I am delighted to be one of the blogs kicking off the tour today for The Love Island Bookshop by Kate Frost. My thanks to Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for allowing me to take part in the tour and to the author for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly and impartially.
A dream job, two handsome men, one destructive act. Will Freya’s opportunity of a lifetime end in tears?
When Freya leaves her publishing job in London to be a barefoot bookseller in the Maldives, it’s the push she needs to move on from her sadness and reignite her passion for life.
While resort owner Zander is charming, it’s handsome dive instructor Aaron who befriends her when she needs it most. But all is not what it seems and there’s trouble brewing in paradise.
Taking a chance on happiness is harder than she imagined. Can Freya let go of her heartache and allow herself to fall in love again?
I am sure I am not the only book lover who saw the job advertisement for someone to run a book shop on a tropical island a few years ago and thought it was their dream job. I even thought seriously for a few moments about ditching my OH and the kids and applying anyway, then reality reasserted itself and I filed it away as a lovely daydream. Kate Frost took a different route and used it as inspiration for a book. A book through which I now get to live out my fantasy of running that bookshop in paradise.
Here we are whisked away to the Maldives, where Freya is the lucky person from thousands who has been hired by a handsome and wealthy resort owner to run a ‘barefoot bookshop’ at his luxurious couples-only hotel. It really is a dream come true, but Freya is also running away from problems in her life back home, and we all know how well that usually works! Of course, new friends, and attractive dive instructor, Aaron, may provide the distractions she needs.
Freya is very relatable as a character (aside from being the lucky one to get the job of a lifetime!) and I really felt for her and the pain she was in for various reasons. Of course, running away was never going to solve them, but it’s a glorious excuse to explore the idea of a bookshop in paradise, and her problems are very real nonetheless. The book was perhaps more serious in tone than I had been anticipating from the blurb and the cover, but this did not diminish my enjoyment of it.
The romance aspects play out quite quickly, and the book provides two very different, and enticing, love interests for Freya. There are surprising twists and turns along the way which kept me interested, and I didn’t see some of the events which happened coming. Again, there are some quite serious things that happen, that take this book out of the realm of the light and fluffy romcom. Having not read any of Kate’s previous Romantic Escape’s novels, I wasn’t aware of exactly where her books fell in the romance genre, I am sure her fans will know what to expect. For other readers, this book is a well-written romance novel, but not a romcom.
If I had a minor niggle, I probably would have liked more description of time spent in actually running the bookshop, as that concept was what attracted me to the book, but that would be a very minor niggle. What is done brilliantly is the descriptions of the resort in the Maldives, I had a really clear image of the whole island in my mind from what was written on the page and, if a trip to the Maldives doesn’t make it on to your bucket list after reading this, you are an odd fish!
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Love Island Bookshop, to the extent that, as soon as I finished it, I downloaded The Baobab Beach Retreat to my Kindle. (If you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, as I am, all of Kate’s Romantic Escapes books are currently included in your subscription.) I really enjoyed her plotting, her characterisation and her voice and am keen to read more.
A perfect read for anyone who wants to go armchair travelling this summer, in place of an actual overseas holiday (which looks like most of us at this stage!). Highly recommended.
The Love Island Bookshop is out now in paperback and ebook formats, and you can buy a copy here.
Make sure you visit the other marvellous blogs taking part in the tour for this book for alternative reviews:
About the Author
Kate Frost is the author of best-selling romantic escape novels (The Baobab Beach Retreat, A Starlit Summer, The Greek Heart and The Amsterdam Affair), character-driven women’s fiction (The Butterfly Storm series and Beneath the Apple Blossom), and Time Shifters, a time travel adventure trilogy for children. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where she also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates.
Kate lives in Bristol with her husband, young son, and their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Frodo. As well as writing novels, she’s also the Director of Storytale Festival, a new city-wide children’s book festival that she co-founded in Bristol in 2019 with the ethos of making books accessible to all and encouraging children and teens to read, write and be creative. Kate feels incredibly lucky to spend her days writing and being immersed in books.
Connect with Kate:
Facebook: Kate Frost