wonderful island of Santorini. Brigit Palmer has arrived to get married a few days hence to Hollywood heartthrob Blake Crawford, such an eligible young man. Staying in several villas dotted around the island, the wedding party enjoys stunning sunsets, picnics, boat trips and more in the build up to the nuptials.

The two important men in Brigit’s life, Blake and her father Francis are philanthropists, both hope to make the world a better place, and she too is on the point of moving from her job as a successful lawyer in the city (New York) to something that is more worthwhile. But the big question for her is: what exactly is the relationship between these two men? Some new discoveries certainly unsettle the bride-to-be and she flees to a cafe to nibble at food and regain her equilibrium.

Meanwhile who should turn up, but Brigit’s ex-husband, writer Nathaniel, who is working for Hello Magazine, together with handsome Olivier, his photographer. Nathaniel is there in his professional capacity at the behest of groom Blake, which really puts a fly in the ointment. Blake is selling the story and pictures of their wedding, the money going to good causes, but does it really have to be Brigit’s ex husband as master of photographic ceremonies? There are strands of other backstories that come to wobble a number of the party guests, which cause flux and upset and lead to a twist at the end. The ending was a little too smooth and “easy” for my taste…

This is a readable novel that transported me to this beautiful island, from Oia (interestingly the highest village in Santorini) to Therasia Island, Fira and Athinios, all whilst sampling the wonderful Greek food through vivid descriptions…eggplant moussaka, zucchini and grilled squid – it is a surprise that the characters aren’t all overweight, I would certainly pile on the pounds with this mouth-watering array of delicacies over a couple of days. Sunsets (as in the title), gleaming white buildings, diamond glinting sea, it’s all there for a trip to Santorini via fiction. Even the fabulous Hotel Katikies (which exists in real life)  and the “best” tavern on the island, the Sirtaki Tavern both get a look-in.

In Anita’s previous novels I have felt that her writing is rather let down by the editing team behind her work and it is still to some extent the case in this new novel Santorini Sunsets. Yes, some typos, but I could have screamed at the number of times that Francis’s hair is described as “salt-and-pepper” (surely some of these needed editing out?). Small details proved a little irksome, the British do not eat candy (they eat sweets); the Australians would probably laugh long and loudly at anyone who suggests that they are Marmite eaters (it’s Vegemite for the Antipodeans – it’s similar but culturally like chalk and cheese) and the British do not call Kate (as in William and Kate) Princess Kate, it is still colloquially Kate Middleton and she is in fact a Duchess. Edit out these idiosyncrasies and the book certainly passes muster and makes for a very pleasant and relaxing read, perfect by the pool in Santorini – or at home by the fire to savour the sun of Santorini through fiction.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

Over to travel company Not Just Travel who share some top tips for a visit to SANTORINI:

Santorini; a destination that is growing in popularity amongst holidaymakers and travel enthusiasts. But why is this? Are people drawn to the Greek island’s gorgeous, traditional backdrop, stunning sunsets or the infinity pools-a-plenty that have taken Pinterest by storm?

A vast majority of tourists tend to remain predominantly by the beaches of Santorini; enjoying the white sands and tranquil, turquoise waters – but is this really the best way to witness the distinctiveness and true beauty of this historical island?

There are two types of travellers in the world; those who stay within their complex and those who respond to their wanderlust callings and explore at any given opportunity. When it comes to your holiday in Santorini, you’ll be kicking yourself if you spend your entire trip on a sunbed; as magnificent as the beaches are, they do not represent the true beauty of the island or its culture.

Here are the top experiences you need to witness for yourself if and when you visit the beautiful island of Santorini:

Experience the stunning scenery on the hike from Fira to Oia: Having been transported to Santorini through Anita Hughes’s words, you’d want to experience what is deemed to be the most scenic hike in Santorini. Taking approximately 3 hours to complete, you’re able to capture the picturesque and Caldera landscape at it’s best.

Descend the 300 steps from Oia to Amoudi Bay: 300 steps is a long way down, can you imagine the view from the top? You’ll be greeted by ocean stretching for miles and the volcanic surroundings, with a stretch of taverns and pubs galore as an incentive to reach the bottom.

Let your toes be nibbled: It’s the ultimate fish pedicure! When you’re roaming the streets of Fira, find the time to stop by a fish spa. Don’t let the thought of Garra Rufa fish sucking away at your toes put you off, it’s actually incredibly relaxing and makes your feet beach ready in a matter of minutes!

Try White Eggplant: Known as a rare creation from Santorini soil, travel is all about experiencing different cultures and different cuisines; you’ll find dishes with white eggplant in restaurants all around the island! Try melitzanosalata – a dip made out of white eggplant. It goes nicely with pitta bread!

Dine in the “Best Tavern”: Mentioned in “Santorini Sunsets”, Sirtaki Tavern is often referred to even by the locals as the best tavern in Santorini. Located in the Old Port in Fira, it offers authentic Greek cuisine and gives you the opportunity to wine and dine in front of a Santorini sunset whilst mingling with the friendly staff and locals.

So whether you’re looking to follow in Brigit Palmer’s footsteps and sample the authentic Greek cuisine of the island, stay in one of the many villas with a balcony that overlooks the volcano, or explore the only inhabited Caldera in the world, then be sure to get in touch with our travel experts at Not Just Travel to book your trip to ensure that you get the most out of your Santorini vacation!

You can follow Anita on Twitter, Facebook and via her website.

You can follow Not Just Travel on Twitter, Facebook and via their website

Do come and connect with Team TripFiction via Twitter (@tripfiction), Facebook (TripFiction), Instagram (TripFiction) and Pinterest (TripFiction)… and now YouTube

For more books set on Santorini, just click here!

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