Review: Game of Scones by Samantha Tonge

Tuesday 28 April 2015
Title: Game of Scones
Author: Samantha Tonge
Publisher: Carina
Publication Date: 20th April 2015
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Growing up, Pippa Pattinson's summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure banking job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop - serving the perfect scones -with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niko by her side...

Arriving back in Taxos for the first time in years, with suave boyfriend Henrik, Pippa barely recognises the tired little town - but is relieved to catch glimpses of the quaint, charming village she's always loved. Together Niko and Pippa put together a proposal to save Taxos from tourist-tastic ruin, and at the heart of their plan is Pippa's dream project - The Tastiest Little Tea Shop in Taxos. It's time for Pippa to leave her London life behind and dust off her scone recipe that's guaranteed to win over both locals and visitors. And amidst the rolling pins and raisins, it seems romance is blossoming where she's least expecting it...

I love this time of year as the summer books start to be released. Summer is finally drawing near, and after a bitterly cold winter I am more than ready for some warm weather. Game of Scones takes place in Taxos, an idyllic Greek village. It's a shame that it is always Greece that Chick Lit set in the Med takes place, more authors should set their books in Cyprus (wishful thinking on my part)! I did very much enjoy visualising the village though, and felt that Samantha Tonge captured the setting brilliantly.

Pippa Pattinson spent her childhood summers visiting Taxos but life got in the way and she returns to the village for the first time in years to find that it is unrecognisable from the place where she spent so many perfect summers daydreaming about running her own tea shop - serving the perfect scones - with her childhood friend Niko by her side. I found it all too easy to visualise the island in its sorry state, knowing that even major tourist destinations have struggled in recent years to attract visitors. There are plans to redevelop Taxos and bring more tourists to the village, but this would in turn mean that it lost all of its charm and uniqueness, and the residents are soon fighting against these changes.

Books like this do usually have that gorgeous, perfect man which can often come across as a little tiresome or repetitive, but I have to say that I really enjoyed the relationship that developed between Pippa and Niko, and Pippa's reminiscing about her childhood holidays on the island and friendship with Niko. With two leading men for the ladies to choose from, it might not just be Pippa who struggles to choose between them...

I loved Samantha's writing and one of the highlights was how it felt like Pippa was really talking to the reader. Often during a chapter the writing would change so it was like you were part of a conversation with Pippa, written in a humorous or reflective way I enjoyed that part of the storytelling and felt like it really helped me to connect with Pippa on a personal level. She came across as both a likeable and believable character, and once her story was over I found myself hoping that we would meet again one day.

In terms of where the story would ultimately conclude, I felt it was a little obvious but it was a whole lot of fun getting to that point, and that's not to say that Samantha doesn't put a number of hurdles in the way of our characters, because she absolutely does. Game of Scones is the perfect book to kick start your summer reading, and I imagine there will be a lot of people holidaying around the world and taking this book with them on their Kindles. A gloriously fun read which does not disappoint.


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